Arts & Culture


A First Lady, a Good Cause and a Comedic King

By Masha Leon

While Leona Helmsley, Edgar Bronfman Jr. and [Court TV Network CEO] Henry Schleiff wended their way into the inner sanctum of the Four Seasons, its bar area pulsed with a crush of photographers and guests who had come for the April 27 book party for Tina Santi Flaherty’s “What Jackie Taught Us — Lessons From the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline…Read More


A Letter Home From Kadesh-Barnea

By Naomi Myrvaagnes

Dear Sister,For a while, it was what we’d imagined when we first heard Miriam’s call. Out of the city for song and worship! As I write I wonder, now that Pharaoh is dead, how you fare back home. I wonder if I left in vain. Perhaps you celebrate a time of hope and renewal.The crossing was horrific. We sped safely, but after usRead More


Secrets of the Rebbetzin

By Jay Michaelson

I first met Rebbetzin Hadassah Gross, the ageless widow of six Hasidic rabbis, at the fashionable loft of two well-known Brooklyn artists, one of whom was photographing the rebbetzin for an upcoming gallery show in Boston. Hadassah was radiant, an elegant creature in Italian shoes and tailored clothes (“I only wear couture,” she told me inRead More


Rock On, Moms

By Marjorie Ingall

Josie has a keyboard she totes around the house. Periodically she puts it down, bangs on it like Mozart on a bender, scowls a bit and announces, “I’m working, like mama!” (To be truly like Mama, she’d have to curse a lot more as she typed. But close enough.)I know how fortunate I am to make a living doing something I love.Read More


Celebrating Balanchine by Channeling His Antithesis

By Joseph Carman

On June 18, Russian choreographer Boris Eifman will premiere his first ballet for the venerable New York City Ballet as part of a program to celebrate what would have been George Balanchine’s 100th birthday. At least in one respect, the match might seem to make sense: Eifman’s own company, the Eifman ballet, is based in Balanchine’s nativeRead More


Value: More Than a Matter of Money

By Peretz Rodman

‘She’s worth her weight in gold.” “You look like a million dollars.” Our language often attributes measurable monetary value to human beings. In a world in which these were not merely figures of speech, what would be the actual worth of a human being? How could one tell? Who would decide?In the first eight verses of its last chapter, theRead More


Philadelphia Story

By Stephen Schwartz

For someone who has searched out the traces of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, the story is hauntingly familiar: a cemetery “neglected, vandalized, and filled with trash, listed on the City’s roster of abandoned properties,” as the words of a fundraising appeal put it. Nestled among the almost total disarray are toppled memorial stones,Read More


Educate! Empower! Endow! And Entertain

By Masha Leon

“The myth is: We eat and non-Jews drink. Not so!” said Sylvie Sherman-Bloch to the 315 guests at the April 21 Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York benefit luncheon at The Pierre. A foundation grant recipient, the blond, attractive Sherman-Bloch, a recovering drug and alcohol addict, concluded with the unsettling query: “Is there an addict…Read More


Remnants of Babylonian Jewry Endure Tyranny of the Majority

By Marina Benjamin

The narrow, dusty streets of what was once Baghdad’s thriving Jewish quarter, called Betaween, are quiet on the mild spring morning. I visited them with Emad Levy, one of the last remaining Jews in the Iraqi capital.“I am proud to be a Jew, and I tell everyone I’m Jewish. I’m not afraid of anything,” he said.After a couple ofRead More


A Postwar Everyman, Comedy’s King Perfected Voice of Middle-Class Angst

By Eddy Friedfeld

This week, the country lost one of its greatest spokesmen: Alan King, who, over six decades, perfected the voice of the frustrated American dealing with inefficient institutions.“The other day my house caught fire. The insurance agent said, ‘Shouldn’t be a problem. What kind of coverage do you have?’ I said, ‘Fire and theft.’ TheRead 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: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • 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? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
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