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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 4, 2009 / 17 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

So few know why we are American

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My favorite magazine by far was Constitution, published by the Foundation for the U.S. Constitution. No longer in existence, it was full of riveting stories — for students and adults — with beautifully reproduced historic documents, portraits and paintings of how we came to be distinguished from all other nations.


Such a magazine, in print or digitally, is sorely needed now. Interactive civics classes have been replaced by testing and retesting assembly lines of students so that the state can evaluate whole schools rather than individual, evolving citizens. David Souter warned in May, as he was retiring from the Supreme Court, that surveys show many Americans cannot name the basic three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial). He stressed that "(we need) to start the re-education of a substantial part of the public."


Souter's concern about "the restoration of the self-identity of the American people" was the urgent theme in the first issue of Constitution (Fall/1988) in Lynne Cheney's article "A Fading Heritage."


At the time, she was chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and we used to share, in phone conversations, our forebodings of the growing spread of "political correctness" on campuses and at large — a compulsory conformity of opinions that would have been foreign to such freethinkers as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.


I have not spoken with Lynne Cheney for a long time, figuring she would hardly welcome my call after what I've written about her husband, former Vice President Dick Cheney. But I continue to find her article in Constitution magazine energizing and disturbingly contemporary.


"Consider," she wrote then, "how little history is required of our students. Once it was taught every year kindergarten through 12th grade; now many states require but one year." If that, these days.


Today, in a contemporary book that should be in every school, and certainly within reach of members of Congress and the Obama administration, "The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved Our Country and Why It Can Again" (Bloomsbury USA, New York), Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes write: "We are not burdened by a sense of history, our own or anyone. ... Our sense of our own past, to put it politely, is thin and growing thinner. The evidence for this is all around us."


Lynne Cheney, in the magazine Constitution, quoted a political philosopher who had been chosen in 1986 as the Jefferson Lecturer by the National Council on the Humanities. Leszek Kolakowski emphasized in that lecture that among America's young, "the erosion of a historically defined sense of 'belonging' plays havoc in their life and threatens their ability to withstand possible trials of the future."


"Havoc," for example, surely exists among those of our young whose acute need "to belong" somewhere brings them into the increasingly brutal gangs, not only in urban centers.


And many other youths, including in prestigious lower schools and colleges, would be very hard put to say why we have the First, Fifth, Fourth and Ninth Amendments in our Constitution, let alone tell why they could be so important in their own lives. Where are their moorings as Americans?


And how many in or out of school have a meaningful or even scant knowledge of such contributors to the roots of this nation as George Washington (except maybe for the cherry tree), Tom Paine, John Marshall, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain or Elizabeth Cady Stanton?


"Ideally," Lynne Cheney advised, "there would be fewer textbooks used in our schools. Teachers would enlighten their students with current and classic works of literature or historical documents. But to find and bring these into the classroom takes a breadth of knowledge that may be beyond some teachers ... because their preparation has been misdirected ... taking just courses in education. Because time spent taking these types of courses is time that cannot be spent studying 'content' areas like history, teachers find themselves knowing less than they should about the subjects they are teaching."


This includes knowing less about what students should know about this nation so they can begin to feel they "belong" to it.


If an American roots coalition can be formed — across political and professional lines — with maybe Lynne Cheney involved, our history can be brought off the pages and into Americans' lives. David Souter is already showing the way, having joined a committee in his home state that is changing the civic curriculum for New Hampshire's public schools.


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During his retirement speech at Georgetown University Law Center, Souter looked at his audience, saying: "If I can do it, you can do it, too."


A book I would love to see come into all Americans' lives is by a master narrator of our identities, Ray Raphael, whose abundant volume, "Founders: The People Who Brought You a Nation" (New Press) has the reverberating impact of the former CBS-TV series "You Are There!"


When, for instance, in 1772, at Faneuil Hall in Boston, as Samuel Adams, James Otis and other patriots formed a Committee of Correspondence to inform all the colonies of British abuses of these Americans' privacy rights in their homes and offices, you too are there in a meeting that was vital in precipitating the American Revolution. That's how to make the Fourth Amendment come alive again! Not only in schools.


As Kathryn Sinclair, a high-school student in Murfreesboro, Tenn., engaged in a First Amendment battle with her principal 25 years ago, asked me: "Why don't the schools teach why we're Americans? So few people know."


A quarter-century later, sadly, there still isn't a reassuring answer for her.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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