JRB | Israel

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

 

Rereading Herzl’s Old-New Land

A bad novel, but an important and prescient book.

The Kibbutz and the State

How the position of the kibbutz in Israeli society has changed, and why.

Athens or Sparta?

Accused by Patrick Tyler of unfairness, Morris presses on.

The Poet from Vilna

Avrom Sutzkever and Max Weinreich, a memoir.

Walkers in the City

Herman Melville was unimpressed with Jerusalem in 1857, but what would he say if he were a saunterer on Mamilla or King George today?

Moses Mendelssohn Street

Immortality in Jerusalem.

Walking the Green Line

New books about the settlers and the settlements and depth and nuance to the discussions about their existence.

One State?

Sari Nusseibeh’s recent book is a new formulation of an old proposal.

Fathers & Sons

This summer, as the current Askhenazi chief rabbi was being investigated for corruption, and issues of religion and state dominated public debate, new Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis were elected. The process was messy, complicated, and ugly. The result? Sixty-eight votes apiece for the sons of two previous chief rabbis. What does a broken rabbinate mean for Israel?

Yehuda Amichai: At Play in the Fields of Verse

Yehuda Amichai was an exuberant person with a lively, impish sense of humor. He was, at the same time, a melancholy man. Both traits are present in his poetry.

Israel’s Arab Sholem Aleichem

Sayed Kashua’s new novel presents a characteristic depiction of the dual identities of Israel’s Arabs.

Riding Leviathan: A New Wave of Israeli Genre Fiction

A new batch of Israeli fantasy books may not contain Narnias, but they pound on the wardrobe, rattling the scrolls inside.

Hope, Beauty, and Bus Lanes in Tel Aviv

From the floor of Tel Aviv’s City Council, Israel’s future looks more promising than many would think.

Suggested Reading

Singing Gentile Songs: A Ladino Memoir by Sa’adi Besalel a-Levi

Aron Rodrigue, Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Sa'adi Besalel a-Levi's memoir of life in 19th-century Salonica provides a rare and intimate glimpse into a lost Ottoman Jewish world. Sa'adi was an accomplished singer and composer and a printer who helped to found modern Ladino print culture. He was also a rebel who accused the leaders of the Jewish community of being corrupt, abusive, and fanatical. In response, they excommunicated him—frequently, capriciously, and, in the end, definitively—though with imperfect success.

The Old Country, Twice Removed

The Old Country, Twice Removed

Allan Arkush

My grandfather had a way of mentioning the Kiev guberniya (province) that made it sound to me, when I was a boy, like it was our place in the Old Country—and more than half a century later, it still does.

The Gray Lady and the Jewish State

The Gray Lady and the Jewish State

Deborah E. Lipstadt

Jerold Auerbach’s archly titled new study Print to Fit: The New York Times, Zionism and Israel, 1896–2016 is a well-researched and, for the most part, damning brief of the Times’s news coverage and editorial attitudes toward Zionism and Israel for over a century.