Arts & Culture


NAZARETH

By Noga Tarnopolsky

“The first Arab museum of the Holocaust,” as it is touted, somewhat tentatively in the Israeli press, is in fact a hopeful shot in the dark fired off by a single man: the Israeli-Arab attorney Khaled Mahmid, 43, whose education at Hebrew University opened his eyes to the horrors of the Holocaust in a way an Arabic education in Israel didRead 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


The Praying Atheist A Look at the Poetry of Karl Shapiro

By David Kaufmann

This is the second in a series of three poetry reviews, published in celebration of National Poetry Month. By the late 1940s, Karl Shapiro had already cut an impressive figure in American poetry. He was only 32 when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945. The following year he became the Library of Congress’s consultant in poetry. (ThisRead More


A Brief History of an Enduring Forgery

By Jerome Chanes

‘Lies have short legs” is a proverb invoked by historian Richard Levy in discussing historical frauds and forgeries. Clearly, in the case of a slew of antisemitic libels — most infamously “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” — such folk wisdom is just plain wrong. “Protocols” may well be the longest-legged lie of modern times, andRead More


A Late Pioneer Is Still Pushing Boundaries

By Josh Lambert

What’s so comic, exactly, about comic books? As far back as the Golden Age, when the form flourished in the hands of mostly Jewish American young men, relatively few of the word-and-picture narratives to which we ascribe this label have been primarily concerned with humor. The dominant modes have been action, mystery, horror and romance.Read More


‘My Version of the Facts’ By Carla Pekelis (Northwestern University Press)

One in a series of occasional excepts from books that catch our eye. Carla Pekelis was born in Rome in 1907, into a comfortably assimilated large extended bourgeois family. At 24, she married Alexander Pekelis, a Jewish Russian émigré who would become a seminal figure in American and international civil rights law. A founding member of the NewRead More


‘Chassidic’ Jazzman Strives for Authenticity

By Alexander Gelfand

In music, as in any art, intention and biography can be tricky things. For example, should Richard Wagner’s antisemitism be considered when judging his work? Is it fair to take the composer’s controversial writings into account when evaluating his operas? And does the value of his art really depend on the kind of person he was?Drummer ReubenRead More


Treif Wasn’t Always Non-kosher

By Peretz Rodman

Of all the words contributed by the Yiddish language to modern American English, “kosher” is one of the more common — and, as a term neither coarse nor derisive, an exception to a general rule. American dictionaries frequently also list its antonym, treif (spelled with or without the “i”), defining it as “not kosher and hence forbiddenRead More


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