Joel Schechter


The Most Beautiful Haggadah in the Room

By Joel Schechter

The Most Beautiful Haggadah in the Room
You might recognize the the Szyk Haggadah — it’s been used at thousands of Seders since the 1930’s. Now, the stunning paintings are on display.Read More


From Siberia To the Lower East Side

By Joel Schechter

From Siberia To the Lower East Side
Jacob Gordin once predicted that ‘Jewish theater in America has no future.’ But he was wrong, and his own drama still has a role to play in that legacy.Read More


An Actor Who Broke a Leg — or Two

By Joel Schechter

An Actor Who Broke a Leg — or Two
Actor Alexander Granach performed in Yiddish as a member of Berlin’s Jacob Gordin Theatrical Society early in the past century. He went from his shtetl in Galicia to Yiddish theater in Berlin, then to director Max Reinhardt’s acting school in the same city. As a Jew and man with leftist leanings, he fled Hitler’s Germany in 1933, and before his death in 1945 he performed in 20 Hollywood films, including Bertolt Brecht and Fritz Lang’s “Hangmen Also Die” and Ernst Lubitsch’s “Ninotchka.” He never became a film star; most of his roles were as a supporting actor. But Granach’s thespian achievements took him far from his beginnings in rural Kolomea and his early life as a bread baker, onto sound stages with some of the world’s most prominent film artists.Read More


Camille Pissarro's Full Life on Display

By Joel Schechter

Camille Pissarro's Full Life on Display
Camille Pissarro was renowned as an Impressionist landscape painter. A new exhibit explores the lesser-known sides of this Caribbean-born Jew and anarchist.Read More


Picasso's Muse and Warhol's, Too

By Joel Schechter

Picasso's Muse and Warhol's, Too
San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum is paying tribute to the expatriate writer Gertrude Stein with an exhibit of photographs, paintings and sculptures that focuses more on her friendships, her celebrity and legacy than on her poetry or novels.Read More






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  • 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.
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  • "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:
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  • “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.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
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