The Man Who Opened the Cairo Genizah to the World

From the 9th century through the 19th, the Jews of Fustat, a suburb of Cairo, left discarded manuscripts in the genizah (repository) of the Ben Ezra synagogue, but it was not until the end of the 19th century that the rabbi and scholar Solomon Schechter realized what a boon this collection could be for the study of Jewish history, and set about examining it systematically. Playing a key role in making this collection available to scholars was Stefan Reif, who has recently written a memoir. Yakir Feldman writes:

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: British Jewry, Cairo Geniza, Scotland

 

How the U.S. Can Get Smart about Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East

Sept. 27 2021

Considering the current state of the region and the policy mistakes of the recent past, David Pollock and Robert Satloff outline a strategy that is “both virtuous and realistic” for defending human rights and encouraging democratization in a region plagued by autocracy, chaos, and brutality. They argue that “in the long run, more democratic, tolerant, and inclusive governments are likely to be better at defending themselves, and more reliable and effective security partners for the United States.”

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Arab democracy, Human Rights, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy