Arts & Culture

The True Story of Harry Houdini's Tefillin

By Joshua Spivak

On Harry Houdini’s birthday, we take a trip to the newspaper archives of 1926 to uncover some forgotten information about the magician’s Jewish practices.Read More

The Latin Lothario Who Wasn’t (But He Was Jewish)

By Colette Shade

Ricardo Cortez played ‘Latin lover’ types during Hollywood’s golden age. The author, his distant cousin, goes on a journey to understand the life of the guy born Jacob Krantz.Read More

Europe Anti-Semitism Literally Carved in Stone

By Toni L. Kamins

In a time when literacy was uncommon, these images were the political cartoons and posters of the age, and the ridicule and carnage they promoted was both routine and government sanctioned. What’s more, most remain visible if you know where to look. Below are some of the most common ones.Read More

I Survived Teaching Jewish Studies in North Carolina

By Jarrod Tanny

What’s it like to teach Jewish history in Wilmington, North Carolina, a sweltering Bible Belt town? Jarrod Tanny offers a few unexpected vignettes from a clash of cultures.Read More

Of Howard Cosell, Cecil De Mille and 10 Other Jewish Facts About North Carolina

By Forward Staff

Ever since a Jewish metallurgist set foot in North Carolina in 1585, the Tar Heel state has been home to a diverse community. And it’s got the annual Kosher Barbecue Competition.Read More

Maybe All Happy Short Story Collections Aren’t Alike

By Yevgeniya Traps

‘All happy families are alike,’ Tolstoy famously said. Wrong, according to Yasmin Reza’s new novel ‘Happy Are the Happy’ — because no family is happy.Read More

The Rocky Rise of J Street

By Liam Hoare

J Street has shifted the debate about what it means to be pro-Israel. Now a new documentary chronicles the dovish group’s uneven rise to prominence.Read More

Madeleine Kunin Never Felt Anti-Semitism in Vermont — but Switzerland Was Different Story

By Madeleine May Kunin

When Madeleine Kunin was elected the first female governor of Vermont, few cared she was Jewish. It wasn’t so simple when she became ambassador to Switzerland.Read More

How Wendy Wasserstein and Heidi Holland Remade the World

By Jesse Oxfeld

Wendy Wasserstein’s landmark 1980s play ‘The Heidi Chronicles’ is so sharp, funny and insightful that it doesn’t feel dated. Jesse Oxfeld heralds its return to Broadway.Read More

Jerusalem Cinematheque and Film Festival Founder Lia Van Leer Dies at 90

By Benjamin Ivry

Lia Van Leer, who founded the Haifa and Jerusalem Cinematheque as well as the Israeli Film Archive and Jerusalem Film Festival, has died at age 90. Benjamin Ivry remembers the considerable imprint she left on Israeli cinema.Read More

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