Arts & Culture


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


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


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


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


Dissecting the Body and Soul of the Common Man

By Jerome Groopman

Everyman By Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin, 192 pages, $24. * * *My grandmother Rebecca lived to 100, but, as was typical for a person of her time and place, from an early age she witnessed severe illness. Born on the outskirts of Vilna, she arrived at Ellis Island in 1901 as a young woman, worked in a sweatshop on Rivington Street, marriedRead More


Lust, Faith and Phylacteries

By Steven Zeitchik

‘Mendy: A Question of Faith” is cinematic proof that putting faith and sex in a movie doesn’t make the film about religion, and doesn’t necessarily make it sexy.In this cheesily staged feature, which is showing through May 26 at Cinema Village in Manhattan, the titular character (Ivan Sandomire) is a Satmar Hasid who has developed someRead More


Jewish Life Under the Microscope

By Toby Appleton Perl

Video can be a harsh, unforgiving and literal medium. But Israeli artist Michal Rovner’s work is refreshingly distinct from much of the contemporary crop of edgy video art that is designed to offend and upset. In Fields, her current exhibit at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, she has transformed the medium into a subtle and sensual instrument for theRead More


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