Arts & Culture


Jewish Poetry Gets Its Breakout Star

By Jake Marmer

Last News of Mr. Nobody By Emmanuel Moses Handsel Books, 168 pages, $17. Over the past five years, the vacant space of contemporary Jewish literature slowly began filling up with such names as Nathan Englander, Jonathan Safran Foer and Gary Shteyngart. Then came others: Myla Goldberg, Nessa Rappaport, David Bezmozgis. Yet,Read More


Bush Vote: Boom or Bust?

By Ami Eden

As President Bush waged his campaign for a second term, Jewish Republicans looked to 2004 as their banner year.After seven decades of Democratic domination, these GOP activists were promising significant gains in the Jewish vote. During much of the year leading up to the election, they insisted that President George W. Bush’s support amongRead More


Swimmers Who Made Their Mark –– Out of the Pool

By Saul Austerlitz

In the summer of 1936, as the world’s greatest athletes convened in Berlin for their quadrennial competition, the Austrian contingent was lacking its champion swimmer, a young woman who had broken 12 national records that year. The athletic entourages of all the countries of the world streamed past the viewing stand in Berlin’s OlympicRead More


Muselmann in the Camps

Marvin Friedman of San Francisco would like to know the source of the word “Muselmann” as used by inmates of the Nazi death camps to describe their fellow prisoners who had given up all hope and thus lapsed into a state of despairing apathy. “I know,” he writes, “that the word literally means ‘Muslim’ in Yiddish, but I have a problemRead More


The Bible’s Babies

By Lore Segal

Some 50 years ago, on a radio program called “Invitation to Learning,” Mark Van Doren argued that we betray biblical literature by reading it as literature instead of sacred text. I have always remembered this and sadly. If it’s so, the deficit is mine. I read the book not as a believer but as a lover.Whether historical event or inspiredRead More


Behind the Scenes and on the Mic

By Dimitri Ehrlich

Jews have a long history in hip hop and much to be proud of — both behind the scenes and on the microphone. The presence is especially significant on the business side of things: For many years, Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest and Slick Rick were all managed by Lyor Cohen, who went on to run a major rap label, and Eminem is managed byRead More


Honoring the Hustlers of the Record Business

By Mark Oppenheimer

Machers and Rockers: Chess Records And the Business of Rock & Roll By Rich Cohen W.W. Norton, 220 pages, $22.95. * * *I admire Rich Cohen’s writing, but I also admire his project. Cohen’s proj- ect, in all his books, is to talk about Jews neither poor nor rich. These Jews, they got out of the slums, but in school they never made theRead More


Music From the World’s Kosher Kitchens

By Michael Wex

A Wandering Feast By Yale Strom And Elizabeth Schwartz Jossey-Bass, 272 pages, $24.95. ——–In 1981, when Yale Strom undertook his first journey to Central and Eastern Europe, you couldn’t use the word klezmer without having to pause to explain it. The klezmer revival was still gathering steam when Strom attended a concert that inspiredRead More


A Slew of New CDs To Take Into 2005

By Seth Rogovoy

Madonna is probably the world’s most famous quasi-Jewish musician. Next time she goes on tour, she might consider bringing along some of the following artists, thus allowing her star to cast some rays of light on them and to do for contemporary Jewish music what she’s done for her friends from The Kabbalah Centre.There’s perhaps no figure inRead More


Listening to Classical on the ‘Cool’ Medium

By David Mermelstein

Marshall McLuhan famously termed television a “hot” medium and radio a “cool” one. The inconsistencies inherent in such artificial divisions notwithstanding, there are fundamental differences between the two. Perhaps above all, one remains the better suited to relaying, and even discussing, music.That point is made every day on radioRead More





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  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
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