Arts & Culture


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


The Buddha From Brooklyn A Lama Talks About Enlightenment... With a Yiddish Twang

By Jay Michaelson

You think you know the story: A Jewish kid from Brooklyn, N.Y., goes off to India for several years, meditating on a mountaintop. He transforms himself into a new person, changing his name from Jeff Miller to Surya Das, abandoning his jeans for saffron robes, and now he spends all day expounding sweetly on peace and enlightenment.SuryaRead More


Lighting a Yahrzeit Candle, And Cursing the Darkness

By Jenni Person

‘Don’t forget you need to light the candle,” my mother responded when I asked her how she was planning on coping come Monday. I wanted to know what she was going to do, how she was going to spend the day. I was concerned about her — but I was also feeling completely at a loss myself. And the truth was, even as I planned aRead More


Film Examines Court Jews Who Dominated Basketball

By Ethan Porter

In Miami there are men whose memories burn with images of athletic glory long-relegated to private collections of black-and-white news reels — images of swooping majestic passes back and forth, baskets swishing with grace, running up and down a court of giants. These men possess the story of how Jewish Americans, most of them the children ofRead More


Numbers Game: Red Sox Win, Kerry Whiffs

By Ami Eden

George W. Bush played a hunch in the late winter of 2003.Against the advice of many intelligence, military and diplomatic experts, the president ordered the invasion of Iraq, convinced that the United States would uncover weapons of mass destruction, be welcomed by the native population and transform the country into a democracy.Seven monthsRead More


A Confused Hanukkah

A Confused Hanukkah By Jon Koons With Illustrations by S.D. Schindler Dutton Children’s Books ——-Hanukkah is fast approaching in the Village of Chelm, a very simple town with some very simple people (“some might even call them fools”). Meanwhile, the rabbi has disappeared, and even the wise men can’t remember how to celebrate.Read More


The Return Of Shylock

By Gabriel Sanders

In November 2003, when billionaire George Soros was first establishing himself as a force in the presidential campaign, a writer for the Web site GOPUSA spelled out his feelings about the financier with great conciseness when he referred to him as a “Hungarian-born descendant of Shylock.”Shakespeare’s most famous villain may be more than 400Read More


An Italian Fountain of Liberty

By Helen Eliassian

In Baedekar’s 19th-century guides to Italy, the small town of Ladispoli is described as a seaside resort with a fine beach. According to local lore, the sands were said to have a healing quality. Right in the middle of town, there was a little nondescript fountain.Thanks to a few historical twists, in the 20th century that fountain would come toRead More


The Holy Fool How One Writer Conveys Spiritual Truths That Are Seriously Funny

By Jay Michaelson

Because I first met Eliezer Sobel on a meditation retreat, the first things I remember about him are his socks. The most important rule at such gatherings, where taking off one’s shoes is inevitable, is to bring good socks. But Sobel’s weren’t just the warm, wool socks that every retreat veteran has. They were loud, bright, multicolored;Read More


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