Jewish

Recommended Readings: On Libya; Arabs Against Arab Anti-Semitism; and the French, Fashion and Jews

Pardon my bloggerly desuetude, but last week I was out on vacation.  Now I'm back, and to make up for the lost time in blog-o-land, I'm posting a few longer essays you might have missed. (I did, at least.)

Esther's in Vegas

That's right, Esther's in Vegas. No, not THAT Esther? We'll shift our focus to Queen Esther in less than two weeks. For now, the focus is on another Esther.

The King & Queen of the Jewish Twittersphere: William Daroff & Esther Kustanowitz

New York Nights: Three Things To See This Week

If you haven't heard the pianist Mitsuko Uchida play, do.  She's performing tonight at Carnegie Hall -- solo works by Schumann, Chopin and Beethoven -- but even if you miss it, check out some of her albums online.

A Steve Reich Reader

This week I wrote about the minimalist composer Steve Reich, whose groundbreaking Jewish chorale piece "Tehillim" (1981) is being performed by the teenage new music ensemble Face the Music next Thursday at Le Poisson Rouge. (They'll perform "Tehillim" at other locations over the next few months as well.)

Will Hitler Kill "The King's Speech"?

The New York Times today raised an interesting question about the Oscar front-runner for best picture, "The King's Speech." It wondered whether the real King George--who aggressively endorsed a policy of appeasement toward Hitler, something the film entirely ignores--might derail the film's chance for capturing the golden statuette.

Chaos and Classicism, The Music!: A Night with Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra

A classical music program that includes works by Haydn may not strike you as radical.  After all Haydn--friend of Mozart, teacher of Beethoven--virtually invented the classical symphony as we know it. When newcomers think "classical music," it is probably the sounds of Haydn they hear in their head.

Kanye's Antidote: On Yefim Bronfman, Fame and Humility

The star pianist Yefim Bronfman performs in New York often, but I have never seen him. That was rectified last night: I caught him in the first of three concerts with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.  He was remarkable. Performing Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, he captured the full range of emotions in the piece--its subtle bits of humor, the breezy wistfulness, the heroic ambition--without drawing much attention to himself.

Giffords Known For Her Openness And Judaism

Arizona representative has pushed Jewish issues and come to a greater understanding of her heritage.

01/11/2011
JTA

The event was typical Gabrielle Giffords: no barriers, all comers — Democrats, Republicans and independents welcome to talk about what was on their minds and in their hearts.

While she was deep in a conversation with an older couple about health care — the issue for which she was willing to risk her career — a gunman strode up to the Arizona congresswoman and shot her point blank in the head.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords: Judaism “provided me with grounding.”

Poems, by Hannah Senesh

This week I wrote a review of the Hannah Senesh exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.  A  wealthy Jewish girl from Hungary, Senesh immigrated to Palestine in 1939, when she was 17.  After a few years there, however, she felt isolated from world events: put simply, the war in Europe.  So when the British organized a Jewish brigade in Palestine to help them rescue Allied forces caught behind enemy lines, she signed on.  

What Makes A Museum Good?

This week, I wrote about the retirement of The Jewish Museum's director Joan Rosenbaum, who's led the museum for 30 years.  But the story of her career raises a few fundamental questions that The Jewish Museum, and indeed all ethnic museums, must grapple with: Should ethnic museums advance the consensus opinions of their constituent group, or should they challenge those beliefs?  And if the latter, where do you draw the line?

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