Arts & Culture


A Mega Bar Mitzvah for Actor Fyvush Finkel

By Masha Leon

The June 21 tribute to Yiddish-English stage, film and TV star Fyvush Finkel — hosted by The Yiddish Artists & Friends Actors Club and The Yiddish Theatrical Alliance at the Lincoln Square Synagogue — was akin to a mega bar mitzvah. As the 350 guests mingled, noshed and wished 81-year-old Finkel nor oyf simkhas (“onlyRead More


Religion in the New World

in an intensive manner that was unknown to their parents earlier in the century.The Havurah movement of the 1960s and 1970s was a positive response to these developments, and the appearance of what is today called “Jewish renewal” owes its origins to those years. The Reconstructionist movement opened the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College inRead More


Settling in Transjordan

By Peretz Rodman

Imagine yourself as the director of a play or film with Numbers 32 as your script. What instructions do you give to the actors playing the men of the tribes of Reuven and Gad as they rehearse the scene in which they inform Moses of their desire to settle in Transjordan, short of the final journey into the Promised Land? For these and other stageRead More


When a Long-Legged Jewish Girl Shamed Hitler

By David Davis

In 1931, when Germany was awarded the 1936 Olympics, Adolf Hitler hadn’t yet come to power. Two years later, after he became chancellor, he embraced the Olympic Games as an opportunity to show off his Aryan nation to the world.He faced one serious obstacle: himself. If word got out about Hitler’s discriminatory laws and policies, the rest ofRead More


Tales of the Masters

By Jay Michaelson

God in All Moments: Mystical & Practical Spiritual Wisdom From Hasidic Masters Edited & Translated by Or Rose With Ebn D. Leader

Jewish Lights, 163 pages, $16.95.

Hasidic Tales: Annotated and Explained Translation and Annotation B y Rabbi Rami Shapiro SkyLight Paths, 193 pages, $16.95. —-If you’ve seen “The Chosen,”Read More


#2!

By Marjorie Ingall

So Josie’s getting a sister in October.We’re thrilled, if still a bit discombobulated. Suffice it to say that, compared to the laborious overland journey required to make Josie (you remember we called it the Bataan Sex March), this pregnancy happened, um, instantly. Back in January, on the way back from the corner bodega, a thoughtRead More


Painterly and Scholarly: Archie Rand Satisfies Purists of All Kinds

By David Grosz

Archie Rand’s challenging, hybrid artwork has long been difficult to categorize. As a progressive painter who frequently incorporates Jewish themes and sacred texts into his canvases, Rand has faced criticism from purists in both the religious and avant-garde communities. His work, however, is probably best understood as a seriesRead More


This Tale of Mystery Begins With a Corpse –– But Ends With a Twist

By Lev Raphael

Lev Raphael’s latest novel, “The German Money,” is a Book Sense 76 pick.

The Outcast Dove By Sharan Newman Forge, 429 pp, $25.95. —-In mysteries it’s a cliché to introduce a corpse on the first page. In her new book, Sharan Newman seems to drearily fulfill that expectation, offering us a dead body in its first line. JewsRead More


They Might Be Giants

By Jon Kalish

In Our Hearts We Were Giants By Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev Carroll & Graf, 305 pages, $25. —-Imagine the terror of a having a vicious German Shepherd bark at you on the train platform at Auschwitz. Now imagine that the dog is barking at you as your tiny body is lifted from a cattle car — and when you land on your feet, the dogRead More


Five ‘Fruity Jews’ Get Out the Vote

By Anya Kamenetz

It is a beautiful summer Friday in Seattle’s University District, and Frances Kreimer, 21, is wrapped in a tallit, praying the morning service outside an international students’ dorm. Inside, challah is rising in the kitchen, and Kreimer’s four roommates are making preparations for the Sabbath. The five East Coast college students haveRead More


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