“The Israelites of the Exodus were embarking on a new chapter — writing, for the first time, the next page in their history. They were actors, not subjects. The world held potential and hope. It was a fresh beginning.
Maybe we have the same fresh beginning in front of us. Perhaps history doesn’t proceed in a straight line after all, nor is it exactly cyclical. It meanders. It takes surprising turns, and there are often setbacks. While we are prepared to stand alone, venturing into the unknown as our ancestors did before us, at least on this one occasion we found we didn’t have to.”

“While we are at such a momentous and perilous time in Jewish history, we need to direct much more of our communal attention — expressed in organizational activities, public discourse, and funding — to the Jewish mainstream. American Jewry remains solidly supportive of Israel, as do most Americans. We need to draw strength from this, feel pride in it, shout about it from the rooftops, and ensure that our many and diverse communal assets are aligned in bolstering it.”

“Though right- and left-wing anti-Semitism may have emerged in different ways, for different reasons, both are essentially attacks on an ideal that once dominated American politics, an ideal that American Jews championed and, in an important sense, co-authored…a distinct strain of liberalism that combined robust civil liberties, the protection of minority rights, and an ethos of cultural pluralism. They embraced this brand of liberalism because it was good for America—and good for the Jews. It was their fervent hope that liberalism would inoculate America against the world’s oldest hatred.”

“It was a golden age for Jews in Iran. In the 1950s, a religious Jew – Younes Dardashti – became a national celebrity, singing at the Shah’s palace and on the radio. In the 1960s, his son Farid became a teen idol on TV. They were beloved by Iranian Muslims. But at the height of their fame, they left the country…”

“If you are an ally of Israel there are really only two questions that ought to animate you right now. The first is, ‘How can I provide assistance to those in Israel who need it?’…
The second question is, ‘How can I help to destroy Hamas today?’…How can I show my support to President Biden for his bold stand? How can I let my member of Congress know that this is the vital cause to support right now? How can I communicate support to my friends, my coworkers, my community?…What Israel needs is the time and the latitude to pursue Hamas until the job is done, not to have their actions regulated by arbitrary time constraints. America and her allies must give Israel that time…”

“Museums can be universal and all-embracing or, like Jewish museums, particular in their focus. Each has the potential to place the material heritage of individual cultures into a broader context, producing powerfully illustrative stories of communal connection with special meaning in their own time as well as for us today.”

“Resisting the temptation to respond to words and ideas we hate with hatred of our own, whether in the form of a raised fist or through the ink of a red pen, is a burden of chosen-ness, of being a light unto the nations. However difficult, it is the right — and dare I say, the Jewish — thing to do.”

“Whether as a nation that dwells apart or a nation on a mission, Jews generally share the conviction that Israel should stand for certain ethical principles — and be judged according to them. For this issue of Sapir, we asked 13 diverse thinkers and doers to offer a brief comment about what the phrase ‘a light unto the nations’ means to them when it comes to Israel today…”

Maimonides Fund is pleased to announce two exciting new additions to its New York-based programming staff. Chanan Weissman will join as Director of the new SAPIR Institute, and Zackary Wainer will serve as Director of Special Initiatives.
“We are excited for Chanan and Zack to join our growing team,” said Maimonides Fund President Mark Charendoff of the new hires. “They both come with considerable expertise that will add new and important dimensions to our work, enabling us to grow our impact and the positive change we can make for Jewish communities and the State of Israel.”
Beginning April 1, Weissman will conceptualize, launch and lead the new SAPIR Institute, which will develop a suite of programmatic efforts inspired by the quarterly journal SAPIR…

This year’s Forbes Israel 30 Under 30 features two alumni of the Future Scientists Center Odyssey program:

“At the age of 14, [Keshet Shavit] was accepted into the academic studies programs for high school students at Ben Gurion University – Odyssey (of the Center for Future Scientists and the Ministry of Education) and Marie Curie, and began her first degree. She came to Professor Amir Sagi’s laboratory and carried out research there, the results of which were presented at conferences and published in an academic article when she was only 18 years old.”

“In middle school, [Avraham Barbi] says, he got bored and used to disrupt classes….”I wanted to find another place to gain knowledge, so I enrolled in the ‘Odyssey’ program at the Technion (of the Center for Future Scientists and the Ministry of Education). There I realized that the field of physics fascinates me.” Currently, Avraham is a member of Escola – the alumni network of the program, and is about to finish his master’s degree in the track for quantum information at the Hebrew University.”

“Should we fund art simply for art’s sake, for the sheer quality of it, or should we fund art in an instrumentalist way, toward particular ends? The former might seem like more of a luxury, while funding art that’s intended to educate or shape hearts and minds in particular ways might seem more necessary and urgent. But does the instrumentalist approach compromise the artist’s autonomy and authentic artistic expression?”

“‘The Devil’s Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes’ is a three-part documentary series that combines interviews from Holocaust survivors, key witnesses at the Eichmann trial, historians, and experts on the Holocaust with reenactments of the historical events. The series, which first aired on Israel’s Kan public broadcaster last year, tells the story of Adolf Eichmann’s role in orchestrating the Final Solution during the Holocaust.”