No Holds Barred

So I finally got rid of the pink. Mostly. The new banner seems to accurately reflect the range in opinions offered by the visitors to the site, and the tensions between them. Hopefully you’re all thoroughly amused. I know I am. (For those of you who don’t get it, Avraham Yizthak Kook was the first chief rabbi of Israel and the father of modern religious Zionism and Noam Chomsky is a noted anti-Zionist and leading anarcho-syndicalist thinker.)
I’ve also decided to ditch the Yiddish spelling of Jewschool for a modern Hebrew spelling to reflect my newfound commitment to the concept of ‘The New Jew’, favoring it over the traditional ‘Ghetto Jew’ image which I hardly find myself relating to any longer. It’s a whole new age and a whole new world, and it’s time to act like it.
Expect more changes, not to the design, but to the content on Jewschool as well. In the next few months we’ll be hooking up with Heeb, and bringing some of their writers into the mix, and we’ll be teaming up with them for future events as well. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking — but the fact is, Heeb‘s come a long way under Josh Neuman’s stewardship, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s about time we Voltroned some shit up.
So, werd to your aunt. Jewschool in ’05 baby. As our new tagline reads, “someone had to take it there.”

44 thoughts on “No Holds Barred

  1. i was originally working with yellow and maroon but i wasn’t feeling it, so i played with the hue/saturation til i found a combo i liked. friggin’ websafe colors tho — didn’t get the green i want. this one is totally washed out compared to what it looks like in photoshop.

  2. i like the new design, but the centered headings are funky. you try to see how it looks with them left-justified?

  3. I like the funky new look altho I did like the funky old look but am I missing something with the Logo?
    2 Jews three opinions? I feel like I am missing the joke!

  4. Even with you bravely steering our ship, Mobius, we don’t often dip as far into Chomsky territory as you might think. Yeah, yeah…you claim to be an anarchist. Yeah, yeah…you don’t support the party line on Israel. But, you have an obvious pride in your Jewishness that Chomsky clearly lacks. And I find that the majority of the “leftists” on the site share the same. So, perhaps Chomsky’s not the most logical figure to be sparring with Kook. Can’t we find someone else?

  5. I’m pretty new here, just found out about this site a few weeks ago while I was in NYC. Regarding to the redesign, I would look for a darker green as you say you had in photoshop. I’m glad the pink and grafitti art are out, it’s all too trendy you know?? Color scheme is good and what’s important is what is said. Keep at it!

  6. Why do you characterize Chomsky as lacking in pride of his Jewishness? It is a question I am grappling with these days. Many people define Jewishness, what is it to be a Jew?, and so on, and it leaves little space for people already on the fringes of “Jewish culture”. I think Chomsky acts with an incredible amount of Jewishness in a prophetic Jewish tradition. There was an amazing interview with Chomsky in Democracy Now! http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/11/26/1936241&mode=thread&tid=25
    Check it out. He talks about his early life, growing up in the neo-Shtetl, involvement with leftist Zionist movements, and other such matters.
    I find the whole scapegoating of Chomsky thing monolothic and under-researched. For everyone’s apparent criticisim of him as being self-hating and anti-semitic, he was one of the only people (and also Hannah Arrendt) pre-1967 that were talking about Israel in the academic American Jewish community. Most were too scared that it would alienate them from their current status in American society. BUt then it became safer after Israel’s victory and Israel is now American Jewry’s obsession.
    So I like Chomsky vs. Kook. It opens it up to the entire Jewish community (Whatever that means) and not just a narrow sector which defines what is Jewish and what isn’t.
    Also, one more article to read (as long as I am going to get nailed for standing up for Brother Chomsky) on the subject of defining Jewishness.
    Edward Said: The Last Jewish Intellectual

  7. Mobius – third design in a row which I like.. good job!
    CHomsky is not really an anti-zionist btw. He makes a good point in one of his interviews that his views about zionism havent changed too much in the few decades, yet once he was called zionist and now anti-zionist. I agree with him – it is an empty term, used by many people in really manipulative ways.

  8. Asaf ach sheli,
    I was going to take a shot at you, but I thought you might not be able to respond because you are on your way to becoming a Parisian (you are obsessed with Europe).
    But I was going to say about the whole Chomsky vs. Kook thing, that we could put Asaf’s mug up there (in the not-having-Jewish-pride-but-being-a-commie-kike sector of things). Haha. BUt Avi Green already called you a muslim convert on this blog so I think I can’t top that.
    Oh, I guess you’ll come back at me and say, Kike, I am not a commie. “I am an anarchist.” And leave where we started.

  9. What about Kook? The man was the founder of religious Zionism, true, but I don’t think he can be emblamatic of the far right in the way that Chomsky has become emblamatic of the far left. Kook believed that even secular Zionists were doing holy work in Israel, and they should be met with acceptance and with a spirit of cooperation. Quite different from many religious Zionists today, who have become hell-bent on theocratic messianism.

  10. Mo,
    Wierd to ur cuz, indeed…
    This is a post-page:
    It shows the only the single post and its comments. At the end of the comments, there is a place for entering a new one. It doesn’t work, and hasn’t since the implementation of the pink design.
    Looks nice, design-wise. Much better than the pink.
    Chomsky’s opposite is more like Meir Kahane. Rav Kook never had so much hate.

  11. velvel, you’re right with the kahane, but i actually respect kook and don’t find his image offense. as for the comment form not working — i’m not very good with the php, so i can’t quite figure it out. i’m just using a basic include to get the window-form in the page.

  12. Regarding Rabbi Kook and Chomsky (lehavdil), I think the main problem is that two figures aren’t nearly enough. More accurate would be a barroom brawl, where everyone is attacking everyone.
    50 bucks says Kook KO Round One.

  13. Mobius,
    Disregarding the ideological bout of Chomsky vs. Kook, the Jewschool logo again perpetuates the problem that most of the debate (and the voices that are heard) are mostly Jewish men from Ashkenazic descent, when most of Israel isn’t even close to being that demographic.
    – dan
    my little sister aviva (16) brought this critique out.

  14. emma goldman was jewish no? you can add her to the find. seriously though, jewschool does represent jewish demography anyway. whats the point?

  15. I’ve also decided to ditch the Yiddish spelling of Jewschool for a modern Hebrew spelling to reflect my newfound commitment to the concept of ‘The New Jew’, favoring it over the traditional ‘Ghetto Jew’ image which I hardly find myself relating to any longer.
    *sigh* So by ‘New Jew’ you mean abandonning the traditions and cultural herritage of (what I’m assuming [perhaps wrongly]) your Ashkenazic Jewish manifestation (i.e. ‘Ghetto Jew’) and replacing it with a more or less sterilized version of Israeli society? Hell, why not render Jewschool in Judeo-Greek, Judeo-Iranian, Judeo-Italian, Judeo-Provençal, Ladino/Judezmo/Judeo-Spanish? You’re skilled at photoshop, why not Israeli-Sign Language?
    I’ve come to believe that one of the problems with Israel today is that instead of creating the Jewish Cultural Revolution that Ahad Ha’am dreamed it would, Israel (along with the major Jewish American organizations that support the government line w/o question) has stifled Jewish culture while attempting to uphold the image of the Israeli…

  16. The point is that the logo must represent each and every concievable demographic – Ashkenazi and Sephardi, male and female, right-wing, left-wing and center, religious and nonreligious, young, old and middle-aged, skinny and overweight, tall and short, blue-eyed and brown-eyed, ugly and attractive…
    Maybe one of the boxers could have long payos on one side while having none at all on the other. The other boxer could have one breast.
    How do I love thee, political correctness? Let me count the ways…

  17. I was having a vision this morning of how the israeli flag would look with some earth toned green in it.
    and maybe purple in the center.

  18. Maybe the best graphic would be a pictture of a confused looking Jew, representing the conflict within all of us as opposed to the more divisive image of left vs. right. we certainly don’t always agree but jewschool is a place to disagree within friendly confines, as they say.
    shalom to all the yiddish brothers and sisters

  19. Mobius,
    Love the design. It’s warm and spring-like. And we just got dumped on in Vancouver, so it’s nice to feel some warmth and renewal.

  20. I feel more represented by Chomsky than Kook, but neither represents me totally. J might’ve contradicted himself earlier when he suggested a barroom brawl, but made fun of the urge to political correctness. It’s simply a desire to represent as many people as possible, which would require more figures up there.
    As it is, I think of it just as a picture that suggests the idea of dueling opinions. No need to read into it much further.

  21. It is not a matter of political correctnes or simply tokenizing folks to manifest every aspect of Jewish culture and society. It is a matter of questioning whose voices are heard, whose aren’t, and why that is.
    I agree with Sam about the logo. The logo gets across the idea of dueling opinions and that is what is Jewschool (as well as many other things). So I think it works. I am very impressed and inspired by the amount of work Mobius does on this. Tada Raba.

  22. I likes it too. The colours also. Agree with Daniel Rosen about wishing for a more diverse Djooskool roster. Don’t agree with him about getting anywhere near the intesection of “Edward Said” and “last Jew”, least of all read through friend Massad (in the Ahram link). A rotating cost of A vs B would be cool too, though kind of labour intensive.

  23. I agree with the Heeb sentiment…not in using their writers, but just as a concept. Heeb is truly a bad kosher version of Vice. It’s embarassing how Jews try so hard to be like bad, funky goyim.

  24. I was really partial to the old site, but I guess I can get used to the new one as well. In safari the green shows up as kinda muted and pukey, not very pretty. I would vote for a new color scheme.

  25. “Chomsky? Heeb? Sorry man, good luck and long life: but I’m officially outta here.”
    Funny, you call yourself “Jew Lover” but you clearly don’t love your fellow Jews. Ahavat Yisrael means loving all Jews, regardless of whether or not you agree with them politically or culturally.
    “Heeb is truly a bad kosher version of Vice.”
    I think that there’s room for Heeb and its take on things. It’s just one voice out of many, and has its place just as Commentary and Tikkun do.
    As for the remarks on who I should’ve picked for the boxing match, I chose two recognizable figures who represent very different views, and for the value of humor more so than the value of really illustrating the true representatives of extreme ideological opposites. the “two jews three opinions” remark also reflects that there’s more to say beyond what these two have to offer, thus while i originally thought that perhaps i should add a referee between the two of them to represent “the middle”, that it was unnecessary to put him in.

  26. Jesus would have been a good choice for a non-Ashkenazik Jew in the debate…. Just kidding 🙂
    Point taken on the “lightening up”. I sometimes become my own policeman.

  27. Mo,
    velvel, you’re right with the kahane, but i actually respect kook and don’t find his image offense.
    Some people find Chomsky very offensive.

  28. But I guess what you find offensive or not is pretty much reflected on this site so the image is appropriate. Sometimes I have to remember that this site isn’t exactly aimed at the demographic of my friends, but rather, yours.

  29. Why the boxing match at all? Why not just a picture of the knesset if we’re only focusing on the political aspect of jewschool. I loved the old Blue design. Its mural of oldschool ghetto jew combined with funky tagging and kitsch just seemed to capture your essence in a much broader sense. The boxing match focuses on the idealogical aspects of your posts rather than the broader range that also manage to include relgion, culture and miscellany. This one is sort of the inside joke of the inside Jewschool circle. A bit insular. Maybe it should be more plike a tag team match or a WWF world with “The Rebbe” in a singlet and his coach Alan “The Law” Dershowitz in one corner and … ah fergit it. Perhaps this too is just a passing phase…

  30. Dan,
    Not that it’s relevant at this point, but Ashkenazi Jews make up 62% of Israel’s population today.

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