Arts & Culture


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


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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