Arts & Culture


The Animated Life of a Film Giant

By Mindy Aloff

Out of the Inkwell: Max Fleischer and The Animation Revolution By Richard Fleischer(foreword by Leonard Maltin) University Press of Kentucky, 232 pages, $27.50. * * *In 1925, pioneering New York film animator Max Fleischer decided that what the world needed was a five-reel feature film that combined animation and live action, to explainRead More


In a Corner of Austria, A Curator Plays With a Taboo

By Boris Fishman

The far-western Austrian market town of Hohenems (population 14,000) is a good place to take in a chamber orchestra during one of many regional summer music festivals or to learn about water-driven mill technology, once a mainstay of the town’s economy. Less predictably, it’s also the location of one of Europe’s most innovativeRead More


Writing a Fugue of Mystics, Misery and Memoir

By Marcela Valdes

In “I, Wabenzi: A Souvenir” Rafi Zabor’s heady, 472-page memoir, he portrays his life as a series of unpredictable transformations. The first major life twist occurred in 1969, the summer of love, when Zabor was 23 and fresh from Brooklyn College. It was then that he left his parents’ home in Brooklyn, where he’d been raised as aRead More


One Nation Under God?

By Ami Eden

As Senator Dianne Feinstein wrapped up her opening remarks during the hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of John Roberts, she offered an apparent plea for preserving a robust separation of church and state.“During the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and even today,” the California Democrat said, “millions ofRead More


New Docudrama Emcees E=mc2

By Lisa Keys

Arguably the greatest mind of the modern world, Albert Einstein famously would neglect to wear his coat in the dead of winter, absentmindedly misplace his keys and forget life’s little details, like where he lived. So perhaps it’s not shocking that when it came to proving correct his most famous equation, E=mc2, it took the brainpower ofRead More


Excerpt: ‘The Alternate’

By Sana Krasikov

Each month, in coordination with “Novel Jews,” our reading series in New York, the Forward publishes an excerpt from the work of that month’s series guest or guests. In deference to Yom Kippur, the reading series will not be held in October, but we decided everyone could still meet on the page. Here we offer readers a selection fromRead More


Moses’ 120th Birthday

By Lore Segal

On his 120th birthday, Moses addresses the Israelite people encamped outside Jericho: I don’t walk as well as I used to, he tells them. (Elsewhere we learn that his powers are divinely undiminished, but we had better be willing to accept two truths for the price of one in life as well as in story.) And he says, you are about to crossRead More


Crafting Modern Midrash in the Form of Fiction

By Peter Manseau

Fallen By David Maine St. Martin’s Press, 256 pages, $23.95. * * *In this strange time when even ideas about the beginning of the world have become a political battleground, it seems there is no story that so sharply divides as the biblical account of creation. When Arizona Christians lobby to install verses from scripture at the local zooRead More


The Match Heard ’Round the World

In June 1938, 60 million people — half of the American public — tuned their radios to a boxing match in Yankee Stadium. The heavyweight championship pitted Joe Louis, a black American, against Max Schmeling, a German, and the fight served as an undercard of sorts for World War II. Schmeling and Louis had fought before, in 1936,Read More


From the Yiddish Songbook to the American Canon

By Michael Bronski

There is a shocking, gloriously transcendent moment that occurs nine minutes into “From Shtetl to Swing,” an hour-long documentary about the influence of Yiddish culture on American music. The program is presented October 5 as part of PBS’s “Great Performances.” Until this point in the show, we only have been toldRead More





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