Arts & Culture


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


Brighton Beach to Carnegie Hall: Neil Sedaka Sings a Familiar Tune

By Wayne Hoffman

The first time Neil Sedaka appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the really big show almost didn’t go on.It was 1961, and the young singer-songwriter was at the top of the pop charts. He planned three numbers for his “Ed Sullivan” debut that would illustrate his multifaceted background. “Calendar Girl,” his radio hit at the time…Read More


The Bare Light of Personal Belief

By Alana Newhouse

Shadows are cast by objects and people…. Do you want to skin the whole earth, tearing all the trees and living things off it, because of your fantasy of enjoying bare light?Read More


Some of Mel Gibson’s Best Friends Are Jewish

By Ami Eden

Watching Mel Gibson revel in the controversy surrounding his new film, “The Passion of the Christ,” it is easy to understand why critics of the Hollywood star insist that he suffers from some sort of martyrdom complex. But Gibson is not alone in envisioning himself as a modern-day Jesus, subject to crucifixion-by-press-release at the hands…Read More


Mapping the Contours of a ‘New Tanakh’

By Allan Nadler

In the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, the Yiddish writer Melekh Ravitch ignited a heated controversy in Jewish intellectual circles by calling for the redaction of a secular Jewish canon that he dubbed “a new Tanakh.” He proposed the creation of an authoritative anthology of the greatest Jewish literary works of the past two millennia that would serve as a new humanist Torah not just for modern Jewry but for all mankind. Ravitch, who had achieved fame in interwar Warsaw as one of the central figures of the Yiddish literary group Khaliastre (The Gang), immigrated to Montreal in 1941 and was one of that city’s leading public Jewish intellectuals until his death in 1973. In Montreal, he was close to the prominent Roskies family and exercised great influence on the Roskies children, two of whose scions — David Roskies of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Ruth Wisse of Harvard — are today among the world’s leading scholars of Yiddish literature.Read More


From Yiddish to British

By Philologos

Writes David Chanoff of Marlboro, Mass.: “You probably know of James Kelman, the Booker Prize winner who writes in Glaswegian dialect. In his book of stories, ‘The Good Times,’ there occurs the line of dialogue, ‘Heh, I was hearing about Smiddy’s funeral, some kind of schemozzle.’”Read More





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