David Kaufmann


The Silver Age of Rock and Roll

By David Kaufmann

The Silver Age of Rock and Roll
The new release from indie rockers Silver Jews takes us back to the early days before they got big. Their songs are messy affairs, captured on a small hand-held tape player.Read More


Talented Life of Diane Arbus Reconsidered

By David Kaufmann

Talented Life of Diane Arbus Reconsidered
Diane Arbus’s disturbing and spectacular gallery of photographs were of a piece with the rest of her disorderly life that ended in suicide, William Todd Schultz writes in a new book.Read More


'After Weegee' Defends Photojournalism

By David Kaufmann

'After Weegee' Defends Photojournalism
It’s tempting to see the generous and imaginative essays of Daniel Morris’s ‘After Weegee’ as an argument that yes, Virginia, there is a Jewish photography.Read More


Channeling the Power of Memory

By David Kaufmann

When Michael Meyer published his classic book, “The Origins of the Modern Jew,” more than 40 years ago, that Jew turned out to be German. Because of the fitful and disastrously unsuccessful nature of Jewish emancipation, German Jews confronted modernity with an existential and intellectual intensity perhaps unequalled in the West. In order to enjoy the promised fruits of progress, they had to become citizens of an increasingly secular state and learn to identify with that odd mystical entity, the German nation. They needed to give up their communal ties. In short, they had to figure out new ways of being Jewish.Read More


The Reciprocal Antagonist

By David Kaufmann

The Reciprocal Antagonist
The Silver Jews — one of the most durable indie bands of the early 1990s — have a problem with their name. When the band’s founder, David Berman, came up with it, he didn’t know what it meant, so he fabricated all sorts of stories to explain it. While Europeans want to talk about the name, English-speaking fans frequently try to avoid it. They spell it “Joos,” in order to steer clear of writing things like, “The Jews played a great set last night.” The name clearly makes people uncomfortable.Read More






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  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
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