The Arts

Concerto For Interfaith Dialogue

Conductor Gilbert Levine reflects on his musical
and personal relationship with Pope John Paul II.

12/07/2010
Staff Writer

If Gilbert Levine had fulfilled his lifelong dream to spend his days making music, but never conducted some of the world’s leading orchestras — dayenu. It would have been enough.

If he had gone to Poland in 1987 as artistic director of the Krakow Philharmonic, the first American to lead an orchestra in still-communist Eastern Europe, but never met Pope John Paul II — dayenu.

Gilbert Levine has conducted a personal effort of reconciliation between Judaism and the Catholic Church. Tony Gale

‘Joys And Angst Of The Holidays’

12/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Jews and Christians have very different rituals that mark the onset of winter, but they share the pleasures and stresses of the holiday season. In Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman’s revue, “That Time of the Year,” which opens this weekend at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, two dozen new songs illuminate various aspects of the winter festivals.

“That Time of the Year” runs through Dec. 19 at the White Plains Performing Arts Center

Israel Rising

Noted military historian Martin van Creveld charts
the country’s rough road in ‘Land of Blood and Honey.’

11/30/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

There have been surprisingly few books written about the history of the Zionist enterprise and about the success story of that enterprise, the State of Israel. Walter Laqueur’s 1972 “A History of Zionism” is magisterial, and Martin Gilbert’s 1998 “Israel: A History” is a frankly admiring portrait of the Jewish state, rich in detail; it reads as if it were the “official” biography of the state.

Van Creveld has an impressive track record as one of the leading military historians.

‘Shoah’ At 25: ‘Nothing Will Be Forgotten’

Claude Lanzmann says his monumental film will stand ‘as an absolute barrier against forgetting.’

11/30/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Claude Lanzmann is in a bad mood. The director of “Shoah” is here to publicize the 25th anniversary re-release of that classic documentary and, whether he is jet-lagged or bored or subject to the cantankerousness that frequently befalls a man less than a week shy of his 85th birthday, he is in a bad mood and making no effort to conceal it.

The classic documentary “Shoah,” “does not age,” according to its director Claude Lanzmann, top.

Who Was Peter Sellers?

11/23/2010

They called him the consummate character actor, the man who disappeared into his roles so completely that his own personality was invisible. Who was the real Peter Sellers?

David Boyle as Peter Sellers in “Being Sellers.” Questions of identity haunted the enigmatic actor.

Liberal Zionism’s Champion

From inside the Orthodox fold, Peter Beinart is honing his critique about why young Jews are ditching Israel.

11/23/2010
Staff Writer

In America, the lines of debate on Israel are starkly drawn; respected intellectuals cross them at their peril. You need only look at the reputations of the late Tony Judt or Alan Dershowitz — accomplished scholars in their respective fields — whose outspoken views on Israel have become caricatures for either side of the debate: Judt, the anti-Zionist; Dershowitz, the pro-Israel hawk.

The same type of thing might have happened to Peter Beinart.

The tension Beinart feels — between liberal values and unqualified support for Israel — is animating his writing.

Project Runway, Sephardic Style

Annual Sephardic Music Festival branches out with art rave, fashion show.

11/23/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

The phone is ringing. There is a new CD to promote. There are the usual last-minute changes in the Sephardic Music Festival to be arranged. A new music video has to be shot this week. A fresh pot of coffee needs to be brewed.

And the baby is crying.

Erez Safar, founder of the Sephardic Music Festival.

Mr. Bellow’s Planet

11/16/2010
Staff Writer

Fittingly, the story of how novelist Benjamin Taylor became the editor of the newly published collection of Saul Bellow’s letters begins with a letter. Not a letter between Bellow and Taylor, to be sure — they never knew each other, in fact — but a letter between Taylor and Philip Roth.

The novelist’s letters — 708 of them — reveal his complicated relationship with Jewish life.

Not Getting To The Mountaintop

Richard Dreyfuss finds parallels between himself and Abraham Joshua Heschel
as he plays the rabbi in downscaled show.

11/16/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

 On the surface, no two people seem farther apart than the movie star from Beverly Hills and the famous German refugee rabbi. But Richard Dreyfuss, now appearing as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in Colin Greer’s “Imagining Heschel” at the Cherry Lane Theater, feels a profound kinship with the character he plays.

Dreyfuss as Heschel: Was Vatican mission a failure?

I.L. Peretz, Melody Maker

11/09/2010

He may not have achieved the popularity of his fellow Yiddish writer, Sholom Aleichem, but I. L. Peretz (1852-1915) was also a heavyweight of Yiddish literature at the turn of the 20th century. While the author of the “Tevye” stories was known for his folksy brand of humor, Peretz was inspired by chasidic folklore to express the mystical resonances in Jewish tradition.

French mime and performance artist Rafael Goldwaser stars in Peretz plays at the Folksbiene.
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