Well Versed

Honoring Helene Aylon's Lifetime Of Achievement

Deep family pride was on display earlier this month in Washington, DC when Jewish artist/activist Helene Aylon, 85, became one of four artists to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Women’s Caucus for Art.

Helene Aylon and Brenda Dixon Gottschild at the WCA Awards. Jennifer McZier

Lasting Ephemera

Dr. Ira Rezak collects objects of Judaica that were never meant for permanent collections. He’s an authority on “ephemera,” items usually discarded after use: tickets, campaign buttons, posters, coins, old magazines.

From the collection of Dr. Ira Rezak

Bridging Middle Eastern And Western Cultures Through Art

The nomadic Caravan exhibit “The Bridge” has stationed at St. Paul’s Chapel, showing the work of 47 Arab, Persian and Jewish contemporary artists from 15 countries. Their art addresses the theme of “what bridges us” to each other.

Ambassador Ahmed Farouk, Consul General of Egypt in New York, at the opening of “The Bridge.” Caroline Lagnado

A Joyful Noise

I sing to make a joyful noise.

In the face of an uncertain New Year, with tensions high across ethnic and religious divides, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) has entered into an exciting new partnership with Museum of Jewish Heritage and to encourage the long-standing ties of brotherhood between all men of good will.

Tony Perry, left, Magda Fishman, Elmore James during the Soul to Soul concert. Courtesy of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

Sharing A Dream Of Peace

Passion. Love. Pain. Yearning.  Palpable emotions common to the songs of Jews, Christians and Muslims in Andalusia during the Golden Age of Spain, a time when our communities shared philosophy, poetry and musical cadences and lived in peace with one another -- a time past and, last Sunday evening, a brief taste of the world to come. 

Courtesy Noche Flamenca

2015 National Jewish Book Awards Announced

Jewish Week theatre critic Ted Merwin was named winner of the 2015 Jewish Book Award in the category of  Education and Jewish Identity for  “Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli,” a well–researched and lively work of cultural history.

Courtesy NYU Press

Jewish Museums Leave Nostalgia In The Dust

A lively, sometimes contentious symposium at the Center for Jewish History on Sunday emphatically showed that Jewish museums in Central and Eastern Europe have reached a state of fruition worthy of celebration and vigilance. The symposium celebrated a new double issue of East European Jewish Affairs. Its participants threw themselves into exploring the move of Jewish museums “away from nostalgia and toward … a new self-definition,” as Judith Siegel, director of academic and public programming at the CJH put it.

David Shneer, Olga Gershenson, Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Anna Manchin and Ruth Ellen Gruber

For The Time Being

So what do we mean when we talk about Jewish time? Always late by ten minutes? Days divided by requisite prayer services, weeks punctuated with the slowing down of Shabbat, years marked by yahrtzeits? Or is Jewish time always set in different time zones, as the Jewish people are dispersed throughout the world?  Or, as my grandmother would ask, Are you keeping time with anyone? To her, time meant sharing hours and it meant being together, in sync.

Installation view of "Using Walls, Floors and Ceilings: Valeska Soares." The Jewish Museum, NY. David Heald.

You Don't Have To Be Jewish...To Perform In Yiddish

It’s a well –worn joke: A couple dining in a Jewish deli on the Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th century are astonished when their Chinese waiter takes their order in flawless Yiddish. “Shh,” the manager tells them. “He thinks that I’m teaching him English!”

Cast of “Di Goldene Kale.” Ben Moody

Record Breaking Judaica Sale At Sotheby’s

An antiquarian book dealer based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Stevenson, Maryland is the new owner of Daniel Bomberg’s 16th century Babylonian Talmud, bought last week in auction at Sotheby’s New York. The $9.3 million sales price set a new world record for a single item of Judaica.

The Complete Babylonian Talmud, printed by Daniel Bomberg in Venice, 16th century. Courtesy of Sotheby's New York
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