Arts & Culture


Searching for Answers, After the Fire

By Mark Oppenheimer

Triangle By Katharine Weber Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 256 pages, $23. * * *‘Triangle” is a prose cousin of certain one-act plays, those taut dramatic exercises in which just a few characters, engaging in conversation, conjure grand notions. (Think of “No Exit,” “Waiting for Godot,” “Doubt.”) At its best, Katharine Weber’sRead More


A Very Special Episode: ‘Everwood’ Series Finale Has the Rite Stuff

By Victor Wishna

The fictional television town of Everwood, Colo., has no synagogue and no rabbi, not even a fictional one. Its leading citizen is played by the palpably WASPy Treat Williams, and its network — The WB — gave birth to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Beauty and the Geek.” So it might be the last place, even on television, that you wouldRead More


Good Guys and Bad Guys

By Amos Oz

Who are the good guys? That’s what every well-meaning European, left-wing European, intellectual European, liberal European always wants to know, first and foremost. Who are the good guys in the film and who are the bad guys. In this respect Vietnam was easy: The Vietnamese people were the victims, and the Americans were the bad guys. The sameRead More


The Enduring Power of ‘Education’

By Avi Shafran

My 13-year-old son, Menachem, is my valued chavruta, or study partner; he has a keen and creative mind, and I hope he will one day become a true talmid chochom, or religious scholar. We study Talmud together every evening and Sabbath; Menachem’s mornings at yeshiva are also filled with the study of religious texts.But he knows how toRead More


Returning to Bethlehem

By B.B. Royvensteyn

THE BOOK OF RUTH IS READ ON SHAVUOT ‘We should never have left Bethlehem,” the older woman was saying. “It was bad enough when Elimelech died; what a shock to my system. I blame him for what happened to my boys. Not to mention, there was this parcel of land….”“Your boys…,” Ruth thought sadly. The sentence began but, like so manyRead More


Festival Of Arts New York

By Sarah Kricheff

It’s that time of year again. After six months of pondering, exploring and expressing the theme of “wandering,” the 27 members of Makor’s Artists-in-Residence program have created works that will be presented in the seventh Biannual Makor Marathon. As the event is a multimedia, multidisciplinary festival of visual andRead More


An American Look

By Sarah Kricheff

Styles, themes and subjects of American art created in the first half of the 20th century are examined in a traveling exhibition, My America: Art From the Jewish Museum Collection, 1900-1955. Originally organized by the Jewish Museum, New York, the show makes its way to the Bay Area, where it will be presented at the Judah L. Magnes Museum. WithRead More


Shelumiel — The First Schlemiel?

By Peretz Rodman

In the German Colony neighborhood of Jerusalem, a leafy residential lane bears the name Yitzhak Crémieux Street. If that name sounds only half-familiar, perhaps the name Adolphe Crémieux rings a louder bell? A prominent Jewish political figure in 19th-century France, Crémieux combined a long career in elective office with service to theRead More


Our Own Superhero: A Matter of Pryde

By Michael Green

Bar mitzvah boys can be divided, if you crunch the dataset right, into two groups: those who wished over their bar mitzvah cakes for superpowers, and those who wished to meet their favorite girl with superpowers: Kitty Pryde.Granted this might be limited to the subset of bar mitzvah boys who know what a dataset is, but everyone I knew fell madlyRead More


A Mosaic of Jewish Music in America

By Alexander Gelfand

The old Woody Allen joke about a book of great Jewish athletes — it’s more of a pamphlet, really — wouldn’t work with great Jewish composers. So when pianists Joel Sachs and Cheryl Seltzer, co-directors of the new music ensemble CONTINUUM, decided to present a program of works by modern American Jewish composers last month at theRead More





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  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "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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  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
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  • "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.”
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