Arts and Culture

‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ is inspiration at Jewish charity benefit

The Class of 1993, from left to right: Brant Daugherty, Connor Paolo, Ally Maki, Colin Woodell, Sara Benincasa, Brendan Robinson. (Abel Armas)The Class of 1993, from left to right: Brant Daugherty, Connor Paolo, Ally Maki, Colin Woodell, Sara Benincasa, Brendan Robinson. (Abel Armas)

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. (JTA) — Back in the 1990s, the Fox series “Beverly Hills, 90210″ tackled eating disorders, gun safety, addiction and AIDS in a tone so earnest that it seems quaint in the era of  “Girls” and “Broad City” — shows that eschew the moralizing of TV generations past. In what… Read more »

Venice welcomes back Shylock in marking its Jewish history

Shaul Bassi, the Merchant in Venice Project Director and  coordinator of the Venice Ghetto 500 anniversary committee, on the Ghetto Nuovo bridge in Venice, Italy. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)Shaul Bassi, the Merchant in Venice Project Director and coordinator of the Venice Ghetto 500 anniversary committee, on the Ghetto Nuovo bridge in Venice, Italy. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)

VENICE, Italy (JTA) – Last week, an international, multilingual cast performed Shakespeare’s controversial play, “The Merchant of Venice,” in the secluded main plaza of the city’s historic Jewish Ghetto. It was the first time the play was performed in the iconic location, where some of the action takes place. Enclosed by tall tenements and the… Read more »

The big book of women rabbis tells a grand story

Rabbi Denise Eger, center, reads the Torah during her installation as CCAR president, March 16, 2015. Eger contributed an essay, "Creating Opportunities for the “Other”: The Ordination of Women as a Turning Point for LGBT Jews," in a new book on women rabbis. (David A.M. Wilensky)Rabbi Denise Eger, center, reads the Torah during her installation as CCAR president, March 16, 2015. Eger contributed an essay, "Creating Opportunities for the “Other”: The Ordination of Women as a Turning Point for LGBT Jews," in a new book on women rabbis. (David A.M. Wilensky)

It’s a really big book. “The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate” is 776 pages, plus LVI pages of frontmatter (translated from Roman numerals and publisher’s jargon, that’s 56 pages of introductory material before page 1) and eight blank ones at the end. It’s a paperback,… Read more »

‘Indignation’ brings Philip Roth’s novel about anti-Semitism to the big screen

James Schamus, left, and Logan Lerman on the set of "Indignation." (Alison Cohen Rosa)James Schamus, left, and Logan Lerman on the set of "Indignation." (Alison Cohen Rosa)

BOSTON (JTA) — James Schamus remembers the block he faced while writing the screenplay for Ang Lee’s 1994 film “Eat Drink Man Woman.” Creating the right voices for the film’s Taiwanese characters was not going well “and Ang Lee was getting very nervous.” In a desperate effort to turn… Read more »

7 books to make your summer more summery — and Jewy, too

(JTA) — Summer’s here, and whether from the heat or the humidity or the harrowing election cycle, we bet you could use an escape. So take our advice: Whether you’re lucky enough to be lazing on a beach or packed in like a pickled herring on a subway car, take… Read more »

SEEKING KIN In Little Rock, a woman finds her true faith and then Jewish family

Danette Devlin holding photos of the gravestones of her great-grandparents Herman and Cyril Schiff, attesting to her Jewish roots. (Courtesy of Devlin)Danette Devlin holding photos of the gravestones of her great-grandparents Herman and Cyril Schiff, attesting to her Jewish roots. (Courtesy of Devlin)

The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. (JTA) –  Discovering a Jewish past of which she was wholly unaware, Danette Devlin of Little Rock, Arkansas, has also found family. Devlin was raised without any religious affiliation. As an adult she attended Catholic and Episcopalian… Read more »

It’s not a bird – it’s SuperMeat: Israeli startup aims to grow meat without the animal

Chickens would be spared under a bioengineering method being developed by the Israeli food tech startup SuperMeat. (Wikimedia Commons)Chickens would be spared under a bioengineering method being developed by the Israeli food tech startup SuperMeat. (Wikimedia Commons)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – The founders of an Israeli food tech startup want you to enjoy your meat without the guilt — in fact, without the animal. SuperMeat, which launched in December and began an online crowdfunding campaign Monday, is developing a method for bioengineering “cultured meat” from animal cells.… Read more »

Horwitz mixes magic and mystery at local dinner theater

ross the magician

Ross Horwitz, who bills himself simply as “Ross the Magician,” has been practicing magic since he was 7 years old. He spent his early life in Chicago and attended a Jewish summer camp in Michigan, where he got his first taste of making the impossible possible from a camp… Read more »

Bestselling author followed sun to Tucson

Arthur NaimanArthur Naiman

Author and publisher Arthur Naiman has no time for those without humor or creativity. The Chicago-born Tucson transplant by way of New York, Paris and the Bay Area has published more than 30 nonfiction books and started two publishing companies. A philosophy major at Brandeis University, he had no… Read more »

Writer Calvin Trillin dishes about civil rights, Judaism and the art of reporting

Writer Calvin Trillin, center, interviewing John Lewis in Birmingham, Ala., as the Freedom Riders were boarding the bus for Montgomery in 1961. (LIFE Images Collection)Writer Calvin Trillin, center, interviewing John Lewis in Birmingham, Ala., as the Freedom Riders were boarding the bus for Montgomery in 1961. (LIFE Images Collection)

(JTA) — Writer Calvin Trillin may be most famous today for his humorous musings on food, family, travel and love. But before he won the Thurber Prize for Humor in 2013; before “Uncivil Liberties,” his humor column for The Nation — he has lovingly called it “a pinko magazine published… Read more »

Tucson reputation as ‘world-class destination’ gets boost from new murals

Rocky Martinez painted the “Goddess of Agave” mural on the Benjamin Supply building at  440 N. 7th Ave. (Photo: David J. Del Grande ; Mural © 2016 Rocky Martinez/Tucson Arts Brigade)Rocky Martinez painted the “Goddess of Agave” mural on the Benjamin Supply building at 440 N. 7th Ave. (Photo: David J. Del Grande ; Mural © 2016 Rocky Martinez/Tucson Arts Brigade)

Eight colorful new murals scattered around downtown will do more than beautify Tucson — they’ll provide an economic boost by helping to brand Tucson as an exotic, world class destination, and by reducing the money spent on graffiti abatement, says Michael B. Schwartz, director of the nonprofit Tucson Arts… Read more »

Tucson J gallery will feature ‘Monsters Under the Bed’

“A Creature That Doesn’t Understand What He Really Is” by Curt Kiwak“A Creature That Doesn’t Understand What He Really Is” by Curt Kiwak

Curt Kiwak will exhibit “Monsters Under the Bed,” works on paper, in the Fine Art Gallery of the Tucson Jewish Community Center, July 8-Sept. 6. An artist’s reception will be held on Sunday, Aug.28 from 2-4 p.m. Born in Chicago, Kiwak attended the Art Institute in Chicago. He moved… Read more »

Have WiFi? You can explore the story of the Jewish people anywhere you go

This photograph of an Arab neighbor visiting a friend in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in 1945 or 1946 is part of the Museum of the Jewish People's vast archives. (Herbert Sonnenfeld/Courtesy of Beit Hatfutsot)This photograph of an Arab neighbor visiting a friend in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in 1945 or 1946 is part of the Museum of the Jewish People's vast archives. (Herbert Sonnenfeld/Courtesy of Beit Hatfutsot)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — When Benny Daon entered the Israeli high-tech scene in 1993, the Jewish state was just beginning to earn its reputation as a global hub of cutting-edge technology. He worked his way up the ladder, first at other people’s companies and then as CEO of his… Read more »

The 9 best Jewish food trucks in the US

(JTA) — Summer is upon us. And that means swimsuits, summer camps, sticky temperatures — and food trucks. True, many of these trendy restaurants-on-wheels are known to ply their wares in the depths of winter. But as the weather warms, everyone from office workers to tourists find themselves beckoned… Read more »

‘Weiner’ candid exposé of political meltdown

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner in a scene from Weiner (Courtesy IFC Films)Former Congressman Anthony Weiner in a scene from Weiner (Courtesy IFC Films)

Congressman Anthony Weiner, for those who don’t remember or have a talent for tuning out the wavelength or bandwidth by which scandals are disseminated, represented Brooklyn and Queens for seven terms before resigning in 2011 following revelations of sexting. Two years later, the liberal Democrat announced that he was… Read more »