Three decades ago, a million emigres from Eastern Europe arrived in Israel, increasing its population by 20 percent almost overnight and changing its culture forever. What’s their story?   Great changes in Jewish history have manifested themselves in pillars of smoke, talking bushes, royal edicts, and divine...

The Professor and the Con Man By Matti Friedman The Jewish Review of Books, September 15, 2020 The saga of the papyrus that became famous as the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife began with an email sent to Karen King, a distinguished Harvard professor, in July 2010. The subject line...

How coverage of the Jewish state became a signifier of the ideological activism that now permeates Western culture MATTI FRIEDMAN Tablet Magazine July 27, 2020 A video cameraman for the Reuters News Agency in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April, 2002. CHRIS HONDROS/GETTY IMAGES This year many people have discovered...

The Last Remnants of the Israeli Left If you seek the socialist vision of this country’s founders, it’s no longer in the Knesset — it’s on the wall. By Matti Friedman The New York Times, April 27, 2020 Children playing in the garden in the new neighborhood in Kibbutz Ma’aleh...

A few upcoming dates in the U.S. (click on date for more details): Wednesday, November 6 7:30-9:30 pm, Alper JCC Book Festival program, at Temple Judea in Coral Gables, FL Thursday, November 7 7:30-9:30 pm, Levis JCC Sandler Center, B’nai Torah Congregation of Boca Raton, FL Monday, November 11 1:00-3:00 pm,...

Netflix's "The Spy" Manages to Convey the Ethnic Irony at the Heart of Eli Cohen's Life Mosaic Magazine, Oct. 29 By Matti Friedman I’ve been wondering for years why no one has ever made a good Mossad movie. From The Little Drummer Girl (1984) to Munich (2005) to awkward fictions in between,...

The decisive factor in next week’s election — and the reason for Benjamin Netanyahu’s durability — is a repressed memory. By Matti Friedman JERUSALEM — When trying to understand Israel’s election on Sept. 17, the second in the space of six months, you can easily get lost in the details — corruption...

A few upcoming dates in the U.S. and Canada: Thursday, May 2: Kansas City JCC, "Get Lit Author Event," 7.pm. Details here. Friday-Sunday, May 3-5: Detroit, MI, Congregation Adat Shalom. Details here. Monday, May 6: New York, Park Ave. Synagogue, 7 p.m., with Mijal Bitton. Details here.   Thursday, May 9: New York, Columbia...