Arts & Culture


Like Father, Like Son

By Ami Eden

Dr. Haran: So, how are things?Jacob: It’s been a good week.Dr. Haran: Why do you say that?Jacob: I finally left my father-in-law’s house. It was a big step.Dr. Haran: How come?Jacob: What’s the big riddle? After two decades of letting Laban walk all over me, I finally let him have it.Dr. Haran: But you snuck away in the middle of theRead More


Rehearsing for Reconciliation

By Jeffrey Fiskin

Two men approach each other from across a field. You would be surprised to learn they are twins, so different are they now. But even before their paths diverged, they were not alike.One strides purposefully forward with the confidence in his own element, at home. Well he might, as he is surrounded by 400 of his own men. He has the ruddy complexionRead More


One Man Chronicles Centuries of Synagogue Music

By Alexander Gelfand

Appearances can be deceiving, especially online. For example, one would never guess from its plain vanilla Web site that Google is a hyper-capitalized behemoth worth more than General Motors and Ford put together.Conversely, the Web site of the Jewish Music Heritage Project gives the impression of a lavishly funded institutional undertaking.Read More


Shmatte Chic

By E.B. Solomont

When Mamie Eisenhower prepared to take her place beside husband Dwight D. Eisenhower at his 1953 presidential inauguration, the notoriously fashion-conscious first lady knew exactly where to go for her outfit: Her ballgown was designed by Nettie Rosenstein, the Jewish designer who popularized the “little black dress” in the 1920s and ’30s,Read More


Beyond Bubbeleh: Reading Real Yiddish

By Alyssa Quint

These days, books about Yiddish have been hamming it up for the mainstreamers. A slew of new books have arrived to decode the cultural essence of the language of Ashkenazic Jewry for an audience of non-Jews and Jews (both of whom appear equally innocent of Yiddish these days). “Yiddish With Dick and Jane” is only the most ingenious andRead More


The Myth of Jewish Guilt

By Joshua Halberstam

What is it about Jewish guilt? One woman says she forever diets because of her Jewish guilt, while another blames Jewish guilt for her constant overeating. Jewish guilt is the culprit for why you are so tidy, or so messy, date too much, or too little, indulge your children or discipline them. Jewish guilt explains why you worry about your parents,Read More


So Mike Leigh Is Jewish After All. But Is It Good for the Jews?

By Nicole Taylor

Mike Leigh is responsible for some of the best British drama of the past 30 years — both theater and film, including “Abigail’s Party,” “Nuts in May,” Career Girls,” “Naked,” “Life Is Sweet,” “Secrets and Lies,” “Topsy-Turvy,” “All or Nothing,” and last year’s Oscar-nominated “Vera Drake.” But even for aRead More


Bukharan Vista

By Adam Stern

Over a period of seven years, photographer Zion Ozeri traveled to Uzbekistan, where he captured images of the Bukharan Jews, the Persian-speaking community that traces its history in the region back to the Middle Ages. The photographs are currently on display in New York at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in an exhibitRead More


A Demanding Composer Meets His Orchestral Match

By Raphael Mostel

In between rehearsals at the Metropolitan Opera, composer Tobias Picker laughingly recalled another opera orchestra — which shall remain nameless — whose violinists, protesting his penchant for writing in the instruments’ extreme range, greeted him in rehearsal in mock submission, waving white handkerchiefs on the end of their bows.NothingRead More


A Tale of Two Trains

By Lev Raphael

I am on a train heading into Magdeburg in eastern Germany, an hour or so from Berlin. Sixty-one years ago, my late mother was on a train headed for Magdeburg. Hers didn’t have a dining car or changing electronic displays updating the train’s speed and distance from its next station. She was one of hundreds of internees being transported fromRead More





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  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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