Arts Guide

Better Late Than Never

10/11/2002
Special To The Jewish Week

Stefan Wolpe was one of the lucky ones. A left-wing Jewish activist who had been composing difficult music for Dadaists and workers choruses, he knew he would have to leave his native Germany as soon as Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933. After a year in Vienna, he moved to Palestine, from which he was able, ruefully, to watch the flames mount in his native Berlin and the rest of Germany. By the time those flames engulfed the rest of Europe, Wolpe was in the United States to stay.

The Lure Of Coexistence

09/27/2002
Special To The Jewish Week

Fishermen go where the fish are. Borders and national boundaries mean little to men whose lives are regulated by tides, currents and wind.

Even in the Middle East.

“Area K: A Political Fishing Documentary” by Nadav Harel and Ramon Bloomberg is an adroit hour-long film that explores a rare area of cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, the product, ironically enough, of the attempt of Israeli military authorities to impose borders on the fishermen of Gaza City.

Instrument Of Faith

09/27/2002
Special To The Jewish Week

When Margot Leverett began playing the clarinet as a child, she didn’t know where it would lead her.

She might not have guessed that it would become a career.

She couldn’t have guessed that it would bring her a new faith.

All she was looking for was an instrument she could carry.

'Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove'

08/24/2000
Jewish Week Book Critic

Talk about Jewish continuity: Last year, Tirzah Rothschild had a young boy in her fourth-grade class at Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch whose grandfather had been her student. The boy's father had also been a pupil at the school while Rothschild served as principal. As she begins her 52nd year at the Washington Heights school this fall, these multi-generational connections are not uncommon.

Circle Of Friends

06/28/2000
Jewish Week Book Critic

For his 50th birthday last fall, 120 friends gathered to surprise and honor Jeff Martin. It was a show worthy of Broadway: Friends who work in theater sang to him, others wrote tributes, his drama teacher from Jamaica High School spoke. “It was the kind of memorial I would probably pray to have at my death,” the entertainment producer and director said, “And it happened when I was there.”

Daddy’s Not At The Shabbos Table

12/21/1999
Jewish Week Book Critic

There’s 22-year-old Emma saying the blessing over the Shabbat candles with her mother, delighted by the light, humming a synagogue tune and then covering her mother’s face with wet kisses. Together, Emma and Judith remember out loud all the people to whom they want to wish Shabbat Shalom. The pair could be an advertisement for Jewish living, and at first glance they hardly look unconventional or revolutionary. In fact, they’re pioneers in the — Jewish community, for there’s no daddy — at least, not yet — on their list of Sabbath greetings.

From The Soviet Union To Salomon Brothers

06/21/1999
Jewish Week Book Critic

The copy of Leon Uris’ “Exodus” that Mark Tsesarsky read as a teenager was fragile, having passed through many hands before his. This was a samizdat copy, published underground and secretly circulated among Jews in the former Soviet Union. In the 1970s, reading it could have gotten Tsesarsky arrested, but, as he told Uris many years later as a new citizen of the United States, it made him “a Zionist in hiding.”

Sephardic Gangster Flicks

12/06/2002
Staff Writer
The Bettouns are a traditional kind of family. They decorate their homes with menorahs and affix mezuzahs to their doorposts. They gather in the synagogue for bar mitzvah services and celebrate in lavish style. And when someone dies, they immediately say the Shema: even when that person has just been thrown from a helicopter into the backyard of the family compound.   

A Jewcy Chanukah

11/29/2002
Staff Writer
Demographers struggling to calculate the nation's Jewish population may get some help from a group of New Yorkers out to market Jewishness as a hip lifestyle: complete with wardrobe.   
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