Arts & Culture

Notes on Camp

By Jay Michaelson

The buzzword in Jewish circles these days is “continuity”: What turns Jewish children into actively Jewish adults? Sociologists usually point to parents and schools as the two prime agents of socialization. And yet, in the Jewish community, these agents don’t seem to be doing their jobs. A report released last month by the National StudyRead More

A Zionist Hip-Hop Stance Comes to Lollapalooza

By Dimitri Ehrlich

When “Reagan Baby,” the debut album by Ross Golan and Molehead, arrived in the mail, I almost tossed it in my “interesting-looking indie releases” pile, the batch of CDs that, if there were infinite time, I might one day get around to listening to — but there is not, and so I probably wouldn’t.But then something caught myRead More

The New New-world Voice

By Donald Weber

Twenty-seven years ago, Irving Howe offered a sad prediction — now labeled by literary scholars the “Howe Doctrine” — about the fate of Jewish American creative expression. In the Kaddish-like introduction to his 1977 anthology of Jewish American short stories, Howe argued that “the post-immigrant Jewish experience” wasRead More

An Enchanting Lesson

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

It was a disconcerting thought, a wake-up call that interrupted my reverie as I thought fondly back on four years of teaching second-grade Hebrew school. I realized with a start that the students I’d taught my first year were becoming bar and bat mitzvah this year. They had learned the trope, the system of diacritical markings in theRead More


“Poetry is a fireplace in summer or a fan in winter.” So wrote Basho, the great 17th-century haiku master. The master meant that poetry need not be useful in any obvious sense. On the other hand, who needs a poem about snow in the middle of winter?Far better to have one now, when temperatures are heating up and summer is on its way. StandingRead More

... And the Most Important

June is upon us and with it, wedding preparations are in full swing: last minute fittings; anxious consultations with the clergy or other officiants; continual emendations to the seating chart; and, perhaps most significantly, a seemingly endless stream of conversations with the caterer — arguably the person of the hour.When it comesRead More

The Bride, the Groom, the Rabbi...

An Excerpt From ‘Clearing the Aisle, by Karen Schwartz (Downtown Press)* * *Any lingering doubts I may have had about the Gershons’ rabbi had started to fade when he’d suggested we meet over lunch at Barney Greengrass. “I can’t be in New York and not eat there,” he said, “so this way, I’ll kill two birdsRead More

Is This Too Much To Expect?

By David Curzon

Zechariah 3:1-4, in the Haftarah to this week’s portion, reads: And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said unto Satan: “… is not this man a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, and stood before theRead More

The Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards

On June 7, The National Foundation for Jewish Culture Presents the 15th annual Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards in the Arts. Here are the winners:PATRON OF THE ARTS: Daryl Roth A producer of five Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Roth’s current productions include “Anna in the Tropics” and “Caroline, or Change” the latter by Tony KushnerRead More

At YIVO, Honoring Those Who Champion Mameloshn

By Masha Leon

Lolle Boettcher of St. Louis and the Moriah School of Englewood, N.J., were honored with the Janusz Korczak Teaching Award at the May 13 dinner of the American Friends of The Ghetto Fighters’ Museum in Israel. Amy Miller, board president, touted the museum as “the world’s only memorial studying resistance.”Read More

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  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here:
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv?
  • Backstreet's...not back.
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