Arts & Culture


Kafka on the Dance Floor

By Joseph Carman

Paul Lazar and his wife, Annie-B Parson, never questioned whether the spoken text of live theater and the pure kinetics of dance could create a perfect marriage. Lazar, the actor, and Parson, the dancer and choreographer, formed Big Dance Theater in 1991 to mine and to combine the elements of both art forms into a unique formula. TheRead More


School Daze: Josie Leaves the Nest

By Marjorie Ingall

It has been a tumultuous couple of months in the Ingall-Steuer household. Zayde died. Josie’s beloved baby sitter was badly injured in an accident, breaking her femur and pelvis. Our new baby’s birth is so imminent, the milk in our fridge will expire after my due date. My husband is still trying to start a new business. (Translation: we’reRead More


Biblical Brains

By Aryeh Lev Stollman

And the serpent was more cunning than all the creatures of the field that the Lord God created. And he said to the woman, “Did God say: You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”

— Genesis 3:1

And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these threeRead More


Warts, Not War: Israeli Films Shift the Focus Away From the Mideast Conflict

By Saul Austerlitz

When it comes to directorial style, the winds continually shift between a more-is-more outlook — where camera and mise-en-scène run wild in an effort to draw attention to the means of production –– and a philosophy of austerity strongly opposed to showy or unnecessary camera movement. The latter has gained adherents recently, with theRead More


Synagogues Without Jews: Walking the Streets of Italy

By Richard Mcbee

Italian Jews have a proud 2,000-year history. They were there when the Second Temple still stood and Rome ruled the Mediterranean. More arrived as prisoners after the devastating destruction of the Temple, and soon there were close to 50,000 Jews in First- century Italy, almost half in Rome alone. And they created a vibrantRead More


Postmarks From the Edge Flitting From Odessa to Paris to Geneva and On

The Bride From Odessa: Stories By Edgardo Cozarinsky Translated by Nick Caistor Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 164 pages, $22. ——–A descendant of Russian Jews lured to Baron Maurice de Hirsch’s Entre Ríos colony in Argentina, Cozarinsky was born in Buenos Aires in 1937. A resident of Paris for the past 30 years, he nevertheless writesRead More


For a Good Cause: Teaching, Giving and Running

By Masha Leon

Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, and his wife, Nane Annan, managed a brief appearance at the September 20 VIP reception of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Annual Awards Dinner, honoring Sweden’s prime minister, Göran Persson. Rabbi Arthur Schneier, foundation president, warmly embraced the secretary general: “YouRead More


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


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