Experts for Hire

Many think tanks, those collections of scholars who issue reams of reports and whose members help shape public opinion and government policy, take pride in being independent research organizations whose academics and former officials do rigorous, unbiased work. But thanks to revelations that some of the most widely known of such groups, including the Brookings [...]

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BY Dmitriy Shapiro and David Holzel

Count Your Blessings

Based on a verse in the Book of Deuteronomy, the Talmud declares that a Jew should recite 100 blessings a day to adhere to God’s ways and to serve Him. Fortunately, reciting the blessings for prayer and meals, each three times a day, easily achieves the required number. But it becomes a challenge if meals [...]

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BY Melissa Gerr

Putting the Puzzle Together

For locals hoping to dig into their family’s roots, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Maryland can help. The group teaches classes, holds talks with experts and tries to arm people with the tools they need to do effective research. “Now, because of the internet, there is significantly more material available from your home,” Dick Goldman, [...]

BY Marc Shapiro

The Lion’s Gate

By Stephen Pressfield Sentinel, 430 pages Taken on its own terms, as “hybrid history,” “The Lion’s Gate” is an engaging immersion in the experiences and emotions of participants in Israel’s first three wars. Steven Pressfield, author of 12 previous books, interviewed 63 people over the course of 370 hours and sliced their recollections into chronological [...]

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BY Neal Gendler

Summertime Staycation

Often the words “summer vacation” can conjure painful images of airport security crowds, delayed train schedules and high gas prices — even higher than normal this year according to AAA, due in part, the association speculates, to the unrest of the Iraq civil war. Sam Rogers, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Visit [...]

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BY Simone Ellin, Melissa Gerr, Heather Norris and Marc Shapiro