I was nervous when I answered the phone call from Bennett Greenspan, president and CEO of the genetic testing company Family Tree DNA. As part of this special issue dedicated to genes and religion, a few of us at Moment swabbed our cheeks and sent off our DNA samples to ascertain our family origins. I already felt secure in my historical roots, a lineage that places me as a ninth-generation descendant of the Baal Shem Tov with Rashi and King David as ancestors. But still, I didn’t know what to expect, or what this testing would tell me specifically about my family tree. Going over the results with Greenspan, I learned that our opinion editor Amy Schwartz’s ancestral line is one of the oldest, thought to go back about 60,000 years and originating in Africa before...
Moment Top Ten
The Best Jewish TV Shows of All Time
Do We Divide The Holiest Holy City?
From the Editor
Nearly three years ago, I met a 90-year-old woman from Cleveland named Eva Rosenberg who told me her story—and that of her late husband Milton Rosenberg. In 1950, one month after Julius Rosenberg was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union, Eva’s husband and his colleague, Sidney Rosenberg—neither of whom were communists or had any association with Julius Rosenberg—were both dismissed from their engineering jobs at the U.S. Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. These were innocent men—with the wrong name at the wrong time in the wrong place—who had to fight to redeem their reputations—and their jobs. They eventually got their positions back, but neither spoke publicly about what had happened. Eva Rosenberg remains afraid—even after all these years—that bringing this story to light might lead the federal government to revoke her...
Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America’s Food Answers to a Higher Authority
reviewed by Robin Aronson
10 Commandments 2.0
These ancient laws, long central to our way of life, have become a divisive symbol. Do they still matter? Or is it time for an upgrade? A range of American thinkers speak up, and be warned—they don’t agree on much. (See related stories on pages 21 and 24.)
The Other Rosenbergs
Moment Top Ten
Rev up your smart phone with Jewish apps
Is This The Golden Age of Jewish Baseball?
A new generation of high-caliber Jewish major league players—including four All-Stars—takes the field. Plus exclusive profiles of Ryan Braun, Craig Breslow, Ike Davis, Danny Valencia and Kevin Youkilis.
Opinion: Is Tenure Bad for the Jews?
If you ask professors why they need tenure, the first words out of their mouths will undoubtedly be some variation of this phrase: “To guarantee academic freedom.” I’ve asked this question dozens, if not hundreds, of times. I have asked professors at both ends of what amounts to a guaranteed job for life if, as the argument goes, they will be unable to speak or write freely without tenure. Will those with unpopular views—or views that upset the administration or the trustees or other members of the faculty—otherwise be run off campus? And if we allow such pressure to be exerted on our faculty, will the integrity of the university in America be compromised? Three years ago, when I started a book about the institution of tenure, I made a promise to myself: I would severely...