Picture of Michael Berenbaum

Michael Berenbaum

Michael Berenbaum is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute and a professor of Jewish Studies at American Jewish University.

Time for a (kosher) hot dog, a beer and dodgers baseball

I just attended the Dodgers’ opening day celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium and the wonderful baseball game that followed, a 2-1 thriller marked by excellent pitching, daring base running and a game-winning home run in the bottom of the eighth by Andre Ethier, who knew how to celebrate his 30th birthday.

Paideia Conference Considers Jews in a Multicultural World

Recently, I attended a three-day conference celebrating the 10th anniversary of Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. The brainchild of Barbara Spectre, an American-Israeli-Swedish philosopher who has led the program since its inception, Paideia brings together young Jews for a year of intensive study. Imagine in an American context a Wexner Jewish Heritage Program leadership retreat that is sustained for 10 intensive months. By now, Paideia has several hundred alumni working, living and creating throughout Europe. They were returning to learn, celebrate and renew.

Holocaust truth is told on Muslim soil

While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was spewing hatred and denying the Holocaust from the floor of the United Nations, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were trading charges as to who is responsible for the nonexistent peace process, I was attending a small but significant event taking place at Al Akhawayn University, an elite English-language college in the picturesque ski resort town of Ifrane, Morocco. It was the first Holocaust Conference — nondenial Holocaust Conference — on Arab soil.

Jews saving Jews

As I was finishing reading Andrew E. Stevens’ memoir, “Rebel With a Cause: The Amazing True Story of Urban Partisans in World War II,” in collaboration with Meir Doron (Allied Artists, $9.99), I received an e-mail from a former colleague reminding me of a promise I had made to write about Jews saving Jews during the Holocaust. She had long been contending that among the major untold stories of the Holocaust, and some of its most important unsung heroes, were those Jews who put their lives at even more acute risk to rescue other Jews.

COUNTER-POINT: Boycott the boycotters?

What a wonderful idea. Let us counteract a boycott by engaging in a boycott of our own; let us boycott the boycotters who in turn can retaliate by boycotting the boycotters of the boycott.

Why Jewish community executives make so much money

The Forward newspaper has done a service to the American Jewish community by publishing the salaries of major executives of American Jewish organizations. They are essentially Jewish communal civil servants, and, as do all civil servants, they sacrifice a measure of privacy — and what is more private in the United States than the amount of money one earns? — for two very important goals: transparency and accountability.

Master historians take use of oral history to new level

Among the great privileges of reading contemporary Holocaust history is seeing the maturation of a field, especially the distinguished work of its most senior and most respected historians as they break new ground, cover new fields and hone their skills.


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