Arts & Culture


This Month at Novel Jews

Ewa Zadrzynska-Glowacki is a writer, journalist and cultural consultant originally from Warsaw. Her journalism has been published in The New York Times and in New York Newsday, and in Poland by Polityka, Gazeta Wyborcza and Twoj Styl.

Irina Reyn is a writer and book reviewer whose reviews have appeared in such publicationsRead More


‘Vasilisa the Beautiful’ By Irina Reyn

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 writers from the former Communist bloc, Ewa Zadrzynska-Glowacki and Irina Reyn (for full details, please see sidebar), and the excerpt we have chosen toRead More


A Century of Israeli Art, on View in Berlin

By Michael Levitin

Pogroms in Russia before and during the First World War sent waves of Jewish emigrants fleeing to Palestine. Around the same time, Jewish painters from across Europe settled in Tel Aviv, where an arts scene flourished in the 1920s, planting the seeds of Jewish national identity. It is this compelling chapter that opens “The NewRead More


Testing the Power of the Desert

By Saul Austerlitz

‘God’s Sandbox,” the latest Israeli film to make its way to American shores, depends in large part on the mystery and romance of the desert for its effect. This is evident from its very first moments, when a car, driving slowly along a winding desert road, stops at what appears to be no particular point, and lets out a passenger: aRead More


Holding Patterns

By Miriam Udel-Lambert

When sleep eludes me, I conjugate Spanish verbs. I begin with nice, regular verbs in the indicative mood. Hablar, comer, vivir: to speak, to eat, to live. I move methodically through the present tense, the preterit past, the past imperfect, the future and the conditional. Then on to forms requiring auxiliary verbs — theRead More


Bank Plays It Safe With Sophomore Effort

By Sheelah Kolhatkar

The Wonder Spot By Melissa Bank Viking, 336 pages, $24.95. —–This might be the year of the high-expectation second novel. After putting out a critical and commercial darling of a book at an impossibly young age, every new literary sensation must follow up with a second, and the path there is littered withRead More


Restore the American Dream By Addressing the State of Unions

By Andy Stern

My grandfather came to the United States from Austria in the early 1900s and found work as a butcher. Back then, this was a country where if you worked hard, you had a reasonable chance of achieving the American dream.Immigrant workers built a strong union movement that raised living standards — not just for themselves, but for all workingRead More


In Airwaves War, Israeli Army Takes Its Case to Arab Media

By Ofer Shelah

JERUSALEM — Eitan Arusy, the Israeli military’s point man in dealing with the Arab media, earned his paycheck May 19.That day, millions of Arab viewers watching the evening news on Al Jazeera were treated to footage from an Israeli army drone. The 10-second clip depicted a missile strike on a group of Hamas members as they cowered fromRead More


Plan To Revive Biblical Sanhedrin Receives Boost

By Steven I. Weiss

A nascent effort to re-establish the ancient rabbinical body of the Sanhedrin received a significant boost Monday when world-renowned scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz agreed to serve as the body’s president.The original Sanhedrin, the supreme legislative body in ancient Israel, comprised 71 leading scholars who issued rulings on a wide array ofRead More


‘Who Is a Taoist?’ Principal’s Job Hinged on Definition

By Jennifer Siegel

Academic politics are often esoteric and never pretty. But in what appears to be a first, the fate of a middle-school principal in West Orange, N.J., was determined by a rabbinic debate over the definition of “who is a Taoist.”For months, Aaron Kriegel, a pulpit rabbi in West Essex, N.J., has urged officials at Solomon Schechter Day SchoolRead More


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