Well Versed

Rembrandt And The Jews

It’s a myth that won’t go away that Rembrandt was Jewish. (His mother was Catholic; his father Protestant.)   But is there a Christian artist whose renderings of Biblical scenes speak more deeply to the Jewish soul?

Rembrandt van Rijn, Moses with the Ten Commandments, 1659, oil on canvas, Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin

Soaring In Song

In between songs about love, the passage of time, more love, marriage and dreams, Beth Selter narrates the story of her own life in her cabaret performance, “The Chance to Sing,” at the Metropolitan Room on Sunday, September 18th. She’ll sing Sondheim, the Beatles, the Gershwins, telling of her Long Island childhood, her steadfast modern orthodoxy, her family and her passionate desire to sing. 

Beth Selter

Layering History And Spontaneous Expression

History can be a dusty and deadly affair. The secret to making art about history is to be both loyal to your subject and improvisational in its expression.

Artist Yona Verwer viewing a “hidden video”

A Family “Tradition” On Broadway

When Michael Bernardi first came out on the stage of the Broadway theater in Wednesday’s matinee performance of “Fiddler on the Roof,” the audience was electric with cheers. Many understood that the actor had waited a lifetime for this opportunity to step out as Tevye.

Michael Bernardi and Teri Bernardi, outside the Broadway Theatre. Tyson Lindo

Remembering Fyvush Finkel

By Sandee Brawarsky

Fyvush Finkel, the long-time actor who first made his mark on the Yiddish stage and went on to star in mainstream productions on Broadway, off-Broadway and in television and film, died on August 14th at his home in New York. He was 93.

 Fyvush Finkel. Wikimedia Commons

Drumming On The Hudson

As the Israeli percussion group Tararam performed at Battery Park, the energy was so high that they seemed to draw the passing ferries, tugboats, sailing boats and even cruise ships a little closer, off course.

Tararam Company Members in New York City. (Doron Raphaeli)

I Love Albert Einstein

Or, as an IT guy once offered by way of a model computer password: “IloveAlbertEinstein.” The phrase was memorable and unpredictable, and therefore difficult to hack, but my first reaction was to wonder: IT guy, you’re brainy, but why do you love Albert Einstein?

Albert Einstein visiting New York, 1921. Courtesy Life magazine. Wikimedia commons

Remembering Rabbi Maurice Lamm

Make a shiva call to a traditional home, and you’re likely to see a copy of Rabbi Maurice Lamm’s “The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning” in an accessible place. That book, published in 1969, has sold more than 350,000 copies.

Courtesy Jewish Publication Society

A Comedy Of Anxiety

Making choices can be immobilizing. If recently you’ve bought a laptop or printer, you may have a sense of how hard it is to make a decision. Do you really need a laptop? Perhaps a tablet might do? Do you stick with an inkjet or re-evaluate a laser? Will a multi-function hold up? Too many choices and variables can be overwhelming.

Adam Strauss in "The Mushroom Cure"

Humanitarian Images: Repairing the World: Frame by Frame

In an event that involved consciousness-raising, fund-raising and fine photography, the Ambassadors Council of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee raised $40,000 in an exhibition and auction of photographs taken in Jewish communities around the world.

Joan Roth. Abeba Abebe, Ethiopia, 1984. Courtesy
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