Arts & Culture


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


Generation Birthright Grows Up

By Paul Zakrzewski

The Task of This TranslatorBy Todd Hasak-LowyHarcourt, 272 pages, $13.* * Raymond and HannahBy Stephen MarcheHarcourt, 216 pages, $14. * Light YearsBy Tammar SteinKnopf, 272 pages, $15.95. * *There was a time when you hardly ever picked up an American novel or story collection that focused much on Israel — Philip Roth notwithstanding. Today,Read More


Fathers and Sons

By Daniel M. Jaffe

From across the kitchen table, Bobby asks, “You want your firstborn son to die on a battlefield?”“Don’t be ridiculous.” Phil Gutman shakes his head. “We’re talking registration with the Selective Service, that’s all. You’re 18. It’s the law.”“I’ll be drafted to Iraq. We already did the Babylonian exile thing a long timeRead More


The Man Behind The Equation

By Dan Falk

Albert Einstein looms over the 20th century. He was undoubtedly the greatest intellect of the past 100 years, a man whose very name is now synonymous with “genius.” His rise to fame began on June 30, 1905, when a German physics journal published a seemingly innocuous article titled “On the Electrodynamics ofRead More


Finding Comedy in the Conflict

By Joseph Carman

When choreographer David Dorfman toured with his dance company, he often sought out local rabbis to ask, “Who are the chosen people?” After listening to a thoughtful response, Dorfman’s standard follow-up question was, “Does that mean everyone else is un-chosen?” An obsession with questioning belief systems — and a healthy sense ofRead More


A Look Back at a Different Book Burning

By Zachary Silver

Exactly 60 years ago, a group of individuals assembled to burn the prayer book of a Jewish leader and to ostracize him from community life. This event occurred not in Europe but in Manhattan, and the book burners were not Nazis. They were Jews.On June 12, 1945, at New York City’s Hotel McAlpin, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United StatesRead More


Brown Shirts and Dirndls A New Book Explores the History of Nazis and Fashion

By Amanda Fortini

Nazi Chic?: Fashioning Women in the Third ReichBy Irene GuentherBerg Publishers, 320 pages, $28.95.* * *Was there an aspect of culture in which the Nazis did not take a fanatical interest? From numerous books and articles and films on the subject, we have become familiar with images of Nazis storming museums and galleries to confiscate artRead More


A Literary Easterner With a Hollywood Muse

By Mark Oppenheimer

The Golden West: Hollywood StoriesBy Daniel FuchsDavid R. Godine/Black Sparrow Books, 272 pages, $24.95.* * *In his introduction to “The Golden West,” a new collection of Daniel Fuchs’s writings about California, John Updike places Fuchs in the company of similarly gifted fiction writers who did lucrative stints as screenwriters inRead More





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