Arts & Culture


Who Is a Jewish Traitor?

By Joshua Halberstam

In this politically heated season, some Jews are eager to label others Jews, including political leaders, as traitors; many more refuse to think in these terms altogether, finding the entire exercise distasteful. But we can’t afford either this rush to judgment or such easy dismissal of the challenge. Traitors endanger the core commitmentsRead More


An American Journalist’s Hasidic Tale

By Saul Austerlitz

The Rabbi of 84th Street: The Extraordinary Life of Haskel Besser By Warren Kozak HarperCollins, 200 pages, $24.95. * * *Since the era of the Baal Shem Tov and the first Hasidic leaders, one of the primary attractions of Hasidism as a movement has been the Hasidic story. A little shaggy-dog — a bit rambling, sure, but reliablyRead More


Beef Goy Ish Ah Kupp, And Other Gems

By Jenna Weissman Joselit

Just the other day, I picked up a copy of a cookbook that I had not seen since I was a child; back then, it occupied pride of place in my mother’s kitchen. As I held “The Chinese-Kosher Cookbook” in my hand and made my way through its recipes for Pineapple Chicken Fay Gel Lah and Beef Goy Ish Ah Kupp, a swirl of memories — of the crowdedRead More


A Tale From Japan

By Masha Leon

“An Intimate Evening” to benefit The Neuropathy Association was held October 18 at Le Cirque. This potentially crippling and often misdiagnosed disorder “afflicts close to 20 million Americans and an estimated 300,000 New Yorkers” said TV anchor Chuck Scarborough, who shared the evening’s emcee spot with Pia Lindstrom, daughter of IngridRead More


Odd Man Out

By Henry Bean

He was strong and handsome, and he was the first born; but his mother, indifferent to all that, preferred his brother and viewed him, largely, as a dullard. When she talked with his brother, their conversations were so darting and subtle that his head hurt. He could not follow them and came to think that they were using a kind of code toRead More


The Women We Know

By Allison T. Hoffman

They are the women we all know: A Florida bubbe battling with her headstrong granddaughter. A good Jewish girl looking for a nice Jewish husband. Three artists — a painter, a singer and a filmmaker — all questioning the assumptions of their faith. An old woman, a Russian immigrant, rediscovering her youth; another, alone in a nursing home,Read More


How Jewish Is the New ‘Jewish Study Bible’?

By Mark Jay Mirsky

The Jewish Study Bible By Adele Berlin, Marc Zvi Brettler (Editors) and Michael Fishbane (Consulting Editor) Oxford University Press, 2,181 pages, $40. * * *‘The Jewish Study Bible,” a hefty, 2,181-page tome published this year, packages a previously published translation of the Hebrew Bible together with extensive marginal commentary andRead More


‘Yekl’ at 108: Rereading a Classic With the Children of Immigrants

By Andrew R. Heinze

Why should a somewhat stiff novella about Jewish immigrants in 1896 hold an American audience today? It shouldn’t, and if Congress had not reopened the Golden Door in 1965, ushering in the second great immigration of the 20th century, Abraham Cahan’s “Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto” might now be gathering dust on a library shelfRead More


Deep Roots, Far-flung Branches

By Jeffrey Griggs

This month, CLAL-The National Center for Learning and Leadership will publish a tribute book to coincide with its 30th -anniversary dinner. The tribute book will feature the work of Moico Yaker, a Peruvian-born artist who currently splits his time between Lima and New York. “Moico shatters the false divide between Jewish and human,Read More


An Exhibit Invites Viewers Into The Mikveh

By Richard Mcbee

For many modern Jewish women, there is no more contentious image than the waters of the mikveh. The ritual bath is fraught with notions of uncleanliness, impurity and inferiority that traditional male-dominated Judaism has imposed upon Jewish women. The curse cast upon menstrual blood is seen as a primitive and punitive denigration of the femaleRead More





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