Arts & Culture


Seeing Stars

By Ami Eden

Stars of David: Prominent Jews

Talk About Being Jewish By Abigail Pogrebin Broadway, 400 pages, $24.95. * * *In 1994, comedian Adam Sandler evoked the joys of counting Jewish celebrities with his hilarious ditty, “The Hanukkah Song.” Now, journalist Abigail Pogrebin is taking it one step further. Unwilling to settle for a mereRead More


Israel Museum Donation

By Raphael Ahren

The photography department of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, recently received a $12 million gift from long-standing New York-based patrons Harriette and Noel Levine. The gift — the largest monetary donation that a visual-arts institution has ever received — will permit the museum’s already established photography department to conductRead More


The Silver Jews Return

By Benjamin Levisohn

This year, David Berman forgot when Yom Kippur was to begin. With his band, the Silver Jews, releasing a new album, “Tanglewood Numbers,” and Berman doing interviews to publicize it, he was convinced the holiday started a day later than it actually did. He realized his mistake an hour before the holiday began, andRead More


Goodbye to All That, Again

By Allison Hoffman

Power and the Idealists: Or, the Passion of Joschka Fischer, and Its Aftermath By Paul Berman Soft Skull Press, 314 pages, $23.95. * * *Pity the generation of 1968, those children born under the shadow of a catastrophe they did not make. In Germany and France, the children of the Third Reich and Vichy called their parents and grandparentsRead More


South African Challah?

By Philologos

Michael Cole from Toronto writes:“My wife’s South African relatives refer to a Shabbat or festival challah as a ‘kitke.’ This seems to be a uniquely South African term, unknown, as far as I am aware, even among other people of Lithuanian descent. [Mr. Cole is referring to the fact that South African Jewry originated largely in JewishRead More


A Life at Arm’s Length

Abraham was the perfect host. So was his nephew, Lot, the one who lived to the east, near the plains of Jordan. Those Terah boys come down from Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan and Haran and back again may have left their father’s houses with only a few possessions, but they packed etiquette in their saddlebags.When you live among strangers,Read More


Interfaith Music Hits Disparate Notes

By Alexander Gelfand

In the grand, world-historical scheme of things, the Renaissance represented a huge leap forward for European Christendom. For Muslims and Jews — well, not so much.Islamic scholars furnished the classical texts that provided the underpinning for much Renaissance thought. Yet by the 15th century, the Islamic world itself had begun the long, slow,Read More


The Sacred Ménage à Trois

By Lore Segal

The Bible’s stories tell of lives lived so long ago, in such a different clime, we look for difference and find types of ourselves.There are the women of today who choose to be childless, and there are women for whom childlessness is a calamity. Does their calamity compare with that of the Bible’s barren women? Sarah is born into aRead More


Teach Your Children Well: Tzedaka Restores Justice

By David A. Teutsch

The word tzedaka, often translated as “charity,” comes from the Hebrew root tzedek, meaning “justice.” Its current usage was developed by the early rabbis, who recognized that the distribution of resources that results from a free-market economy must be adjusted by other means to ensure a fair society. Tzedaka is an expression of justiceRead More


The Young Face of Philanthropy

By Allison Hoffman

Jewish teenagers are learning that tzedaka involves more than slipping a few coins into the collection box at synagogue. In innovative programs around the country, teens are being given control over thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars in an effort to teach them the ins and outs of philanthropy —Read More


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