Arts & Culture


The Surprise Literary Sensation Sweeping France

By Stéphane Gerson

This year’s French literary sensation is quite a surprise, not least because she is a long-forgotten Jewish writer who died in Auschwitz.Irène Némirovsky was born into a wealthy Ukrainian family in 1903 and grew up among Kiev, Saint Petersburg and Riviera palaces. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, her family joined the ranks of White RussianRead More


The Anthem Question

By Philologos

It’s not every day that a Palestinian gets to be an Israeli national hero, but it happened last week to Abbas Suan, the soccer player who scored a last-minute goal that gave Israel’s national team a 1-1 tie against Ireland and kept it in the running as a contender for the 2006 World Cup Finals. It was an especially dramaticRead More


Controlling The Uncontrollable

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Tazria, is primarily concerned with the priestly rituals for dealing with the outbreak of macabre changes in the skin and flesh. The commentary in “The Jewish Study Bible” (Oxford University Press, 2004 tells us that “Tzara’at, seen as a gradual erosion of the skin, was thought to culminate,Read More


Novel Jews

Each month, in coordination with our Novel Jews 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 Gary Shteyngart and Josh Cohen (for full details, please see sidebar), and the excerpt we have chosen to highlight isRead More


How Baseball Saved a City

By Michael Shapiro

As the summer of 1977 drew mercifully to a close, Pete Hamill, a champion of his city, offered a painfully grim assessment of what awaited its new mayor, Ed Koch. New York, he wrote, was now “the ruined city and broken city.” Only a fool would have differed with him.In the months leading up to Koch’s unlikely election —Read More


Seeking Virtual Realities In Both Science and Art

By Paul Zakrzewski

More than a decade after David recovered from a Unabomber attack that nearly killed him, the prominent Yale computer scientist is at a crossroads with his life’s work.As a graduate student in the late 1970s, Gelernter made his mark by writing a program called “Linda” — after porn star Linda Lovelace — which allowed programmers to breakRead More


A Young Novelist Takes On 9/11

By Mark Oppenheimer

One of the pleasures of reading “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” Jonathan Safran Foer’s absorbing new novel, is that the experience helped me understand why I was so incapable of enjoying Foer’s first book, the into-30-languages-translated, into-major-motion-picture-being-made “Everything Is Illuminated” — or why (to take theRead More


Reclaiming ‘The Dybbuk’

By Joseph Carman

In 1974 Jerome Robbins premiered an enigmatic choreographic work, “The Dybbuk,” for New York City Ballet. A collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, it was based loosely on the play of the same name by S. Ansky about spirit possession and exorcism. On April 5 at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco Ballet willRead More


Out of Africa: The Rescue of Ethiopian Jews

By Amir Shaviv

Operation Solomon: The Daring Rescue Of the Ethiopian Jews By Stephen Spector Oxford University Press, 320 pages, $28. ——-French Premier Georges Clemenceau once said, “War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory.” Had he read Stephen Spector’s new book on Operation Solomon, he would not have hesitatedRead More


Blending Comedy and Homage

By Wayne Hoffman

With his innate ability to hold an audience in the palm of his hand, Mike Burstyn could be a star in any language. He could sing a song in Sanskrit and still bring people to tears. He could crack a joke in total gibberish and still nail the punch line.Fortunately for the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre (and its audience), Burstyn is currentlyRead More





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