Welcome to the Tweder. Can Twitter and the Passover seder coexist?
Last Passover, Dan Berkal spent the first seder dining with family and friends at the James Hotel in Chicago — chanting the prayers and songs of the Haggadah, sipping the four requisite glasses of wine ... and updating his Twitter status.
“Suddenly four children enter the room,” he tweeted at 4:53 p.m. “Nobody seems to like the wise child,” he added a minute later, followed by the 4:55 p.m. announcement: “We tell the wise son, ‘No dessert for you!’”
Last fall, as her peers fanned out to colleges across the country, Dana Feldman made what in the leafy Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill., was an unusual choice: She headed for Israel to spend the year studying and volunteering.After taking Jewish studies and ulpan classes at Hebrew University during the fall semester, Feldman is spending the second half of her year abroad working with new immigrants at a Beersheva absorption center.
Its creative ranks include recluses, the insane and former prison inmates, but "Outsider Art" is hardly the exclusive domain of social misfits.
A tour through the American Museum of Folk Art or any number of galleries specializing in what is also known as "self-taught art" exposes viewers to a rich field of artists - including a notable number of Jewish painters - who, while untrained, display a talent for visual expression appreciated by connoisseurs and common folk alike.
Most visitors to a new Chagall exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan likely will find more interest in the Velcro animals on display than in Vitebsk, the artist’s beloved hometown. But while they putter and play among the exhibits that make up “Chagall for Children,” young audiences are getting a foundation in art appreciation, the exhibition’s organizers say.
Jackie Mason’s newest show, “Prune Danish,” is — like its namesake — familiar, unsophisticated and ultimately satisfying. That is, of course, if Mason’s brand of pastry is what you’re after.
The New York Times’ reviewer Bruce Weber clearly had a hankering for something different. He panned “Prune Danish” — Mason’s sixth stand-up stint on Broadway — as “idiotically, hypocritically reactionary” and said the two-and-a-half hour-show served up only about 30 minutes of good material.
It’s not often that one visits a contemporary art installation, opens up the comment book, and reads the following: “First of all, I am a broken vessel, a victim of abuse, and I am in the process of healing.” Or: “Today, June 8, makes 7 years since I lost my wife.” Other entries include promises to help woman held in sexual bondage, or work with local schools to improve the quality of education.
There were a thousand women, and they were on their feet, swaying to a klezmer beat. The place was the Michigan Womyn’s Festival, the most successful of the many all-women’s music events that are held all summer across the United States. Isle of Klezbos was playing on the “night stage,” the primo venue at the festival, “the culmination of the whole event,” says Eve Sicular, the band’s leader and drummer. “ People told me later about how this was unlike any experience they had there.
It is estimated that there are 4.2 million closed-circuit TV surveillance cameras operating in Great Britain, one for every 15 residents of the country. Don’t worry, though: the United States is rushing to catch up. Baltimore, for example, already has 400 such cameras in place and, as filmmaker Adam Rifkin notes, “Mayors Bloomberg and Daley [of Chicago] and Villaraigosa [of Los Angeles] all want to put in more cameras.”
Imagine yourself onstage with a hard-rocking, all-star klezmer ensemble. You’re singing Yiddish classics with great voices like Adrienne Cooper, Basya Schechter and Debbie Friedman, and 500 people are cheering.
Sounds exhilarating, nu? Or maybe a little scary?
Would it help if the 500 people were singing along with you?
“Well, a conservative estimate would say that between 60 and 70 percent of the people were singing,” says Zalmen Mlotek.