The Arts

New Chapters On The Shoah

Holocaust autobiographies keeping aging survivors’ memories alive.

04/28/2016 - 10:47
Staff Writer

As the generation of Holocaust survivors — and to some degree, their children — dwindles, the number of books of their reminiscences continues to grow, as many aging men and women try to preserve their memories before they pass on. Such books, primarily journals and autobiographies, have included in recent years many works of fiction, many of them intended for young readers.

Some of the newest entries in the group of first-person Holocaust books.

Word, Image And Stage

Three shows around town span genres and centuries.

04/26/2016 - 16:38
Culture Editor

Lynn Avadenka says that a poem and a painting begin the same way: With an artist facing the blank page.

David Wander’s “There Arose a New King Who Knew Not Joseph,” part of HUC’s “Evil” show.

Remembering Ronit Elkabetz

The great Israeli actress-director could be a charismatic earth mother and a wry humorist; Viviane Amsalem trilogy spoke to ‘situation of women’ in Israel.

04/20/2016 - 10:15
Special To The Jewish Week

Back in the winter of 2015, I closed an interview with Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz by asking them if their film, “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” represented a farewell to the eponymous central character whose familial troubles had carried through a trilogy of singular intensity and nuance.

Ronit Elkabetz died this week at 51 after a long battle with cancer. Wikimedia Commons

Magical Realism In A Polish Village

The Shoah-haunted stories of Helen Maryles Shankman.

04/19/2016 - 13:28
Culture Editor

“I started thinking of my mother’s story plus a golem,” Shankman says, “my mother’s story plus a talking dog.” Janet Joyner Photography

From Hungary To Buenos Aires And Beyond

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival puts teshuvah and comedy in the spotlight.

04/12/2016 - 13:45
Special To The Jewish Week

Alan Sabbagh brings Purim to Buenos Aires in “The Tenth Man.” Alejandra Lopez

The Tribeca Film Festival has always included a generous helping of Israeli and Jewish-themed films, but seldom has the selection been stronger than it is this year. It’s not about the numbers, although the 2016 event, which opens on Thursday, April 14, includes at least a half-dozen features and a handful of shorts that will be of interest to Jewish Week readers. It is definitely about the quality.

Former Jobbik party head Csanad Szegedi, near right, and Rabbi Boruch Oberlander in scene from “Keep Quiet.” Gábor Máté

Religious Tolerance Moves To Center Stage

New production of ‘Nathan the Wise’ raises tough questions about faith, morality and religious truth.

04/05/2016 - 13:20
Special To The Jewish Week

‘Every time he hears the word ‘Jew’, he’s ready to punch someone,” F. Murray Abraham told The Jewish Week in an interview about the title character he plays in “Nathan the Wise,” now running at the Classic Stage Company. But it is the character’s Jewish faith that keeps his anger in check.

F. Murray Abraham stars as a pious Jew in “Nathan the Wise,” set in 12th-century Jerusalem. Photos by Richard Termine

‘Color Is Everything’

In the studio with Isaac Mizrahi, talking about his new Jewish Museum show, his memoir-in-progress and … God.

03/29/2016 - 17:46
Culture Editor

Take in the wall of color, be dazzled by the dresses, and then head to see Isaac Mizrahi’s sketches at The Jewish Museum to best understand the fashion designer’s process. Mizrahi draws by hand, never by computer, in graceful, sure strokes of color, attaching fabric swatches, as though he is telling the stories of the lives these dresses will adorn.

“I think the ability to laugh at myself sets me apart,” says Mizrahi.Photos . courtesy of The Jewish Museum

‘There Are Some Things That Can’t Be Shown’

Considering the Shoah-haunted films of the late Chantal Akerman.

03/22/2016 - 16:22
Special To The Jewish Week

About halfway through “I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman,” a new documentary by Marianne Lambert, opening on Wednesday, March 30, the late Belgian filmmaker tells Lambert that, finally, all her films are really about her mother, a Holocaust survivor who died shortly before the interview took place.

Scene from Akerman’s last film, “No Home Movie,” a loving portrait of her mother. Akerman credit: Courtesy of Icarus Films

‘Fiddler’ In His Veins

Wearing his father’s well-worn boots, Michael Bernardi carries on a family tradition that stretches back years.

03/16/2016 - 08:51
Culture Editor

Over in Anatevka, on Broadway, Michael Bernardi is pouring vodka for customers at the village inn, keeping the peace among rivals and occasionally breaking out into song and dance.

Michael Bernardi as Tevye. Courtesy of Michael Bernardi

What’s Wrong, And Right, With Religion

Rabbi Donniel Hartman on the necessity of seeing the ‘Other’ as having a moral voice.

03/15/2016 - 16:12
Special To The Jewish Week

There is a bookshelf in my study that I have nicknamed “Amsterdam.”

On that shelf, you can find the following books: “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” by the late Christopher Hitchens; “The God Delusion,” by Richard Dawkins; “Letter To a Christian Nation,” by Sam Harris; and “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon,” by Daniel Dennett.

Rabbi Donniel Hartman’s book faults religious followers who put God second to their own interpretations of religious priorities.
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