Arts Guide

Raising The Curtain Again

04/26/2002
Staff Writer
Keeping a small Jewish theater company going for 28 years has never been easy, but Sept. 11 almost put the Jewish Repertory Theatre out of business. On that morning, the theater’s manager Laura Rockefeller was stage-managing a financial seminar at Windows on the World and never had a chance to escape after the first plane struck Tower One. The tragic death of the 41-year-old theater lover nearly forced artistic director Ran Avni to give up on the already hobbled company he had founded in 1974.

What’s Jewish At The MLA?

01/19/2001
Staff Writer
Washington, D.C. — Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe had just begun hitting the shores in 1883 when a small group of American professors founded the Modern Language Association to advocate tongues other than ancient Greek and Latin. But they probably weren’t thinking of Yiddish, Hebrew or Ladino.

Being Real

01/05/2001
Staff Writer
Growing up was never easy for copper-skinned Rebecca Walker, the trophy baby of a new America. Born in 1969, the “Movement Child” of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and activist Alice Walker and civil rights lawyer Mel Leventhal, Walker spent the first two decades of her life failing to fit into a country that still assumes fixed racial categories.

Split Infinitives

11/09/2001
Staff Writer
Pity poor Zeno, tormented by his weakness for cigarettes, guilt about his mistress and unresolved tensions with his father. At his psychoanalyst’s suggestion, Zeno writes his memoirs, but the result is the imperfect recollection of an intelligent man blindsided by swirling desires and frozen by inhibitions. Zeno, the prematurely aged protagonist of Italian Jewish writer Italo Svevo’s comic masterpiece “Confessions of Zeno,” deeply resonated with William Kentridge when he first read the book in college.

Brighton Beach Memoirs

09/26/2003
Staff Writer
It was the early 1960s, and in the working-class Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn a group of young Jewish boys lived and breathed basketball. Every moment they could, these adolescents (many first-generation Americans and the children of Holocaust survivors) would pull on their white Converse canvas sneakers and race from their cramped apartments under the elevated subway line to their fenced concrete kingdom, the 2nd Street Park.

The 'Passion' Of Mel Gibson

03/28/2003
Staff Writer
Mel Gibson has won the hearts and admiration of millions of fans for his swashbuckling performances in such blockbusters as "Lethal Weapon" and the Oscar-winning "Braveheart." But his next film project already has some people sitting on the edge of their seats: and not in a good way.

All The King’s Men

08/22/2001
Staff Writer
When two Jewish songwriters teamed up with a former “Shabbos goy” in 1956, it helped change the face of popular music. The “Shabbos goy” was Elvis Presley (who died 24 years ago last week). When Elvis covered “Hound Dog,” a rhythm-and-blues song composed by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber — originally recorded in 1953 by Big Mama Thornton — it propelled the young Presley’s career to new heights. But perhaps equally as important, it brought Leiber and Stoller to the attention of top music executives.

Orthodox Group Expels Rabbi

03/25/2005
Staff Writer
In what may be an unprecedented move, the Rabbinical Council of America has expelled Mordechai Tendler, a prominent rabbi from the Monsey, N.Y., area, for “conduct inappropriate for an Orthodox rabbi” and refusing to cooperate with the group’s inquiry. In a two-sentence decision announced last Friday afternoon, the 1,000-member professional organization of Orthodox rabbis ousted Rabbi Tendler after an investigation for sexual misconduct that took some of the twists and turns one would expect of a prime-time legal drama.
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