Arts & Culture


My Friends and Me

By Steven G. Kellman

Friendship: An Exposé By Joseph Epstein Houghton Mifflin, 288 pages, $24. ‘What really knocks me out,” Holden Caulfield says in “The Catcher in the Rye,” “is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you feltRead More


Israeli Dance Invades Lincoln Center Fest

By Joseph Carman

The Lincoln Center Festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, showcases globally diverse artistic troupes that have distinctive performance styles. In keeping with that ideal, Nigel Redden, the festival’s director, has booked performances by three contemporary Israeli dance companies that represent the vivid intensity and cerebralRead More


The Ghosts of Alfred Dreyfus

By Ronald Schechter

On July 12, France will celebrate the centennial of the acquittal of Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish military officer whose false indictment on a charge of treason set off a political scandal in the country.In a certain light, it would seem that the Dreyfus Affair — and the environment in which it emerged — has long since been buried. Yet DreyfusRead More


A Different Kind Of Jewish Mother

By Judy Bolton-Fasman

A Woman of Uncertain Character: The Amorous And Radical

Adventures of My Mother Jennie (Who Always Wanted To Be a Respectable Jewish Mom),

by Her Bastard Son By Clancy Sigal Carroll & Graf, 288 pages, $26. * * *I n the past few years, there has been an impressive list of memoirs that triumphantly defy the stereotype of theRead More


The Rock as a Hard Place

By David R. Slavitt

I have always found the story of Moses in the Desert of Zin where there is no water and the well has gone dry (Numbers 20:1-12) to be knotty indeed, and the more one struggles with it, the tighter and the more uncomfortable are its bonds. We all know that Moses was supposed to talk to the rock, but instead of doing that, he hit it with hisRead More


HEARTFELT DRAMA

By Sarah Kricheff

Divorce is never a simple affair, but it’s certainly made easier when the couple is childless. The exes go their separate ways and, hopefully, find happiness and new love. However, the intriguing premise of “Hard Love,” by acclaimed Israeli playwright Motti Lerner, complicates the issue.Hannah and Hershel, two young ultra-Orthodox newlyweds,Read More


MUSICAL NOSTALGIA

By Guest Author

Set in the United States in the early 20th century, Stephen Flaherty’s 1998 Tony Award-winning musical, “Ragtime,” interweaves stories of a wealthy Protestant family; a poor Jewish immigrant and his daughter, and an educated black musician from Harlem, the woman he loves and their child. Based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel of the same name, theRead More


Molad

By Yossi Huttler

The instant of the moon’s “rebirth” at the start of each Jewish month, when the first glimmer of the orb’s edge is visible from Jerusalem, is known as the “molad.” Of course, the molad also marks the conclusion of the past lunar cycle and, as such, represents a dichotomous moment that is simultaneously completion and inception. Above is a poem by Yossi Huttler, a prosecutor and oral historian living in Staten Island.Read More


A Painter on Earth Whose Brush Reaches the Heavens

By Menachem Wecker

‘I cannot imagine German culture without Judaism,” painter Anselm Kiefer said. “One thing is that Germans committed the immense crime of killing Jews. The other is that they amputated themselves. They took half of German culture and killed it.” As a result, Kiefer, who was born to Catholic parents in Donaueschingen, Germany, during theRead More


Fateful Correspondence

By Elizabeth Frankenberger

Paper Kisses: A True Love Story By Reinhard KaiserTranslated by Anthea Bell Other Press, 120 pages, $13.95. * * *Like Reinhard Kaiser, the author of “Paper Kisses” — a true, epistolary tale of two star-crossed lovers during the Holocaust — my father was a collector of stamps. And like Kaiser, his hobby was his full-time passion. ARead More


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