Picturing the mid-20th-century New York that my parents grew up in, I always glimpsed it in black and white. It must have been, it felt to me, a world drained of color, something in between the grainy, dark photographs of my grandparents and the lustrous chiaroscuro of Alfred Hitchcock movies — films that I knew because my family convened after dinner every night around the family television set in the living room. Indeed, in an age before the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, we watched Victor Borge concerts and Masterpiece Theatre together, just as we took it for granted that on family car trips, it was my father’s beloved classical music that was going to be on the radio.
It is vital for arts institutions in the Jewish community, Jewish artists and the current generation of philanthropists that support the arts to begin articulating the argument that the support of the arts is not a distraction from the values the next generation of philanthropy seeks to support, but central to them.
"EAT” is an irresistible imperative. Jews around the world are defined by our foods. So eager anticipation was tangible last Saturday night at the 14th St Y where a supportive audience had come to encounter works by LABA fellows exploring texts centered on food.
What is it that identifies secular Jews as a people -- be they Israeli or of the Diaspora, progressive or neo-con, early feminists or members of the Larry David fan club -- across generations and throughout the world?
Move over Talmud: there’s a new Jewish commentary in town. This week, the Posen Foundation and Yale University Press announced the publication date for the first in a 10-volume series anthologizing 3,000 years of Jewish culture and civilization.
How are we to respond when Jewish cultural institutions are accused of hurting Israel’s cause by presenting exhibits, films or performances critical of particular aspects of the Jewish state’s policies?
These complaints have been heard of late from a small but vocal number of critics of the JCC in Manhattan and the Foundation for Jewish Culture, two institutions with a proud record of supporting Israel and Jewish artists, nurturing their work and helping to create and strengthen Jewish identity, culture and community.
Dancers and choreographers can lead nomadic lives. A gig here, a tour there. But for the better part of this year, Andrea Miller, an increasingly prominent choreographer based in New York, will have a place to hang her dance shoes, so to speak.
Miller, who founded her company Gallim (Hebrew for “waves”) Dance a couple of years ago, was chosen by the JCC in Manhattan for its nine-month residency. The deal requires her to create a Jewish-themed work in exchange for precious studio time (three times a week) for her troupe.
A new generation of scholars is upending traditional notions of Jewish ‘memory’ and why Jews left Eastern Europe.
When the historian Rebecca Kobrin began researching her book “Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora,” which came out this spring, she was struck by the strange way Eastern European Jewish immigrants used words like “exile” and “diaspora.” Between 1880 and 1914, when most of America’s Jews came over from Europe, they did not speak about exile in terms of Israel, as we often do now. They used those words instead in relation to the places they actually left: Bialystok, Vilna, Warsaw, Lodz.
It began with a visit to a single grave.
About a decade ago, Rabbi Manfred Gans, spiritual leader of Congregation Machane Chodosh in Forest Hills, accompanied a congregant, a recent widower, to the man’s late wife’s grave in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, L.I. The congregant, Jack Kremski, and his wife, Anna, were Holocaust survivors, natives of Czestachowa, in Poland.