New York

Staging Gertrude Stein’s Modernism

Special To The Jewish Week

Paris in the early-20th century was a hotbed of artistic and sexual experimentation. Even so, the expatriate American writer Gertrude Stein stood out as a gay Jewish woman whose art was as uncompromising and unconventional as her lifestyle. Stein’s book of prose poetry, “Tender Buttons,” comes to the stage this month in an epic production by the Van Reipen Collective that promises to shed new light on one of Stein’s most challenging and influential works. It starts this week in the East Village.

A scene from "Tender Buttons," adapted from the writings of Gertrude Stein. Gary Heidt

A Year Of Challenges, And Hope


Dear Friends,

Every year at this time it is our privilege to report to you on the state of The Jewish Week.

At Rosh HaShanah it is appropriate to take stock of where we have been and to look forward, with renewed commitment to journalistic excellence, to the coming year.

Standing Our Ground On Wearing Kipot In Public

Special To The Jewish Week

“A yarmulke is an indoor garment.”  Ask any male Ramaz graduate from the 1940’s through the mid-‘60’s and he will recognize that declaration as one with which we – and others of our age – grew up.  We didn’t wear kipot outside.  We wore hats or no head covering.  Essentially, we didn’t identify as Jews in the street, a street that was not entirely welcoming to us.  It was a time of overt or covert anti-Semitism and we were acculturated to be aware of it and respond accordingly.

Jews stand their ground about wearing kipot in public. Getty Images.

A Return To Camp Ramah

Special To The Jewish Week

The campers and staff of Camp Ramah in Nyack danced with the crazed enthusiasm of people who had just won a $100 million jackpot. It was just past 9 a.m., the last Friday of camp in Rockland County, New York, and the Hebrew song playing was fittingly called "Lo Normali." I could not help but think that this amount of energy was freakish.

The author and a camp friend show just how seriously they take their summer fun. Courtesy of Alan Zeitlin

N.Y. Cabbie Suspended For Swastika Armband


The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission suspended a driver for a month for wearing a swastika armband.

The Anti-Defamation League’s New York regional office, which brought the complaint against the cabbie, praised the suspension.

How Judy Met Trevor

Jewish Week Online Columnist

“My late husband wished me to re-marry,” said Judy Brown, “but it took me sixteen years. At first, I couldn’t even think about a second marriage, and then when I was ready, there was no one waiting in line to meet me.”

Trevor Davis and Judy Brown married recently; both have been long widowed. Courtesy of Trevor Davis and Judy Brown

New York Adjusts Candidate Petition Dates For Shavuot


New York State moved up the launch of petition drives for primary candidates because the original date fell during Shavuot.

Menzel Is Marvelous in ‘If/Then’

Jewish Week Correspondent

Idina Menzel, whose most recent triumph is singing the Oscar-winning song “Let It Go,” in the Disney movie “Frozen,” has made a triumphant return to Broadway in the new musical “If/Then” at the Richard Rodgers Theater on West 46th Street.

Playing a single woman in the city, Menzel owns the role.

Next Wave: N.Y’s Community Mikveh


Of course, there are mikvehs in New York. The city is filled with ritual baths serving its many observant Jewish communities. What the city doesn’t offer is a bath along the lines of Mayyim Hayyim in the Boston area, which was the brainchild of “Red Tent” author Anita Diamant. She dreamed of an aesthetically appealing “community mikveh” that would expand the definition of immersion to mean a ritual that could mark any passage.

Rabbi Sara Luria: Expanded vision for mikvah. Michael Datikash

Biggest Sigh Of Relief Story: Weiner, Spitzer And Jewish Pride


For centuries, Jews took pride in scholars and the saintly. When allowed to be financiers, we took pride in the Rothschilds and Montifiores, who supported Jewish causes. But pride in the 20th century underwent runaway inflation, with a cheapening of the currency.

New York magazine's Weiner-Spitzer composite was a monstrous, but somehow fitting, image for their candidacies.
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