Arts & Culture


The Great White (Jewish, Gay) Way

By Wayne Hoffman

Watching the PBS documentary “Broadway: The American Musical” is like watching “Cats”: You meet lots of interesting characters, you hear several catchy tunes and you enjoy a few hours of lighthearted entertainment. But when the lights come up at the end, the whole experience feels like less than the sum of its parts.That’s not to sayRead More


All the World Is a Stage

By Glenn C. Altschuler

Making Americans: Jews and the Broadway Musical By Andrea Most Harvard University Press,

253 pages, $29.95. * * *Why has a disproportionate percentage of Jews in the United States gravitated toward the entertainment industry? Were enterprising and talented Jews able to make popular culture an empire of their own because the non-JewsRead More


Thank You, Shawn Green

By Peter Dreier

My 7-year old daughter Sarah’s soccer team, which I co-coach, plays every Saturday during the fall. At the team’s Tuesday night practice two weeks ago, I told the players that Sarah — who is the only Jew on her team — and I wouldn’t be at the game the following Saturday because we’d be going to synagogue for Yom Kippur servicesRead More


Kafka on the Dance Floor

By Joseph Carman

Paul Lazar and his wife, Annie-B Parson, never questioned whether the spoken text of live theater and the pure kinetics of dance could create a perfect marriage. Lazar, the actor, and Parson, the dancer and choreographer, formed Big Dance Theater in 1991 to mine and to combine the elements of both art forms into a unique formula. TheRead More


School Daze: Josie Leaves the Nest

By Marjorie Ingall

It has been a tumultuous couple of months in the Ingall-Steuer household. Zayde died. Josie’s beloved baby sitter was badly injured in an accident, breaking her femur and pelvis. Our new baby’s birth is so imminent, the milk in our fridge will expire after my due date. My husband is still trying to start a new business. (Translation: we’reRead More


Biblical Brains

By Aryeh Lev Stollman

And the serpent was more cunning than all the creatures of the field that the Lord God created. And he said to the woman, “Did God say: You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”

— Genesis 3:1

And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these threeRead More


Warts, Not War: Israeli Films Shift the Focus Away From the Mideast Conflict

By Saul Austerlitz

When it comes to directorial style, the winds continually shift between a more-is-more outlook — where camera and mise-en-scène run wild in an effort to draw attention to the means of production –– and a philosophy of austerity strongly opposed to showy or unnecessary camera movement. The latter has gained adherents recently, with theRead More


Synagogues Without Jews: Walking the Streets of Italy

By Richard Mcbee

Italian Jews have a proud 2,000-year history. They were there when the Second Temple still stood and Rome ruled the Mediterranean. More arrived as prisoners after the devastating destruction of the Temple, and soon there were close to 50,000 Jews in First- century Italy, almost half in Rome alone. And they created a vibrantRead More


Postmarks From the Edge Flitting From Odessa to Paris to Geneva and On

The Bride From Odessa: Stories By Edgardo Cozarinsky Translated by Nick Caistor Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 164 pages, $22. ——–A descendant of Russian Jews lured to Baron Maurice de Hirsch’s Entre Ríos colony in Argentina, Cozarinsky was born in Buenos Aires in 1937. A resident of Paris for the past 30 years, he nevertheless writesRead More


For a Good Cause: Teaching, Giving and Running

By Masha Leon

Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, and his wife, Nane Annan, managed a brief appearance at the September 20 VIP reception of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Annual Awards Dinner, honoring Sweden’s prime minister, Göran Persson. Rabbi Arthur Schneier, foundation president, warmly embraced the secretary general: “YouRead More


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