Arts & Culture


Golems and Spies: Today’s Two Yiddish Literatures

By Zackary Sholem Berger

Today there are two different Yiddish literatures: one secular and one chasidic. Despite the differences in their audiences, they share a language, a cultural-religious heritage and a status of almost complete obscurity to most American Jews.Boris Sandler, by virtue of his position as editor of the Yiddish Forward, has been the gatekeeper for whatRead More


Billy Crystal Gets Serious About His Newest Role

By Soriya Daniels

Billy Crystal, the award-winning actor, director and comedian, has gotten serious about something: the recent birth of his first grandchild, Ella.Crystal is the latest in a line of celebrities to pen a children’s picture book. But unlike, say, Madonna, Crystal was inspired not by his own children, but by the generation after that, and his bookRead More


Anne Frank Forever

By Elizabeth Frankenberger

Anne Frank died in 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. June 12, 2004, would have been her 75th birthday. When I first read Anne Frank’s diary I was not yet 13 years old. Jewish tradition dictated that I was on the verge of adulthood, but I knew I had a long way to go. I was a neurotic girl with a hyperactive imaginationRead More


The Stressful, Dreary Life With a Very Small Stranger

By Marjorie Ingall

Why is it so dang hard for women to tell the truth about new motherhood? Sure, there’s nothing like a fragrant-headed, milk-drunk baby draped over your shoulder like lichen. But when newborns are not happily gorked to the gills, they have two modes: screaming and boring. They are far less interactive than Super Nintendo.Read More


Does Modern Orthodoxy Have a Future?

By Saul Austerlitz

Orthodoxy Awakens: The Belkin Era and Yeshiva University By Victor B. Geller Urim Publications, 295 pages, $26.95.


An American Orthodox Dreamer: Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and Boston’s Maimonides School By Seth Farber Brandeis University Press, 228 pages, $34.95. * * *Even in the midst of unprecedented growthRead More


Preserving the Musical Legacy of Those Silenced

By David Mermelstein

Honoring the dead always has been a complicated affair, made all the more difficult when the fallen are victims rather than heroes. Physical monuments engender the most debate, probably because they are, in theory, permanent. Musical tributes have produced less anguish. This may be because they don’t elicit much notice, or people thinkRead More


California Dreaming: When Boundaries Are Emotional

By Jennifer Siegel

The year is 1979, and eighth grader Jill Wasserstrom lives in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood. A budding leftist, she spends Friday nights eagerly preparing to defend the Ayatollah Khomeini in her social studies class, or writing a subversive bat mitzvah speech that proclaims the Torah an “outdated, mythological document.” Meanwhile,Read More


A Bad Precedent

By Jeffrey Fiskin

Two men, Moses and Aaron, stand on a hill outside Kadesh in the Negev. Moses is bent with the weight of responsibility and knowledge. They look northward toward Canaan. Moses: I’m telling you, this time He’s really angry.Aaron: What else is new? About what this time?Moses: The spies.Aaron: He sent them.Moses: Not exactly.Aaron: Of course HeRead More


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


The Stars Toast Elie Wiesel on His 75th

By Masha Leon

Tom Brokaw, master of ceremonies at the Anti-Defamation League’s 75th birthday celebration gala for Elie Wiesel, got the simkha off to a memorable start by declaring: “I’m your shabbes goy.” Among the more than 700 black-tie Wiesel fans were Lily Safra, Richard Ben-Veniste, Ted Koppel, Cynthia Ozick, Kati Marton, George Schwab, General…Read More





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