In response to Allan Arkush’s summer 2018 cover article on Jews in the American melting pot, an impassioned and unsparing assessment of the future of American Jewry, four leading thinkers weigh in:
- Jack Wertheimer—whose book, The New American Judaism (Princeton, 2018), was the occasion for Arkush’s essay—furnishes the first reply, arguing that Jewish assimilation is not an inexorable process.
- David Biale, a distinguished UC Davis professor of Jewish history, revisits his own provocative 1998 essay, at which Arkush took aim.
- Edieal Pinker, a Yale professor of operations research (and deputy dean in its School of Management) offers a fresh statistical analysis of the 2013 Pew study of the U.S. Jewish community.
- Erica Brown, an award-winning educator and author of 12 books on Bible, Jewish leadership, and more writes: “On the bottom of the pot live Jewish clichés, nostalgia, kitchy-ness, and an uninformed Jewish pride.”
Finally, Allan Arkush responds to his critics.
“I thought you knew that I belonged to the Truth Party too,” Bette Howland wrote her fellow novelist, mentor, and sometime lover, Saul Bellow. Her son recently found a new cache of letters between them that illuminates two brilliant artists at work.
Michael Walzer asks new questions of the biblical text, the same sorts of questions we often ask of Locke or Voltaire.
According to one scholar, Uriel Birnbaum produced “more than 6,000 poems, 130 essays, 30 plays, 10 short stories, 15 fairy tales, fragments of a longer epic poem, 20 chapters of a lost novel and 30 collections of illustrations.” And yet, Birnbaum received little acclaim in his lifetime. Today he is all but unknown.
A new look at the most unlikely alliance that brought the Jewish State into being.