News & Media Articles


15 December 2008 By New Israel Fund

The Ethiopian Jews of Israel: Personal Stories of Life in the Promised Land
by Len Lyons
In 1977 there were about one hundred Ethiopian Jews in Israel; now there are more than one hundred thousand. Their courageous exodus from their native land and their mass immigration to Israel is a unique historical event. This beautiful and touching book is the first one to recount in captivating photographs and candid interviews the profound challenges and inspiring accomplishments of Ethiopian Jews struggling to become Ethiopian Israelis.
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Searching for America's Heart: RFK and the Renewal of Hope
by Peter Edelman
Popular opinion has shifted dramatically during the second half of the 20th century regarding efforts to address poverty. Lawyer and political activist Edelman chronicles the moderate rise and dramatic fall of concern for the poor in this blend of policy history, autobiography and call to political action. [read more]

Against the Dying of the Light: A Father's Journey Through Loss
by Leonard J. Fein
Leonard Fein struggled with some of the deepest and most difficult questions of faith while mourning the death of his daughter Nomi, who suffered a heart attack at age 30. "I understood from the start that the act of writing was a way both to keep her alive and to accept the fact of her death. And I needed to do both," he explains in the first paragraph of Against the Dying of the Light. [read more]

After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy
by Noah Feldman
Feldman is careful to distinguish his first book from some of the spate of recent works with the word "jihad" in the title, which contend that anti-Western, violent brands of Islam are growing in strength and bravado. Feldman argues, on the contrary, that September 11 and more recent sporadic attacks mark "the last, desperate gasp of a tendency to violence that has lost most of its popular support." [read more]

Divided by God: America's Church-State Problem--and What We Should Do About It
by Noah Feldman
In Divided By God, Noah Feldman examines the unique, fascinating balance the United States has pursued for well over 200 years now -- the attempt at democratic government by the people in a country made up of many religions, and many highly religious people. The novel principle enshrined to help make this a success was strong separation of church from state. [read more]

What We Owe Iraq : War and the Ethics of Nation Building
by Noah Feldman
Written with tempered passion and a grounded sense of the possibilities, Feldman's book nicely bridges theory and practice. Powerful and important. . . . The book, like its author, is an unusual blend: part theoretical treatise, part political analysis, part memoir.
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Liquid Assets : An Economic Approach for Water Management and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East and Beyond
by Franklin M. Fisher, et al.
Liquid Assets shows that the common view of water as an inevitable cause of future wars is neither rational nor necessary. Typically, two or more parties with claim to the same water sources are thought to play a zero-sum game with each side placing a high emotional and political value on the ownership of the water. However, Franklin Fisher and his coauthors demonstrate that when disputes in ownership are expressed as disputes about money values, in most cases, the benefits of ownership will be surprisingly small. [read more]

The Israeli Third Sector : Between Welfare State and Civil Society (Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies)
by Benjamin Gidron, Michal Bar, Hagai Katz
In Israel, as in most countries, the development of the Third Sector coincided with a trend to cut public funding and the provision of social services within the welfare state system, as well as other developments pertaining to the changes within the Israeli society and polity. The book presents the economic, historical, legal and policy dimensions of the Sector with a focus on its contribution to the Welfare State and civil society. [read more]

Next Year in Jerusalem
by Daphna Golan-Agnon, Janine Woolfson (Translator)
At once a memoir and a plea for a better understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma, this poignant offering from Golan-Agnon, instructor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and co-founder of the human rights organizations B'Tselem and Bat Shalom, decries human rights violations perpetrated against Palestinians. [read more]

Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for Renewing an Ancient Faith
by Niles Elliot Goldstein
Though born out of the "world of gonzo," rife with indignation, agitation, cynicism and a "biting urge to revolt," this book delivers such a soulful commentary that it could just as easily be called "Judaism Unplugged." Like musicians who return to the roots of their profession and play without electronica, Rabbi Goldstein, founding rabbi of the New Shul in Manhattan, reminds readers—whether they are new seekers or lapsed practitioners of Judaism—to confirm their knowledge of the "nuts and bolts" of their tradition before wistfully seeking the mystical. [read more]

Let Me Create A Paradise, God Said to Himself
by Hirsh Goodman
This memoir by veteran journalist Goodman has a split personality. The first part is personal, a chronicle of his childhood in apartheid South Africa and his decision to move to Israel in 1965, when he was 20. Goodman conveys the ironies of growing up white and Jewish in Johannesburg, where the family servant was his "executive mother" and he imbibed an ideology of social justice in his Zionist-socialist youth group. [read more]

The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977
by Gershom Gorenberg
Gershom Gorenberg is the author of The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount and coauthor of Shalom, Friend: The Life and Legacy of Yitzhak Rabin. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The American Prospect, Mother Jones, Ha'aretz, and Ma'ariv, and is now Jerusalem correspondent for the Forward. His new book paints a striking new picture of Israel's post-1967 history, and sheds light on how the focus on the settlements have affected Israel's agenda in all spheres. [read more]

Appropriately Subversive: Modern Mothers in Traditional Religions
by Tova Hartman Halbertal
Halbertal asks in this book how feminists in traditional religions balance and blend their roles as mothers and believers. She interviews a series of Orthodox Jewish women in Israel, all of whom are feminists, teachers and mothers of daughters. [read more]

Barrier : The Seam of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
by Isabel Kershner
One of the effects of the highly controversial barrier being erected by Israel between itself and Occupied Palestine has been the creation of a weird nether-world dubbed "the Seam Zone," which Jerusalem Report editor Kerchner describes with both compassion and coherence. [read more]

Israel's Higher Law: Religion and Liberal Democracy in the Jewish State
by Steven V. Mazie
In Israel's Higher Law , Steven V. Mazie draws on the voices of Israeli citizens to shed new light on the relationship between liberal democracy and religion. By analyzing Israelis' perspectives on a number of divisive issues--including Jewish state symbols, marriage law, public Sabbath observance and funding for religious education--Mazie identifies a rift between Israeli and American understandings of "separation of religion and state" and a gulf between Jewish and Arab citizens' visions for Israel's religion-state arrangement. [read more]

No One Can Ever Steal Your Rainbow
by Barbara Meislin
If you have ever looked up at the sky after the rain, and had your spirit lifted by the sight of a rainbow, the message of this book will be clear. Even in the darkest of times the rainbow within our hearts can lead us to a path of renewed hope. When someone you love whether child or adult is experiencing feelings of uncertainty, grief, or loss, this true life story about a stolen rainbow will inspire healing, wholeness, and above all, hope. Proceeds of this book will go to NIF Grantee Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam (The Oasis Of Peace) and other charitable organizations that enhance the lives of children. [read more]

by Sami Michael
The time is 1973, the setting the Yom Kippur War in Israel. Communist and Zionist, Israeli Arab, Palestinian refugee, and Ashkenazi Jews clash in this story of love and hatred. Marduch, Communist survivor of an Iraqi prison and Zionist by default, has gone to fight for Israelthe country that has given him refuge. When Marduch's wifean Ashkenazi Jew and a faithful party memberis asked to shelter an Arab comrade slated for preventive detention, the anguish of moral, political, and sexual tensions inevitably surface. [read more]

A Trumpet in the Wadi
by Sami Michael
Set in Haifa just before the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, this spirited, bittersweet novel captures the Arab-Israeli conflict in microcosm. The seaside city is home to a family of Christian Arabs: irascible Elias, the patriarch; his busy daughter-in-law, Umm-Huda; and her fatherless daughters, the beautiful Mary and her older, deplorably still unwed sister Huda. [read more]

Maneuvering Between the Headlines
by Helen Schary Motro
Motro's book is a lucid and heartbreaking account of what has happened to "everyday life" in Israel in the years since the eruption of the "Second Intifada" in 2000. Motro was a self-described idealistic member of Tel Aviv's liberal intelligentsia: a journalist and teacher at the University of Tel Aviv's faculty of law. [read more]

Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality: A Reader
by Elliot N. Dorff (Editor), Louis E. Newman (Editor)
Over the past decade much significant new work has appeared in the field of Jewish ethics. While much of this work has been devoted to issues in applied ethics, a number of important essays have explored central themes within the tradition and clarified the theoretical foundations of Jewish ethics. [read more]

Contemporary Jewish Theology: A Reader
by Elliot N. Dorff (Editor), Louis E. Newman (Editor)
This carefully constructed anthology highlights the enormous range of theological viewpoints and methods that have characterized Jewish theological reflection in modern times. Including representative selections from both pre- and post-World War II thinkers, with emphasis on writings of the last four decades, the volume offers essays on God, creation, revelation, redemption, covenant/chosenness, law, the Holocaust and the modern State of Israel. [read more]

An Introduction to Jewish Ethics
by Louis E. Newman
Introduction to Jewish Ethics offers a concise overview of the Jewish ethical tradition as it has evolved from biblical times to the present. The volume provides a broad conceptual overview of the central beliefs of classical Judaism and the ways in which these frame traditional Jewish approaches to issues in ethics, both theoretical and practical and it familiarizes readers with the distinctive ways in which contemporary Jewish ethics draw upon this rich tradition of religious-ethical reflection as they address key ethical issue of our day. [read more]

Past Imperatives: Studies in the History and Theory of Jewish Ethics
by Louis E. Newman
Past Imperatives explores the nature and development of Jewish ethics by analyzing three important sets of issues: the relationship between Jewish law and ethics, the relationship between Jewish ethics and theology, and the problems and prospects for constructing a contemporary Jewish ethic. [read more]

The Rhetoric of Innovation: Self-Conscious Legal Change in Rabbinic Literature
by Aaron D. Panken
Through critical examination of more than 1,000 occurrences of terms depicting legal innovation, this study maps the contours of legal change reported during the rabbinic period. The Rhetoric of Innovation examines temporal clusters of statements and actions attributed to authority figures in the Tannaitic and Amoraic periods, also reviewing the geographic distribution of these words and their divergent usages in documents edited in Roman Palestine and Babylonia. [read more]

Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israeli Policy
by Yoram Peri
In what is certain to become a landmark study, Israel’s foremost analyst of civil-military relations identifies and investigates a dramatic shift of power within Israel’s political system. Where once the military was usually the servant of civilian politicians, today, argues Yoram Peri, generals lead the way when it comes to foreign and defense policymaking. The implications for Israeli-Palestinian relations, for Israeli democracy, and indeed for other democracies are profound. [read more]

Telepopulism: Media and Politics in Israel
by Yoram Peri
Two revolutions occurred in Israel in the last decade of the twentieth century. The first was in the field of communications and the second was in politics. Telepopulism describes the political and cultural processes that took place in Israel during the 1990s, depicting the major political events of this period from a new, original, and provocative angle, based on solid theoretical analyses. [read more]

The Israelis
by Donna Rosenthal
Today's headlines leave the impression there's little to know about Israel outside of its conflict with the Palestinians. Using Hedrick Smith's landmark The Russians as a model, journalist Rosenthal, with years of experience in and knowledge of the Middle East, defies that notion, giving an in-depth look at the rich variety of people in the Jewish state. Relying on dozens of interviews, she gives a lively, variegated portrait of all facets of Israeli life. [read more]

Shared Histories: A Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue
by Paul Scham (Editor), Walid Salem (Editor), Benjamin Pogrund (Editor)
A unique examination of how Israelis and Palestinians understand own history and that of the “other.” The 304-page book contains chapters discussing aspects of the “shared histories” of the two sides during crucial period from 1882 (when modern Zionist settlement began) marking the end of the War of Independence (as Israelis call it) or the Nakba (or catastrophe, as Palestinians refer to it). Other chapters cover and Palestinian views on the Holocaust, Jerusalem, and refugees. [read more]

Jewish Political Tradition, Vol.1
by Michael Walzer (Editor), Menachem Lorberbaum (Editor), Noam J. Zohar (Editor), Yair Loberbaum (Editor), Michael Walzer et al.
This thought-provoking second volume of The Jewish Political Tradition is concerned with the theme of membership. The book brings together the most important texts on membership topics from 3,000 years of Jewish history, many newly translated or translated for the first time. Commentaries from modern religious and secular scholars, representing a range of viewpoints on the right and the left, accompany the texts.[read more]

The Jewish Political Tradition : Volume two: Membership (Jewish Political Tradition)
by Michael Walzer (Editor), Menachem Lorberbaum (Editor), Noam J. Zohar (Editor), Ari Ackerman (Editor)
This thought-provoking second volume of The Jewish Political Tradition is concerned with the theme of membership. The book brings together the most important texts on membership topics from 3,000 years of Jewish history, many newly translated or translated for the first time. Commentaries from modern religious and secular scholars, representing a range of viewpoints on the right and the left, accompany the texts.[read more]