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A Conversation: Why Fiction Matters in an Unjust World

July 30, 2014

A conversation between Sarah Seltzer and Chanel Dubofsky launching ZEEK’s Summer Fiction series.

Fiction: Sholem Wrestles an Angel

July 30, 2014

To a man with hearing loss, the world can present some strange playlists. For instance, the intolerable screech of the BART car on its tracks can approach the sublime. Wind across the brushed aluminum surface of the car can sound like a choir singing a note and its minor third simultaneously, moving up and down a ghostly atonal scale as the car speeds up and slows down. The symphony is released into the atmosphere when the train moves on elevated track, and then strangulated within tunnels where it is forced to ever higher pitches.

Fiction: If You Looked Better, I'd Take You

July 23, 2014

At school I passed out Tootsie Roll Pops. It was something a normal kid from a normal family would do. I worked hard at that, because at Holy Family nobody knew my dad wasn’t living with us or that he was Jewish.

Fiction: Buying the House Twice

July 23, 2014

On Sunday mornings there was whitefish and lox and halvah so sweet it hurt your teeth. There were loaves of challah and cheese and slices of purple onion. The dining room seated our family, my aunt Ruth and her family, my aunt Bella, my grandmother, and Ada Rappaport and her boyfriend. Everyone talked at once. Annie took the sliced head of the whitefish and removed it from the scaly body. She pressed her lips against skull and sucked the eyeballs whole.

Fiction: In The End

July 16, 2014

In the beginning of the End, God saw that what He had created needed uncreating.

Summer Shorts: Call for Submissions!

June 16, 2014

Attention fiction writers! ZEEK is proud to be launching a new summer fiction series this July.

Artist Q, Artist A: Yona Verwer Talks to Mirta Kupferminc

May 31, 2014

“Artists Are Communicators,” merging identities, the Argentine art scene, and what it’s like to be an international LABA fellow based in Buenos Aires.

Felix Nussbaum in Paris

April 28, 2014

Though murdered at Auschwitz, Felix Nussbaum painted his life, not his death. This article is from the ZEEK archive. It originally ran on December 14, 2010.

Artist Q, Artist A: Yona Verwer talks to Ken Goldman About his work, life, and new exhibit, Off Label

April 23, 2014

Artist Ken Goldman’s probing, sometimes seemingly irreverent art is a catalyst for provoking people into re-evaluating their preconceptions. By pushing boundaries, writes Yona Verwer, he searches for new opportunities to make Judaism more relevant to today’s life. Artist Q, Artist A is Zeek’s new series of artist-artist conversations.

Racism in the Art World: Avoid or Act? The Leftist Ethicist

April 7, 2014

I am an artist living in Chicago. When I go to an opening and see all white artists showing with a 99% white crowd or hear about residencies where it seems everyone accepted is white, I tune it out. As a white person, I am more myself in multi-racial settings. I’m not sure how to change this fact or even sure if I want to change it. Why force myself to connect in spaces that exclude people of color? Is my viewpoint “problematic,” as an activist friend claims? –Anti-Racist & Ambivalent in Chicago

Chalking History: 10 Years of Street Art Memory -- Honoring the Victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

March 25, 2014

We honor the memory of the victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 by doing what we can to advance safe working conditions, end sweatshop labor, and fight child labor and for immigrants rights.

This is the 10th year that volunteers have – thanks to Ruth Sergel of Street Pictures – chalked up New York City’s Streets to commemorate the 146 mainly immigrant women and girls who died in that fire and gave rise to a movement.

Relative Unknowns: When Images Outlast Memory, but Not Meaning

January 21, 2014

Most of us grow up in homes where a mix of historical and recent family photos preserve the family’s collective memory, linking present to past, and serving as a tangible way to honor and safeguard the memories of loved ones no longer with us physically. Yet our displays — like our memories — are selective.

Even as a little kid, I felt drawn most to the photos that didn’t make the cut. These, my mother kept relegated to a large, plastic bin in the upstairs closet. As soon as I could climb a ladder, I’d spend hours poring over the contents. I loved examining the faces of people I knew, witnessing their different hairstyles and dress choices over time.

Mendelssohn’s Tea Pot: How Artists Reinvent the Past, and the Jewish Future

December 18, 2013

Lately, virtually everyone I know who has some kind of association – professional, emotional, familial, religious or intellectual – with the American Jewish community has been reading tea leaves, trying to figure out, in the wake of the Pew Research Center findings, what the future might hold.

I, too, have been reading tea leaves (Darjeeling, anyone?), but the ones I find at the bottom of my tea cup belong to Moses Mendelssohn, the celebrated 18th-century German Jewish philosopher who sought valiantly to come up with a series of strategies to align Jewishness with modernity.

Art. Collaboration. Openness. Ritual. A “Sukkah Salon”

September 20, 2013

“In my art practice I’ve been frustrated by my discomfort with bringing my spiritual practice and identity into the objects I make,” artist Danielle Durchslag, co-creator of “Assembly Required: Sukkah Salon,” tells Zeek in this Q & A. “Somehow the two have stayed separate. This exhibition is an attempt to bridge those worlds.”

The Jewish Heart

June 18, 2013

Choreographer and dancer Jody Oberfelder reflects on home, heart, Judaism, and her newest creation, 4Chambers, a new experiential performance installation premiering this summer on Governors Island in New York. With onsite photos of the upcoming performance by Julie Lemberger.

Five New Poems: Jake Marmer

May 31, 2013

New poetry from poet and performer Jake Marmer.

Counting the Omer by Drawing

May 13, 2013

This year’s project began with a scratch of an idea. In preparation for Sinai, the receiving of the Torah, I wanted to explore what it means to hold on to something.

The Sacrifice of Abraham: Three Poems

May 7, 2013

Three poems from “The Sacrifice of Abraham,” a series of re-tellings of the biblical story of Isaac and Abraham. In each section, a group of rabbis gathers to re-tell and offer commentary on the story, and with each re-telling transforms it into a broader and broader vision encompassing Greek gods, revolutionaries, insurgents, love affairs, and photographic details from current events.

Shtus Jews Say: Jewish Memes, Jewish Identities

November 28, 2012

The variety of “Sh-t Jews Say” videos reveal much about how American Jews see themselves in relation to each other and to the society in which they live.

Appropriation or Reconciliation? Islamic Elements in the Art of Israeli Religious Women

November 12, 2012

Women religious artists have sought to reclaim a common, local, cultural space (artistic, religious and concrete ) whereby religion and culture constitute a common ground for connection, and not only a platform for dispute and conflict.

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