Well Versed

Remembering Gottex

Long, long ago, appearing partially unclad occasioned no greater agita in my mind than appearing fully dressed. At that time, wearing a bathing suit was a fashion opportunity rather than a moment of shame. But Gottex bathing suits were on a list of items well beyond my price range. 

“What’s Under Your Pareo?" at the JCC in Manhattan. Photo by Koon

Remembering Women Of The Holocaust

The suffering of women, in particular, during the Holocaust, was for many years excluded from the general Holocaust narrative. Rochelle G. Saidel, founder of the Remember the Women Institute (RWI), has been instrumental in bringing the specific experience of women to the fore, especially insofar as the issue of sexual violation.

Courtesy Remember the Women Institute

Dramatizing The Shoah

Art about the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel wrote in the New York Times in 1989, “trivializes” memory. The Shoah, he insisted, “defeated culture; later, it defeated art…No one now retell Auschwitz after Auschwitz.” Arnold Mittelman, who is producing a series of readings of Holocaust plays all across the country this month, emphatically disagrees.

Arnold Mittelman, president of the National Jewish Theater Foundation. Courtesy of NJTF

Dancing In The Aisles

Carnegie Hall has had many memorable performances, from Benny Goodman’s legendary Jazz concert of 1938 to Andy Kaufman treating the audience to milk and cookies in 1979. But Tuesday night’s National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene gala may be the first time the audience rose en masse and danced in the aisles.  

Itzhak Perlman and friends at Carnegie Hall. Kate Hess

Painting The Seder Table

With apologies to Shelley, “If winter comes, can Passover be far behind?”  And despite the never-ending snow and winter-like cold, Passover is indeed coming soon -- which makes this a great time to drop by The Jewish Museum for a view of Nicole Eisenman’s Seder (2010), the featured work in the Museum’s Masterpieces & Curiosities exhibition series.

Nicole Eisenman, Seder, 2010, oil on canvas. Courtesy The Jewish Museum

“The Picasso Of Graphic Design”

For a primer in the origins of modern advertising design, head uptown to the Museum of the City of New York for “Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand.”

IBM pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

A Saga Of The Soleymans

From its opening lines to the satisfying and surprising ending, "The Luminous Heart of Jonas S." (Akashic Books) by Gina B. Nahai kept me at the edge of my seat, impatient to meet the next fabulous character in this rollicking, often moving mystery/family saga.

Gina Nahai's new novel, from Akashic Books

This Week: "Jewish Journey: America" on PBS

Leaving and arriving – and crossing the sea -- is long part of the Jewish narrative. When the ancient Israelites left Egypt, the sea split and they crossed over.  Many Jewish immigrants to America had to endure crossings over rough seas, often crowded into the underbelly of the ship, in steerage.

Family Portrait: Jewish immigrants from Egypt in America at a 1928 wedding. Courtesy Andre Aciman

On A Musical Museum Tour

In an unusual pairing of antiquities and music, the Yeshiva University Museum offered a program chosen by the cellist Elad Kabilio, accompanied by the clarinetist Avigail Malachi-Baev and the singer Inbal Sharret-Singer, to illuminate its exhibition of ten model synagogues. The selections reflect what might have been heard around the time of the synagogues’ creation.

Elad Kabilio, Avigail Malachi-Baev, Inbal Sharret-Singer. Courtesy Elizabeth Denlinger

Ayelet Tsabari Wins Rohr Prize

Ayelet Tsabari has been named this year’s winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for her collection of stories, “The Best Place on Earth.” The award, recognizing an emerging writer, carries a cash prize of $100,000.

Ayelet Tsabari. Photo by Elsin Davidi
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