Arts & Culture


Remembrance Day

By Daniel M. Jaffe

Marla sits alone in the sanctuary, her long face dimly illuminated by electric candles set about the room. She has arrived early for the Holocaust Remembrance Day service so as to contemplate private memories of the lost. Not that Marla can remember any specific person slain in the Holocaust, so long before her time, nor can she fathom theRead More


LOS ANGELES

By Nathaniel Popper

Apparently, a museum dedicated to tragedy does not have to leave out friendliness and fun. A guide gives each visitor to the Museum of Tolerance a personal introduction, with a second welcome provided by an electronic host composed of television screens, all explaining that, deep down, everyone is prejudiced.The first few rooms of the museum putRead More


LONDON

London’s main Holocaust exhibit is neither Britain’s largest nor even a free-standing structure. (Both those distinctions go to the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire.) The Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, on London’s South Bank, spans two floors within a broader exhibit on Britain’s military prowess, itsRead More


BERLIN

By Nathaniel Popper

In the city where Nazis plotted the extermination of the Jews, the recently built Jewish Museum runs like a jagged scar across the still-recovering metropolis. The museum is ostensibly dedicated to the entire history of Jews in Germany, but the architecture leaves little question that in Berlin, the policies of the Nazi government invariablyRead More


Auschwitz

By Nathaniel Popper

Walking under the metal gate that reads “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Brings Freedom”) is a seminal moment for visitors to Auschwitz — a chill-inducing passage into a place of death. It comes as some surprise, then, to learn that it was actually upon passing the ticket-takers’ booth in the parking lot that visitors enteredRead More


WASHINGTON

By Ami Eden

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has been widely hailed as a critical and popular success, drawing rave reviews and attracting 21.6 million visitors since its opening in 1993. More important than any of the first-rate exhibitions, however, was the decision to make the museum a federal institution and build it on the National Mall inRead More


In Memoriam

By Noga Tarnopolsky

Last month, Yad Vashem, widely viewed as the first and most recognizable Holocaust museum in the world, inaugurated a completely redesigned new building. The project seems to have been propelled, at least in part, by the proliferation of regional museums and curated spaces devoted to memorializing the Holocaust. In honor of Yom HaShoah,Read More


The Recklessly Relevant Poet

By David Kaufmann

Unlike many poets in her generation, Muriel Rukeyser was always adamantly, sometimes even recklessly, relevant. Born into a well-to-do Jewish family on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1913, she was both a firmly committed leftist and a bohemian. She drew on the sometimes-conflicting energies of Popular-Front activism and poetic experimentalism,Read More


Radical Music for the New Global Shtetl

By Seth Rogovoy

On Charming Hostess’s new recording, “Sarajevo Blues,” a capella girl-group harmonies blend with hip-hop beat-box techniques and Bosnian war poetry. Zohara’s new album, “Scorched Lips,” finds common ground among ancient Hebrew love poetry, the Turkish oud and contemporary space music. Koby Israelite’s “Mood Swings” is aRead More


As Empathy Fades

By Joshua Halberstam

Let us now think of the tsunami. Few do anymore. It’s been months since those waves washed across Asia and across our television screens; our sympathies, once so stirred, have receded with the calming of the waters. This is only natural, of course. Empathy is bound to ebb with passing time as surely as the ebbing of the tides themselves. ButRead More


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