The Arts

Blame It On Rio

Not even a beautiful Mossad agent can
save the Bondian romp, ‘Lost in Rio.’

05/04/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Life was so much simpler in 1967. For a brief moment, everyone loved Israel, the plucky little country that fended off attacks from all its much larger, more powerful neighbors. With the U.S. involved in an unpopular war in Vietnam, it was comfortable for progressives to view the Israelis as a model for the Third World, a nation too tough to take crap from the big boys.

No 007: Jean Dujardin and Louise Monot in scene from “OSS 117 — Lost in Rio.”

Anna Halprin’s Dance Therapy

New documentary traces the varied steps of the pioneering
modern dance choreographer.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

When Anna Halprin was growing up in the 1920s, she liked to watch her grandfather pray. He would rock back and forth, his long white beard swaying, while a string of unintelligible words rushed from his mouth. As his words became louder, faster, his body followed suit, moving in what seemed like some mystical dance. God must have looked something like that, Halprin remembers thinking. And so, she reasoned, “I thought God was a dancer.”
 

For Halprin, dance has tangible health benefits.

Did The Hebrew Bible Give Birth To Democracy?

Scholars beginning to challenge view that the rise of democratic values belongs solely to Western secular thought.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

When the Texas Board of Education voted last month in favor of a proposal that would emphasize the religious origins of democracy in high school curricula, many liberals were outraged. It seemed to fly in the face of the long-held assumption that Western political ideas — toleration, the separation of church and state, indeed the genius of democratic rule itself — was born from the steady secularization of the West. It was the age of the Enlightenment, after all, that produced America’s great experiment in democracy.
 

32.gif

Sondheim, Unrevealed

The great composer who held up a mirror
to us remains elusive himself in new production.

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

If Andrew Lloyd Webber supersized the Broadway musical, inflating it with an operatic grandeur that distanced it from everyday life, Stephen Sondheim made it about us — our relationships, our struggles for self-esteem, our wrestlings with our yearnings and fears.
 

The cast of “Sondheim on Sondheim,” including Vanessa Williams, left, and Barbara Cook, seated at center.

The Red-Bearded Face Of Irish-Jewish History

03/13/2009
Staff Writer

For any visitor to Dublin’s rustic Irish Jewish Museum, the warm-natured, red-bearded curator Raphael Siev was more than a familiar face: he was a fount of information and an admired Irish-Jewish leader.

Siev, 73, died of a short illness in the last week of January, during which he had insisted upon speaking at a Holocaust memorial event, The Independent newspaper in Dublin reported.
 

Death of Irish Jewish Museum curator Raphael Siev is deeply felt. Rachel King.

Celtic-Klez

Dublin native Carl Nelkin synthesizes his dual musical heritages and releases an Irish-inflected Holocaust album.

03/13/2009
Staff Writer

Standing on the bima behind a golden menorah, an emerald green leprechaun read from the megillah last Purim, a plush green top hat perched on his head and a red Irish-chasidish beard glued onto his flushed cheeks.
 

Jewish soul, Irish hearta: Even Nelkin’s somber Holocaust album is touched with an Irish lilt.

Less Is More: Alex Epstein’s Poetic Prose

For young Israeli writer, brevity is the name of the game.

04/26/2010
Staff Writer

Americans are surely familiar, to a point, with Israeli literature. Go to your local Barnes & Noble and you’ll find titles from Amos Oz, David Grossman and Aaron Appelfeld well stocked on its shelves.

Alex Epstein: His short story collection "Blue Has No South" is a study in brevity.

A Shmooze Through The Torah

New postmodern commentary offers high-tech,
user-friendly guide to weekly portion.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

The classical commentaries on Acherei Mot–Kedoshim — the Torah portions in Leviticus read in synagogues this Shabbat — by the classical commentators are black and white, graphically and philosophically.

Long blocks of text parse and examine and explain key biblical words that illustrate such concepts as the Azazel goat ritual in the Wilderness, forbidden relationships, and obligations to the poor.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier’s parshah book takes a novel graphic approach.

Up Against The Wall

Tribeca Festival documentary aptly depicts all sides in a West Bank town’s peaceful struggle to reroute Israel’s security fence.

04/20/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

The immense capacity of the human animal for pointless violence that runs counter to its best interests never ceases to amaze. Or it just never ceases.

Consider the history of an independent modern India. Conceived and brought to life by the work of one of the world’s greatest advocates of nonviolence, Mohandas Gandhi, it is a nation that has known terrible outbursts of sectarian violence within and brutal combat without for its entire history. Could it be possible, however, to reverse this process?

A scene from "Budrus"
Syndicate content