Well Versed

Tale From The Italian Resistance

“The Garden of Letters” is the story of a young cello student, Elodie Bertoletti –- picture Audrey Hepburn in “Love in the Afternoon” –- who gets caught up in the Italian Resistance during WWII.  There’s been much written and filmed about the French and Polish Resistance but this is my first introduction to the heroes and heroines of the Italian cause.

Courtesy Berkley Books

Rebuilding The Past

In a rich display of historical reconstruction, the Yeshiva University Museum is exhibiting “Modeling the Synagogue – From Dura to Touro.” Accompanied by artifacts, prayer scripts, artwork and documents, the exhibition demonstrates the context of these buildings – that they are representative of an era, a people and a history.

Model of the Zabludow Synagogue, Poland, 17th century. Collection of Yeshiva University Museum

Granta Israel Explores Themes Of Borderlines And Wanderings

This summer of 2014/5774, unity within Israel in the war against terror prevailed, almost tangible. The movement beyond personal boundaries, and the outpouring of caring, shared responsibilities and actions, are hopeful signs of our society's capacity for love and tolerance.

Courtesy of Granta Israel

Letters From Afar Close Up

The four side-by-side frames shimmer as if blown by a gentle breeze. Scenes begin to flicker before you, like a dreamscape, some in black and white, some in color. Rock-solid, ageless buildings appear, their stone facades immortalized by light and film.

Warsaw street scene; still from Polish home movie, c 1920s - 1930s. From the archives of YIVO

An Illustrated Saga Of The Diaspora

Mark Podwal is once again the subject of a documentary by Czech Television. In the most recent film, the producers focused on the creative process behind the artist’s latest portfolio of works, “All This Has Come Upon Us,” a series of 42 paintings and drawings created for and displayed at the Terezin Ghetto Museum earlier this year. The works provide an illustrated history of Jewish tragedies and, according to the artist, offer “a disturbing reminder of how Europe’s extensive history of ‘Jew-Hatred’ laid the groundwork for Terezin and Auschwitz.”

Mark Podwal. “Terezin.” Courtesy of the artist

His Yamaha Says Yamulke: Meet Daniel Cainer

A singer songwriter's frank engagement with the fallible Jewish male enlivens “Jewish Chronicles” –- a one man cabaret show at the Soho Playhouse now through November 16th.

Daniel Cainer

The Greenest Sukkah

Anyone passing by the JCC in Manhattan over the course of Sukkot would happen upon a peculiar sight – a skeletally crafted hut with maize as a ceiling and bubbling, whirring bottles of variously hued greens embedded in its walls. This is the JCC’s outdoor sukkah, an extension of a larger exhibition “Incubating Ideas and Cultivating Connections: The Greenhouse of Ein Shemer,” present in the center’s lobby and roof.

Sukkot on Amsterdam Avenue. Yaakov Bressler

Fragments From A Long, Wide View

Yale Strom has devoted his life to preserving and rescuing Jewish culture and in particular, klezmer music, in Central and Eastern Europe. As a result, the musician is also a filmmaker, historian, ethnomusicologist, and photographer.

Yale Strom. "Passing the Village Synagogue, Dorohoi, Romania, 1985." Courtesy of Anne Frank Center

Fragments From A Long, Wide View

Yale Strom has devoted his life to preserving and rescuing Jewish culture and in particular, klezmer music, in Central and Eastern Europe. As a result, the musician is also a filmmaker, historian, ethnomusicologist, and photographer.

Yale Strom. "Passing the Village Synagogue, Dorohoi, Romania, 1985." Courtesy of Anne Frank Center

Psalmic Muse

Keeping in mind the Chasidic custom of reciting Psalms during the days leading to Yom Kippur, now would be a perfect time to head up to the scenic Derfner Judaica Museum for Archie Rand’s visual renditions of Psalm 68. 

Archie Rand, Psalm 68:30. Courtesy of the Derfner Judaica Museum
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