The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeiter Ring started more than a century ago in a tenement on the Lower East Side. It developed over the decades from a mutual-aid society for immigrants into an activist organization bristling with radical ideologies and aimed at promoting secular Jewish education. Next week, the group marks the start of its second century with a celebration of Yiddish culture at Town Hall.
New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka says he will fight legislation aimed at removing him from the state-appointed position, telling The Jewish Week Tuesday he was prepared to take legal action if a bill being drafted this week in the state Senate passes. “I certainly will sue,” he said Tuesday by phone from his home in Newark.
Legal experts say the controversial poet could have a good case on free-speech grounds.
Constanza Garcia was looking to book New York performances for “Klezmer en Buenos Aires” — a tango-inflected klezmer duo that she promotes. She immediately thought of Makor, the cultural center on the Upper West Side that caters to Jews in their 20s and 30s.
“I thought Makor would be the right place for klezmer,” Garcia says. But Makor passed.
Minorities of all kinds could be targets of angry,
growing movement, some warn.
James D. Besser
An angry “Tea Party” movement that Republican leaders hope to harness to boost their party’s chances in the 2010 congressional midterm elections could also be a potential blow to GOP outreach to minorities — including Jewish voters.
But Republican leaders, too, are in the movement’s cross hairs, and some Jewish leaders worry that the movement could transcend traditional politics entirely and create an extremist surge that is threatening to all minorities.
Two new books focusing on meat, Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals” and David Sax’s “Save the Deli,” offer fascinating and contrasting views on the value of meat in American Jewish culture. Although the books are, so to speak, apples and oranges — “Eating Animals” is a moral indictment of factory farming and “Save the Deli” is a rhapsody for a disappearing culinary institution — they suggest the diverse, divergent ways in which American Jewish life is defined by its attitudes about food.
The two penguins, singing Hebrew songs, watched in awe as their magic sukkah took off from the zoo, flying high over the city and the countryside, their long journey to Israel interrupted by a quick stop at the ruins of Macchu Picchu....
My kids interrupt me. Lior, who is 4, asks me: “Are the penguins magic?” Aviv, my 7-year-old, waves off this old, tired question. Despite his inquisitive innocence, he goes for the ontological jugular: “Who told you the story? And how do you know it’s true?”
In David Grossman’s title essay from his new book “Writing in the Dark,” the Israeli novelist states that writing “has immense power, the power to change a world and create a world, the power to give words to the mute and to bring about tikkun — “repair” — in the deepest, kabbalistic sense of the word.”
A simple sentence, bold in its assertion of the power of writers and writing, but one that reveals layer upon layer of meaning.
First of all, what is “the Dark” to which he refers?
In the 1940s, C.S. Lewis, author of the classic Chronicles of Narnia series, wrote a succession of essays later collected as "Mere Christianity," which had a galvanizing effect on Christians. A passionate and charming articulation of the central tenets of Christianity, the book is reputed to have brought more people into the fold than any other written in the last half century.
Publishers Weekly, in its review of the fascinating new book “The Butcher’s Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town” (Norton), notes somewhat offhandedly that “although classed by the publisher as history/Judaica, this powerful volume will also appeal to true-crime readers…”