Arts & Culture


A Macedonian Story: ‘Aunt Rachel’s Photograph’

Below is an excerpt from “Aunt Rachel’s Photograph,” a short story based in the Macedonian town of Bitola, formerly Monastir. Written by playwright and screenwriter Tomislav Osmanli, it was recently awarded first prize in a literary contest sponsored by the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and by “Fund March 11, 1943,” anRead More


I Found It at the Movies

By Ilan Stavans

In 1965, Pauline Kael published “I Lost It at the Movies,” an anthology of her reviews and essays for The New Yorker. As I look back, her title should be inverted to define my own experience: I Found It at the Movies.I owe my passion for films to my father. He is a devotee of Ingmar Bergman, Andrzej Wajda and Francois Truffaut, butRead More


Jewish Poetry Gets Its Breakout Star

By Jake Marmer

Last News of Mr. Nobody By Emmanuel Moses Handsel Books, 168 pages, $17. Over the past five years, the vacant space of contemporary Jewish literature slowly began filling up with such names as Nathan Englander, Jonathan Safran Foer and Gary Shteyngart. Then came others: Myla Goldberg, Nessa Rappaport, David Bezmozgis. Yet,Read More


Bush Vote: Boom or Bust?

By Ami Eden

As President Bush waged his campaign for a second term, Jewish Republicans looked to 2004 as their banner year.After seven decades of Democratic domination, these GOP activists were promising significant gains in the Jewish vote. During much of the year leading up to the election, they insisted that President George W. Bush’s support amongRead More


Swimmers Who Made Their Mark –– Out of the Pool

By Saul Austerlitz

In the summer of 1936, as the world’s greatest athletes convened in Berlin for their quadrennial competition, the Austrian contingent was lacking its champion swimmer, a young woman who had broken 12 national records that year. The athletic entourages of all the countries of the world streamed past the viewing stand in Berlin’s OlympicRead More


Muselmann in the Camps

Marvin Friedman of San Francisco would like to know the source of the word “Muselmann” as used by inmates of the Nazi death camps to describe their fellow prisoners who had given up all hope and thus lapsed into a state of despairing apathy. “I know,” he writes, “that the word literally means ‘Muslim’ in Yiddish, but I have a problemRead More


The Bible’s Babies

By Lore Segal

Some 50 years ago, on a radio program called “Invitation to Learning,” Mark Van Doren argued that we betray biblical literature by reading it as literature instead of sacred text. I have always remembered this and sadly. If it’s so, the deficit is mine. I read the book not as a believer but as a lover.Whether historical event or inspiredRead More


Behind the Scenes and on the Mic

By Dimitri Ehrlich

Jews have a long history in hip hop and much to be proud of — both behind the scenes and on the microphone. The presence is especially significant on the business side of things: For many years, Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest and Slick Rick were all managed by Lyor Cohen, who went on to run a major rap label, and Eminem is managed byRead More


Honoring the Hustlers of the Record Business

By Mark Oppenheimer

Machers and Rockers: Chess Records And the Business of Rock & Roll By Rich Cohen W.W. Norton, 220 pages, $22.95. * * *I admire Rich Cohen’s writing, but I also admire his project. Cohen’s proj- ect, in all his books, is to talk about Jews neither poor nor rich. These Jews, they got out of the slums, but in school they never made theRead More


Music From the World’s Kosher Kitchens

By Michael Wex

A Wandering Feast By Yale Strom And Elizabeth Schwartz Jossey-Bass, 272 pages, $24.95. ——–In 1981, when Yale Strom undertook his first journey to Central and Eastern Europe, you couldn’t use the word klezmer without having to pause to explain it. The klezmer revival was still gathering steam when Strom attended a concert that inspiredRead More


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