Arts and Culture

Anne Frank diary published as comic book

A graphic novel version of Anne Frank’s biography was released in the Netherlands. The 160-page book, launched July 9, uses text and illustrations to tell Anne’s story and make connections between her life and historical events during the period. According to Anne Frank House Museum spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker, the… Read more »

Jewish fusion music key to Budapest’s ‘Jewstock’ festival

Flora Polnauer, guitarist Daniel Kardos, and sax player Janos Vazsonyi perform in Budapest. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Flora Polnauer, 28, tilts back her head, half closes her eyes and hums a few bars of a song by her hip-hop/funk/reggae band HaGesher. The song is “Lecha Dodi,” the Shabbat evening prayer — sounded over a Yiddishized version of the Beatles song “Girl.” It’s just… Read more »

Boxer Dmitriy Salita is humbled, but not down for the count

Dmitriy Salita works out as he eyes a return to the ring, but has involved himself more directly in helping move young Russian Jews closer to Judaism. (Claudio Papapietro)

NEW YORK (Forward.com) — Dmitriy Salita speaks about the future of his boxing career with a look of pure intensity in his otherwise mournful brown eyes. All the greatest boxers have this stare, a perfect distillation of concentration and discipline and total faith in the strength of their arms.… Read more »

‘Cultural intifada’ as Costello, Meg Ryan and others cancel Israel plans

British singer Elton John performs in Ramat Gan, Israel, June 17, 2010. (Flash90 / JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Actress Meg Ryan’s decision to cancel her appearance at this week’s Jerusalem Film Festival didn’t garner the same attention in Israel as British rocker Elvis Costello when he nixed his Israel concert this spring. Both, however, were a reminder to Israelis that in the eyes of… Read more »

Moscow exhibit gives a voice to Jewish Red Army soldiers

A Jewish Red Army veteran speaks at the "Writings and Reflections of Jewish Soldiers in the Red Army" exhibit in Mpscow. (Anna Rudnitskaya)

MOSCOW (JTA) — Lev Fein, a Jewish soldier in the Red Army, returned home to Minsk in 1945 to find a letter about his family being wiped out by the Nazis and the dire consequences of the occupation for Belarus Jews. “Father and Uncle Fein died on the third… Read more »

The ‘Beetle’ airs July 5 on PBS’ “Global Visions”

In Israel, childhood ends when you get married, or so Yishai Orian informs us at the outset of his charming shaggy-dog story of a movie. But after six years of marriage, with his wife about to give birth to their first child, there’s some question whether the pony-tailed filmmaker… Read more »

Drake, a black Jew, is hip-hop’s newest star

In a culture of misfits and outsiders, Aubrey “Drake” Graham is the ultimate outsider — a big-time black Jewish rapper. His star is rising rapidly on the hip-hop scene. Though fans have followed the Jewish-Canadian Drake since his days as basketball star Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian soap “Degrassi:… Read more »

Books that made a difference – Eileen Warshaw

To submit  your “Books that made a difference” entry,  mouse over “Contact” and  select “Books that made a difference” from the drop-down menu.. Submissions will be posted online and selected entries will appear in the AJP Rosh Hashanah issue on Sept. 3. The book that changed my life: “This… Read more »

Books that made a difference – Bob Kovitz

To submit  your “Books that made a difference” entry,  mouse over “Contact” and  select “Books that made a difference” from the drop-down menu.. Submissions will be posted online and selected entries will appear in the AJP Rosh Hashanah issue on Sept. 3. In Basic Training for the U.S. Army,… Read more »

Father’s story of loss reinforces bonds of love

I was nearing the end of my interview with writer Barry Kluger. The media executive, whose columns often run in the Scottsdale Republic and occasionally in the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, had just published his first book, “A Life Undone: A Father’s Journey Through Loss.” Kluger lost his… Read more »

Germany’s Oberammergau Passion Play better, but not good

This scene in the Oberamergau Passion Play, showing Jesus' crucifixion, perpetuates the charge against the Jews of deicide, some Jewish critics say. (Passion Play/Obergammergau 2010/JTA Photo Service)

Berlin (JTA) — It’s a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in the Bavarian village of Oberammergau, nestled in the German Alps. After witnessing it in the 1930s, Hitler reportedly proclaimed, “Never has the menace of Jewry been so convincingly portrayed as in this presentation of what happened… Read more »

Musician Sam Glaser will hail fathers at Congregation Anshei Israel

Singer/songwriter Sam Glaser will be in Tucson to celebrate a local friend, his own father, and fathers everywhere this Father’s Day. The acclaimed Jewish pop musician will perform at a fundraiser suggested by his friend Michael Deitch on Sunday, June 20 at 1 p.m. at Congregation Anshei Israel. Deitch,… Read more »

Israeli teens to perform at JCC

The Israel Scouts (Tzofim) Friendship Caravan will return to Tucson on Tuesday, June 15, with a free song and dance performance at the Tucson Jewish Community Center at 6 p.m. Four performing groups, consisting of five male and five female 17-year-old Israeli Scouts, travel across North America each summer.… Read more »

‘Win at Work!’ reflects conflict resolution guru’s lifelong quest for peace

Diane Katz

The key to changing an organization or workplace is not to ascribe blame, says Diane Katz, organizational psychologist and author of the newly published “Win at Work! The Everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution.” Katz founded her consulting company, The Working Circle, in 1995, the same year she moved… Read more »

In the shadow of Nazi classic ‘Jew Suess’: Director’s kin speak their minds

Veit Harlan, left, directs actor Werner Krauss as Rabbi Loew in "Jew Suess," a Nazi-era propaganda film. (Zeiteist Films)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — German director Veit Harlan may have made 29 other films between 1935 and 1962, but his 1940 anti-Semitic classic “Jew Suess” guaranteed his position as the favorite director of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Even to this day the film casts its baleful shadow over his… Read more »

New bios of Lubavitcher rebbe dig for the man behind the myth

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, standing, with his future father-in-law, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. (TheRebbe.org)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Sixteen years after the death of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a flurry of new publications indicates not only how enduring the interest is in his life and legacy, but how potent the minefield is surrounding his mythology. Writing a biography of a larger-than-life figure is… Read more »

Comedy guru taking new show to Temple Emanu-El

Beth Lapides

Stand-up comic Beth Lapides considers herself a New Age Jew — “Never forget to be here now” is her mantra. Lapides will perform in her new solo show, “100% Happy 88% of the Time,” on Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. at a benefit for Temple Emanu-El. The performance… Read more »

Children’s book giveaway writing new chapter in publishing market

BOSTON (JTA) — Once upon a time it was hard to find a wide selection of Jewish children’s books. Mostly there were books on Chanukah and Passover, plus retellings of Bible stories and folk tales.  The market was small and uncertain, and mainstream publishers could not count on large… Read more »

Cycle of Israeli Arab-Jewish violence sparks sizzling “Ajami”

Even by the high standards set by Israeli films in the last few years, “Ajami” is a knockout. A crackling urban drama shot with unblinking realism and steeped in astringent Middle East irony, ”Ajami” sinks its hooks in the first minute and never lets up. Written, directed and edited… Read more »