Rebecca Reich


A Different Kind of Kosher

By Rebecca Reich

In the opening pages of her new book, “Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939,” Anna Shternshis introduces us to Sara F., an elderly Soviet Jewish émigré living in Brooklyn. Born in the Ukraine around 1917, Sara loves Yiddish songs and Yiddish theater, trembles at the thought that her 25-year-old American grandson might marry a gentile and judges all current events according to the question, “Is it good or bad for the Jews?” At the same time, she celebrates Soviet holidays rather than Jewish ones, considers a religious education “fanatical” and insists that, contrary to the religious taboo on pig, making pork “kosher” is actually quite simple: All it takes is a cook with a “Jewish soul.”Read More


Looking for Inspiration in All The Wrong Places

By Rebecca Reich

Memoirs of a Muse By Lara Vapnyar Pantheon, 224 pages, $22.95. * * *Tanya, the heroine of Lara Vapnyar’s first novel, “Memoirs of a Muse,” and (as far as Tanya is concerned) of numerous masterpieces yet to be created, doesn’t claim to be an expert on literature, but when it comes to choosing among the 19th-century writers whose photosRead More


A Community Rises Up, And the Young Move Away

By Rebecca Reich

On a busy Saturday morning, the cool, stone synagogue with its bare interior walls had a calm, unhurried air, as if — despite a half-century of upheaval — tradition hadn’t skipped a beat. Just a five-minute walk away, waiters were wrestling with café umbrellas and Yugos were zipping past Republic Square, leaving clouds of dust behind. ButRead More






    Find us on Facebook!
    • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
    • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
    • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
    • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
    • Can you relate?
    • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
    • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
    • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
    • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
    • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
    • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
    • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
    • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
    • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
    • 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.