Arts & Culture


How Baseball Saved a City

By Michael Shapiro

As the summer of 1977 drew mercifully to a close, Pete Hamill, a champion of his city, offered a painfully grim assessment of what awaited its new mayor, Ed Koch. New York, he wrote, was now “the ruined city and broken city.” Only a fool would have differed with him.In the months leading up to Koch’s unlikely election —Read More


Seeking Virtual Realities In Both Science and Art

By Paul Zakrzewski

More than a decade after David recovered from a Unabomber attack that nearly killed him, the prominent Yale computer scientist is at a crossroads with his life’s work.As a graduate student in the late 1970s, Gelernter made his mark by writing a program called “Linda” — after porn star Linda Lovelace — which allowed programmers to breakRead More


This Month at Novel Jews

Novel Jews is a downtown reading series that presents provocative and enlightening fiction and literary nonfiction by both today’s literary superstars and the emerging voices of tomorrow. It is co-sponsored by the Sol Goldman 14th Street Y, the JCC in Manhattan and the Forward.——–GARY SHTEYNGART was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to theRead More


The Surprise Literary Sensation Sweeping France

By Stéphane Gerson

This year’s French literary sensation is quite a surprise, not least because she is a long-forgotten Jewish writer who died in Auschwitz.Irène Némirovsky was born into a wealthy Ukrainian family in 1903 and grew up among Kiev, Saint Petersburg and Riviera palaces. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, her family joined the ranks of White RussianRead More


The Anthem Question

By Philologos

It’s not every day that a Palestinian gets to be an Israeli national hero, but it happened last week to Abbas Suan, the soccer player who scored a last-minute goal that gave Israel’s national team a 1-1 tie against Ireland and kept it in the running as a contender for the 2006 World Cup Finals. It was an especially dramaticRead More


Controlling The Uncontrollable

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Tazria, is primarily concerned with the priestly rituals for dealing with the outbreak of macabre changes in the skin and flesh. The commentary in “The Jewish Study Bible” (Oxford University Press, 2004 tells us that “Tzara’at, seen as a gradual erosion of the skin, was thought to culminate,Read More


Determining the Bird

By Gary A. Rendsburg

This column, both when written by myself and by others, typically dwells on the larger issues inherent in the particular portion — for example, a theological point, an ethical or moral lesson, a social observation, whatever it may be. I depart from that norm this week with a look into the arcane world of biblical philology.ThisRead More


From The Vélodrome of Winter

The winner of this year’s Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes award is Tim Bradford, a doctoral candidate in English at Oklahoma State University. Bradford won for his proposal for a novella based on the history of the Vélodrome d’Hiver, an enclosed stadium built in Paris in 1910, which isRead More


From ‘The Washington Story’

Jill Wasserstrom, cub reporter for her high school newspaper, the Lane Leader, was a great believer in fate, so it was not surprising that she would read great meaning into the fact that, in November 1982, three historically significant incidents would occur within one 12-hour period. On Wednesday evening, she and Lane Leader editor Wes SullivanRead More


From ‘Pupik: How My Grandmother Saved My Bellybutton’

We were back at the table. It was Yom Kippur and we were not fasting. I had unintentionally done my share for three weeks in the summer, watching 20 pounds fall away, unable to get anything in or keep anything down. And Grandma needed to eat. Her doctor had set weight gain as a priority over cholesterol and blood pressure. This freed Wini to eatRead More


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