Arts & Culture


Praying at the Temple of Traditional Jazz

By David Davis

For Ben Jaffe, the future is all about updating the past………………………………………….Jaffe was born into musical royalty. His parents, Allan and Sandra, founded New Orleans’s world-famous Preservation Hall in 1961, after they fell in love with the Crescent City while returning from their honeymoon in Mexico. They uprootedRead More


Heeding the Call That Haunts

By Susan Miron

Tattoo for a Slave By Hortense Calisher

Harcourt, 336 pages, $24.

‘Your grandmother never kept slaves.”…………With these words spoken to a young, naive Hortense Calisher by her father, born the seventh child of eight in 1861 in Richmond, Va., this unusual book opens. A “tattoo” can be a bugle call, a drum rollRead More


Ornaments of the World

By Jenna Weissman Joselit

They stand only 15 inches tall but bear the weight of Jewish history. I’m referring to a pair of silver-and-gilded rimonim (Torah ornaments) of 19th-century German provenance whose recent arrival in New York was celebrated by Congregation Habonim, a Conservative synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. These delicately worked ritual objectsRead More


Hollywood Looming: Allen’s ‘A Second Hand Memory’

By Don Shewey

Once upon a time it was a sacred ritual: the annual pilgrimage to see the new Woody Allen movie. The full-page ad would appear in the Sunday New York Times with nothing more than the title and the list of stars. The following Friday, long lines of hard-core devotees would appear in front of the Coronet or the Baronet — the bygone flagshipsRead More


Jewish Dogs and the Web Sites They Love

The Jewish pet is coming up in the world. Last year we reported on “bark mitzvahs,” and synagogues around the country have began to hold annual “Blessings of the Animals” to coincide with a reading of the story of Noah’s Ark, at which pets can receive a certificate and a Hebrew name.But what would rituals be without theRead More


When the Hero Is Judith, and the Latkes Are Cheese

By Matthew Goodman

Whatever your personal Hanukkah memories might be, their background noise is most likely potato latkes sizzling in oil. In America, potato latkes have become virtually synonymous with Hanukkah, as a culinary remembrance of the miraculous cruse of oil that burned for eight days and nights in the Maccabees’ temple when it was only supposed to lastRead More


Hanukkah

By Gabriel Sanders

Trim the Tree, Spin the Dreidel, It’s Chrismukkah!Last December, the Fox network’s hit teen drama “The O.C.,” which is short for Orange County, Calif., featured an episode in which nerd-heartthrob Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) introduced his foster brother, Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie), to the ecumenical ways of hisRead More


Stellllaaa! A Tribute to an Icon

By Masha Leon

At the November 8 “Stella by Starlight” tribute to her mother at the Pierre Hotel, Ellen Adler recalled “Thirty years of… daily phone conversations with Marlon [Brando],” the evening’s designated Stella Adler Award recipient.Read More


Remembering A ‘Happy Jewish Spirit’

By Masha Leon

“In 1993, when we first established Jewish Life Network, we sought to create a foundation that would help catalyze a renaissance in the non-Orthodox Jewish World,” Michael Steinhardt told the mostly youthful audience at the October 28 Makor/Steinhardt Center of the 92nd Street Y’s memorial concert to “Celebrate the Life of JonathanRead More


See Dick. See Dick Kvell. Kvell, Dick, Kvell.

By Suzan Sherman

Yiddish With Dick and Jane By Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman Little, Brown, 112 pages, $14.95. ——The Dick and Jane primers left an indelible imprint on generations of Americans — myself among them — who first experienced reading inside their pages. Dick and his sister, Jane, epitomized the fresh-faced, immaculate and well-behavedRead More





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  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
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  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • 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?
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  • "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
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  • "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:
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