Short Takes

‘The Joint’ As N.Y. City History

07/02/2014
Culture Editor
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On July 14, 1945, from Warsaw, Luba Mizne sent this pared-down story of her life in a cablegram to the New York office of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee: I LIVE REQUIRE HELP.

People waiting for food at Dreyfus soup kitchen in Jerusalem, Palestine, in 1921. Courtesy of JDC

An Israeli Pianist Pays Homage To A Rhythm Master

06/24/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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As an aspiring jazz pianist growing up in Israel, it was Anat Fort’s cherished dream to play with the great drummer Paul Motian, who anchored what is considered to be one of the most influential trios in all of jazz.

Israeli-born pianist Anat Fort, with her trio, is back in her home country. Robbin Valentine/ECM Records

Coexistence Between ‘Ishmael And Israel’

06/24/2014
Culture Editor
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For sale: A rabbinic voice from the past calling for peace in the Middle East.

This week, Kestenbaum & Company is auctioning a 1954 handwritten letter from Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog, then Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, to Professor Abraham Isaac Katsh, written to congratulate the scholar on the publication of his “excellent” book, “Judaism in Islam.” Rabbi Herzog expresses the hope that the close connection between Judaism and Islam “may help to promote the cause, the sacred cause of peace between Ishmael and Israel!”

An unpublished letter from Israeli Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog  goes on sale here this week. Wikimedia Commons

A Symbolic ‘Schlep’

06/18/2014
Staff Writer
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Three years ago, Natalie Gerber was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, while her friends and family were running a 5K race in her honor. This year the 30-year-old mother of three will be running the race herself as a testament to her recovery and in gratitude to those who helped her.

Friends of breast cancer survivor Natalie Gerber will run with her. Courtesy of American Friends of Rabin Medical Center

‘Hottest Ticket’ Friday Night Was To Central Synagogue

06/18/2014
Editor and Publisher
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Standing in the midst of a long line on Friday afternoon, as it wrapped around Lexington Avenue at 55th Street and reached all the way toward Park Avenue, one saw curious passers-by wondering what the attraction was. Especially when people in line referred to their having “the hottest ticket in town.”

Rabbi Peter Rubinstein was feted at Central Synagogue after 23 years as its spiritual leader. Wikimedia Commons

Strings Attached To ‘Fiddler’

06/11/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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While its central motif is a precariously perched violinist, “Fiddler on the Roof” has about as tight a grip on the Jewish — and non-Jewish — imagination as any work of popular culture. This was abundantly in evidence on Monday night, at the jubilant celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic musical, orchestrated by the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre.

“Fiddler” lyricist Sheldon Harnick, whose 90th birthday was marked at gala. Michael Priest Photography

On Board The Hillary Train

06/11/2014
Staff Writer
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Will American Jews soon be shlepping for Hillary?

The recent launch of a political action committee supporting a presidential run by Hillary Rodham Clinton makes one wonder if in 2016 Sarah Silverman will be urging millennials to hit up bubbe and zeyde again in a repeat effort to make sure Florida votes blue.

Hillary Clinton hasn’t announced her presidential candidacy yet, but she’s already garnering Jewish support. Getty Images

Spector On A ‘Beautiful’ Roll

06/03/2014
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Barry’s a Jewish kid musician from a Northeast city — that’s me,” said Philadelphia native Jarrod Spector, referring to Brooklyn-born Barry Mann, one half of the legendary songwriting duo of Mann and (Cynthia) Weil. “But I’m not as neurotic as Barry is portrayed in the show.”

Jarrod Spector as Barry Mann (with Anika Larson as Cynthia Weill) in scene from “Beautiful.”  Gabriela Geselowitz

Every Step You Take, They’ll Be Watching You

06/03/2014
Culture Editor
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The eight dancers in ZviDance’s “Surveillance” are being electronically monitored. Sometimes they take their turn at a stage camera, to track the others. Animation, pre-recorded video and live projections appear on a screen behind them.

Choreographer Zvi Gotheiner’s “Surveillance” is a reflection on encroaching technology in society. Courtesy of ZviDance

Family Ties — To The Mamaloshen

05/28/2014
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They are, quite simply, the daughters of royalty. Yiddish royalty, several generations of important Yiddish scholars, poets, singers and musicians.

Triple threat: Reyna and Temma Schechter with their father, Binyumin. Matt Greminger/Poise’N Art Photography
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