Koch Test

The former New York City mayor is starting to turn against Barack Obama. And when hizzoner goes for the Republican in a presidential contest, it’s always been bad news for his fellow Democrats.

Watchmen: The Shomrim Who Patrol Orthodox Brooklyn

Shomrim—controversial Jewish neighborhood watch groups—patrol the Orthodox enclaves of Brooklyn, where safety’s battles are fought along exclusive ethnic and community lines

Forward and Back

Though officially an exercise in change and progress, Rahm Emanuel’s inauguration as Chicago’s first Jewish mayor was nonetheless steeped in well-worn myths and traditions

Chewing Over Bin Laden

In a Kosher restaurant in Brooklyn, news of Osama Bin Laden’s death prompted inconclusive but spirited talk of President Obama, Israel, Jews, and terrorism

Jew for Sarah

Buddy Korn, the founder of the group Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin, is an ex-Maoist rabbi’s son looking to mobilize disenchanted coreligionists with Tea Party rhetoric

Defense Department

Hannah Rosenthal, the State Department’s anti-Semitism envoy, must defend Israel from delegitimization while confronting a growing wave of anti-Jewish rhetoric among European elites

Elder Statesman

Fred Karger is a gay, Jewish Republican, and he’s running for president. His plan is to embarrass the Mormon GOP frontrunner, Mitt Romney, and get the church to drop its support for gay-marriage bans.

Persian Gulf

Thirty years after the Islamic Revolution made them exiles, the Persian Jews of Los Angeles are split in new ways by an old question: how much to hold on to religious and cultural traditions forged in a country that now hates them

Double Down

Flamboyant Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, facing the end of his term-limited reign, is waging a final battle, campaigning for his wife, Carolyn, a nice Jewish girl from New York, to succeed him

What a Country

Twenty years after the fall of the USSR, the 1990s wave of Russian-Jewish immigrants is a reliably Republican voting bloc. But as their children assimilate, Russian Jews’ politics get harder to pin down.

Cold Case

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union on March 29, 1951. Sixty years later, the case still crackles with controversy. Why is it so hard to put to rest?

The Pugilist

Friends and Politics, Part 3: Norman Podhoretz. The neoconservative icon and I weren’t personally close, but we shared a more important bond, over the struggle to defend Israel and American Jewry.

The Socialist

Friends and Politics, Part 2: Irving Howe. The prominent critic and I worked on Yiddish translations together, but a dispute over Israel and its Arab neighbors ruptured our relationship—until we reconnected over literature.

The Novelist

Friends and Politics, Part 1: Saul Bellow. The Nobel Prize-winner and I shared a love of literature and of Yiddish, but our friendship was tested by decades-long disagreements over politics.

Foreplay

A proposed San Francisco ballot measure prohibiting circumcision arises from a debate over ritual, sexuality, and identity. What’s become an American norm might soon again be a mark of difference.

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