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.
For over 20 years, Elizabeth Swados has worked with youngsters of all backgrounds in musicals such as her '70s Broadway hit "Runaways." And she has collaborated with others to compose liturgical music like her '95 album "Bible Women." But one group was noticeably missing.
"I never worked with people who had the same background," she told The Jewish Week in a telephone interview. "I wanted to see what teenage middle-class Jewish girls had to say about sexuality, body image, relationships, and the influence of Jewish tradition."
Speaking before several dozen people munching on babaganoush and taboule and chatting away in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and English, the Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury invoked the hallowed name of Al-Andalus.
"And if we do not find it, we can build it in our hearts," he said at the reception for a literary event last week in the Soho studio of Iraqi-born sculptor Oded Halahmy.
Hoping to stir up a little debate on a somewhat taboo topic, art critic Max Kozloff has mounted a historical exhibition of street photography that dares to define a Jewish aesthetic. "New York: Capital of Photography," at The Jewish Museum through September, argues that there're two kinds of New York photography: Jewish and gentile.
"It's totally provocative," Kozloff says, chuckling to himself during an interview at the press opening.
Frankfurt, Germany - Amsterdam has long been a place of education and remembrance of Anne Frank. But in her hometown of Frankfurt, Germany, Frank's life and death for years have been marked only with a plaque on one of her two former homes and an elementary school renamed in her honor. Annual ceremonies were held on her birthday from 1957 to 1970, but until now there has never been an ambitious permanent site dedicated to telling the story of one of the most famous and eloquent victims of the Holocaust.
At the height of their contest for Cezanne's mantle as the leader of the French avant-garde, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso agreed to swap pictures. Over the previous two years, Paris' leading provocateur Matisse had steadily ceded ground to the newcomer Picasso, until the fall of 1907, when the two men were deadlocked.
They say the average age of the Friars Club is deceased, but a surprising number of new members are not yet collecting Social Security, let alone pushing up daisies. For the third year running, the annual Roast has shined a spotlight on a Friars Club in transition. Once a smoky lunchtime festival of bad taste held behind locked doors, the Roast is now a glitzy, black tie, made-for-television event that fills the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton. With ticket prices starting at $250, nearly 2,000 guests gathered Oct.
Leaving a board of directors dinner last Thursday night, Michael Steinhardt strolled from the cafe to see what the kids were up to in the chic jazz club in his brainchild Makor. Rob Tannenbaum and Sean Altman's Jewish singer-songwriter showcase "What I Like About Jew" was in full swing, the clever a cappella group Minimum Wage trying its best to amuse.
"Are you Jewish?" Steinhardt asked The Jewish Week, scanning the crowd, a product of his $11 million gift. "Do you want to meet a girl and get married tonight?"
Vitaly Komar, clad in all black, huffed up the stairs of the Center for Jewish History with a reporter in tow. “I like this place,” said the one half of an internationally known Russian artist team. “It’s like a club house, not white and antiseptic like most museums that can feel like a hospital.”