Wayne Hoffman

Purim Gets a Spinal Tap

The 2007 Academy Awards are scheduled for February 25, exactly one week before Purim. Coincidence? Maybe not. If Christopher Guest’s new film, “For Your Consideration,” is any indication, Purim might be Oscar’s new favorite holiday.

A Happily Alternative New Year

An unusual Jewish community is blossoming in the California desert, and its members are developing novel ways of marking the holidays.

An Experiment Becomes a Showpiece

Something big is happening in the smallest room of the Judah L. Magnes Museum.When Alla Efimova was hired as chief curator of the Jewish art museum in 2003 — overseeing a venerable Judaica collection she calls “encyclopedic and global” — she first asked herself: “How can we renew the collection and make it relevant again?” As

Blending Comedy and Homage

With his innate ability to hold an audience in the palm of his hand, Mike Burstyn could be a star in any language. He could sing a song in Sanskrit and still bring people to tears. He could crack a joke in total gibberish and still nail the punch line.Fortunately for the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre (and its audience), Burstyn is currently

Finding Jewish Life South of the Border

There’s more to Jamaica than soft sand and reggae, more to Mexico than ancient pyramids and enchiladas, more to Argentina than great steaks and the tango.Jewish history in the Americas dates back more than 500 years, and because of this, sites of interest for modern-day Jewish travelers dot the region from Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel — the first

The Great White (Jewish, Gay) Way

Watching the PBS documentary “Broadway: The American Musical” is like watching “Cats”: You meet lots of interesting characters, you hear several catchy tunes and you enjoy a few hours of lighthearted entertainment. But when the lights come up at the end, the whole experience feels like less than the sum of its parts.That’s not to say