Well Versed

Remembering Jabotinsky On Yom Ha’Atzmaut

I am alive because of Vladimir Jabotinsky. True, I was born nearly two decades after the Revisionist Zionist leader's death, but that is a mere technicality, a wrinkle in time. 

Courtesy of Yale University Press

Unorthodox Orthodoxy

For the committed or observant Jewish artist, creating art that is meaningful, that stays within the bounds of the second commandment prohibition against graven images and yet avoids kitsch or dogmatism is a daunting challenge. Meeting this challenge head-on with serious humor is “Off Label: Ceremonial Objects Imagined,” an exhibit on view at the JCC in Manhattan that respectfully turns ritual and tradition on its head.

“Tower of Books.” Courtesy of Ken Goldman

Painting On The Walls

It’s not often that an artist would invite members of the public to participate in his exhibit or that a respected museum would allow visitors to draw and paint on its walls.

Installation at the New Museum by Pawel Althamer. Courtesy of Susan Hoffman Fishman

His History, Her Story, Their Movie

As Yom HaShoah approaches, Jews all over the world wrestle with how best to remember, retrieve and relay. Gyongji Mago, the catalyst for Gabor Kalman’s documentary “There was Once” has much to teach us. A high school teacher fascinated by local history, she came to realize that many of her students had no idea that Jews had ever lived in Kolocsa, a small town in southern Hungary. A Catholic, she too had had limited exposure to Jews.

Gabor Kalman

A Communal Exploration Of Mental Illness

For three consecutive Wednesday evenings, beginning April 30th, the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education will partner with Congregation B’nai Jeshurun to co-host a groundbreaking series of experiential workshops and lectures, “Confronting Mental Illness.”

Devora Steinmetz. Courtesy of Drisha Institute

Waiting For The End Of The World

Keep an eye out for future productions of Noémi Schlosser’s wry theater piece "Traktorfabrik."  I was lucky enough to catch a staged reading of part of it recently as part of the Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Works Series.

Poster for “Traktorfabrik.” Courtesy of Noemi Schlosser

Celebrating 1960s Global Minimalism In Style

To celebrate its new exhibit on global minimalist sculpture, “Other Primary Structures,”  The Jewish Museum opened its galleries and hosted a dance party for revelers last week.

Installation view of "Other Primary Structures" at The Jewish Museum, New York. David Heald/The Jewish Museum

Returning Anew To Minimalist Sculpture

“Other Primary Structures” at The Jewish Museum can be seen as a nod to the institution’s past. The museum staged a major exhibit of minimalist sculpture called “Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors” in 1966.

Installation view of "Other Primary Structures" at The Jewish Museum, New York. Courtesy of David Heald/The Jewish Museum

The Digital Shtetl

If the creative team of Rocket Chair Media is any indication, the Millennial Generation's approach to the Shoah will be something quite different from what’s come before. The prologue to their new digital epic fantasy “Radzyn” now begins online, with daily installations this week and monthly thereafter.

From “Radzyn.” Courtesy Rocket Chair Media

Out From Under

For thousands of years Jewish-Iranian women have been forced to hide behind chadors, look down at their feet and not speak unless spoken to.  During ancient Persia and even later day Iran, they lived with two strikes against them: Jewish and female.  They were and still are viewed and treated by Muslims as second class citizens.  Even today, in Iran, a woman, cannot become a judge, regardless of her education, degrees and professional qualifications.  The reason given: “A woman can never be just.”

Rita Jahan Farouz. Photo courtesy American Sephardi Federation
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