Arts & Culture


A Critic Hears False Notes in Music History

By Raphael Mostel

One of the liveliest and most remarkable books about music was published this year. In “The Oxford History of Western Music,” iconoclastic University of California, Berkeley, professor Richard Taruskin offers a 4,000-page, six-volume survey of everything there is to know about Western classical music. For one person to encompass the vast rangeRead More


Bright Lights, Little Village: Jews in Small-town America

By Glenn C. Altschuler

    • *‘A baker who can make kimmel bread and German rolls (bagels, too, I suppose) can do well in Kalamazoo,” a field agent for the Industrial Removal Office of the Baron de Hirsch Fund reported in 1907. A junk dealer in Ashland, Ky., he added three years later, would gladly replace the Negro who worked in his yard with a Jew.Jews, it is well

The Boy Who Started a War

By Jameson Currier

On November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a young Jewish man living in Paris illegally, walked into the German embassy and shot Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat. The assassination triggered Kristallnacht, the organized Nazi pogrom against the Jewish community inside the boundaries of the Third Reich, and was the symbolic beginning of theRead More


Neighbor, Fellow or Friend?

By Philologos

One of the best-known verses in the Bible occurs in this week’s Torah reading of Kedoshim. It is also one of the most controversial.The verse in question is Leviticus 19:18, the Hebrew of which contains the phrase “Ve-ahavta le-re’akha kamokha.” The King James Version of the Bible translates this as, “Thou shalt love thy neighborRead More


Remembrance Day

By Daniel M. Jaffe

Marla sits alone in the sanctuary, her long face dimly illuminated by electric candles set about the room. She has arrived early for the Holocaust Remembrance Day service so as to contemplate private memories of the lost. Not that Marla can remember any specific person slain in the Holocaust, so long before her time, nor can she fathom theRead More


Jerusalem’s Shrine for the Muses

By Noga Tarnopolsky

The customary thing for men and institutions is to flame out into a full-blown midlife crisis at 40. But who likes customary? No one, apparently, at the Israel Museum, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary with a sumptuous and supremely self-possessed exhibit called Beauty and Sanctity.It is, in fact, an über-exhibit —Read More


This Month at Novel Jews

Novel Jews is a downtown reading series that presents provocative and enlightening fiction and literary nonfiction by both today’s literary superstars and the emerging voices of tomorrow. It is co-sponsored by the Sol Goldman 14th Street Y, the JCC in Manhattan and the Forward.SHALOM AUSLANDER was raised as an Orthodox Jew in Spring Valley, N.Y.Read More


‘Prophet’s Dilemma’ From ‘Beware of God,’ by Shalom Auslander

NOVEL JEWS 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 Shalom Auslander and Leelila Strogov (for full details, please see sidebar), and the excerpt we have chosen to highlight is “Prophet’sRead More


Neta Gain; A Choreographer Returns for Her Encore

By Rose Anne Thom

Choreographer Neta Pulver- macher has aptly named her new season, which runs from May 11 to May 22 in New York at The Flea Theater, “NETRO: A Neta Dance Company Retrospective.” “I graduated from The Juilliard School in 1985 and started working right away. This season is a milestone — 20 years,” she noted in an interview with the Forward.Read More


Doomed Love and Melancholy

By Aaron Hamburger

Publishers are notoriously reluctant to take on story collections, perhaps in part because unlike novels, a story collection has to justify its own existence. It isn’t enough for a story collection to be well written, poignant and intelligent. Why, readers ask themselves, have these eight to 12 stories been juxtaposed between theRead More





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