Arts & Culture


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


Israeli Expats Explore the Fatherland And Its Lingering Guilt Complex

By Frank Hudec

Roi Talmor, 25, is better known as D.J. Poingi, a break-core (a school of techno) disc jockey who says he comes from IsraHell. He lives in what was East Berlin, in a walk-up he shares with a photographer friend. The apartment is small and unrenovated, a holdout in the hipster neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, where every building isRead More


Royal Romance and Medieval Mayhem The History of King Artus

Know that in the days of Uter Pendragon there was a great duke in the Kingdom of Logris called the Duke of Til Tomeil. He had an exceedingly beautiful wife named Lady Izerna. One day King Uter Pendragon ordered a very great tournament for all the knights of Logris by the city of Camelot. Each knight and duke had to bring his wife to the tourney toRead More


Memorial Music To Stir the Soul

By David Mermelstein

The arrival on record of an important new work is always welcome, but immense satisfaction is inevitably tinged by sadness with the CD release of John Adams’s “On the Transmigration of Souls,” a 25-minute work honoring the victims of the September 11 attacks. The piece was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and had its premiere atRead More


Uneasy Reading: Books About Parenting Fall Flat

By Marjorie Ingall

Newly expecting friends often ask me what pregnancy book they should buy. My answer always has been “none.” Because they are all vile. I suggest my friends sign up for weekly e-mails from babycenter.com instead, and search that superb site for answers to any questions that may come up.Read More


Manuscripts Worth Millions

By Rick Harrison

If you’re struggling to find a gift for that person who has everything and you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars to spend, then Sotheby’s New York has the right auction for you.On October 27 and 28, the Montefiore Endowment at Ramsgate, England, will auction off a wide array of rare Hebrew manuscripts that Marcia Malinowski, seniorRead More


Looking for Doctor; Will Settle for Turkey Sandwich

By Tina Barry

There are no single men in New York, and everyone knows that. Everyone except my mother. To her, the city is filled with men waiting to make me their wife. I just needed a creative plan for finding them.“If you want to meet a doctor, eat in a hospital,” she advised.Any objections I voiced she waved away. “Look,” she said, “who doRead More


The Art of Forgiving

Come the High Holy Day season, we expect to see a great deal of discussion, in Jewish publications of various sorts, of teshuva (repentance), and particularly of what it means to be a ba’al teshuva (literally, a master of repentance). We might read something about Maimonides’s description of the ba’al teshuva — the one who, placed in theRead More


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