Arts & Culture


Bar Mitzvah-gate, Courtesy of Fox

By Lisa Keys

In our post-“Nipplegate” era, censorship and television have become as inextricably linked as Laverne and Shirley. In recent weeks, fear of Federal Communications Commission fines led 65 ABC affiliates to nix an unedited version of “Saving Private Ryan,” while the bare backside of Nicolette Sheridan for a Monday Night Football spot wasRead More


Modern vs. Orthodox Off-Broadway

By Saul Austerlitz

The new off-Broadway play “Modern Orthodox” begins familiarly enough, with an uncomfortable encounter. Two strangers awkwardly introduce themselves, sitting at a table in a restaurant in midtown New York. The two strangers are named Ben and Hershel; Ben is prepared to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Hannah, and Hershel is the jeweler whoseRead More


At Syracuse University, Undulating Walls Commemorate Vanishing Barriers

By Samuel D. Gruber

In Syracuse, N.Y., artist Sol LeWitt has been building walls, while Nancy Cantor, the new chancellor of Syracuse University, has been breaking them down (figuratively speaking).Cantor, who was inaugurated last month as the 11th chancellor and president of the university, is the first woman and the first Jew toRead More


Missing Rap Song Sparks Suspicious Musings

By Daniel Treiman

A fiery song by a popular rapper lashes out at “quasi-homosexuals” who run the hip-hop industry — drawing jeers from reviewers. The song also appears to take a shot at a prominent music executive, citing his Israeli background — and evoking for some the tensions that occasionally have surfaced over the prominence of Jewish executives in the mostly black rap industry.Read More


Don’t Mention His Weight Problem

By David Curzon

Joseph’s interpretations of Pharaoh’s two dreams are, from an objective viewpoint, implausible. Both dreams are, in their essence, about fatness and thinness and eating. Applying Freudian principles of dream interpretation, we can assume that Pharaoh had been preoccupied, during the day leading up to the night of the dreams, thoughRead More


Goodfellas and Great Gals Honor the Arts

By Masha Leon

“I’m a Forward fan,” Jay Golan, director of New York City’s Carnegie Hall, told me at the November 15 Arts & Business Council Awards Gala at Gotham Hall, where marble walls and domed ceilings offered ideal acoustics for violinist Sarah Chang’s impassioned rendition of Maurice Ravel’s “Tzigane.” Championing the partnershipRead More


What Is It About the Lower East Side?

By Adam Sol

Nothing has replaced it in our collective imagination. As a starting place, reference point and standard for community, the few square miles of New York City’s Lower East Side still loom with almost biblical significance over Jewish life on this continent. Even now, decades after the Jewish population of North America has movedRead More


What’s Going on At the New York Times?

By Murray Friedman

Here’s a test for you: What publication carried a lengthy article on its front page in April, describing how conservative critic David Horowitz seeks to end discrimination against conservative students and faculty at colleges and universities through creation of an academic bill of rights? Was it the New York Post? The New York Sun? Was itRead More


Praying at the Temple of Traditional Jazz

By David Davis

For Ben Jaffe, the future is all about updating the past………………………………………….Jaffe was born into musical royalty. His parents, Allan and Sandra, founded New Orleans’s world-famous Preservation Hall in 1961, after they fell in love with the Crescent City while returning from their honeymoon in Mexico. They uprootedRead More


Heeding the Call That Haunts

By Susan Miron

Tattoo for a Slave By Hortense Calisher

Harcourt, 336 pages, $24.

‘Your grandmother never kept slaves.”…………With these words spoken to a young, naive Hortense Calisher by her father, born the seventh child of eight in 1861 in Richmond, Va., this unusual book opens. A “tattoo” can be a bugle call, a drum rollRead More


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