Allison Hoffman

The Mob From Zion

A decade before Tony and Carmela Soprano started bickering in New Jersey, a high-level cocaine dealer called Ron Gonen and his wife, Honey, were at each other’s throats in a Long Island mock-Tudor with three bedrooms and a two-car garage.

A Hip-Hop Hitmaker, Straight Outta Shaker Heights

The young guys who stop Jerry Heller in the street these days never ask if he can make them into pop icons like Elton John, or legends like Creedence Clearwater Revival. The young guys who stop Jerry Heller don’t even want to be latter-day Marvin Gayes.

Bush, War Veterans Dive Into San Diego Cross Fight

For the past 17 years, a concrete Latin cross that crowns a picturesque hilltop in La Jolla, Calif., has been the object of a convoluted local legal battle between the city of San Diego and an atheist who contends that the 29-foot monument cannot stand on public land. But this month the legal tussle turned into a national fight, pitting the Jewish War Veterans against the federal government, and splitting Jewish Democrats in California.

Woman of Letters, Woman of the World

‘Femme de lettres” — “woman of letters” — is how Sybille Bedford once listed her profession on a customs form, following a conceit suggested to her by Aldous Huxley years before she found success as a writer of travelogues, novels and court-trial journalism. But in truth, Bedford — a renowned novelist, journalist and biographer who

What Makes Ari Run

Ari Gold, the smarmy 10-percenter who pulls the strings of HBO’s Hollywood send-up “Entourage,” has it all: degrees from Harvard and Michigan Law, a former-actress wife, a $3 million house in one of the hillier enclaves of West Los Angeles, a full head of hair and a conveniently malleable sense of ethics. He is the very model of Jewish

Goodbye to All That, Again

Power and the Idealists: Or, the Passion of Joschka Fischer, and Its Aftermath By Paul Berman Soft Skull Press, 314 pages, $23.95. * * *|Pity the generation of 1968, those children born under the shadow of a catastrophe they did not make. In Germany and France, the children of the Third Reich and Vichy called their parents and grandparents

The Young Face of Philanthropy

Jewish teenagers are learning that tzedaka involves more than slipping a few coins into the collection box at synagogue. In innovative programs around the country, teens are being given control over thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars in an effort to teach them the ins and outs of philanthropy —

The Young Face of Philanthropy

Jewish teenagers are learning that tzedaka involves more than slipping a few coins into the collection box at synagogue. In innovative programs around the country, teens are being given control over thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars in an effort to teach them the ins and outs of philanthropy —

Holocaust Day Flap Prompts Pro-Jewish Sympathy in U.K.

LONDON — Nearly three months after homegrown local terrorists set off a deadly series of bus and subway bombings, some Jewish community leaders say the resulting outcry against domestic Muslim radicalism is creating greater public understanding for Jewish concerns.The shift in public opinion emerged suddenly and starkly this month, after initial

Whew! The Unsung Art of Whistling Returns

In the fictional shtetl of Frampol, the home of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Gimpel the Fool, whistling on the Sabbath would have been strictly forbidden, and whistling a tune at night was known to bring out the demons. During the Holocaust, the simple act of whistling a familiar melody became a mode of communication in the Nazi camps. After the war,