Daphne Merkin

She Contained Multitudes

Ursula Merkin, a philanthropist who played a prominent role in various Jewish institutions, passed away on July 23. Her daughter, novelist and cultural critic Daphne Merkin, delivered the remarks below at a memorial service this week. My mother was one of the most vivid people I’ve ever met. She was full of contrary impulses, all

The Yom Kippur Pedicure

How can it be, you might ask, that such a travesty came to pass? How is it, I mean, that a woman like me, born and bred of preening Orthodox German-Jewish stock, came one evening two years ago to usher in Yom Kippur, the Holiest of Holy Days, in the most faithless way imaginable: by having a manicure and pedicure at Iris Nails on the Upper

Exporting Homegrown Culture: Can Israeli Cinema Go Global?

The first and – but can this be? – last truly memorable Israeli film I saw was “Sallah Shabbati.” That was way back in my impressionable, Zionism-infused youth, somewhere in the middle of the giddy 1960s, when Israel still shimmered before the eyes of Jewish day-school children like a biblical fable come true, an as-yet untarnished land of