Arts & Culture


All the World Is a Stage

By Glenn C. Altschuler

Making Americans: Jews and the Broadway Musical By Andrea Most Harvard University Press,

253 pages, $29.95. * * *Why has a disproportionate percentage of Jews in the United States gravitated toward the entertainment industry? Were enterprising and talented Jews able to make popular culture an empire of their own because the non-JewsRead More


The Story of a Life

By Aharon Appelfeld

World War II went on for six straight years, but sometimes it seems to me that it lasted only one long night, from which I awoke a completely different person. Sometimes I felt that it wasn’t I who was in the war, but someone else, someone very close to me, and that he’s going to tell me what exactly occurred, for I don’t remember whatRead More


The Privilege of Fiction

By Leslie Camhi

the israeli film festival, now in its 20th year, is just one chance that new yorkers have to glimpse the new israeli cinema, which continues to make inroads here despite the region’s political and economic upheavals. recent, critically admired commercial releases of the past year include ra’anan alexandrowicz’s biting satire, “james’Read More


Our Evil Imaginations

By David Curzon

The story of the Flood is preceded and followed by unkind remarks of God on the nature of human imagination. In Genesis 6:5, at the end of last week’s portion, we are told: And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The story of the FloodRead More


The Devil Maid Me Do It

By Richard Mcbee

The plot is simple, even seductively coy, but it reverberates into the year ahead. In Isaac Bashevis Singer’s only Yiddish play, “Devil’s Play,” it seems the devil is bored and is looking for a little fun with an easy victim. He settles on a remote shtetl, Frampol, where he finds a happily married older couple, Noson and Royze Temerl, onRead More


Your Morning Coffee, Served Just and Right

By Matthew Goodman

What is the most valuable item of international trade in the world today? No surprise for anyone who’s read the headlines for the past decade or two: It’s oil. But you might be surprised to discover that the second most valuable item is coffee. Oil and coffee — that’ll add a bit of perspective to the morning drive to the local javaRead More


Tale of Twos Marks an Activist’s Life

By Masha Leon

Richard Fisher, a senior partner at Fisher Brothers, and his mother, Emily Fisher Landau, were honored at the September 22 Top Dog Gala, which raised $800,000 for The Animal Medical Center, a state-of-the-art facility that treats more than 50,000 patients each year. To the delight of the 500 black-tie guestsRead More


Tuning in to Sounds Of the Warsaw Ghetto

By Rick Harrison

Close your eyes, and you can see it.On April 19, 1943, there were 35,000 Jews remaining in the Warsaw Ghetto. Out of these, several hundred decided to fight the Nazi army rather than meet the fate of some 465,000 of their neighbors, who died of disease or were shipped off to extermination camps. They were armed — with rifles, a few machineRead More


Nazi Camp as Mecca for Artists?

By Joshua Cohen

An hour’s train ride from the Prague station from which thousands of Jews were deported in winter 1941, in a derelict small town pierced with unreal silence, Petr Larva has a dream. He imagines visual artists from all over the world converging on his adopted town, to live and work and exhibit. He imagines a shattered populace resurrectedRead More


In Time of War, a Call To Serve Civil Society and Country

By Ruth Messinger

I could not help noting the potential irony during the second presidential debate when President Bush announced emphatically that “there will be no draft.” It was oddly reminiscent of the 1988 presidential debate, when then-vice president George H. W. Bush just as emphatically assured the public: “Read my lips: no new taxes.” We all knowRead More





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