Jews

The Jewish Questions Meets The Shostakovich Question

My colleague George Robinson wrote an insightful piece on the upcoming "Babi Yar" symphony being performed by the New York Philharmonic this weekend.  I've never heard the symphony in full, but I look forward to hearing it this Thursday night.

Maurice Sendak: On Jews, Death, and "The Bulls--t of Innocence"

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the author of the classic, sepulchral children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” has something of a potty-mouth.  But still it feels like one.  Maurice Sendak, the 83-year-old author of “Wild Things, as well as a new children’s book, “Bumble-Ardy,” his umpteenth, gave what is to my mind one of the best interviews I’ve read in a long time. Anywhere.

Laughing at 9/11? A Jewish Perspective

New York magazine's Sept. 11 issue has arrived, and it's a real treat.   The whole issue has been turned into an encyclopedia of Sept. 11-related entries, including everything from "freedom fries" to "Abbottabad," and many of them penned by wonderful writers.  Mark Lilla's in there, as is Eliza Griswold. I haven't read them all, but one caught my eye in particular: Jim Holt's entry for "Humor."  

Obama Reads Israel: David Grossman's "To the End of the Land" and the Politics of a President's Reading List

This week brought news that Obama is reading David Grossman's novel "To the End of the Land" while summering on Martha's Vineyard.  It was one of the best reviewed book's last year, and that it focuses on an Israeli mother whose son is killed in yet another Arab war, is probably lost on no one. Certainly not Jews.

Ramaz To Hold Classes At Reform Temple Emanu-El During Fire Repairs

08/19/2011
Staff Writer

Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side is a neighborhood of towering rents, but the Orthodox Ramaz school is using 18,000 square feet of Reform Temple Emanu-El’s space for a cool $1 for two months.

Homeless after the July 11 fire in the 85th Street building that houses both Ramaz and its parent synagogue, Kehilath Jeshurun, the school’s first through fourth graders will study through October in Temple Emanu-El’s afternoon Hebrew School in the synagogue building at 65th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Temple Emanu-el

Is Kanye West a Philo-Semite?

The easy thing to do after Kanye West's poorly chosen words this weekend--in which he likened the noxious stares he gets these days to ones people might give Hitler--is to ask for an apology.  No word yet on whether any Jewish groups are asking for one, but my bet is that it's in the offing.  But perhaps a better thing to do is to ask: are his comments a reflection of philo-semitism?  

Ai Weiwei's Jews: Pictures from an Exhibition

On the weekends, I like to get away from work. One of the places where I like to do that is museums.  And what better one to visit, if you're looking to avoid Jews (for me, that's my job; not anti-semitism), than the Asia Society?  Surely there'd be nothing on view there that would make me think of writing, deadlines and blogging about Jews--that is, work.

Herman Cain's Bigotry

"No Jews Allowed."
 
A sign like that would be infuriating. How about a presidential candidate saying he would be uncomfortable appointing Jews to his cabinet, you know, with all those dual loyalty questions? Outrageous bigotry, you say? Now substitute Muslim for Jew and you have Republican presidential wannabe Herman Cain.
 

Gallup: Jews Still Solidly Back Obama

The latest Gallup poll shows a "solid majority of Jewish Americans still approve of Obama," and they may be his most loyal segment of the population. President Obama's Jewish approval level was 60 percent in June, about 14 points above the general public. Among Jewish Democrats his rating was 85 percent, compared to 51 percent among observant Jews, who attend synagogue at least once a week and tend to be more conservative than most other Jews.

Israel Zangwill's "Melting Pot" and Europe's Anti-Muslim Problem: Lessons from Two Struggles

It doesn't matter if you're liberal or conservative--if you're European, "mutliculturalism" has become a dirty word.  The New York Times ran an op-ed today by a British writer attacking multiculturalism as form of public policy.

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