Arts & Culture


Gridiron Goliath Breaks Fast With Big Game, Nimble Timing

By Nathaniel Popper

The sunset that brought Yom Kippur to an end came in the midst of a University of Wisconsin football game in front of 82,179 fans in which Matt Bernstein led his team to victory over Penn State by running 123 yards.Bernstein decided to play on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, but he did not ignore the holiday. In an effortRead More


A City’s Renewal Fails To Dim Lure of Suburbs

By Nathaniel Popper

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Across a highway from the Hawthorne Plaza mall, the largest Jewish congregation in Kansas City’s metropolitan area has recently found a new home next to grassy fields of chirping cicadas.After its historic synagogue in the city was demolished last September, B’nai Jehudah became the latest, andRead More


Traces of Trotsky, Remnants of a Rebbe: A Hunt for Icons

By Stephen Schwartz

Democracy took a half-step forward in Kazakhstan when the September 19 parliamentary elections resulted in victory for Otan, the party that supports President Nursultan Nazarbayev and is expected to take seven of the 10 seats in the lower house. True, monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe declared that the electionRead More


Showdown Set for Communal Debate Over Sharon’s Gaza Withdrawal Plan

By Ori Nir, With Reporting From Steven I. Weiss and Jta

WASHINGTON — Under pressure from one of its most powerful members, a key Jewish communal body is preparing to consider endorsing the disengagement plan of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.The issue is to be debated at an upcoming October 14 meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, theRead More


Damascus Whodunnit

By Ofer Shelah

TEL AVIV — In his lifetime, Iz a-Din al-Sheikh Khalil’s name was known only to the top Hamas experts within the Israeli and Western intelligence communities. Though he was a senior political-military operative, he wasn’t one of the recognized faces of the Palestinian movement, like Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Abd al-Aziz Rantisi orRead More


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


The Art of Forgiving

Come the High Holy Day season, we expect to see a great deal of discussion, in Jewish publications of various sorts, of teshuva (repentance), and particularly of what it means to be a ba’al teshuva (literally, a master of repentance). We might read something about Maimonides’s description of the ba’al teshuva — the one who, placed in theRead 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


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