Arts & Culture


Poverty Is a ‘Jewish’ Issue

By Amy Schwartzman

One year ago, I had the opportunity to meet with President Bush, along with 15 other rabbis, just a few days before Yom Kippur.Each of us was offered the opportunity to raise a question with the president. I chose to speak about the issue of poverty, in particular the concern for low-income parents who have no childRead More


Department Store Lore: A History

By Jenna Weissman Joselit

Okay, I’ll admit it: I love to shop, especially in tony department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, that Fifth Avenue emporium of luxe whose 100th anniversary is right around the corner. In search of visual pleasure, not to mention the joys of ownership, I delight in making my way past vitrine after vitrine, one more glorious than the next. For me,Read More


Roth’s Fanfare for the Common Man

By Mark Shechner

The Plot Against America By Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin Company, 400 pages, $26. ——Knitting domains together — domestic and global, story and back-story — always has been iffy for Philip Roth. He understands life best in the lower case — inside the family, the marriage, the disheveled heart, the desperate moment. HisRead More


Life in the Unholy Holy Land

By Leslie Camhi

My partner, who went to school in Israel during the 1950s, is fond of recalling the fact that some 28 different languages were spoken by the 42 children in his third grade class. Even today, holding up a mirror to Israeli society produces a fragmented image of rare complexity, showing a culture multiply divided between ethnicities and languages;Read More


From Opera to Yiddish Songs, Joy for the Ears

By Masha Leon

“It’s an amazing honor for us to be part of this, the most diverse and largest Jewish festival in the world,” Moishe Rosenfeld told the audience at the 92nd Street Y’s launching of “A Cantorial Celebration of Yiddish Art Song,” which he produced as part of the September 7-14 New York Jewish Music &Read More


A Spider’s-Eye View Of Your Sukkah

By Jennifer Siegel

From his window perch in the living room of the Shapiro household, Sammy Spider sees fall leaves, scampering squirrels and the family busily erecting a Sukkah. When Sammy — the star of the new story “Sammy Spider’s First Sukkot” (Lerner Pub Group), with text by Sylvia A. Rouss and whimsical cut-paper illustrations by Katherine Janus KahnRead More


To Paradise and Back

Simhat Torah follows the seventh day of Sukkot and is a day of rejoicing. On Simhat Torah, the year-long reading of the Torah comes to an end with the last few verses of the Book of Deuteronomy and starts again with the first verses of the Book of Genesis. The scrolls of the Torah are taken from the Ark and carried around the synagogueRead More


Israel Uncorks World-class Wines

By Noga Tarnopolsky

By ordinary standards, the Roman-era grape press found a couple of years ago in the tilled red earth on the outskirts of Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Heh is not enormously newsworthy. It is just another ruin found in a country in which road workers and homebuilders know that any given square foot of excavation probably could yield a shard or two.But thisRead More


Passion Fruit, Indeed: One Man’s Etrog Obsession

By Dave Gordon

It looks like a lemon, feels like a lemon and kind of smells like a lemon. But an etrog is not a lemon.In fact, it takes a lot to grow an etrog, which is the fruit of the citron tree and one of the four species used on the festival of Sukkot. The others are lulavim (palm), aravot (willows) and hadasim (myrtle). Of the four, the etrog is the mostRead 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


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