Arts and Culture

At Thanksgiving, a cornucopia of Jewish sides

NEW YORK (JTA) — The best thing about Thanksgiving is that it invites Americans of all religions and ethnic backgrounds. On the same autumn Thursday, most American families eat turkey and a cornucopia of side dishes. No country has been more welcoming to the Jews than the United States.… Read more »

Crossword puzzle clue to romance in Invisible Theatre’s “2 Across”

Janet (Maedell Dixon) and Josh (David Alexander Johnston) prove opposites do attract in “2 Across.”

In the romantic comedy “2 Across,” now playing at the Invisible Theatre, two strangers meet on a San Francisco BART train. They’re opposites: she’s a pragmatist, he’s a dreamer. She’s Catholic, he’s Jewish. And she does the New York Times crossword in pen, while he does it in pencil… Read more »

UApresents to pair world-class clarinetist, pianist

Menahem Pressler

Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, a two-time Grammy Award winner, rejoices in the power of music written by the world’s greatest composers, “taking my turn to take those notes and turn them into life.” Stoltzman intends do just that when he performs with pianist Menahem Pressler and the New York Chamber… Read more »

Sue Fishkoff explains: How America came to think ‘K’ is OK

Sue Fishkoff

NEW YORK (Forward) — How did kosher certification grow so popular so fast? With Jews making up less than 2 percent of the country’s population, it seems certain that the answer is rooted in something other than increased religious observance. In her new book “Kosher Nation: Why More and… Read more »

Despite pressure, Pete Seeger won’t cancel participation in Israeli-organized rally

Folk singer Pete Seeger, in green, records a song at his home in Beacon, N.Y., in May 2010 for an Israeli-organized peace rally. He is accompanied by Walker Rumpf on guitar and Rava Institute for Environmental alumni Zack Korenstein and Sarah Schuldenfrei. (Michael Hardgrove)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — No one tells Pete Seeger what to do. At 91, the iconic folk singer has penned hundreds of protest songs, railing against everything from the Vietnam War to global warming. He was blacklisted in the 1950s, he slept under the stars with striking farmers and… Read more »

Photo exhibit at JCC celebrates THA kids’ love of learning

A photographic exhibit by Tucson Hebrew Academy, “The Art of Making a Difference,” is on display at the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Fine Art Gallery through the end of the month. Established for THA’s Tikkun Olam event on Oct. 24 honoring Tucson’s rabbis, the exhibit “is a celebration of… Read more »

Holocaust expert will parse ‘A Film Unfinished’ at Loft Cinema

The place is the Warsaw Ghetto, the year 1942, and the black-and-white footage shows fashionably dressed men and women, with yellow Stars of David as accessories, having a high time at a champagne ball. Later we see emaciated kids rooting through mounds of garbage and excrement for scraps of… Read more »

Downtown gallery shows Tel Aviv artist’s mythic works

"Man Adrift in Box" by Benjamin Levy

A private collection of works by Israeli artist Benjamin Levy is on display through Monday, Oct. 18 at M.A.S.T., 299 S. Park Ave. The collection includes paintings, drawings, lithographs and prints from the 1960s to 1990s. Much of Levy’s art is rooted in mythic family tales and remembrances. Near… Read more »

Seinfeld, Midler to headline Philly museum’s opening bash

Jerry Seinfeld will emcee the Nov. 13, 2010 gala to celebrate the official unveiling of the renovated National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Courtesy of NMAJH

NEW YORK (JTA) — Two of the country’s most famous Jewish performers will highlight the opening of one of the most ambitious Jewish museum projects in years. Jerry Seinfeld will emcee and Bette Midler will headline a Nov. 13 gala to celebrate the official unveiling of the renovated National… Read more »

Books that made a difference – George Perlmutter

When I was 18, I was going to Northwestern University night school and looking for day work. One of my courses was marketing and selling, which was taught by Benjamin Bills, a man I will never forget. He told me that I was a born salesman. He said there… Read more »

Note cards honor TIPS art contest winners

"Partnership" by Natalie Leonard

Drawings by Natalie Leonard and Zevi Bloomfield are the local winners in an art contest sponsored by the TIPS communities of Tucson, Israel, Phoenix and Seattle. The drawings are printed on note cards the Israel Center will distribute at community events. This is the fourth year of the TIPS… Read more »

Imaginative NYC sukkah contest to go nationwide

‘Fractured Bubble’ by Henry Grosman and Babak Bryan won the Sukkah City architectural competition in Manhattan. (Courtesy of Reboot)

It was a surprise hit on the cultural roster of a city that may be the most culturally busy city in the nation. And even though the Sukkah City architectural competition in New York was being dismantled this week, look for Sukkah City next year in a town near… Read more »

In new play, Patinkin tackles an Anne Frank obsession

Mandy Patinkin plays a man obsessed with the story of Anne Frank in "Compulsion," opening Sept. 16 in Berkeley, Calif.

BERKELEY, Calif. (JTA) — Mandy Patinkin says he only plays Jewish characters. Che Guevara, his Tony Award-winning role in the 1980 Broadway play, “Evita”? Jewish. Inigo “prepare to die” Montoya in “The Princess Bride”? Also Jewish. “Everything I do is Jewish. It’s who I am. It’s my soul,” said… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Ivan Gur-Arie

Ivan Gur-Arie

“Jewcentricity:  Why the Jews are Praised, Blamed, and Used to Explain Just About Everything” by Adam M. Garfinkle, a very readable book, encompasses historical, psychological, cultural and sociological themes. It has always intrigued me why Jews throughout history always got the limelight, for good or bad. This book certainly… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Phyllis Braun

Phyllis Braun

For me, it isn’t any one book, it is books in general — though I have fond memories of reading all of Louisa May Alcott’s works when I was a girl, despite what I see now as her somewhat overbearing preachiness. I can still remember being a pre-reader, at… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Mark Rubin

Mark Rubin

I’ve been reading for almost 50 years and will read almost anything. For pure pleasure, though, my favorites are “The Day the Goose Got Loose” by Reeve Lindbergh (Steven Kellogg, Illustrator), “The Digging-Est Dog” by Al Perkins (Eric Gurney, Illustrator) and “The Lorax” by Theodor Seuss Geisel, read aloud… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Sheila Wilensky

Sheila Wilensky

Once upon a time, I owned a children’s bookstore.  My two children grew up at Oz Books in Southwest Harbor, Maine, which I owned from 1982 to 1997. In a way, it seemed that we grew up together reading children’s books. In high school I read a lot of… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Rabbi Jason Holtz

Rabbi Jason Holtz

“As a Driven Leaf,” by Rabbi Milton Steinberg, is a 20th century book that’s a retelling of an ancient rabbinic story.  The protagonist, Elisha ben Avuyah, is a respected rabbinic scholar living in the ancient land of Israel.  Despite his traditional Jewish learning and stature in the community, he… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Steven Freedman

Steven Freedman

When I was a young boy, I would go camping with my parents, older brother and younger sister. My mother would read a book aloud as my father drove the station wagon with the camping gear neatly stowed on top. On one trip, mom read short stories by Sholom… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Rebecca Kunsberg

Rebecca Kunsberg

A friend loaned me “The History of Love,” by Nicole Krauss, and it sat on my night stand for two months. I was in grad school at the time, and didn’t have time to read a book for leisure. I finally had time between semesters, and to this day,… Read more »