Entertainment

Striking Out In Israel

04/27/2010

The history of Israel is rich with entrepreneurial spirit and outside-the-box innovation that helped transform the tiny desert country.

And then there was the 2007 effort to transplant baseball to the Jewish state.

Israel Baseball League, the film: Scene from “Holy Land Hardball.”

Why Blog?

There are many reasons to not like blogs. For one, they're derivative, the great many of them dependent on hard-earned reporting.  Usually, they're mere commentary on stories professional journalists have sweated long and hard to report. It used to be the case that newspapers would give a column to a reporter only after he'd spent years mastering his beat; the freedom to opine was an editor's great gift to a writer whose identity, individuality, whose thoughts and ideas were shackled in servitude to the ethical code of reportorial objectivity.

Does a Jewish Woman Need a Jewish Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle?

Two recent pieces have me wondering if I’ll be out of a job soon.

Not because of the sorry state of American journalism, but because these articles, both based on conversations with Jewish women in their 20s, indicate that intermarriage has become a complete non-issue for the next generation.

Anna Halprin’s Dance Therapy

New documentary traces the varied steps of the pioneering
modern dance choreographer.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

When Anna Halprin was growing up in the 1920s, she liked to watch her grandfather pray. He would rock back and forth, his long white beard swaying, while a string of unintelligible words rushed from his mouth. As his words became louder, faster, his body followed suit, moving in what seemed like some mystical dance. God must have looked something like that, Halprin remembers thinking. And so, she reasoned, “I thought God was a dancer.”
 

For Halprin, dance has tangible health benefits.

Did The Hebrew Bible Give Birth To Democracy?

Scholars beginning to challenge view that the rise of democratic values belongs solely to Western secular thought.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

When the Texas Board of Education voted last month in favor of a proposal that would emphasize the religious origins of democracy in high school curricula, many liberals were outraged. It seemed to fly in the face of the long-held assumption that Western political ideas — toleration, the separation of church and state, indeed the genius of democratic rule itself — was born from the steady secularization of the West. It was the age of the Enlightenment, after all, that produced America’s great experiment in democracy.
 

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Rally Here Slams Obama, Jewish Democrats

Organizers of rightist protest say Rep. Weiner
asked to speak but was nixed.

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

As the rain came down Sunday and a crowd estimated at about 1,000 people listened to speeches, the organizers of a right-wing rally opposed to President Barack Obama’s policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fielded a request from U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn and Queens).
 

Some of the 1,000 or so people who turned out for Sunday’s rally. Photos by Michael Datikash

A Stranger Walks Onto An Israeli Bus...

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

On a sunny Thursday morning during Israel’s February heat wave, I boarded the No. 63 bus in Givatayim, on my way to central Tel Aviv. I took a seat near the window to admire the white city. A few stops later, as the bus started to get crowded, a young black man got on and moved to take an empty seat near the driver.
 

Sondheim, Unrevealed

The great composer who held up a mirror
to us remains elusive himself in new production.

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

If Andrew Lloyd Webber supersized the Broadway musical, inflating it with an operatic grandeur that distanced it from everyday life, Stephen Sondheim made it about us — our relationships, our struggles for self-esteem, our wrestlings with our yearnings and fears.
 

The cast of “Sondheim on Sondheim,” including Vanessa Williams, left, and Barbara Cook, seated at center.

The Red-Bearded Face Of Irish-Jewish History

03/13/2009
Staff Writer

For any visitor to Dublin’s rustic Irish Jewish Museum, the warm-natured, red-bearded curator Raphael Siev was more than a familiar face: he was a fount of information and an admired Irish-Jewish leader.

Siev, 73, died of a short illness in the last week of January, during which he had insisted upon speaking at a Holocaust memorial event, The Independent newspaper in Dublin reported.
 

Death of Irish Jewish Museum curator Raphael Siev is deeply felt. Rachel King.

Alta Kocker Humor, For All Ages

04/24/2009
Staff Writer

Posing in a black-banded khaki-colored fedora as kitschy klezmer Muzak introduces his routine, Neil Lawner gestures loudly with outstretched arms and tells a joke about newlywed Luigi, who rode a train to Florida with his new bride Virginia, and tragically, mistook the station stop “Norfolk” for a prohibition in his marriage consummation.

Old jokes, old joke-tellers: Jewish humor hits the Web.
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