Among klezmer and chasidic music circles, reedman Howie Leess was known as "the mountain goat."
The saxophone player "created harmony lines that were so apropos and actually adventurous, he climbed the tune like a mountain goat," said the pianist Pete Sokolow, who first met Leess in the 1960s when they played together in Jewish ensembles like Sy Kushner's Mark III and the Epstein Brothers Orchestra.
"He had ears like nobody's business," Sokolow recalled this week.
The Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, is an austere space for ecumenical meditation. One of the oil town's most famous landmarks, its walls are adorned with 14 monumental paintings by the Russian-born artist Mark Rothko, rendered in his definitive style of floating patches of color: in this case, black, deep brown and purple. The art patron Dominique de Menil, who commissioned the space and its somber paintings, reportedly said the works evoke "the mystery of the cosmos, the tragic mystery of our perishable condition, [and] the silence of god, the unbearable silence of God."
Schneider, 68, takes over the day-to-day reins of the World Jewish Congress at a time when, he acknowledges, the organization is searching for new causes to champion, and amid questions about its own ability to function effectively after so much internal conflict. But Schneider sought to portray himself in the interview as being above the fray, coming in with a fresh slate to re-energize the organization.
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.
Growing up was never easy for copper-skinned Rebecca Walker, the trophy baby of a new America. Born in 1969, the “Movement Child” of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and activist Alice Walker and civil rights lawyer Mel Leventhal, Walker spent the first two decades of her life failing to fit into a country that still assumes fixed racial categories.
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:
Houston — Tzipora Mintz’s first concern when her husband learned he had to come here for medical treatment in early 2003 was his health. He had lymphoma, an advanced form of the cancer of the immune system.
Her second concern was housing. She and her husband — a young Orthodox couple from Brooklyn, they had recently had a new child — would be spending months, on and off, in Houston, while he received care at the Texas Medical Center.
The "Jewish" cardinal from Paris arrived here Monday to help launch an innovative weeklong program to teach French priests about Jewish life, New York style.
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Jewish-born Roman Catholic archbishop of Paris, delivered a 40-minute address about the future of Catholic-Jewish relations during a dinner sponsored by the World Jewish Congress attended by about 50 interfaith observers.