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?
This Sunday I went to see Alvin Ailey American Dancer Theater at City Center. It's the 50th anniversary of its landmark piece, "Revelations," created by the company's founder, Ailey, who died of AIDS in 1989. And each night of the company's month-long stay they're staging the work.
There was a lot of hype when the documentary "Budrus," about a nascent non-violent protest movement in the West Bank, opened earlier this year. But it died down quickly. Well hats off to Michelle Goldberg, who in today's issue of Tablet, puts the spotlight on a Budrus non-violent activist who's been denied his release from an Israel prison.
It was a downer to hear that the U.S.-led Israel peace talks fell through this morning. But then I was reminded of some sunny news: Israeli artists, one of the bright spots on the country these days, are breaking out far beyond New York. Adi Nes, Sigalit Landau, Yael Bartana, Mika Rottenberg--all were represented at Miami's Art Basel last weekend. And then there was fast-rising Elad Lassry, who is having his limelight momen
With all do respect to Claude Lanzmann, the director of the revered Holocaust documentary "Shoah," which gets re-released this Friday, I don't like his attitude these days. In an interview with The New York Times published today, Lanzmann criticized mainstream Holocaust movies like "Schindler's List" and "Life is Beautiful." And on Spielberg's decidely un-populist project t
Well, the 92nd Street Y debate I went to on Tuesday was not quite as contentious as the flubbed Steve Martin one happening in the night before, but it still got pretty heated. A sold-out audience came to see Peter Beinart and New York Times columnist Roger Cohen debate former AIPACer Steven J. Rosen and Wall Street Journal editoral page editor and former Jerusalem Post editor Bret Stephens.
In preview of tomorrow night's debate at the 92nd Street Y featuring Peter Beinart, I'll engage in a small bit of self-promotion. My story in last week's paper profiled Beinart, whose essay attacking American Jewish leadership for failing to attract young American Jews to support Israel created a firestorm this spring. If you cannot make the debate (at 8:15 pm Tuesday night) I hope my story catches you up on the discussion's general parameters.
Virtually no commentators, left or right, have defended Glenn Beck's vicious attack on George Soros. Commentary called Beck's tirade "marred by ignorance and offensive innuendo"; the ADL's Abe Foxman called them "horrific" and "over the top"; and this week, The New Yorker's
First, if you didn't get a chance to read my blog post from yesterday on the uncomfortable topic of Jews and money, read it here. The feedback has been strong, so read the full thing, but here's what it's about: I give a brief summary of historian Jerry Muller's important book "Capitalism and the Jews," and Abraham Foxman's less successful attempt, "Jews and Money: The Story of A Stereotype." And with Glenn Beck duking it out with George Soros, not to mention A