Arts & Culture


‘Vasilisa the Beautiful’ By Irina Reyn

Each month, in coordination with our 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 writers from the former Communist bloc, Ewa Zadrzynska-Glowacki and Irina Reyn (for full details, please see sidebar), and the excerpt we have chosen toRead More


Divide and Concur

By Peretz Rodman

Although the portion is called simply Korah, the assault on Moses’ leadership was led by a coalition of opponents with different gripes and different goals. The portion begins with a list of the leaders: “Korah son of Yitzhar son of Kehat son of Levi, and Datan and Aviram sons of Eliav and On son of Pelet sons of Reuven” (Num. 16:1-2). OneRead More


A Century of Israeli Art, on View in Berlin

By Michael Levitin

Pogroms in Russia before and during the First World War sent waves of Jewish emigrants fleeing to Palestine. Around the same time, Jewish painters from across Europe settled in Tel Aviv, where an arts scene flourished in the 1920s, planting the seeds of Jewish national identity. It is this compelling chapter that opens “The NewRead More


Testing the Power of the Desert

By Saul Austerlitz

‘God’s Sandbox,” the latest Israeli film to make its way to American shores, depends in large part on the mystery and romance of the desert for its effect. This is evident from its very first moments, when a car, driving slowly along a winding desert road, stops at what appears to be no particular point, and lets out a passenger: aRead More


Holding Patterns

By Miriam Udel-Lambert

When sleep eludes me, I conjugate Spanish verbs. I begin with nice, regular verbs in the indicative mood. Hablar, comer, vivir: to speak, to eat, to live. I move methodically through the present tense, the preterit past, the past imperfect, the future and the conditional. Then on to forms requiring auxiliary verbs — theRead More


Bank Plays It Safe With Sophomore Effort

By Sheelah Kolhatkar

The Wonder Spot By Melissa Bank Viking, 336 pages, $24.95. —–This might be the year of the high-expectation second novel. After putting out a critical and commercial darling of a book at an impossibly young age, every new literary sensation must follow up with a second, and the path there is littered withRead More


Tango: Not Jewish, But Not 100% Not Jewish

By Alexander Gelfand

‘I’m not Jewish — but I’m not 100% not Jewish,” jokes innovative tango musician and sometime klezmer bassist Pablo Aslan. Much the same might be said of the tango itself.The origins of the tango aren’t entirely clear. Some believe that the dance form, born in the slums of Buenos Aires in the 1880s, derived from an Andalusian dance ofRead More


Judaism, Meditation and The B-Word

By Jay Michaelson

Mindful Jewish Living: Compassionate PracticeBy Jonathan P. SlaterAviv Press, 300 pages, $24.95.* * Meditation and Judaism: Exploring the Jewish Meditative PathsBy DovBer PinsonRowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 304 pages, $35. * *Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the BuddhaEdited by Harold Kasimow, John P. Keenan andRead More


Much Ado About Something

By Daniel M. Jaffe

Judy Frankel rushes into the Hillel cafeteria, late to campus as usual after her weekly volunteer work at the AIDS hospice downtown. How good to engage in tikkun olam, repairing the world — keeping patients company during dinner, holding this hand and that, eliciting memories of healthier times. But afterward, she needs the comfort of her FridayRead More


Conservative Jews In Israel Splitting With Top Leader

By Jennifer Siegel

The Israeli branch of the Conservative movement is set to part ways with its longtime president, Rabbi Ehud Bandel, the Forward has learned.Movement insiders familiar with the situation say that the Israeli branch, known as Masorti, faces a severe budget crisis. In an effort to close the gap, one source said, Bandel is being let go and aRead More





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