Arts & Culture


The Women We Know

By Allison T. Hoffman

They are the women we all know: A Florida bubbe battling with her headstrong granddaughter. A good Jewish girl looking for a nice Jewish husband. Three artists — a painter, a singer and a filmmaker — all questioning the assumptions of their faith. An old woman, a Russian immigrant, rediscovering her youth; another, alone in a nursing home,Read More


How Jewish Is the New ‘Jewish Study Bible’?

By Mark Jay Mirsky

The Jewish Study Bible By Adele Berlin, Marc Zvi Brettler (Editors) and Michael Fishbane (Consulting Editor) Oxford University Press, 2,181 pages, $40. * * *‘The Jewish Study Bible,” a hefty, 2,181-page tome published this year, packages a previously published translation of the Hebrew Bible together with extensive marginal commentary andRead More


‘Yekl’ at 108: Rereading a Classic With the Children of Immigrants

By Andrew R. Heinze

Why should a somewhat stiff novella about Jewish immigrants in 1896 hold an American audience today? It shouldn’t, and if Congress had not reopened the Golden Door in 1965, ushering in the second great immigration of the 20th century, Abraham Cahan’s “Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto” might now be gathering dust on a library shelfRead More


Deep Roots, Far-flung Branches

By Jeffrey Griggs

This month, CLAL-The National Center for Learning and Leadership will publish a tribute book to coincide with its 30th -anniversary dinner. The tribute book will feature the work of Moico Yaker, a Peruvian-born artist who currently splits his time between Lima and New York. “Moico shatters the false divide between Jewish and human,Read More


The ‘Kosher Bachelor’ Finds Fun at Food Fest

By Steven I. Weiss

When I first approached Shuli Madmone’s table at Kosherfest, he took one look at my press badge and said, “Have I got a story for you.”Madmone is a second-generation spice retailer whose parents had a retail operation in Israel. His company, WholeSpice.com, sells whole and freshly ground spices with a slightly up-market bent. But these days,Read More


Who Is a Jewish Traitor?

By Joshua Halberstam

In this politically heated season, some Jews are eager to label others Jews, including political leaders, as traitors; many more refuse to think in these terms altogether, finding the entire exercise distasteful. But we can’t afford either this rush to judgment or such easy dismissal of the challenge. Traitors endanger the core commitmentsRead More


An American Journalist’s Hasidic Tale

By Saul Austerlitz

The Rabbi of 84th Street: The Extraordinary Life of Haskel Besser By Warren Kozak HarperCollins, 200 pages, $24.95. * * *Since the era of the Baal Shem Tov and the first Hasidic leaders, one of the primary attractions of Hasidism as a movement has been the Hasidic story. A little shaggy-dog — a bit rambling, sure, but reliablyRead More


The Peculiarly Jewish Predicament

By John Felstiner

Little Men: Novellas and Stories By Gerald Shapiro Columbus Ohio State University Press, 219 pages, $29.95. * * *‘Just tell me — is it good for the Jews?” The precariousness of Diaspora existence got turned against Philip Roth when “Goodbye Columbus and Other Stories” (1958) seemed to betray nasty Jewish foibles to America’sRead More


Setting Yiddishkeit To Mambo, Metal And Surf

By Jay Michaelson

Meshugga Beach Party: Sixteen Songs of the Chosen Surfers (Halakahiki Records) The Makkabees: Volume Aleph (self-released) Yiddishe Cup: Meshugeneh Mambo (Yiddishe Cup)* * *There are some who believe that authentic Jewish genius lies in the moral and legal codes of our ancestors; others, in the monotheistic impulse, or in the faithRead More


Waters of Contention

By Marjorie Ingall

Not long ago, I would have told you that the odds of my ever visiting a mikveh were approximately the same as those of George Bush tongue-kissing Dick Cheney. The mikveh always was an aspect of traditional Judaism I was uncomfortable with. I understand that my perspective isn’t shared by all women, and to those women who disagree with me, I say,Read More





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