Arts & Culture


Spain’s Other Philosopher- Son Gets Some Recognition

By Elizabeth Landau

For philosophers, historians and theologians from many faiths, the greatest Spanish Jewish thinker of all time is unquestionably Moses ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides (1138-1204). Hailing from the medieval pueblo of Cordoba, Spain, the prolific Maimonides championed, among other things, the school of religious rationalism. We credit himRead More


A Boy Grows in Brooklyn

By Donald Weber

The much-anticipated premiere of Donald Margulies’s “Brooklyn Boy,” which opens at the Biltmore Theater next Thursday as part of Manhattan Theatre Club’s winter season, continues the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s richly comic yet profoundly heart-aching meditation on the meaning of growing up Jewish in America. “IRead More


God’s Dream of a Holy Nation

By Lore Segal

The week’s portion relates two events, a pleasant one between a man and a man, and the one central between the godhead and mankind.There is a charm in reading about an ancient iconic figure in human trouble to which there is a sensible human solution. Father-in-law Jethro tells young Moses he is overdoing it which is bad not only for his ownRead More


Sephardic Arts and Culture: A Dialogue

This month brings the publication of “The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature,” an anthology of fiction, memoir, essays and poetry from 28 writers in 18 countries, edited and introduced by Ilan Stavans. To coincide with its release, the Forward invited Stavans to moderate an electronic discussion with several of theRead More


A Macedonian Story: ‘Aunt Rachel’s Photograph’

Below is an excerpt from “Aunt Rachel’s Photograph,” a short story based in the Macedonian town of Bitola, formerly Monastir. Written by playwright and screenwriter Tomislav Osmanli, it was recently awarded first prize in a literary contest sponsored by the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and by “Fund March 11, 1943,” anRead More


What the Klezmer Revival Can Teach Sephardic Music

By Seth Rogovoy

At least one listener did a double take at a recent Hanukkah-themed concert when Annette Ezekiel, singer/front woman of the Yiddish/klezmer outfit, Golem, introduced the famous Hanukkah song “Ocho Kandelikas” as “another Eastern European song.” Surely Ezekiel, who is a Columbia University-trained scholar and linguist as well as aRead More


After the Singing

By Henry Bean

After the waters have rolled over them, the men and the horses, one face floats up, a helmet stamped with the royal seal still tangled in his floating hair. The eyes open, and he speaks.“I have a question.”No reply.“Why did you — ” He stops himself, begins again: “Back when the brothers first came to me with theirRead More


‘Who Is a Jew and What Kind of Jew?’

By Sami Shalom Chetrit

An American Jew dies and he leave no children.In his will, the following is written:“I hereby decree that all my money and propertybe given over to the State of Israel and my lastwish is that I be buried in the Land of Israel.The undersigned, Isaac Cohen.”The attendants sent the deceased and his money,according to his last request, to the LandRead More


Parts Creating a Whole

By Jennifer Siegel

While some Jews whose ancestors lived in medieval Spain might refer to themselves as “Sephardi Tahor” (or “pure Sephardi”) — which implies that their brethren from the Middle East and Africa are not — the ninth annual International Sephardic Film Festival brings everyone together under one big tent. The series, opening next week atRead More


I Found It at the Movies

By Ilan Stavans

In 1965, Pauline Kael published “I Lost It at the Movies,” an anthology of her reviews and essays for The New Yorker. As I look back, her title should be inverted to define my own experience: I Found It at the Movies.I owe my passion for films to my father. He is a devotee of Ingmar Bergman, Andrzej Wajda and Francois Truffaut, butRead More





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