Rachel Gordan


Norman Lamm, Alfred Kinsey and the Re-Making of Jewish Sexuality

For Rabbi Norman Lamm, who better to who better to invoke for justification of separate seating in synagogues than sex researcher Alfred Kinsey?

Room at the Plaza: Phyllis Lambert was influential in enlisting Mies van der Rohe to design the Seagram Building.

How Phyllis Lambert Changed the Architecture of New York

Until the 1950s, architecture in New York was not much to look at. Phyllis Lambert explains how she helped to transform the world’s most famous skyline.

Converting The Academy: Celeste Holm won the 1948 Academy Award for her role in ?Gentleman?s Agreement.?

When 'Gentleman's Agreement' Made Jewish Oscars History

‘Gentleman’s Agreement,’ the story of a reporter investigating anti-Semitism, made movie history by winning the Oscar. The true story of author Laura Hobson is even more interesting.

Herman Wouk’s ‘The Lawgiver’ Marks Return to Form

What kind of author writes himself into his own novel? One with a great deal of hubris. But if that writer is 97-year-old Herman Wouk, we may judge him sympathetically.

Flower of Youth: In taking time to experiment before settling down, Marjorie Morningstar was neither simply conformist nor traditionally rebellious. [click for larger version]

Marjorie at Fifty-Five

?Marjorie,? the story of a bedazzling Jewess on Manhattan?s Upper West Side who dreams of becoming an actress, was not exactly what critics expected from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ?The Caine Mutiny,? although reviewers took the novel as proof of Wouk?s anti-intellectual, conformist point of view. Literary critic Leslie Fiedler called ?Marjorie? ?the first fictional celebration of the mid-20th-century detente between the Jews and middle-class America.? When Natalie Wood played Marjorie in 1958, it seemed further proof that Wouk?s was a story about, as Time magazine put it, ?an American Everygirl who happens to be Jewish.?