Jews and the University: Antisemitism, Admissions, Academic Freedom

The integration of Jews into the university is one of the great success stories of modern American culture and Jewish life. Penn was at the forefront of this success story, with the first Jewish Students’ Association formed here in 1924. But recent events at Penn and at other campuses have led to accusations that the university has been too tolerant of antisemitism and become less welcoming to Jews.

On “The Most Anti-Zionist Text”

There is a good deal of heated discussion today about what is and isn’t anti-Zionism. Much of it surrounds the question of whether harsh forms of criticism of the state of Israel can be deemed antisemitic. What is rarely recalled in those debates is that one of the most prominent anti-Zionists of the twentieth century was a Jew, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (1887–1979), the founding Satmar Rebbe, who formulated a detailed theological rationale for his opposition to the state of Israel.

David Ben-Gurion on Campus in 1960

In the current issue of JQR (113.2), Adam Ferziger makes exciting use of archival audio footage of David Ben-Gurion speaking live on university campuses in the United States in 1960. He uses the footage alongside contemporaneous first-hand accounts to offer new insight into the way the legendary prime minister approached the relationship between American Jews and Israel at a late stage in his career.

Updates on Ukraine and Katz Center Initiatives

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Katz Center and other institutions have been collaboratively figuring out how to support their Jewish studies colleagues in Ukraine. One form this support has taken is an initiative sponsoring mini-grants to Jewish studies scholars in Ukraine. Katz Center director Steven Weitzman reflects with other leaders of this initiative in this piece on a year of supporting scholars amidst war.

Hasidic Education in New York: A Clash of Law, Politics, and Culture

The major New York Times article from Sunday, September 11 on Hasidic education in New York has elicited a huge outpouring of responses on social media from many different quarters—critics of the school system, supporters, and, quite noticeably, many within the Hasidic community itself. It is hard to recall a story in which the Haredi community in the United States has been the focus of such wide national visibility and scrutiny.

The Ironies of History: The Ukraine Crisis through the Lens of Jewish History

As much of the world expresses sorrow and solidarity with the Ukrainian people—and admiration for its president, Volodymyr Zelensky—the ironies of history abound. To students of Jewish history, it is a source of near incredulity that the same recurrent site of mass violence against Jews—from the Khmielnitsky massacres of the mid-seventeenth century to the brutal killing fields during and after World War I to the bloodlands soiled by Nazi murderers in Operation Barbarossa in 1941—is home to a fledgling democracy and an unlikely and inspiring Jewish president.

The Haredi Moment: A Postscript on the Tragedy at Mt. Meron, Part 4

In April, JQR convened a three-part online forum to analyze the “Haredi moment” of 2020. The COVID-19 crisis and the U.S. presidential election highlighted both lingering patterns and new modes of Haredi behavior, especially evident in the broader public sphere. A few short days after the last of the three forum panels was posted, on Lag Ba-Omer (April 30), a tragedy took place at Mt.

The Haredi Moment: An Online Forum, Part 3

2020 was an especially prominent year for Haredim. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis, together with the U.S. Presidential election, featured a much more visible and seemingly defiant public presence by Haredim and, concomitantly, brought an enormous amount of new public attention to them. This moment yielded a different face of Haredi Judaism than the quiet and sequestered enclave society of years past.