After learning about the benefits of genetic screening from her physician, a pregnant woman decides to schedule an amniocentesis test. Doctors carefully screen her amniotic fluid sample, and they determine that her fetus has an extra 21st chromosome — in other words, the child will be born with Down syndrome. The patient instantly faces an emotional quandary: should she go forward with the pregnancy, or should she have an abortion?
This kind of thorny ethical question was at the center of a forum on genetic disease forum held May 5 at the JCC in Manhattan.
In "A Jew is Not One Thing," a film at the end of The Jewish Museum's permanent exhibition, a group of American, Israeli and European Jews (a rabbi, an educator, a psychologist, artists, scholars and even day school students) comment on themes that have shaped the Jewish people.
untry steeped in memory, the Jewish state operates on a calendar of Jewish holidays that are implicitly or explicitly memorials, both religious and secular. But the fast pace of recent decades in Israel, one crisis or scandal or existential threat following closely on the heels of another, has left little time for communal remembrance of the latest events.
Thursday, December 24th, 2009
Those Minnesota Jews sure are polite.
I was wondering when Minnesota Jewish leaders would respond to last week’s bizarre outburst by Garrison Keillor, the longtime host of the Prairie Home Companion. In the process of trashing Unitarians for diluting the religious meaning of Christmas music he also took shots at Jewish composers he seems to think abetted the war on the holiday.
The Jewish Folk Gallery is a modest space that can barely contain the artistic output of the emigre artists and artisans who rely on it as a showplace for their work.
The walls and the shelves of the 300-square-foot gallery (formerly the first-floor library at Bnai Zion House) overflow with scenes of shtetl life and people at prayer, landscapes of Russia and Israel, engraved copper plaques and carved wooden ritual objects. There is just enough room for a tea-service cart to fit behind the door.
The cover illustration of Etgar Keret's first book in English shows a smiley-faced figure in the act of blowing its brains out. Inside, suicide, murder and other forms of mutilation are featured in a good portion of the "other stories" in "The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories."
Far from turning off readers, Keret's combination of bittersweet prose and morose subject matter has hit a nerve among Israelis born in an age of political and moral uncertainty.
When history touched Yonia Fain's life, it hit with gale force. For 30 years he was "dragged by the storm of events over half a world," the Brooklyn-based painter and Yiddish poet once wrote.
Between 1923 (when a 9-year-old Fain and his family fled Bolshevik Russia, and 1953) when he settled in New York City: Fain outran Nazi troops in Poland, was imprisoned by the Soviets, escaped to Japan, was deported to China and eventually made his way to safety and artistic success in Mexico.
Speaking before several dozen people munching on babaganoush and taboule and chatting away in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and English, the Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury invoked the hallowed name of Al-Andalus.
"And if we do not find it, we can build it in our hearts," he said at the reception for a literary event last week in the Soho studio of Iraqi-born sculptor Oded Halahmy.
In the aftermath of last week’s deadly terror attack, all eyes focused on the fervent rescue effort in Lower Manhattan. With thousands of people buried under mountains of steel and concrete, cultural enterprise suddenly seemed frivolous and art openings, lectures, parties and awards ceremonies nationwide were canceled or postponed.