The Shmooze


A Racy Rewrite With Steamy Romance

By Devra Ferst

Anne Frank’s diary has a few ellipses where parts were left out. Her story, one of the most famous in the world, is not completely known. What was so revealing that Otto Frank, her father, who published her diary in 1947, wouldn’t let the world see?Read More


Bobby Fischer, Back From the Grave

By Ezra Glinter

Bobby Fischer was once the greatest chess player in the world, before he devolved into a ranting, rabid antisemite, despite the fact that he himself was Jewish. By the end of Fischer’s life, the only country that would have him was Iceland, where he died in 2008 of kidney failure, leaving behind some $2 million and no will. Now, The Associated Press reports, Iceland’s Supreme Court hopes that exhuming his corpse will help determine who gets the loot.Read More


Just Two Minutes To Tell Your Story

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

On a tepid Monday evening at the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan, a glut of Jewish authors sat alphabetically in a subterranean, windowless ballroom, clutching prepared remarks or copies of their recently published and forthcoming books and networking with fellow Jewish writers. Over the course of several days, 196 of them took two minutes each to sell themselves and their work to the Jewish Book Network — an association of Jewish community centers, synagogues and cultural organizations — which will summon their favorites to the country’s far corners, giving lucky authors an unparalleled platform to push their books.Read More


The New (Jewish) Face of Rap

By Devra Ferst

Music writer Jon Caramanica said it right in the New York Times on June 8: “Biracial Jewish-Canadian former child actors don’t have a track record of success in the American rap industry.”Read More


Bollywood Does Eva Braun

By Ezra Glinter

Something tells us this will not end well. Bollywood filmmaker Rakesh Ranjan Kumar is directing a Hitler biopic focusing on the Fuhrer’s relationship with his companion Eva Braun, to be released at the end of this year. Titled “Dear Friend Hitler,” the film takes its name from the term used by Gandhi in a letter begging the German dictator not to go to war.Read More


Of Religion and Rubbers

By Michael Kaminer

‘It keeps adults safe.” That’s the explanation Rabbi Melissa Simon hears parents give kids about the bowl of colorful condoms in the front office of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the West Village gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender shul where she’s a rabbinical intern. And at “Faith in Latex,” a panel on religion and rubbers hosted by Fifth Avenue’s Museum of Sex last week, that sentiment provided a cogent catchphrase for one of the evening’s themes — that the imperative to protect a life can supersede biblical strictures against contraception.Read More


A Comedy of Biblical Proportions

By Nathan Burstein

Following in the footsteps of Mel Brooks and Monty Python, a top Israeli comedy troupe is turning its attention to the Bible.Read More


The Pixies Cancel Israel Concert

By Alex Weisler

The Pixies in 1988 sang about being “stuck … out here on the Gaza Strip” in the song “River Euphrates,” but the alternative rock band has canceled a planned concert in Israel after an international outcry over the May 31 flotilla raid.Read More


Pocketing The Dough

By Devra Ferst

Wars over the best New York bagel have likely ensued since the first Jewish immigrants arrived in lower Manhattan. “Zabar’s!” some Jewish families shout about where to buy their Sunday brunch bagels. “Absolute Bagels!” No, “H & H Bagels!”Read More


Pink Hitler Posters Cause Outrage

By Laurie Stern

Clothing store New Form’s new ad campaign, which places Hitler on 18-foot-tall posters in Barbie-pink military garb and has him wearing an armband with a red heart in place of a swastika, has sparked outrage among the residents of an Italian city.Read More





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