Arts & Culture


Skilled Craftsmen

By Henry Bean

Urim and Thummim. The ineffable name of God was inscribed on some unknown material and placed in the fold of the breastplate. — Soncino Chumash—So what we’re making is the breastplate, the ephod….—What’s an ephod?—Like the linen apron you hang the breastplate over…?—Oh, right.—… the robe,Read More


What Makes Ari Run

By Allison Hoffman

Ari Gold, the smarmy 10-percenter who pulls the strings of HBO’s Hollywood send-up “Entourage,” has it all: degrees from Harvard and Michigan Law, a former-actress wife, a $3 million house in one of the hillier enclaves of West Los Angeles, a full head of hair and a conveniently malleable sense of ethics. He is the very model of JewishRead More


Focus on HBO

Next week, one of television’s most acclaimed series returns for its final season. In its success, “The Sopranos” has joined a family of contemporary American icons, all presented by one channel: Home Box Office. In fact, when veteran journalist Michael Kinsley went looking for America’s Jane Austen —“Where in America is the essence ofRead More


Stereotypes and the City

By Emily Fox

Describing someone as “New York,” Nora Ephron once observed, is really just a euphemism for Jewish, and since “Sex and the City” epitomized New York, one could easily understand why Darren Star, the show’s creator, has said he considers the denizens of his hit show — particularly Carrie Bradshaw, the main character, played by SarahRead More


This Month At Novel Jews

On Wednesday, March 8, 2006, the Novel Jews monthly reading series will feature Wayne Hoffman, who will read from his forthcoming debut novel, “Hard” (Carroll & Graf) along with Aaron Hamburger, who will read from his novel, “Faith for Beginners” (Random House, 2005).

Wayne Hoffman, currently managing editor of theRead More


From Hard by Wayne Hoffman

Each month, in coordination with our reading series in New York, the Forward publishes an excerpt from the work of that month’s series’ guest or guests. This month, we will feature readings by Aaron Hamburger and Forward managing editor Wayne Hoffman (for full details, please see sidebar). Below is an excerptRead More


Reminders of the Lost Ark

By Daniel M. Jaffe

Jonathan, a member of Temple Har Zion’s New Building Committee, has accepted the assignment of developing a design approach for its new ark. Jonathan figures that he might as well start at the beginning and be as authentic as possible, so he types “ark of the covenant” into his computer’s Internet search engine. He is chagrinedRead More


Life Among the Goyim

By Andrew R. Heinze

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that is edited by everyone who wants to make an entry in it, can be outrageously wrong, but it is often surprisingly reliable. If you look up Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator and star of “Da Ali G Show,” you will find him categorized under “English comedians” and “Jewish comedy.”Baron Cohen isRead More


Seeing Double in Deadwood

By Haley Michaels Pollack

The HBO drama “Deadwood” chronicles its namesake: the historic gold-rush town of 1877, legendary for its alleged frontier lawlessness and for such infamous characters as “Wild Bill” Hickok and Calamity Jane. A rarity among Westerns, “Deadwood” depicts the gold rush’s multiracial and multiethnic community, including a tip of the hatRead More


Curb Your Judaism

By Michael Green

True, Larry David doesn’t much like whitefish. True, he makes fun of the Orthodox and — yes — he made far too public two dark, shameful secrets of Judaism: that we sell tickets for High Holy Day services and that Gina Gershon is one of us.But don’t be fooled.It’d be easy to dismiss Larry David — or at least his on-screen “LarryRead More





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