The Gates of November

The Gates of November: Chronicles of the Slepak family (Secker and Warburg) by Chaim Potok Ten years ago, the telephone rang in the Moscow apartment of Vladimir and Masha Slepak, veterans of the refusenik movement. They had finally been granted permission to emigrate to Israel. It was the end of 17 years of harassment, imprisonment, … Read more

Enemies of the People?

This issue of Judaism Today focuses on the theme of ‘heresy’. History testifies that it has transcended its formulation as a purely religious concept and has become a political tool in the hands of the powerful to discredit dissenting opponents and to discriminate against stubborn minorities. For Jews, the very term conjures up the Christian … Read more

Those Wonderful Women in Black

Those Wonderful Women in Black: The Story of the Womens Campaign for Soviet Jewry (Minerva Press) by Daphne Gerlis Sometime in 1971, Yitzhak “Ijo” Rager, the diplomat at the Israeli Embassy unofficially responsible for Soviet Jewry activities in Britain, asked me to stand in for him and speak to a group of Jewish women who … Read more

The Politics of Hope?

When Jonathan Sacks was installed as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations at the beginning of the decade, he was determined not to provoke the publicity and public criticism of his predecessor. Lord Jakobovits was always prepared to speak his mind on Likud’s Israel and to puncture the wall of silence erected by the … Read more

Western Jewry and the Zionist Project

Western Jewry and the Zionist Project, 19141933 / by Michael Berkowitz. – Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. – ISBN 0-521-47087-0 £35 305pp Borrowing a phrase from Eric Hobsbawm, Berkowitz prefers to view Zionism as an ‘invented tradition’ which was remarkable for its adaption to the situation of assimilated Jewries and its ingenious ability to build … Read more