The New York Times

Two From The ‘60s

03/01/2002
Staff Writer

In an inspired piece of programming, two neglected comedies will be screened back-to-back this Saturday at the American Museum of the Moving Image.

Both “Bye Bye Braverman” and “The Plot Against Harry” capture an unusual slice of Jewish life in outer-borough New York in the late 1960s, yet are largely unknown, overshadowed by the comedy of Woody Allen and the urban dramas of Martin Scorcese.

Equal Opportunity Offender

11/08/2002
Staff Writer

Jackie Mason’s newest show, “Prune Danish,” is — like its namesake — familiar, unsophisticated and ultimately satisfying. That is, of course, if Mason’s brand of pastry is what you’re after.

The New York Times’ reviewer Bruce Weber clearly had a hankering for something different. He panned “Prune Danish” — Mason’s sixth stand-up stint on Broadway — as “idiotically, hypocritically reactionary” and said the two-and-a-half hour-show served up only about 30 minutes of good material.

Faith In Abstraction

10/24/2002
Staff Writer

Museum Mile — the stretch of Fifth Avenue from 82nd Street to 104th — offers an intriguing paradox this fall. The Jewish Museum, at the corner of 92nd Street, is presenting a retrospective of works by a Jewish painter who eschewed Jewish imagery in his embrace of the universal. A few blocks south, the National Academy of Design exhibits the work of a painter who rejected Judaism, but uses explicitly Jewish symbols as expressions of spiritual transcendence.

N.J. Eyes Bill To Oust Baraka

10/11/2002
Staff Writer

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.

Dybbuks in America

06/21/1999
Special To The Jewish Week

In the first scene of “Angels in America,” Tony Kushner’s 1993 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning magnum opus, a rabbi appears on stage to eulogize an old Jewish woman he has never met. Standing on a bare stage with the coffin, he tells the assembled mourners that although the era of “Great Voyages” has passed, American Jews will still never quite be at home in America.

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.

Books To Light The Way

12/04/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

A friend who works in a bookstore recounts that whenever Jewish parents or grandparents ask for help in selecting a book, they preface their request: “Oh, he’s 7, but he reads like a 12-year-old,” or “She’s beginning fifth grade but reads on a high-school level.” But despite their parents’ best intentions to get them reading the classics as soon as they can lift them, along with The New York Times, kids really do prefer picture books with great stories.

Last-Minute Light

12/05/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

Even gift givers who are always late get a reprieve with Chanukah’s eight nights. Here are some last-minute opportunities to do good, dazzle friends and family, and extend the light.

The Shoah Torah Scam?

Washington Post article questions the legitimacy
of a prominent rabbi who claims he’s rescued
Holocaust-affected scrolls.

01/28/2010
Staff Writer

Two years ago, philanthropist David Rubenstein offered to buy a Torah scroll for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. The story of the scroll was as impressive as the object itself: Rabbi Menachem Youlus, a Maryland Torah scribe and Jewish bookstore owner, said he had discovered the sefer Torah in a cemetery in Oswiecim, the Polish town the occupying Germans called Auschwitz.

The scroll was dedicated in a gala ceremony at Central Synagogue on Yom HaShoah 2008. On Rosh HaShanah that year, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein repeated the Torah’s story of survival.

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