Arts & Culture


Warts, Not War: Israeli Films Shift the Focus Away From the Mideast Conflict

By Saul Austerlitz

When it comes to directorial style, the winds continually shift between a more-is-more outlook — where camera and mise-en-scène run wild in an effort to draw attention to the means of production –– and a philosophy of austerity strongly opposed to showy or unnecessary camera movement. The latter has gained adherents recently, with theRead More


Synagogues Without Jews: Walking the Streets of Italy

By Richard Mcbee

Italian Jews have a proud 2,000-year history. They were there when the Second Temple still stood and Rome ruled the Mediterranean. More arrived as prisoners after the devastating destruction of the Temple, and soon there were close to 50,000 Jews in First- century Italy, almost half in Rome alone. And they created a vibrantRead More


Postmarks From the Edge Flitting From Odessa to Paris to Geneva and On

The Bride From Odessa: Stories By Edgardo Cozarinsky Translated by Nick Caistor Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 164 pages, $22. ——–A descendant of Russian Jews lured to Baron Maurice de Hirsch’s Entre Ríos colony in Argentina, Cozarinsky was born in Buenos Aires in 1937. A resident of Paris for the past 30 years, he nevertheless writesRead More


PSALM 151

By Rodger Kamenetz

What Men WantThe talk between them at the table, three pairsof men and women, husbands and wives,was of men and women, husbands and wives,and therefore edgy, so he beganhis contribution to it cautiously:an anecdote of several years before,he thought perhaps his wife recalled —about the way that men will lookat womenRead More


From New York to France And On to Poland

By Masha Leon

It was “Shalom-Shalom” at the September 9 reception at B’nai Zion for Israel’s incoming consul general to New York, Arye Mekel, and outgoing ambassador, Alon Pinkas. Sponsors of the simcha were the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, United Jewish Communities, State of Israel Bonds/Development Corporation forRead More


A Home for Bible Translators

By Sima Borkovski

Tucked in the hillsides of the Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion is what could be your average dormitory. The spacious villa includes 10 rooms — a common dining area, several bedrooms and a large library with three computers hooked up to the Internet. And there are also students, though of a slightly unusual kind.Welcome to the Home for BibleRead More


Fantasies of a Fascist America

By J. Hoberman

The Plot Against America” is Philip Roth’s fantasy of a fascist America.Although it arguably has as much to do with contemporary America as its imaginary 1940-42 setting, Roth’s new book also belongs to a particular tradition of counterfactual history.In some respects, “The Plot Against America” recalls Sinclair Lewis’sRead More


Gridiron Goliath Breaks Fast With Big Game, Nimble Timing

By Nathaniel Popper

The sunset that brought Yom Kippur to an end came in the midst of a University of Wisconsin football game in front of 82,179 fans in which Matt Bernstein led his team to victory over Penn State by running 123 yards.Bernstein decided to play on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, but he did not ignore the holiday. In an effortRead More


A City’s Renewal Fails To Dim Lure of Suburbs

By Nathaniel Popper

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Across a highway from the Hawthorne Plaza mall, the largest Jewish congregation in Kansas City’s metropolitan area has recently found a new home next to grassy fields of chirping cicadas.After its historic synagogue in the city was demolished last September, B’nai Jehudah became the latest, andRead More


Traces of Trotsky, Remnants of a Rebbe: A Hunt for Icons

By Stephen Schwartz

Democracy took a half-step forward in Kazakhstan when the September 19 parliamentary elections resulted in victory for Otan, the party that supports President Nursultan Nazarbayev and is expected to take seven of the 10 seats in the lower house. True, monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe declared that the electionRead More





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