Arts & Culture


A Mega Bar Mitzvah for Actor Fyvush Finkel

By Masha Leon

The June 21 tribute to Yiddish-English stage, film and TV star Fyvush Finkel — hosted by The Yiddish Artists & Friends Actors Club and The Yiddish Theatrical Alliance at the Lincoln Square Synagogue — was akin to a mega bar mitzvah. As the 350 guests mingled, noshed and wished 81-year-old Finkel nor oyf simkhas (“onlyRead More


Religion in the New World

in an intensive manner that was unknown to their parents earlier in the century.The Havurah movement of the 1960s and 1970s was a positive response to these developments, and the appearance of what is today called “Jewish renewal” owes its origins to those years. The Reconstructionist movement opened the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College inRead More


Settling in Transjordan

By Peretz Rodman

Imagine yourself as the director of a play or film with Numbers 32 as your script. What instructions do you give to the actors playing the men of the tribes of Reuven and Gad as they rehearse the scene in which they inform Moses of their desire to settle in Transjordan, short of the final journey into the Promised Land? For these and other stageRead More


First Fruit

By Daniel M. Jaffe

‘Heartburn — raisins I don’t eat. Take mine.” Jed offers his packet of raisins to the young man in the window seat beside him.“Thanks,” Ron says, “I’m not really hungry.”“Who knows when we’ll get lunch? It’s a long flight. I’m Jed, by the way.”“No, thanks, maybe later.” The two men shake hands. “Name’sRead More


Strange Bedfellows of Art and Politics

By P. G. Kain

“I have never hated the individual Jew — yourself I have cherished as a friend, but you will know that I speak in all honesty when I say that I have loved you, not because of your race but in spite of it.” — Martin Schulse in a letter to his friend and business partner, Max Eisenstein, in the play “Address Unknown.” WhenRead More


It’s a Wild Planet, Indeed

By June Scharf

Daniel Grossman can’t help but compare his life to Willy Wonka’s in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” As the founder of Wild Planet, Grossman, 45, spends his day among loads of toys that he manufactures and distributes. The 11-year-old company sells eight brands of gender-neutral, nonviolent toys in the $10-$30Read More


False Messiahs and Whirling Dervishes: A Scholar’s Fresh Take on an Old Topic

By Allan Nadler

The Sabbatean Prophets By Matt Goldish Harvard University Press, 240 pages, $39.95. ——-The following dire, revolutionary proclamation issues forth from a charismatic provocateur in Gaza:“None will be saved from these tribulations except those dwelling in this place. The [very] name of the place [connoting strength] expresses her nature.Read More


At 80, Lang Still Keeps the Flame Alive

By Masha Leon

Guests savored paprika chicken, dumplings, duck liver plus 80 cakes at the June 15 surprise 80th birthday party for George Lang thrown by his wife, Jennifer, daughter Gigi and son Simon. Held at the La Palestra gym — next door to the Café des Artistes, which Lang owns — there was room for Hungarian folk dancers plus 300 well-wishers includingRead More


New Look at False Messiah

well before Shabbetai Zevi’s total defection from Judaism. That latter catastrophe led to the deeper, antinomian apostasy of the later Jewish Sabbateans, as well as to the Donmeh, the school of Muslim believers in Shabbetai Zevi, which persists, very secretly, in Turkey today.Even in contemporary America, though limited to rather marginal JewishRead More


They Might Be Giants

By Jon Kalish

In Our Hearts We Were Giants By Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev Carroll & Graf, 305 pages, $25. —-Imagine the terror of a having a vicious German Shepherd bark at you on the train platform at Auschwitz. Now imagine that the dog is barking at you as your tiny body is lifted from a cattle car — and when you land on your feet, the dogRead More





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