Arts & Culture


The Imagination’s Many Rooms

By Sanford Pinsker

Jay Neugeboren’s “News From the New American Diaspora and Other Tales of Exile” is not only a cause for celebration in its own right but also an occasion to look back at Neugeboren’s long — and varied — career at the writing desk.Neugeboren’s short stories have been much honored, appearing in some 50 anthologiesRead More


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


The Recklessly Relevant Poet

By David Kaufmann

Unlike many poets in her generation, Muriel Rukeyser was always adamantly, sometimes even recklessly, relevant. Born into a well-to-do Jewish family on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1913, she was both a firmly committed leftist and a bohemian. She drew on the sometimes-conflicting energies of Popular-Front activism and poetic experimentalism,Read More


Radical Music for the New Global Shtetl

By Seth Rogovoy

On Charming Hostess’s new recording, “Sarajevo Blues,” a capella girl-group harmonies blend with hip-hop beat-box techniques and Bosnian war poetry. Zohara’s new album, “Scorched Lips,” finds common ground among ancient Hebrew love poetry, the Turkish oud and contemporary space music. Koby Israelite’s “Mood Swings” is aRead More


As Empathy Fades

By Joshua Halberstam

Let us now think of the tsunami. Few do anymore. It’s been months since those waves washed across Asia and across our television screens; our sympathies, once so stirred, have receded with the calming of the waters. This is only natural, of course. Empathy is bound to ebb with passing time as surely as the ebbing of the tides themselves. ButRead More


The Journalist as Memoirist: A Modern Tale

By Allison T. Hoffman

For journalists trained to bear dispassionate witness to history as other people make it, the terrain of memoir is a treacherous one: Memory, they fear, can be a quicksand of hazy reminiscence and wishful thinking into which objective facts disappear, never to be recovered. Reporters traffic in verifiable truth, and instinctively recoil from theRead More





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  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
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  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
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