Leaders of the fractious Jewish community in Russia are taking opposing positions on whether a vote last week by the lower house of Russia’s parliament to condemn an overtly anti-Semitic statement signed by 19 of its members amounts to progress in the fight against anti-Jewish bigotry.Yet four major Jewish leaders — Chief Rabbis Berel Lazar and Adolf Shayevich; Vladimir Slutsker, president of the Russian Jewish Congress; and Mikhail Chlenov, secretary general of the Eurasian Jewish Congress — agreed in separate phone interviews that the recent upsurge of anti-Semitis
Friday, September 19th, 2008
“Hair,” this summer’s “Shakespeare Festival” productionat Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, closed just last week but there’s talk of it going back to Broadway. Better yet, it should stay in Central Park, rather than be indoors. Outside, “Hair’s” mood matched the open sky, like stumbling upon a cluster of old friends from 1968 under the moon in a clearing amidst the trees.
At first glance, the Lower West Side of Buffalo is not the most photogenic neighborhood. Seen through the lens of optometrist-turned-photographer Milton Rogovin, however, one of the poorest urban areas in New York State reveals a wealth of individual stories full of dramatic difficulty and bittersweet joy.
His portraits of otherwise overlooked subjects (including growing families and longtime friends, steel mill workers, drug abusers, prostitutes and preachers) are currently on view in "The Forgotten Ones," an exhibition at the New-York Historical Society.
In what one arts advocate called the "ritual mating dance" that starts off months of fiscal back-and-forth, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has recommended slashing 6.2 percent from the Department of Cultural Affairs, a decrease that arts advocates calculate will translate into much larger cuts for some institutions and groups. Gov. George Pataki recently proposed slashing 15 percent from the New York State Council on the Arts, while New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has proposed a temporary freeze on all grants to arts groups.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is preparing to return to Ethiopia, just four months after it virtually shut down its operations in the African nation at the request of the Israeli government. Reports of death, illness and impoverished conditions among the thousands of Ethiopians who have flooded into the capital city of Addis Ababa and Gondar City prompted the move by the relief agency.
Washington, D.C. — Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe had just begun hitting the shores in 1883 when a small group of American professors founded the Modern Language Association to advocate tongues other than ancient Greek and Latin. But they probably weren’t thinking of Yiddish, Hebrew or Ladino.
When Martin Walser, one of Germay's leading writers, railed against the Holocaust being used as "a tool of intimidation" by unnamed individuals who "exploited [it] for present purposes," Germany's new foreign minister, Joschka Fischer knew immediately how the resulting furor would end.
"I knew it would be a disaster," Fischer told an audience at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York earlier this month.
The defeat of Republican Sen. Alfonse D’Amato Tuesday was also a big defeat for controversial campaign strategist, Arthur Finkelstein, the reclusive D’Amato protege who has made one-note attack ad on “liberals” his specialty.
Similarly, Democratic Rep. Charles Schumer’s triumph over D’Amato heralds the rise of newer campaign guru, Hank Morris, a feisty strategist who specializes in helping Democratic centrists repulse the often disabling liberal label.
Jerusalem — For more years than he cares to remember, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch and his movement, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, have been pressing Israel’s Interior Ministry to comply with the law.
But that law, which requires the ministry to accept and register as Jews immigrants who have converted to Judaism abroad, repeatedly has faced a harsh political reality: