Rebecca Milzoff


An American Fairy Tale, With a Twist

By Rebecca Milzoff

An American Fairy Tale, With a Twist
For Russian immigrant Lillian Leyb, calling America “the land of opportunity” seems both an understatement and a misnomer. Lillian, whose exhilarating, heartbreaking and certainly never boring story is at the heart of Amy Bloom’s vivid novel “Away,” seizes upon the microcosm of the new frontier of the 1920s that is Manhattan’s Lower East Side from the moment she sets foot on its crowded streets. She remembers her father’s words — “that smart was good (and Lillian was smart, he said), and pretty was useful (and Lillian was pretty enough) but lucky was better than both of them put together.” Lillian’s combination of the three gives her a stick-to-itiveness that propels her above her fellow Jewish immigrants with alarming speed.Read More


A Persian Josef K.

By Rebecca Milzoff

A Persian Josef K.
At its outset, Dalia Sofer’s novel, “The Septembers of Shiraz,” seems destined to be “The Trial: Tehran,” the story of a man wrongfully arrested and very belatedly informed of his supposed crime. But Sofer’s protagonist, Isaac Amin, is no Josef K., who comparatively gets off rather easily until his brutal execution. In this engrossing debut novel, the arrest is simply the jumping-off point after which the author gracefully unfolds details, showing just how entangled Amin is, like it or not, with the people and places of his immediate world.Read More


Plucking the Strings of Tragedy

By Rebecca Milzoff

To write a novel about the Holocaust is to enter, willingly, into precarious territory. What at first seems like a rich mine for inspiration is a subject seemingly ever present in contemporary literature of a certain sort, yet ever impossible to label cliché. Authentic tales of the concentration camps — the memoirs of survivors like Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi — have become such literary standards that fictional accounts seem almost superfluous. So how, then, to tell a hypothetical Holocaust story?Read More


A Slice of History (With Mustard on Rye)

By Rebecca Milzoff

On a recent Saturday afternoon, I hopped off a downtown bus and onto the sidewalk of East Houston Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, braced against the cold wind and early brunch crowds trolling the area’s crop of relatively new boutique cafés. And then, in the distance, I saw it: Katz’s Delicatessen — its sign aRead More


Two ‘Cheesy’ Dudes Bring Epicureanism to the Masses

By Rebecca Milzoff

It’s 7 p.m. on a Thursday. Jon Mizrachi and Dan Grenke are ready for class. Their students are gathered in a circle, eyeing the vocabulary lists they’ve been given, taking in the focus of the evening’s lesson — yellow, crumbly, even a little stinky — sitting in front of them on a thick, black slab. But there won’t be any quizRead More






    Find us on Facebook!
    • 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.”
    • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
    • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
    • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
    • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
    • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
    • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
    • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
    • from-cache

    Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















    We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

    Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.