Sandee Brawarsky

The Persian Queens

03/07/2007 - 19:00
Jewish Week Book Critic

Separated by a thousand years, Queen Esther and Scheherazade were both the second wives of betrayed and humiliated kings. Both were selected by these kings from a harem, after a thousand women came before them. And both women’s lives were hanging by a thread, yet they chose to stand up for themselves and others and save lives.

Heir To ‘Sound Of Music’

03/07/2007 - 19:00
Jewish Week Book Critic

Peter Melnick remembers being taken to see “The Sound of Music” on Broadway when he was a few years old. Growing up, he thought everyone’s grandfathers was like his — Richard Rodgers — and wrote wonderful musicals.

By age 6, Melnick knew that he too wanted to write musicals. At 12, he went with his grandmother to Boston to see his grandfather in rehearsals for “Two by Two,” and he found it “incredibly exciting to hang out in the back of the theater and listen.”

Shirtwaist Fire Revisited

08/02/2006 - 20:00

Nobody shops for shirtwaists anymore. Even those who favor women’s tailored blouses are unlikely to know their traditional name. The word shirtwaist still recalls the worst factory fire in the history of New York City, on March 11, 1911, at the Triangle Waist Factory, also known as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. That day, at least 146 workers died, most of them immigrant Jewish women, many jumping through the blazing windows to their deaths. The building, at the corner of Washington and Greene Streets in Greenwich Village, still stands.

Greensboro’s Jewish Genes

Special To The Jewish Week
12/07/2009 - 19:00
The hairpin turns along the Blue Ridge Parkway reveal astonishing vistas, with deepening shades of blue and green, mountains and their shadows, around each bend. So too, a last-minute vacation to visit friends in Greensboro, N.C., attend a bluegrass festival, and travel in the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned into a detour into Southern Jewish history. We bumped into family stories in unexpected places, and later picked up subsequent chapters.

Text Context January 2010: Generations

12/31/2009 - 19:00

‘Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made,” Robert Browning wrote in “Rabbi Ben Ezra.” The Victorian poet had interests in Judaica and was inspired by the 12th-century Spanish scholar and poet, Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra. In Browning’s optimistic poem, youth and age are not flip sides of life’s journey; generations are interconnected, always.

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Portrait Of The Artist As An Older Man

Jewish Week Book Critic
12/07/2009 - 19:00
I would love William D. Kaufman’s stories even if he weren’t 95 and this wasn’t his first book.

A World In A Decade

Jewish Week Book Critic
11/09/2009 - 19:00
As we near the end of the first decade of the new century, I wonder which books we’ll later look back on as best capturing our present time. This season, several new books are fine period pieces, conjuring other eras. Non-fiction narratives depict a particular time and place through research and documentation; novels do so through invention, embellishing actual events.

For The Love Of Israeli Wines

Special To The Jewish Week
11/16/2009 - 19:00
One red wine was  compared to a really great passionate kiss. Another was praised as earthy, like wet leaves, like the earth itself. Participants in the Israeli Wine Lovers Club are encouraged to share their reactions to the wines they taste, to speak about aromas, flavors, oakiness, acidity, balance and, mostly, how all of the above strikes their palettes.
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