journalist

‘Do I Have To Belong Somewhere?’

01/23/2008
Special To The Jewish Week

Billy Wilder used to joke about his former compatriots in Austria. He would say, “The Austrians are a marvelous people: they have convinced the whole world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.” Axel Corti, a Paris-born, half-Italian, half-Austrian filmmaker, would have undoubtedly appreciated this jibe. Corti, who died of leukemia in 1993, spent his entire career as a film, theater and radio director putting the Austrian-Jewish connection under the microscope of his art with scathing results.

A Lesson In Location

01/16/2008
Special To The Jewish Week

Joseph Cedar’s learning curve has been impressive. The New York-born Israeli filmmaker has made only three feature films to date, and each has been the Israeli representative to the Academy Awards. From his intelligent but uneven first feature, “Time of Favor,” through his sophomore effort, “Campfire,” to his new film, “Beaufort,” is a series of quantum leaps in assurance, control of tone, creative use of screen space and sheer cinematic intelligence.

Mining A Jewish Story

01/20/2006
Special To The Jewish Week

The aftermath of the Sago mine explosion captured my attention and rent my heart, the same as for millions of other Americans. It also drew me in as a journalist concerned with the history and future of social justice in this country.

The stories of the 12 miners killed in the disaster and those of their families are riveting enough, highlighting the human drama and consequences behind such a tragedy. But also riveting are the facts regarding the mine's many health and safety violations and how federal officials seemed to be missing in action.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Avram Burg In First N.Y. Appearance Since Controversial Book

04/02/2008
Special To The Jewish Week

The controversy aroused last year by the publication of his latest book, "Defeating Hitler," and a lengthy interview in one of Israel's daily papers continues to trail Avram Burg, as suggested by a Tuesday night forum in New York.

Souls On Fire

11/27/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

The road less traveled is getting crowded. Not only are large numbers of Jews embarking on spiritual journeys, but many are writing about them, in full candor. The inner adventure story might be the Jewish book of the moment.

While bookstores are overflowing with memoirs of every stripe — the musings of people from all backgrounds, reflecting on remarkable families, abuse and dysfunction, divorce, relationships — Jewish writers seem to be revealing the details of their spiritual lives: The relationship frequently examined is that with God.

Frank Talk

10/09/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

Next June, Anne Frank would be 70 years old. Public interest in the young Anne Frank and her diary — an account of her 25 months hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex in Amsterdam, which has now been translated into 55 languages, with more than 25 million copies sold — is unceasing, with new editions of the diary, a recent revival of the Broadway play, documentary films, children’s books, dissertations and critical articles, with frequent contention between the people and organizations who claim to represent her interests.

Explaining The Inexplicable

07/24/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

More than 50 years after Hitler’s death, there’s no consensus among the many Holocaust scholars about the nature of his evil, his motivations, his self-awareness, his hiddenness. As journalist Ron Rosenbaum points out in his new book Explaining Hitler (Random House), there are many competing visions and passionate, bitter disputes.

Honoring The Many

11/01/2002
Jewish Week Book Critic

Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian Jew who is this year’s Nobel laureate in literature, often says that he’s a medium of the Holocaust. “Auschwitz speaks through his stories,” a friend of his, the Israeli literary critic and author Shmuel Thomas Huppert, tells The Jewish Week. “His main theme is Auschwitz. He stresses the fact that first of all he’s a writer. He didn’t become a writer because he was in Auschwitz but, by being in Auschwitz, he found his major theme.”

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Is Jay Michaelson's God Too Mushy?

10/20/2009
Staff Writer

In the 1990s, when baby boomers were taking heat for being soulless hedonists, concerned with nothing but their own wealth and well being, the poet Rodger Kamenetz published "The Jew in the Lotus." A travelogue by a lapsed Jew and boomer himself, Kamenetz told the story of his spiritual reawakening on a trip to meet the Dalai Lama.

Sharing a Painful Message: Needed - Sane Voices for Israel

09/24/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

In lieu of a regular posting this week, I am sharing with you the message that I delivered in my own congregation in Forest Hills on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

I do so because it speaks to a subject that I think needs to be on our communal agenda, and about which I feel passionately: how and about what we in the Jewish community disagree, and its implications for our relationship with the world as a whole, and particularly with Israel.

I wish you all a g’mar hatimah tovah…

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