Blogs

Chris Christie, Piano Player

Political scandals are like the motto on the box of Morton Salt: when it rains it pours. 

Once the initial story breaks, it is often only the beginning, and more seem to follow.  There's a hemorrhaging of revelations that is hard to stanch, as Chris Christie is learning. 

Senator For Sale

While in the Senate, Missouri Republican Kit Bond was an outspoken opponent of Obamacare and a reliable vote against health care reform and just about everything else supported by the Obama administration.  But once out of Congress he’s a changed man.  The epiphany wasn’t spiritual; it was monetary. 

Is Jordan Palestine?

Jordanians are becoming a minority in their own country, outnumbered by refugees from the conflicts around them.  The latest are 600,000+ Syrians who have fled the war in their country that has become a humanitarian disaster, and 200,000 Iraqis who have seen renewed fighting erupt in their country as bombings are a daily occurrence in Baghdad and other cities. 

Zusha And Its Niggunim

The name Zusha is most commonly associated with an 18th century chasidic rebbe from the town of Anipoli in southeast Poland. Reb Zusha was a student of the Maggid of Mezritch, a main disciple of the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, and was known for his great piety, scholarship and penchant for bursting out in spontaneous joy.

Fans at Zusha concert. Orli Major

From The Jewish Feminist Frontier

The Jewish feminist movement has brought about remarkable changes in religious community life. But not everyone welcomes these shifts. More than one influential blogger has pointed to the “feminization” of Judaism, particularly in the more liberal sectors, as a contributing factor to the worrisome decline highlighted by the recent Pew report.

Judith Plaskow and Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses. Photo courtesy JCC in Manhattan

David Broza’s Jerusalems

“[What’s So Funny ‘Bout] Peace Love & Understanding” David Broza asks, in his recording of Nick Lowe’s song on his new CD, “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem.” That song, with the accompaniment of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus of the Jerusalem International YMCA – a group of Jewish and Arab teens -- is now being played regularly on Galei Zahal, Israel Army Radio.

David Broza. Photo by Michael Datikash

Remembering Sid Caesar

Comedy great Sid Caesar died on Wednesday at age 91, at his home in Beverly Hills.  His pioneering work in television in the 1950s, with “Your Show of Shows,” spawned television’s golden age. I interviewed Caesar in November 2003 when his book  “My Life in Comedy, With Love and Laughter" was published.  Some excerpts of that interview follow.

Sid Caesar, 1922 - 2014

Eye On The Lower East Side

Think photos of the Lower East Side and you might well conjure up Jacob Riis’ grainy black and white images, Hebrew signs hanging from stoop steps, pushcarts lining crowded streets.  Or perhaps you’re remembering more recent images ‒ burnt-out buildings, gangs and cigarette butts hanging from slack mouths during the ’70s. Maybe for you, the Lower East Side is all about discount Sunday shopping in the ‘80s. But it’s not the old neighborhood anymore, as Sally Davies’ “Photographs of the Lower East Side” -- now on view on 57th Street -- at the Bernarducci  Meisel Gallery make clear.

"Rearview Snowstorm," 2010. ©Sally Davies

Short Notes From A Reporter's Notebook

A King's Bicoastal Meetings

Bibi Sets Washington Visit

Bibi & Barack Meetings Set

The White House confirmed a March 3 meeting between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, who will be in town to address the Annual AIPAC Policy Conference.  Iran will be at the top of the prime minister's agenda but the President will also want to focus on the stalled peace talks with the Palestinians and bitter personal attacks on Secretary of State John Kerry by some leading Israeli political figures. 

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