Arts & Culture


The Making Of Martyrs

By Lisa Keys

One day last spring was much like any other for Mohanned Abu Tayyun. He awoke early at his Nablus home, got dressed, washed his face and had his usual breakfast. Similarly, throughout Israel, most local families were occupied with workaday morning rituals: drinking coffee, reading the paper, doling goodbye pecks to loved ones.And yetRead More


Love for the Fatherland, Tragically Unrequited

By Gal Beckerman

Impossible Love: Ascher Levy’s Longing for Germany By Roman Frister Phoenix Press, 359 pages, $15.95. * * *My grandfather, a native of Dresden, adored Strauss waltzes, bratwurst and the opera “Die Fledermaus.” After the war, though he refused to buy a BMW, he always spoke with admiration of and largely embodied that distinctRead More


Back to Bauhaus

By Bill Strubbe

To many tourists, Tel Aviv is merely an obligatory pit stop with an airport and a sunny beach, so they quickly move on to venerable Jerusalem for a dose of sightseeing and history. Having sprung up on the sand dunes mere decades ago, little in the newborn metropolis was considered worth preserving.But now that the United Nations Educational,Read More


Serpents, Seraphs and Memory

By Aryeh Lev Stollman

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a seraph and mount it on a standard…” [and so] Moses made a copper serpent and mounted it on a standard and when anyone was bitten by a serpent, he would look at the copper serpent and live.— Numbers 21:8-9 [King Hezekiah] also broke into pieces the copper serpent that Moses had made, for until thatRead More


On Exhibit: The Infamous 1492 Decree

By Jennifer Siegel

The original decree ordering the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 will come to New York this month, as part of an exhibit commemorating the 500th anniversary of the death of Queen Isabella I. Titled “Isabella the Catholic, Queen of Two Worlds (1451-1504),” the presentation also will feature illuminated manuscripts, rareRead More


What Is a Jewish Father?

By Jon Moskowitz

This Father’s Day will be my second, and I’m feeling a bit conflicted. Last year was wonderful. My son was just four months old, and I shone with that new-parent glow. Strangers were approaching me in the street and cooing over him, and my friends were treating me with a new respect. Father’s Day felt like a national celebration of me.A yearRead More


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


From the Silence of a Prison Cell in Uruguay

By Ilan Stavans

‘Silence is the real crime against humanity,” states Mauricio Rosencof in his wrenching autobiographical novel, “The Letters That Never Came.” He ought to know: Rosencof, who was accused of being a subversive and attempting against Uruguayan sovereignty, spent 13 years in prison before regaining his freedom in 1985, with the returnRead More


An Intrepid Crowd Honors Patriots

By Masha Leon

This year’s May 27 Intrepid Foundation Fleet Week Gala aboard the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum was as poignant as it was patriotic. At our table, the father, mother, wife and daughter of an American soldier who, a week before, lost his life in Iraq. They were one of three families of fallen soldiers acknowledged that night.Read More


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