Fast Forward


Fierstein Fires Up ‘Fiddler’

By Masha Leon

Crooner Julius La Rosa (!), film star Danny Kaye and comic Alan King were among those considered in 1964 for the role of Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” notes Carol Ilson in her 1989 biography, “Harold Prince — From ‘Pajama Game’ to ‘Phantom of the Opera’” (UMI Research Press). In the end, Prince’s choice, Zero Mostel, becameRead More


Send in the Clowns

By Max Gross

When Gershon Resnik visits Israel, he feels a little bit like a rock star.A car is sent for him, and he is met by important Israeli community leaders and mobbed by adoring fans who scream with delight the moment he strides onstage.Such is the life of a Jewish clown.Resnik — aka Buffo the Clown — has been going back and forth to Israel from hisRead More


A Fair and Balanced Look At Al Franken

By Catie Lazarus

As political satirists go, Al Franken is in a league of his own. Five Emmy Awards reveal his sublime impact on “Saturday Night Live” as one of its original writers and later as a producer and performer. His books, including “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot” and “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at theRead More


There Once Was a Contest for Laughs...

Forward readers are a funny lot. As part of our “Make Us Laugh” contest, readers wrote limericks that explained, illustrated, analyzed or exemplified a Jewish comic sensibility. And they made us laugh.Entries poured in, from Arizona to Vermont, Illinois to Georgia. Then our panel of comedy judges selected the cream of the crop:Cathy Ladman wonRead More


Prayer Fare: A Look Back at ‘Jewish Science’

‘The Jew of today needs, more than ever, a spiritual influence as a bulwark against worry, fear and anxiety. He needs that source of inspiration that will bring peace to his restless soul, free his heart from forebodings and cares… and replenish the springs of his happiness.” Although these passages strike a decidedly New Age-y tone,Read More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL February 4, 2005

On the 115th yahrzeit of poet Mikhl Gordon, the Forverts’s Pearls of Yiddish Poetry featured this famous Maskl. At the time of his life, this movement in which Gordon played a prominent role was the ideological challenger of the Hasidim, who were the fervent advocates of the “good old-time religion” thatRead More


Students Pow-wow in Republic of Palau

By Rukhl Schaechter

Last Thursday afternoon, Continental Flight #0014 landed at Newark Airport, and among the passengers streaming out of the plane was a group of 10 teenage boys returning from winter break in the North Pacific. However, this was no ordinary vacation. The teenagers were Orthodox students from the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy (YeshivaRead More


VIP Crush at King Event

By Masha Leon

Dais-designated New York Post columnist Cindy Adams — on line with power attorney Barry Slotnick for the VIP reception at the January 17 Congress of Racial Equality Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Living the Dream 2005” dinner — was miffed because her red plastic VIP admission bracelet was delayed and the promised-to-be-there recipientRead More


Feigning Sanity at Bellevue

My first rotation as a medical student is psychiatry, that branch of medicine that patrols the border between sane and insane. But as is well known to any observer of human behavior, the sane are sane up until the point when you start looking at them with an analytic eye. Then everyone seems to need treatment, doctors and students included.At 9:15Read More


Doggone It, People Like Al Franken

His best-known character was Stuart Smalley, a self-help/group therapy addict with low self-esteem who summed up the 1980s’ cultural obsession with psychobabble. Smalley was based on Franken’s real-life venture into Al-Anon, a 12-step program for friends and family members of alcoholics. In Franken’s case, the friend was his longtime writingRead More


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