Culture View

01/22/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

An insightful recent article in the J. The Jewish news weekly of Northern California explored the presence and meaning of a new generation of maggids, or preacher-storytellers, working at the intersection of education, performance and the rabbinate.

12/26/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

If I forget thee, O New York, may my right hand wither.

11/20/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

Dear Philip, I only met you twice — although “meeting” overstates my attempt, after coming across you unexpectedly in public spaces, to engage you in the barest way. Each interaction revealed a completely different aspect of you, so much so that — upon reading the Doppelganger-infused fiction of “Operation Shylock” — I began to understand how there might be two of you, the literary monk and the social raconteur.

10/23/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

08/21/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

Twelve years ago, my wife and I moved from Manhattan to Harrisburg, Pa., and sought a Jewish community in tune with our liberal, Upper West Side Jewish ethos. We found ourselves living in what was, for a provincial state capital floating in a sea of Evangelical Christianity, a remarkably diverse Jewish neighborhood — our new friends included Reform Jewish lesbians, egalitarian Conservative Jews, non-egalitarian Conservative Jews and Orthodox Jews who eschewed American holidays (including Thanksgiving) as inimical to Jewish tradition.

06/19/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

The last book I bought my grandmother, before she died on the eve of Shavuot, was Sarah Bakewell’s “How To Live, or A Life of Montaigne.” She hadn’t asked for this book, but she was under the impression I might have borrowed her French copy of Montaigne’s essays (she was always overestimating me), and I wanted to get her something Montaigne-like while we figured out who had pilfered les essais.