Arts & Culture


Up From Pushkin Street

By Mark Shechner

The Jewish Century By Yuri Slezkine Princeton University Press, 344 pages, $29.95. * * *Yuri Slezkine begins the fourth chapter of his book, “The Jewish Century,” with a synopsis of Tevye’s daughters, from Sholom Aleichem’s “Tevye the Milkman,” as if it were a parable of all modern Jewish history. “TsaytlRead More


Spain’s Other Philosopher- Son Gets Some Recognition

By Elizabeth Landau

For philosophers, historians and theologians from many faiths, the greatest Spanish Jewish thinker of all time is unquestionably Moses ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides (1138-1204). Hailing from the medieval pueblo of Cordoba, Spain, the prolific Maimonides championed, among other things, the school of religious rationalism. We credit himRead More


A Boy Grows in Brooklyn

By Donald Weber

The much-anticipated premiere of Donald Margulies’s “Brooklyn Boy,” which opens at the Biltmore Theater next Thursday as part of Manhattan Theatre Club’s winter season, continues the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s richly comic yet profoundly heart-aching meditation on the meaning of growing up Jewish in America. “IRead More


God’s Dream of a Holy Nation

By Lore Segal

The week’s portion relates two events, a pleasant one between a man and a man, and the one central between the godhead and mankind.There is a charm in reading about an ancient iconic figure in human trouble to which there is a sensible human solution. Father-in-law Jethro tells young Moses he is overdoing it which is bad not only for his ownRead More


Controversial Priests Tapped for Jerusalem Center

By Jason Berry

Pope John Paul II has awarded control of an important Catholic cultural center in Jerusalem to a controversial, right-wing priestly order whose founder has been accused of sexual abuse.The order, the Legionaries of Christ, received the administrative keys to the Jerusalem landmark, the Notre Dame Center, in a festive ceremony at the Vatican onRead More


Bush Marches Into a Second Term, His Agenda Set by Mideast Foes

By Michael Rubin

Last week, George W. Bush took the oath of office and began his second term. With 150,000 troops still in Iraq, Iran developing nuclear weapons and new leadership in the Palestinian Authority, the Middle East will continue to dominate White House attention.To what extent will Bush’s second term be different from his first? For better or worse,Read More


Ancient Woes Resurfacing As Dean Eyes Top Dem Post

By E.J. Kessler

As the Democratic National Committee gets set to pick a new chairman, the party is experiencing déjà vu all over again.Like a replay of the Democrats’ 2004 presidential primary season, the early frontrunner in the DNC race is former Vermont governor Howard Dean. Then as now, a number of other candidates of varying attractiveness have linedRead More


‘Who Is a Jew and What Kind of Jew?’

By Sami Shalom Chetrit

An American Jew dies and he leave no children.In his will, the following is written:“I hereby decree that all my money and propertybe given over to the State of Israel and my lastwish is that I be buried in the Land of Israel.The undersigned, Isaac Cohen.”The attendants sent the deceased and his money,according to his last request, to the LandRead More


Parts Creating a Whole

By Jennifer Siegel

While some Jews whose ancestors lived in medieval Spain might refer to themselves as “Sephardi Tahor” (or “pure Sephardi”) — which implies that their brethren from the Middle East and Africa are not — the ninth annual International Sephardic Film Festival brings everyone together under one big tent. The series, opening next week atRead More


Sephardic Arts and Culture: A Dialogue

This month brings the publication of “The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature,” an anthology of fiction, memoir, essays and poetry from 28 writers in 18 countries, edited and introduced by Ilan Stavans. To coincide with its release, the Forward invited Stavans to moderate an electronic discussion with several of theRead More





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