Arts & Culture


Back to Bauhaus

By Bill Strubbe

To many tourists, Tel Aviv is merely an obligatory pit stop with an airport and a sunny beach, so they quickly move on to venerable Jerusalem for a dose of sightseeing and history. Having sprung up on the sand dunes mere decades ago, little in the newborn metropolis was considered worth preserving.But now that the United Nations Educational,Read More


Serpents, Seraphs and Memory

By Aryeh Lev Stollman

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a seraph and mount it on a standard…” [and so] Moses made a copper serpent and mounted it on a standard and when anyone was bitten by a serpent, he would look at the copper serpent and live.— Numbers 21:8-9 [King Hezekiah] also broke into pieces the copper serpent that Moses had made, for until thatRead More


On Exhibit: The Infamous 1492 Decree

By Jennifer Siegel

The original decree ordering the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 will come to New York this month, as part of an exhibit commemorating the 500th anniversary of the death of Queen Isabella I. Titled “Isabella the Catholic, Queen of Two Worlds (1451-1504),” the presentation also will feature illuminated manuscripts, rareRead More


Please Touch the Art

By Miriam Colton

Hours before her troupe’s first public performance, in 2002, Adina Tal faced a quandary unlike any posed to other directors: How would her cast members know that the audience was applauding?The scenario was not uncommon for the director of the theater group Nalaga’at (“Do Touch”), who, since forming the group in late 1999, has been dealtRead More


To Get to Carnegie, Practice Your Yiddish

By Masha Leon

Putting a new spin on the old saw, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Moishe Rosenfeld, producer of the June 3 Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre Gala concert starring Neil Sedaka, told the 3,000-strong audience: “Practice, practice your Yiddish!” And so mameloshn bounced off that venerable hall’s acoustically famed walls with the KlezmaticsRead More


In Defense Of His Amorality

By Jeff Sharlet

Isaac Bashevis Singer’s admirers describe him as a man of impossible paleness, “translucent” skin laced with veins the same shade of blue as his bulging eyes. They say he was small. In photographs, his right eyebrow arches and his thread-thin upper lip sneers. His ears are large and nearly pointed, elegant despite their size, and theRead More


What Is a Jewish Father?

By Jon Moskowitz

This Father’s Day will be my second, and I’m feeling a bit conflicted. Last year was wonderful. My son was just four months old, and I shone with that new-parent glow. Strangers were approaching me in the street and cooing over him, and my friends were treating me with a new respect. Father’s Day felt like a national celebration of me.A yearRead More


Golems and Spies: Today’s Two Yiddish Literatures

By Zackary Sholem Berger

Today there are two different Yiddish literatures: one secular and one chasidic. Despite the differences in their audiences, they share a language, a cultural-religious heritage and a status of almost complete obscurity to most American Jews.Boris Sandler, by virtue of his position as editor of the Yiddish Forward, has been the gatekeeper for whatRead More


Billy Crystal Gets Serious About His Newest Role

By Soriya Daniels

Billy Crystal, the award-winning actor, director and comedian, has gotten serious about something: the recent birth of his first grandchild, Ella.Crystal is the latest in a line of celebrities to pen a children’s picture book. But unlike, say, Madonna, Crystal was inspired not by his own children, but by the generation after that, and his bookRead More


From the Silence of a Prison Cell in Uruguay

By Ilan Stavans

‘Silence is the real crime against humanity,” states Mauricio Rosencof in his wrenching autobiographical novel, “The Letters That Never Came.” He ought to know: Rosencof, who was accused of being a subversive and attempting against Uruguayan sovereignty, spent 13 years in prison before regaining his freedom in 1985, with the returnRead More





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