What do these well-known people from history have in common?

Sarah Bernhardt, Leon Blum, Emile Durkheim, Claude Levy-Strauss, André Maurois, Marcel Marceau, Pierre Mendes, Marcel Proust, James Mayer de Rothschild, and Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki (better known as Rashi).

They are French Jews, and each one of them contributed significantly to French life and culture in their times.

Here is another interesting list of names. What do they have in common?

Charles-Valentin  Alkan, Fromental Halévy, Jacques Offenbach, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Darius Milhaud, Samuel Naumbourg, Kurt Weill.

WASHINGTON (JTA) – With the conclusion of a framework agreement over Iran’s nuclear agreement last week, many remain profoundly unsure whether the deal will successfully prevent Tehran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon.

Under the terms of the agreement, much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain in place. Its Shahab-3 missiles are still capable of reaching Tel Aviv. And its capacity to produce enriched uranium, while diminished, would not be erased.

The diplomats negotiating with Iran are understandably focused on two key fuels, uranium and plutonium, but they ignore the one ancient fuel driving the entire process: oil.

From May 15-17, Congregation Am David, in Warwick, will look back and celebrate 60 years in the Rhode Island community.  The congregation will remember the beautiful synagogue building, as well as honor Am David member Alice Goldstein, who has been living in the United States for 75 years following her narrow escape from Nazi Germany. Her many contributions to the Rhode Island Jewish community will be recognized. 

On Jan. 27 the world observed the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland, where an estimated 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered between 1941 and 1945. 

Dr. Maud S. MandelDr. Maud S. Mandel“Historians are storytellers and interpreters.” These are the words of Dr. Maud S. Mandel, dean of the college and professor of History and Judaic Studies at Brown University. The urgent story she shares in her latest book and in a talk to the community on May 3 focuses on relations between Muslims and Jews in France. In the wake of the terrorist attacks Jan. 7 at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and Jan. 9 at the kosher supermarket in Paris, Mandel’s special, insightful and authoritative telling of this story is surely urgent for all American Jews. 


American Jews have mixed feelings when it comes to Israel, and the same is true for Jewish educators who are responsible for teaching about it. Fortunately, this summer presents two opportunities to find guidance on how to teach about Israel in light of the varied views about the Jewish State. Jewish school and youth group educators who would like to spend a week studying about Israel may do so for $150, room and board included, in Atlanta or in Israel. Transportation to and from the seminars may be subsidized.