Sundown: What’s the Deal With Jews?
Plus minutes, stats, and zippers
• Writer and historian Tony Judt asks the big post-Holocaust Jewish Question: “Jews in America are more successful, integrated, respected, and influential than at any place or time in the history of the community. Why then is contemporary Jewish identity in the US so obsessively attached to the recollection—and anticipation—of its own disappearance?” [NYRB]
• Josh Nathan-Kazis responds to a letter written by 13 Jewish organizations trying to secure protection for American college students faced with anti-Semitism with an even bigger, older Jewish question: “Are Jews an ethnic or a religious group?” [Haaretz]
• The minutes from the first meeting of Israel’s provisional government on May 16, 1948, have just been made public. The gathered focused on what to call the officials now known as “ministers”; also in the running was “governor,” about which future Prime Minister Moshe Sharrett said: “This word may have the connotation of bragging, but it is a nice Hebrew word with a pleasant sound to it.” [Ynet]
• On the eve of its 62nd birthday, Israel’s population is 7,587,000—137,000 more than last year—made up of 75 percent Jews. [Ynet]
• The New York Times profiles Eddie Feibusch, a zipper merchant who “overcame not just the Nazis but also Velcro” (hyuk!) and once filled an order for Bernard Madoff in prison. [NYT]