Martin Luther King Jr. walks arm in arm with others leaving Brown's A.M.E Church in Selma

Susannah Heschel on the Legacy of Her Father, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Civil Rights Movement

By Nadine Epstein Moment: Tell me about this photo. It’s so famous, and we see it all the time—but what’s really happening there? Susannah Heschel: This is an iconic photograph and the moment it captures in Selma has become one of tremendous inspiration for a lot of Jews. When my father first went to Selma, it was a very frightening time. We had a television at home—a little black and white television—my father watched the news every night. There were images of peaceful black demonstrators who were being treated horribly, with some vicious dogs and water hoses—and those images were terrifying. So the Civil Rights Movement set a context, in a way, for my family and my growing-up years. Behind all of this, of course, was a lot more of Jewish history, of how Jews had been...

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Jewish Word // Philistine

How Philistine Became a Dirty Word by Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil It’s a story nearly everyone knows: The young shepherd boy uses nothing but his wits and a slingshot to take down a giant, sword-wielding warrior. As the First Book of Samuel describes, Goliath stood nearly 10-feet tall, wearing a bronze helmet and a coat of armor, carrying a javelin, spear and sword over his shoulders. Every morning he emerged from his camp to taunt the Israelites: “Give me a man and let us fight each other!” Throughout the story—in which David accepts the challenge—Goliath’s name is rarely used, and he is instead referred to by his tribal affiliation—Philistine. The Philistines are portrayed throughout the Bible as the archenemies of the Israelites: In Genesis, they are the ones who destroyed Abraham’s wells by filling them with dirt, and later, in...

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Week in Review: High-Tech Dead Sea Scrolls, Israel Boycott Bill Axed and much more!

The New York State Assembly has withdrawn a bill that would cut off funding to colleges and universities that initiate boycotts of Israel. Although a similar bill, sponsored by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, passed the State Senate last week, the Assembly removed the proposed legislation from consideration so that lawmakers could take a closer look at it. The New York Times editorial board wrote that the bill would “trample on academic freedoms and chill free speech and dissent.” Several Israeli politicians have labeled U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry an “anti-Semite” after he said Sunday Israel could face international boycotts if peace talks fail. “We expect of our friends in the world to stand by our side against the attempts to impose an anti-Semitic boycott on Israel, and not be their mouthpiece,” said Israel’s Economy...

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Answers to Jewish Olympians Quiz

1. Sarah Hughes 2. Aly Raisman 3. Yael Arad, for judo 4. Dara Torres 5. Oksana Baiul 6. Kerri Strug 7. Gal Fridman, for windsurfing 8. Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller 9. Seven 10. Isaac "Ike" Berger 11. Sasha Cohen 12. Hungary 13. Seven 14. Alfred Nakache 15. The 1972 Munich Games 16. Brad Gilbert 17. Harold Abrahams 18. Agnes Keleti 19. Eight 20. American swimmer Jason Lezak

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Q&A: Historian Melissa R. Klapper on American Jewish Women’s Activism

By Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil While the names Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem have become synonymous with second-wave feminism, the role of Jewish women in earlier feminist causes has gone largely unrecognized. With her new book, Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 1890-1940, Melissa R. Klapper, a history professor at Rowan University in New Jersey, is trying to change that, bringing to light the outsize role Jewish women played in the suffrage, birth control and peace movements. Moment spoke with Klapper about her work. Below is an edited transcript. Jewish women fell on both sides of the suffrage debate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. What were some of the arguments for and against a woman’s right to vote? The argument against suffrage was that this was a complete break from tradition—women never...

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Benjamin Netanyahu

This Week in Jewish Politics, Culture and Religion: Netanyahu and Pope Francis, Plus Google’s Pursuit of Immortality

Benjamin Netanyahu met with Pope Francis at the Vatican this week, presenting the pontiff with a Spanish translation of The Origins of the Inquisition, a book written by the Israeli prime minister’s late father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu. Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef signed a declaration reiterating their opposition to Jews visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem—a position the Chief Rabbinate has held since its inception under Rabbi Abraham Kook in 1921—in the face of a growing movement of Jewish activists demanding the right to pray at the holy site. The Tel Aviv-based Foreign Press Association has accused the Israel Defense Forces of “deliberately targeting” journalists covering clashes at Qalandia crossing between Jerusalem and Ramallah. The IDF, however, said that the photojournalists were “sighted adjacent and in the midst of the rioters, putting themselves at risk.” As the...

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Reza Aslan’s Jesus

Reza Aslan is an Iranian American scholar of religions, whose internationally acclaimed books include No god But God and Beyond Fundamentalism. His most recent book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, was at the center of a media firestorm after he appeared on Fox News and was asked, “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” Aslan talks to Moment about Fox News, the historical roots of anti-Semitism and whether Jesus ever intended to start a new religion.   How do you respond to the Fox News interview? I’m somewhat embarrassed by it, but a little bit excited that it’s launched this public discussion about very important issues, like journalistic integrity, religion and society, faith and politics and scholarship. These are all issues that academics are talking about...

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