Combating Anti-Semitism

Combating Anti-SemitismA remarkable event took place on November 20-21 in Vienna. I had the privilege of participating in the presentation of a 150-page document entitled “An End to Anti-Semitism: A Catalogue of Policies to Combat Anti-Semitism,” which constituted the first result of a conference that was held last February in the same city. The gathering was sponsored by the University of Vienna, New York University, Tel Aviv University and the European Jewish Congress (EJC). The purpose of the conference, which included 150 scholarly presentations before some 1,000 participants, was to bring to bear an interdisciplinary analysis of the problem of anti-Semitism and call on scholars to put forward specific recommendations. I was one of the organizers, along with Professors Armin Lange of the University of Vienna and Dina Porat of Tel Aviv University as well as Dr. Ariel Muzicant, a vice president of the EJC and longtime leader of the Austrian Jewish community. Mark Weitzman of the Wiesenthal Center joined us in editing the report.

Read the rest of this article at Ami Magazine.

Buyer Beware! How Forged Dead Sea Scrolls Were Exposed by High-Tech Tests

QumranThe full release in 1991 of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the cabal of Christian scholars who held onto their rights of access and publication set off an amazing series of academic achievements: the full publication of the Scrolls by an expanded international team, of which I had the privilege of being a member, and the availability of the entire photographic archive on the websites of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Museum. These important achievements sparked an enormous amount of new research on Judaism in the Bayis Sheini period. This research extended to all areas: Biblical studies, literature, history and archaeology.

But the renewed interest in the ancient scrolls discovered at Qumran (probably Biblical Sechachah; Yehoshua 15:61) on the western shore of the Dead Sea brought with it a dark side as well. Collectors, most of whom were Evangelical Christians seeking to connect tangibly with the Bible, began to attempt to purchase fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts. Several individuals and institutions bought such fragments, believing that they were buying the real thing. Millions of dollars were paid by these collectors and institutions. Today, some 70 fragments have been identified as having surfaced on the antiquities market from… Continue reading

Concerns of Rising anti-Semitism

Concerns of Rising anti-SemitismWhile we are all focused on the horrendous tragedy that took place in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life Synagogue and on the anti-Semitic motivations of the murderer, there is an amazing side to this sad event that needs to be pointed out. The support that the Jewish community has received from virtually the entire American population, its government and institutional structures, and even its sports teams, says a lot about the character of the country in which we live. This is true despite some of the terrible rhetoric being used in the discussion of immigration, both legal and illegal. The reality is that support for anti-Semitic violence no doubt lurks in some corners of the dark Internet and in some white supremacist cells, but the neighbors with whom we live truly support and want to protect the Jewish people. All over America memorial services and solidarity programs are being held, in synagogues with non-Jews in attendance, in churches, in government, and in schools. The simple fact is that this Jewish tragedy has touched the entire nation.

Read the rest of this article from Jewish Tribune.