Arts & Culture


Jerry Lewis at 80

By Donald Weber

This may be hard to believe, but Jerry Lewis turns 80 on March 16. For more than 60 years, Lewis has loomed in our collective pop culture imagination as the perpetual “kid,” the 9-year-old “nudnik” to America: carrying on, driving us crazy, making us laugh — and wince.Whether you love or hate Lewis — and his utterly distinctive mode ofRead More


The Shadow That Never Went Away

By Gal Beckerman

Yaacov Herzog: A Biography By Michael Bar-Zohar Gardners Books, 384 pages, $27.10 * * *If the Oedipal complex didn’t exist, we might have to invent it to explain the frustrated, stunted career of Yaacov Herzog. A shadow hovered over him from the day he was born — his father, Isaac Halevi Herzog, was the brilliant chief rabbi of PalestineRead More


Skilled Craftsmen

By Henry Bean

Urim and Thummim. The ineffable name of God was inscribed on some unknown material and placed in the fold of the breastplate. — Soncino Chumash—So what we’re making is the breastplate, the ephod….—What’s an ephod?—Like the linen apron you hang the breastplate over…?—Oh, right.—… the robe,Read More


Curb Your Judaism

By Michael Green

True, Larry David doesn’t much like whitefish. True, he makes fun of the Orthodox and — yes — he made far too public two dark, shameful secrets of Judaism: that we sell tickets for High Holy Day services and that Gina Gershon is one of us.But don’t be fooled.It’d be easy to dismiss Larry David — or at least his on-screen “LarryRead More


A Jew and a Lawyer Are Sitting in a Bar...

By Jay Michaelson

Watching “The Wire,” HBO’s serial drama about the gritty underbelly of the Baltimore streets, one sometimes gets the impression of honest men and women trapped in a hopeless machine of corruption, violence and despair. Many of the show’s most likable characters are killed off, while those who remain have a world-weary look in their eyes.Read More


The Couch Becomes Him

By Ami Eden

If leaders are measured by how they treat their Jews, then Tony Soprano qualifies as a world-class statesman.Of course, “The Sopranos” features its share of corrupt Jews — ultra-Orthodox and secular — as well as several marginally antisemitic wiseguys. Yet Tony has evinced a decidedly philosemitic streak — one that might,Read More


What Makes Ari Run

By Allison Hoffman

Ari Gold, the smarmy 10-percenter who pulls the strings of HBO’s Hollywood send-up “Entourage,” has it all: degrees from Harvard and Michigan Law, a former-actress wife, a $3 million house in one of the hillier enclaves of West Los Angeles, a full head of hair and a conveniently malleable sense of ethics. He is the very model of JewishRead More


Focus on HBO

Next week, one of television’s most acclaimed series returns for its final season. In its success, “The Sopranos” has joined a family of contemporary American icons, all presented by one channel: Home Box Office. In fact, when veteran journalist Michael Kinsley went looking for America’s Jane Austen —“Where in America is the essence ofRead More


Stereotypes and the City

By Emily Fox

Describing someone as “New York,” Nora Ephron once observed, is really just a euphemism for Jewish, and since “Sex and the City” epitomized New York, one could easily understand why Darren Star, the show’s creator, has said he considers the denizens of his hit show — particularly Carrie Bradshaw, the main character, played by SarahRead More


This Month At Novel Jews

On Wednesday, March 8, 2006, the Novel Jews monthly reading series will feature Wayne Hoffman, who will read from his forthcoming debut novel, “Hard” (Carroll & Graf) along with Aaron Hamburger, who will read from his novel, “Faith for Beginners” (Random House, 2005).

Wayne Hoffman, currently managing editor of theRead More


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