Gavriel Rosenfeld


Sacred and Profane History of Cherished Jewish Number 18

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Sacred and Profane History of Cherished Jewish Number 18
Jews have long considered the number 18 to be a serious lucky charm. How many of us know that neo-Nazis also cherish the number — or why?Read More


Rebooting The Führer

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Rebooting The Führer
What would happen if Adolf Hitler came back to life? That’s the premise of a satirical novel — and its best-selling success hints at Germans’ desire for different approaches to the Nazi era.Read More


Stealth Museum

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Stealth Museum
Pan Pacific Park has long been an oasis in Los Angeles’s bustling, heavily Jewish Beverly-Fairfax neighborhood. Basketball courts, baseball diamonds, picnic areas and playgrounds predominate in the park’s hilly setting. It may strike certain visitors as somewhat incongruous, therefore, that the latest addition to the park is an institution that appears to run counter to its carefree spirit: the new Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.Read More


Blessing a Building — Building a Blessing

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Blessing a Building — Building a Blessing
The construction of a new synagogue is always an occasion for celebration, so it was with particular pomp that the Rhineland city of Mainz recently dedicated its new synagogue and Jewish community center. The dedication ceremonies, held September 3, featured an array of German politicians, including German President Christian Wulff. Many of them blessed the new building and underscored its symbolic significance. Yet, while the synagogue received its share of blessings, it also gave physical expression to them in its architectural form. Designed by the German-Jewish architect Manuel Herz, Mainz’s striking new synagogue complex traces its inspiration back to the third “blessing” in the Amidah — the Kedusha. The connection between the word and the synagogue’s appearance is not immediately obvious. But Herz’s drawings for the building reveal that its sawtooth form partly derives from the jagged pattern produced by the word’s five Hebrew letters: kuf, daled, vav, shin and hay.Read More


Fish(y) Forms

By Gavriel Rosenfeld

Fish(y) Forms
The High Holy Days might incline most Jews to think of fish as a traditional food served on deli trays after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. But the Jewish Museum’s new exhibition, “Fish Forms: Lamps by Frank Gehry,” asks us to think more deeply about how fish have influenced the work of one of the world’s most celebrated architects.Read More






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