Jack Shafer on 'Jewspotting'

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I'm sorry I didn't link to this before. Jack Shafer mocks the Times for publishing yet another "you-wouldn't-believe-where-we-found-Jews-this-time" piece."  Of course, everyone knows that the easiest way to rise to the top of the Times' most-emailed list is to have the word "Jew" (or "Hanukkah," or "Orrin Hatch") in the headline. Then Jack makes the cogent case why it's not so effing unusual to find small pockets of Jews in unlikely places:

For cultural and religious reasons, many Jews tend to want to live in proximity to other Jews: One-third of world Jewry live in metropolitan Tel Aviv and New York. So if a significant number of Jews leave a village or country, it's only natural that those left-behind Jews might feel a tug to join them or move to another Jewish quarter. Others might say to themselves, "Hell, if I'm going to live some place with no Jews I might as well live some place where the weather is better and there are more jobs." Also, the urge to relocate might be irresistible for those who live in a small Jewish enclave but are looking for a spouse--many Jews won't marry non-Jews. Finally, if some Jews are taking advantage of the Law of Return by making aliyah and settling in Israel, it's only rational to expect Jewish depopulation elsewhere, as well as abandoned synagogues and quite a few derelict Jewish cemeteries.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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