Arts & Culture


Survivor: Rosh Hashanah

By Katherine Brodsky

Reality TV casting call: One Jewish family needed, substantially observant and slightly neurotic, for test of strategy and endurance. There will be no island to get kicked off of and no cow’s testicles to eat, but you may have to face… the bar mitzvah caterer.That’s right, folks, someone finally realized what a challenge it is toRead More


The Work of a Worthy Diarist

By Allan Nadler

The Journals of Yaacov Zipper, 1950-1982: The Struggle for Yiddishkayt Translated from the Yiddish and edited by Mervin Butovsky and Ode Garfinkle McGill/Queens University Press, 192 pages, $39.95. * * *The appearance of the random, private journals of the obscure principal of a Canadian Yiddish school does not suggest an auspiciousRead More


Where Have All the Jews Gone?

By Norman Ravvin

When Toronto-based writer Matt Cohen died in 1999, he had just completed a memoir titled, “Typing: A Life in 26 Keys” (Random House, Canada 2000). Alongside its sharply drawn portrait of the Toronto literary and counter-cultural scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s, “Typing” included a provocative challenge to the CanadianRead More


Gleanings

Below is an excerpt from “Survivors: Seven Short Stories,” by Chava Rosenfarb, which will be out this October from Cormorant Books Inc. I was happy to emigrate to Canada, which I considered a land “far from God and from people” — by which I meant former concentration camp inmates — where I would be unlikely ever to be confronted byRead More


A Boatload of Languor And Dreaminess

By Josh Lambert

House on the River: A Summer Journey By Nessa Rapoport Harmony Books, 146 pages, $22. ——–In literature’s most ambitious exploration of the collision between Canada and the Jews, “Solomon Gursky Was Here,” novelist Mordecai Richler conjured Ephraim Gursky, a highly Bronfmanesque patriarch and explorer who so influences InuitRead More


You Must Not Remain Indifferent

By David Curzon

Deuteronomy 22:1-3 contains the admirable commandment to return any lost ox, sheep, ass or garment that you come across and, if necessary, to go out of your way to do this. And then, at the end of Deuteronomy 22:3, the point is generalized by a command that reads, in the older and more literal translations: “Thou mayest not hide thyself” andRead More


Hamptons Host Parties for Peace

By Nathaniel Popper

Like any good Hamptons host, banking heir Ivan Wilzig kept the guests at his July bash awaiting his arrival in proper Jay Gatsby style. The guests at the Wilzig Castle in Water Mill on Long Island, N.Y., mingling among Arabian tents and animal skin carpets, curiously examined the multicolored peace medallions being handed out by a phalanx of hiredRead More


Israeli Envoy Vexed by Role Of U.S. Jews In France

By Marc Perelman

The growing involvement of American Jewish groups in nascent pro-Israel lobbying efforts in France is fueling concerns of a possible backlash among some French Jewish leaders and Israeli officials.In a letter to the Israeli Foreign Ministry two months ago, Israel’s ambassador to France, Nissim Zvili, warned about the potential negativeRead More


AAbuzz With Bugs

By Allison T. Hoffman

Swat, squash, slap, smash, smack: Faced with the high whine of flying invaders, teeming masses of tiny creatures or the sickly sheen of hard brown insect shells, we’ll happily whack them, fumigate them, chemical-bomb them, even flash-freeze them. Never mind that we may share a common protean ancestor with the creepy-crawlies, or thatRead More


Remembering the Hebron Riots, 1929

Seventy-five years ago, a two-week orgy of pogroms took place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Safed, Hebron and a number of smaller locales in British-ruled Palestine, at the end of which 83 Jews had been killed and hundreds wounded.Pogroms are not spontaneous events, and those of August 1929 were no exception. The affair beganRead More





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  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
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