Faydra Shapiro (Wilfrid Laurier): Jesus for Jews: The Unique Problem of Messianic Judaism. From Quest, a special issue on modernity and the cities of the Jews. From Moment, a diverse array of artists, scientists and scholars expound on the intersection between Judaism and creativity; and Jews have been keeping track of relationships for millennia, but in recent decades the social ritual has taken on new life, and a new name: Jewish Geography. Naming the matriarchy: What we call ourselves when we're hyphenates, when we're grandmothers, when we're Jews. A review of The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence and Achievement by Richard Lynn. Eric Alterman on Sheldon Adelson and the end of American anti-Semitism. From Forward, who's scoring a "Jew Goal"? Soccer fans borrow anti-Semitic expression for easy chance; and persons of (linguistic) interest: The word "Jew" has fallen out of favor (and more). The nebbish is the bumbling caricature of a Jewish male, embodied by figures like Woody Allen and George Costanza — where did he come from?
Martin Fradley (Edge Hill): “Why Doesn’t Your Compass Work?”: Pirates of the Caribbean, Fantasy Blockbusters and Contemporary Queer Theory. From Hippocampus, an interview with Dinty W. Moore on creative nonfiction. A common faith: Marilynne Robinson looks to the stars for clues about our nature. An interview with Matthew White, author of The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History’s 100 Worst Atrocities. The other side of freedom: The birth of life insurance is often tied to the birth of freedom, but the historical record tells a different story. Ink, Inc.: Is the ancient art of tattooing on the verge of a massive sellout? The image of the "creative type" is a myth: Jonah Lehrer on why anyone can innovate and why a hot shower, a cold beer or a trip to your colleague's desk might be the key to your next big idea. Boy Scouts are from Mars, Girl Scouts are from Venus: Behind the khaki uniforms and the merit badges, the two organizations have vastly different political leanings. Is the editorial cartoonist dead? It is now officially OK to make World War II references.
Richard Rymarz (St. Joseph's): The Future of Catholic Schools in a Secular Culture of Religious Choice. From Rethinking Schools, a special issue on the school-to-prison pipeline. Teach for America: Andrew Hartman on the hidden curriculum of liberal do-gooders. From NYRB, Diane Ravitch reviews A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All by Wendy Koop and reviews Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? by Pasi Sahlberg; on how the current frenzy of blaming teachers for low scores smacks of a witch-hunt, the search for a scapegoat, someone to blame for a faltering economy, for the growing levels of poverty, for widening income inequality; and on flunking Arne Duncan. Diana Senechal writes in defense of Diane Ravitch. Megan Erickson on a nation of Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. A new study suggests that a good grade school teacher can boost college attendance rates, reduce teenage pregnancy, and increase a student’s earning potential. Liberals, don’t homeschool your kids: Dana Golstein on why teaching children at home violates progressive values (and a response).