Irving Berlin’s Contribution to America’s Nondenominational Civil Religion

Born in the Siberian city of Tyumen in 1888, Israel Baline came to the U.S. at age five, later took the name Irving Berlin, and rose to stardom in 1911 when his composition “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” became a hit. From then on, he was one of most influential songwriters in the U.S., if not in the world. Stephen Whitfield, reviewing James Kaplan’s recent biography of Berlin, considers to what extent, if any, Berlin’s Jewish background influenced his work:

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: American Jewry, Civil religion, Irving Berlin, Musical theater, Popular music

How Israel Can Stand Up to a Belligerent Turkey

Sept. 25 2020

Under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara has become increasingly authoritarian, Islamist, and hostile toward Israel and the West more generally. The Turkish government has also indicated that it aspires to alter its maritime border with Greece, and even its border with Syria. Analyzing these changes, and what they term the country’s “bellicose foreign policy,” Efraim Inbar, Eran Lerman, and Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak examine the implications for Israel, and how the Jewish state might best respond:

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Israeli Security, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, U.S. Foreign policy