Arts & Culture


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


Germans Say They Warned Powell’s Data On Iraq Arms Was Tainted

By Marc Perelman

BERLIN — German government officials claim the CIA disregarded their warnings about the unreliability of a key piece of Iraqi weapons intelligence that was featured prominently in last year’s landmark address to the United Nations by Secretary of State Colin Powell.Two German government sources close to the issue said German intelligence hadRead More


Trophy Killing In Gaza Turns Public Opinion To Withdrawal

By Ofer Shelah

TEL AVIV — As Israeli soldiers battled through Gaza this week to retrieve the mutilated remains of six fallen comrades, politicians and field commanders quietly were saying the fighting would prove to be a turning point. As the killing continued for a third day, it was now just a matter of time before Israel was forced out of Gaza by its ownRead More


Court Throws Out Jews for Jesus Suit In Sunshine State

By Sara Liss

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — A Florida judge has dismissed a $1 million lawsuit filed by a Jewish woman who claims Jews for Jesus wrongly identified her as a follower.Edith Rapp, a Delray Beach resident, filed the lawsuit against Jews for Jesus at the end of last year. She claimed that at the behest of her stepson, Bruce Rapp, theRead More


Scandals Waking Investors to Corporate Responsibility

By Nathaniel Popper

The Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation has held shares in ExxonMobil through its various money funds for years. But this month’s shareholder meeting will mark the first time that the foundation will send a proxy to vote on resolutions facing the company —including ones on global warming and the salaries of Exxon executives.It is the season ofRead More


How Personal Is It

By Daniel Septimus

Walter Abish’s latest book is subtitled “A Self-Portrait,” and though this description suits it better than the usual “A Memoir,” “Self-Portraits” might have been even more accurate.Read More


The Not-So-Supreme Being?

By Ami Eden

More than two decades after Harold Kushner’s “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” became a best seller, another rabbi-author has reopened the vexing question of whether divine justice exists in the universe. This time, it’s Benjamin Blech, weighing in with his book, “If God is Good, Why is the World So Bad?” (Simcha Press…Read More


POETRY FOUND

By Sarah Kricheff

When renowned Forward cartoonist Ben Katchor’s telephone fell off his desk and smashed open, he discovered that the plastic shell of the phone was practically empty, with the exception of several small lead weights. These weights were the inspiration for his tragicomedy musical theater production “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island…Read More


HUMOR, PASSION AND KLEZMER

By Sarah Kricheff

Trying to categorize the Rabbinical School Dropouts is no easy task. The 10-piece klezmer, funk and rock band finds its inspiration from such diverse sources as Frank Zappa, Raymond Scott, Martin Denny, Charles Mingus, Bernard Herrmann, Shostakovich, They Might Be Giants, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Nusrat Fatah Ali…Read More





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  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • 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
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