Michael Isaacson


You Shoot, He Scores: The Kibbutz King of Komposers

By Michael Isaacson

You Shoot, He Scores: The Kibbutz King of Komposers
Inon Zur’s odyssey is a bittersweet post-Zionist metaphor and a Horatio Alger success story. He’s an Israeli living the American dream: at the top of his profession, but in Galut.Read More


Bound Up for Two Decades: A Test of Faith

By Michael Isaacson

Bound Up for Two Decades: A Test of Faith
Twenty years ago, young composer Lawrence Goldberg entered his one-act opera about the binding of Isaac into The Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles’ competition for a new pulpit opera. Of the resultant piece, “A Test of Faith,” Dr. Richard Braun, chairperson of the commission, reported: “It was just the kind of piece that we hoped for … integrating an eloquent midrashic libretto by Marcia Hain Engle with a sophisticated but tuneful score by the composer. We were thrilled and granted it First Place.”Read More


A Strong Voice Quietly Changing the Cantorate

By Michael Isaacson

A Strong Voice Quietly Changing the Cantorate
Cantor Faith Steinsnyder fell in love with the music of prayer at a young age, but she quickly came to understand that this music was composed by men for men. Quietly, but dramatically, she is challenging the American perception of female cantors.Read More






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    • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
    • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
    • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
    • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
    • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
    • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
    • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
    • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
    • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
    • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
    • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
    • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
    • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
    • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
    • What do you think?
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