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Marriage and Conversion in the State of Israel
David Stav and Seth Farber

Rabbis David Stav and Seth Farber are two of the leading rabbinic advocates for reforming civil marriage practices and conversion standards in Israel. Here, they discuss whether broad solutions can be provided within Israel’s rabbinic establishment or whether the problem stems more fundamentally from the incompatibility of Orthodox Jewish law with the modern ethos.

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Life and Work
Dara Horn


Award-winning author Dara Horn reflects on Yiddish literature, American Judaism, her writing process, reactions to her work (from Jews and non-Jews alike), and her life as the mother of four children.



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Life in the Arena
Elliott Abrams

Elliott Abrams has served two presidents, working on issues in Latin America, the Middle East, and human rights. How did his Jewish upbringing and Jewish pride shape him for a life in American politics and diplomacy?




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“Defending Identity”: Israel and the World
Natan Sharansky

What’s wrong with a world that has, to quote John Lennon, “nothing to die for?” The great Jewish dissident, thinker, and statesman Natan Sharansky explains why the particularist desire to belong is so important and how it can be made to complement the democratic desire to be free.


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On French Jewry and the Future of France

November 19, 2015 at 5:13pm

In the last few months, both Jewish Review of Books and Mosaic featured discussions on French Jewry and the future of France. In light of last Friday’s tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, we have gathered the articles here.

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Joshua Mitchell is a professor of political theory in the Department of Government at Georgetown University. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, he left the U.S. capital to teach the great books of Western political thought to university students in Qatar and Iraq. The students there, he found, differed in dramatic ways from those in the U.S. They were beset with anguish over the value of individualism, and they felt their allegiance to traditional roles in family and society strained in ways that made them question the promises of modernity. Professor Mitchell realized that the social forces at play in the contemporary Middle East were much the same as those Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 19th-century America.

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Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter on Family and Freedom

September 30, 2015 at 7:37am

Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter has forged a long and dedicated career both as a pulpit rabbi and as a leading academic scholar of Jewish history. How does he negotiate situations in which love of Torah and tradition appear to be in tension with modern sensibilities or historical truth? What motivates his own spiritual practice?

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Rabbi David Stav on Jewish Unity

September 10, 2015 at 10:52am

Through his leadership of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, Rabbi David Stav has been at the forefront of debates over the relationship between religion and state in Israel, pushing for reforms in the State’s handling of marriage, conversion, and kashrut. Why is Tzohar focused on these issues? And how does he think about government’s role in religious life?

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The Tikvah Fund once again had the privilege of learning from prize-winning novelist Dara Horn at our recent week-long seminar Jewish Thought, Jewish Literature, Jewish Politics. After leading university students in a stimulating study of love, sexuality, and family guided by readings from the Book of Genesis, S.Y. Agnon, and Sholem Aleichem, Horn opened up about her own life and literary career. […]

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