Short Takes

Folksbiene, MJH Get Hitched, At Least For Now

03/31/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Engaged at 100.

The National Yiddish Theater-Folksbiene marked its 100th birthday this week with a gala concert at Carnegie Hall featuring Itzhak Perlman and a major announcement: The NYTF and the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust are joining in a strategic partnership. On Tuesday, officials of both organizations signed a memorandum of understanding that will give the groups two years to explore a potential merger.

Folksbiene and Museum of Jewish Heritage officials.Courtesy of MJH

Passover Goes Retro With Maxwell House Haggadah

03/31/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

If Maxwell House makes you think of matzah and Manischewitz rather than a cup of Joe, you’re not alone. And it’s with this demographic in mind that the 92nd Street Y is launching its “Manischewitz, Maxwell House and Memories” seder this year.

Cover of a Maxwell House Haggadah, circa 1940s. Courtesy of 92Y

Ben & Jerry’s Charoset And 10 More Passover Ice Cream Ideas

03/24/2015 - 20:00

A few weeks after Ben & Jerry’s founders indicated that marijuana-infused ice cream may one day join its product line, the company’s kosher-for-Passover charoset flavor has been generating buzz.

Imagine if this Ben & Jerry’s truck were filled with 10 flavors of kosher-for-Passover ice creams. Wikimedia Commons

New Diversity For Israeli Folk Dance

03/24/2015 - 20:00
Associate Editor

These days, most conversations about Israel have to do with politics alone, but there was once a time that young American Jews, particularly in New York, were as conversant about Israeli music and dance as they are now about things more somber. It was in the early 1960s when amateur Hebrew chorales and Israeli dance troupes began performing in major performance halls, and an Israeli folksinger such as Geula Gill was even the opening act for Woody Allen.

Tap is one of the more recent additions to the Israel Folk Dance Festival.  Courtesy of Israeli Dance Institute

Israeli Left And Right, At Center Stage

03/24/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Mixing nationalism and religion causes a lot of problems,” mused playwright Misha Shulman as he prepared to debut his new work, “Martyrs Street,” in New York this week. As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict becomes increasingly intractable, Shulman, a former IDF commander, fears that violence will erupt between different groups of Israeli Jews. In his provocative drama, which is set in the West Bank city of Hebron, militant Jews buy a bomb from Hamas in order to kill a dovish, anti-settlement group of Jews in Jerusalem. The extremists in the play, he said, “hijack both sides and lead them toward an explosion.”

Scene from “Martyrs Street,” by Misha Shulman.

Hirsi Ali Still Defiant Against Islam; Is Judaism In Her Future?

03/17/2015 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a supporter of atheism who rejected her Muslim faith as anti-women and anti-tolerance, told a group of guests at the home of Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni last Thursday evening, “One day I hope to convert to Judaism.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Getty Images

Swiping Their Way To The Chuppah

03/17/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Turns out she was just his swipe.

When Michael Brand, 39, went down to Florida for vacation last June, he never expected to meet his future bride. But just for kicks, Brand, a divorced father of two from Manhattan, had signed up for JSwipe, the Jewish dating app likened to Tinder.

Samantha Rudnick, 26, and Michael Brand, 39, first JSwipe couple to wed. Courtesy of Samantha Rudnick

Orthodox Drag Queens Proudly Jew It Up

Doing drag while staying frum is a growing phenomenon in NYC's LGBTQ scene.

03/11/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Jewish drag is on the rise as more and more observant Jews come out of the cross-dressing closet.

Silvia Sparklestein, left, with Hebro founder Jason Littman and another Jewish drag queen, Lady Havokk. Courtesy of Hebro

UJA Exec Named To FEGS Probe Group

03/10/2015 - 20:00

UJA-Federation of New York CEO Eric Goldstein is among the two dozen nonprofit human services executives and other experts in the field named to a blue-ribbon commission to examine the sudden shuttering of FEGS and other nonprofit human service providers.

The Weinberg Health Related and Human Services Center in Manhattan is among several now-closed FEGS agencies. Michael Datikash

Contest-Winning Play Is Nod To Paul Robeson

03/10/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

When the legendary actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson gave a concert in Moscow in 1949, he closed the show with one encore: his rendition in Yiddish of the “Partisan’s Hymn,” the anthem of Jewish resistance fighters.

Actor-civil rights activist Paul Robeson, right, was the inspiration to Ben Gonshor’s play, “When Blood Ran Red.” Getty Images
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