critical / constructive
VOLUME 19, NUMBER 1 / SPRING 2018
The Spring issue of CONTACT explores the past, present, and potential future tapestries of Jewish life in communities spanning the globe. Opening with a lead story by Josh Tapper, we survey the landscape of the Ukrainian Jewish community in the years following the protests that erupted in Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (“Independence Square”) in 2013 and the conflicts with pro-Russian separatists that followed soon after. Facing upheaval, migration, economic uncertainty, and burgeoning nationalist anti-Semitism, the Jewish community is rebuilding its institutions and strengthening its cultural roots while respecting Jewish memory in its home in Ukraine.
CONTACT then turns to language, with an evocative essay by Rabbi David Gedzelman on how teaching Hebrew in America can help strengthen Jewish identity and connect Americans more broadly to Israeli culture and society — and he urges the Israeli government to do its part to make Hebrew education in America a reality. We visit three Jews helming initiatives to enhance Jewish experience, nourish Jewish memory, and recommit to the Jewish value of social justice. We excerpt from David E. Fishman’s award-winning new book, The Book Smugglers, telling the gripping high-wire tale of the “paper brigade” — inmates of the Vilna ghetto who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts from oblivion during the Holocaust and, afterwards, during the Soviet era. And we close the issue with a glimpse into the lush, richly textured paintings from Biblical and Midrashic narrative by the incomparable Richard McBee.
Finally, inside this issue of CONTACT is a survey to learn your thoughts, opinions and reflections on CONTACT magazine. As we work to improve CONTACT in its role as a vital forum for critical and constructive explorations of Jewish life, your input is essential. Thank you very much for completing it. We can’t wait to hear from you.
in this issue
|PREVIOUS ARTICLE||NEXT ARTICLE|