The Arts

Nostalgia For A Hipper New York

With a black and Jewish heritage and a classical musical pedigree, cellist-singer Marika Hughes mixes it all together.

03/08/2016 - 15:58
Culture Editor

City breezes and nightlights infuse a lot of Marika Hughes’ songs, and so does love and its longings. Born of classical musical royalty, she’s an urban poet who writes music and lyrics, plays the cello, sings and fronts a band. Her latest CD, “New York Nostalgia,” is a love song to this city.

Of her new record, Marika Hughes says, “I hear the blues, the art rock of the ’90s, the spirit of jazz. Nisha Sondhe

The Sephardic Reach, Through Cinema

03/02/2016 - 09:06
Special To The Jewish Week

The first Jews in New Amsterdam, as New York City was once called, were Sephardim from Brazil who had escaped the dangers of the Inquisition in the New World by heading north to the more tolerant air of the Dutch colony. They had knowingly recapitulated the trajectory of many Sephardic Jews before them who had found refuge in the Netherlands. Consequently, the first synagogues in North America followed the traditions established in Spain and Portugal before the Expulsion in 1492.

Pramila (Esther Abraham), left, the first woman to win the title of Miss India, and Egyptian film star Leila Mourad.

Last Chance For Closure

Director Atom Egoyan on his new film ‘Remember’ — a take on memory and revenge, and a very different kind of road movie.

03/01/2016 - 12:39
Special To The Jewish Week

The phone line between Toronto and New York seemed to crackle with impassioned urgency as the film director Atom Egoyan spoke of his compelling new movie, “Remember,” due to open here next week at the Angelika Film Center.

Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau in a scene from “Remember.” Photos by Sophie Giraud

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

Two takes on mensch-hood at Rendezvous with French Cinema series.

02/24/2016 - 09:02
Special To The Jewish Week

What does it mean to be a mensch?

As anyone who reads this newspaper knows, it’s not the same thing as being “a man,” that rather less elusive category that obsesses American culture.

Nicolas Duvauchelle as the troubled Eddy in “A Decent Man.” Courtesy of Rendezvous with French Cinema

A Sense Of Place, A Sense Of Complexity

Israel, in all its ‘rifts and paradoxes,’ comes into view in ‘This Place.’

02/16/2016 - 18:23
Culture Editor

In Israel, the light is direct, hard, strong and dense, not ideal for photographers, but it has been a place of intense picture-taking interest since the dawn of photography. 

Frédéric Brenner’s portrait of three generations of an Israeli family. ©Frederic Brenner

Letters As A Lifeline

A book and an exhibit tell stories of family and identity, all in longhand.

02/09/2016 - 11:36
Culture Editor

Letters are delicate inheritances, especially the ones that are addressed to someone else.

To read them is to eavesdrop; to share them is, at best, an opportunity to provide historical testimony, but, potentially, a betrayal of privacy.

Ian Buruma, turned thousands of letters written by his grandparents into a study of assimilated Jewish life in Germany & England

From Groucho Marx To Seinfeld, Jewish Jokes Dominate Top 100 List

02/04/2016 - 12:08

New York Magazine’s culture section, Vulture, this week published a mega-listicle, “The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy.” With the help of comedians and historians of comedy, the magazine’s editors compiled the most important jokes ever uttered — from Charlie Chaplin making dinner rolls dance to Louis C.K. dissing his daughter.

Jerry Seinfeld speaking onstage at the 2015 Hulu Upfront Presentation at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, April 29. JTA

No Direction Home: ‘Fiddler’s’ Lessons

02/02/2016 - 15:36
Special To The Jewish Week

“Hamilton” may be the hottest ticket in town, with its fusion of hip-hop patriotism and a colorful cast of homeboys for Founding Fathers, but not far behind in ticket sales and sentimental attachments to equally revolutionary times is the revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Leaving Anatevka: A scene from the new production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Joan Marcus

The Survivor Rocker

From Shoah-era Poland to Rivington Street, ‘Rock and Roll Refugee’ tells the little-known story of Genya Ravan.

02/02/2016 - 11:38
Special To The Jewish Week

Before the appearances on television and radio, the European tour with the Rolling Stones, the sexual abuse, the failed marriage, the heartbreak of alcohol and drug addiction — before all the notoriety of a career in rock and roll, she was a frightened little Polish Jewish girl, Genyusha Zelkovicz, escaping from the Nazis and coming to New York with her parents and older sister.

Scene from “Rock and Roll Refugee,” which is based on Ravan’s tell-all memoir from 2004. Russ Rowlands

Affairs Of The Heart, And Nation

01/27/2016 - 09:12

The playwright Richard Greenberg is musing about his new work, “Our Mother’s Brief Affair,” and about what happens when we’re dealt a hand we didn’t see coming.

For Richard Greenberg, in his new play “Our Mother’s Brief Affair,” domestic and societal sins differ only in magnitude.
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