Rachel Gordan


How Phyllis Lambert Changed the Architecture of New York

By Rachel Gordan

How Phyllis Lambert Changed the Architecture of New York
Until the 1950s, architecture in New York was not much to look at. Phyllis Lambert explains how she helped to transform the world’s most famous skyline.Read More


When 'Gentleman's Agreement' Made Jewish Oscars History

By Rachel Gordan

When 'Gentleman's Agreement' Made Jewish Oscars History
‘Gentleman’s Agreement,’ the story of a reporter investigating anti-Semitism, made movie history by winning the Oscar. The true story of author Laura Hobson is even more interesting.Read More


Herman Wouk’s ‘The Lawgiver’ Marks Return to Form

By Rachel Gordan

Herman Wouk’s ‘The Lawgiver’ Marks Return to Form
What kind of author writes himself into his own novel? One with a great deal of hubris. But if that writer is 97-year-old Herman Wouk, we may judge him sympathetically.Read More


Where Is the Jewish Lichtenstein?

By Rachel Gordan

Where Is the Jewish Lichtenstein?
“Jews and comic books” is a topic that has received extensive treatment in the last 15 years. But what of the Jewish visual artists whose paintings are inspired by comic books? What of Roy Lichtenstein? Jewish studies scholars can look forward to the day when a dissertation is written about Lichtenstein as a Jewish artist, or an exhibition is curated on the same theme.Read More


Marjorie at Fifty-Five

By Rachel Gordan

Marjorie at Fifty-Five
“Marjorie,” the story of a bedazzling Jewess on Manhattan’s Upper West Side who dreams of becoming an actress, was not exactly what critics expected from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Caine Mutiny,” although reviewers took the novel as proof of Wouk’s anti-intellectual, conformist point of view. Literary critic Leslie Fiedler called “Marjorie” “the first fictional celebration of the mid-20th-century detente between the Jews and middle-class America.” When Natalie Wood played Marjorie in 1958, it seemed further proof that Wouk’s was a story about, as Time magazine put it, “an American Everygirl who happens to be Jewish.”Read More






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    • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
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    • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
    • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
    • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
    • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
    • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
    • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
    • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
    • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
    • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
    • What would Maimonides say about Warby Parker's buy-one, give-one charity model?
    • For 22 years, Seeds of Peace has fostered dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian teens in an idyllic camp. But with Israel at war in Gaza, this summer was different. http://jd.fo/p57AB
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