A look back at 2011, from Anthony Weiner to Gilad Shalit to Occupy Judaism.
JTA and Jewish Week Staff
The following is a review of the news highlights of 2011.
Jews worldwide mourn the passing of Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music and best known for her composition “Mi Shebeirach,” a prayer for healing that is sung in many North American congregations.
Tonight is a big one for Philip Glass, the iconic Jewish composer who turns 75 next month. It will be the last night of the Met staging of Glass' Gandhi opera, "Satyagraha," and Glass will also be there -- to protest it. Glass announced on his website this week that he will be joining Occupy Wall Street's planned "Occupy Lincoln Center" protest outsi
My colleague George Robinson wrote an insightful piece on the upcoming "Babi Yar" symphony being performed by the New York Philharmonic this weekend. I've never heard the symphony in full, but I look forward to hearing it this Thursday night.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the author of the classic, sepulchral children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” has something of a potty-mouth. But still it feels like one. Maurice Sendak, the 83-year-old author of “Wild Things, as well as a new children’s book, “Bumble-Ardy,” his umpteenth, gave what is to my mind one of the best interviews I’ve read in a long time. Anywhere.
Most people look forward to the "Kol Nidre" prayer as the high point of the High Holy Days. Not me. I'm an "Unetanah Tokef" fan, the central prayer of the Rosh Hashanah service. You probably know it -- it's the one with lines like "Who shall live and who shall die," "Who shall perish by water and who by fire / Who by sword and who by wild beast." (I'll past the whole thing at the end of this blog.) But few people pause to consider its origins or its real meaning. To be honest, I haven't ruminated on those things
The Conservative movement recently conducted a survey of hundreds of its rabbis and the results are in: on the whole, they're as committed to Israel as they've ever been, although younger rabbis have more liberal views about the state than they've used to. The purpose behind this survey is clear: to assure anxious Jewish leaders that, contra the skeptics, Israel remains as vital a part of Jewish life as ever.
If you don't know who Bernard Henri-Levy is, don't worry. There's a new celebrity French intellectual you should know: Elisabeth Badinter. She's an older feminist who recently became a celebrity in France with her trenchant new book attacking other feminists' views. And like BHL, she's Jewish.
New York magazine has a great chart comparing two adjacent New York City congressional districts in this week's issue. One is District 14, which includes all of the Upper East Side, parts of Murray Hill, Long Island City, Astoria, and a few other less affluent places too. The other is District 16, just north of the Upper East Side, and covers much of the South Bronx. The stats they line up are startling: the average income in District 14 is $79,385; in D-16 it's $23,073.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.