Arts & Culture


The Search for Reasons and Meanings

By David Curzon

The rabbis assumed that the text of the Torah was perfect so that any apparent discrepancy or repetition or contradiction had to be there for a reason. and it was up to us to impute a reason and formulate the lesson that it teaches. They also assumed that each sentence in the Torah had an infinite number of lessons to teach us.Read More


A Eulogy for New York

By Leonard Kriegel

Waterfront: A Journey Around ManhattanBy Phillip LopateCrown Publishers, 422 pages, $25.95.——–Writers love New York not for what it is, but for what it is in the writer’s imagination. Not even Paris intrigues us the way New York does, which is one of the reasons that the New York writer has become so distinct an American literary species,Read More


Home is Where the Heart Is: In the South Bronx

By Masha Leon

Lauding the Met Council’s “mix of government, the good people of the building industry and [the] nonprofit community that cares,” John Ruskay, UJA-Federation of New York executive vice president and CEO, set the tone for the August 10 Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty Builders’ luncheon at Tavern on the Green. Met Council CEO William Rapfogel touted his organization’s programs for the city’s 100,000 neediest each year (14 residences throughout New York for the elderly and formerly homeless; a kosher food pantry, which last year distributed 2.8 million pounds of food to more than 10,500 homeless… and more).Read More


When They Came For Martin Niemoller

By Harry Reynolds

Surely, it is a curiously compassionate thing to congratulate a 53-year-old Christian minister for his impressive achievement in 1945 of having finally developed into a defender of Jews at the end of the Holocaust.Last, and most tellingly, Niemoller was in prison on Kristallnacht, that November dayRead 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


Sounding Alarms Without Sounding Alarmist

By Jerome A. Chanes

The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It By Phyllis Chesler Jossey-Bass, 320 pages, $24.95.

Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism By Abraham H. Foxman

HarperSanFrancisco, 320 pages, $24.95.

Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism Edited by Ron Rosenbaum Random HouseRead More


Before You Eat, a Little Forshpayz

It was the Romans, those consummate gourmets, who introduced the idea of opening a meal with a selection of small dishes as a way of stimulating the appetite. The word appetizer is derived from the Latin appete, meaning “to desire, covet, or long for”; an appetizer, then, is something that encourages desire — in this case, for the mealRead More


An Israeli Designer Embroiders Fashion and Politics

By Jo-Ann Mort

When Americans think of Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, they’re likely to think of the circle with the colorful fountain. But for Israeli women-in-the-know, Dizengoff is the shopping area to the far north, where boutiques of top-end Israeli designers line the street. And there is comme il faut, a trendy boutique, café and “concept store,”Read More


Resistance at Rosenstrasse: Saving Jewish Husbands

By Regina Weinreich

During one week in 1943, a little-known but amazing event occurred at a Berlin detention center, a stopping point for one of the last group of Jews targeted for the fated journey east — the Jewish spouses of Aryans. Up until this point, Jews had been protected by intermarriage to Germans, a sore spot in the efficacy of carrying out the FinalRead More





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  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
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  • "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?
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  • 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?
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