In a gripping new documentary airing on PBS on April 14, during National Holocaust Remembrance Week, historian and author Daniel Jonah Goldhagen makes a convincing case that genocide - the systematic effort to eliminate an entire group perceived of as deserving of death -- is even more destructive than armed conflict, and yet often can be prevented.
Ruth Wisse has taught a course on Jewish humor at Harvard for years, but you might not know it given her most recent work. “Jews and Power,” published by Nextbook/Schocken in 2007, was a very serious book.
It argued that throughout history Jews have often blamed themselves for problems not of their own making. Since the destruction of the Second Temple, in 70 C.E., Wisse detected a pattern in Jewish history in which Jews aligned themselves with ideas that ran counter to their own interests in the hope that it might save them.
Ask clinical psychologist Marsha Mirkin, and she’ll tell you that the essential psychology textbook was written more than 3,000 years before the birth of pioneering analyst Sigmund Freud. Freud may have deemed religion “a mass delusion,” but Mirkin contends that the Divine parables of the Torah can provide unrivaled insights into human behavior.
That’s how Kelly Connerton, a teacher at the new Peace and Diversity Academy in the Bronx, summed up her ninth-grade students’ disconnect with literacy.
“They don’t see their cultures represented in the Euro-centric literature they’ve been taught,” said Connerton, who teaches English at the academy, a first-of-its-kind partnership between the New York City Public Schools and the Anti-Defamation League.
Judaism can come in the most unexpected of packages. At first glance, a nearly seven-foot-tall painting of a single thick black stripe running vertically across a black canvas signifies nothing but itself: a profound meditation on color and form. Yet Barnett Newman titled his 1949 painting "Abraham," after his father, who had died two years earlier, and the Jewish patriarch.
Newark, N.J. — Controversial New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka, whose recent poem “Somebody Blew Up America” suggested that Israel knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terror attacks, blasted his Jewish critics Wednesday, calling the Anti-Defamation League “the voice of imperialism.”
Baraka is refusing to resign his post despite calls from New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey that he step down, adding Wednesday, “I will not apologize.”
At a recent performance of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange’s innovative and sometimes astonishing work “Small Dances about Big Ideas,” originally commissioned by Harvard Law School to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials, a young American woman is shown planting red flags in the earth in Rwanda, each one representing the presence of a body (or body part) at the site of a massacre.
It’s not unusual for strangers to tell Helen Epstein that she changed their lives. They’re referring to her 1979 book, “Children of the Holocaust,” which identified and described an experience that many sons and daughters of survivors shared but few discussed in public. After 18 years, that book — her first — remains in print, still selling.
Rabbi Jan Uhrbach is at morning and evening services every day at the East 55th Street Conservative Synagogue. That she’s the first and only woman rabbi to lead a Manhattan shul with a daily minyan is one of her many distinctive steps in a distinguished and unusual rabbinic path.
The 44-year-old rabbi, who was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2003, joined the 150-member, 101-year-old synagogue this fall, after their leader of 40 years, Rabbi Reuven Siegel, retired.