Of the elite jazz musicians working in New York, pianist Bruce Barth is probably the only one who can claim a klezmer pedigree.
Barth, 46, who has emerged as one of his generation’s most compelling pianists and will share the stage Monday at Merkin Hall with the legendary Cedar Walton in a two-piano duet, developed an ear for klezmer in high school in Harrison, N.Y. It was then that his brother introduced him to a clique of New York bluegrass musicians, including mandolinist/clarinetist Andy Statman and banjoist Tony Trischka.
Borders are alluring and charged places. In Orson Welles’ classic film “A Touch of Evil,” a psychological study of life at the border, the place where America and Mexico meet is full of shadows. It’s hard to get a fix on it. The old rules don’t seem to apply at the border, and a new reality is born of the collision of two worlds.
Jerusalem - While their students savored every minute of summer vacation, an international group of senior educators spent part of their holiday break in an Israeli classroom. A varied mix of Hebrew day school professionals attended the Principal's Seminar on Jewish Education in the Diaspora at Bar Ilan University's Lookstein Center, which ran from July 10-24. Held partially on campus, partially in Jerusalem, the seminar afforded principals the ordinarily rare opportunity to share ideas with their peers, learn new strategies and assess their schools' strengths and weaknesses.
Jerusalem — When his parents began to suffer health problems that made it difficult for them to continue living in Israel, Bruce Markowitz got busy.
Believing that his folks might have to return to the United States, he contacted a number of New York-area geriatric care-management agencies that arrange everything from meals on wheels and home medical visits to property management and round-the-clock nursing care.
Ramle — The industrial zone of this working-class Jewish-Arab city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is home to numerous car-repair shops, gas stations and factories. The streets are lined with broken glass and litter, the sidewalks with fancy cars awaiting a muffler or tune-up.
Judaism can come in the most unexpected of packages. At first glance, a nearly seven-foot-tall painting of a single thick black stripe running vertically across a black canvas signifies nothing but itself: a profound meditation on color and form. Yet Barnett Newman titled his 1949 painting "Abraham," after his father, who had died two years earlier, and the Jewish patriarch.
For over 20 years, Elizabeth Swados has worked with youngsters of all backgrounds in musicals such as her '70s Broadway hit "Runaways." And she has collaborated with others to compose liturgical music like her '95 album "Bible Women." But one group was noticeably missing.
"I never worked with people who had the same background," she told The Jewish Week in a telephone interview. "I wanted to see what teenage middle-class Jewish girls had to say about sexuality, body image, relationships, and the influence of Jewish tradition."
Speaking before several dozen people munching on babaganoush and taboule and chatting away in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and English, the Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury invoked the hallowed name of Al-Andalus.
"And if we do not find it, we can build it in our hearts," he said at the reception for a literary event last week in the Soho studio of Iraqi-born sculptor Oded Halahmy.
Hoping to stir up a little debate on a somewhat taboo topic, art critic Max Kozloff has mounted a historical exhibition of street photography that dares to define a Jewish aesthetic. "New York: Capital of Photography," at The Jewish Museum through September, argues that there're two kinds of New York photography: Jewish and gentile.
"It's totally provocative," Kozloff says, chuckling to himself during an interview at the press opening.
At the height of their contest for Cezanne's mantle as the leader of the French avant-garde, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso agreed to swap pictures. Over the previous two years, Paris' leading provocateur Matisse had steadily ceded ground to the newcomer Picasso, until the fall of 1907, when the two men were deadlocked.