Arts and Culture

Nava Lubelski

The World Without You

May 30, 2012

An excerpt from Joshua Henkin’s new novel, The World Without You, to be published by Pantheon Books on June 19.

Feminist Art in Traditional and Religious Judaism

April 4, 2012

Jewish feminist art by women active in the traditional religious world is still a marginal phenomenon in the general art world and in the Israeli art field in particular. This article, together with the first major exhibit in a museum to exhibit such work, “Matronita: Jewish Feminist Art” (The Museum of Art Ein Harod) invites a reflection on the complexities of the feminist Jewish religious experience. David Sperber, one of the curators of the exhibition (with Dvora Liss), here reviews the artistic horizons of this fascinating dialogue.

Love, Hate & the Jewish State 5.0: Gender Discrimination in Israel

March 22, 2012

Congregation Beth Elohim, 7–10 pm
274 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, NY

Join us for the fifth in a series of highly interactive, non-persuasive, non-political discussions with a diverse group of people in their 20s and 30s.

Wrestling with Esther: Purim Spiels, Gender, and Political Dissidence

March 7, 2012

Modern Purim celebrations use the traditional play as a vehicle for popular education around a broad range of issues by playing with the iconic roles typified by the Megilla’s characters: good girl, bad girl, stupid king, valiant citizen, evil politician. These traditional players can easily and informatively be mixed up with any combination of modern kings, s/heroes, insider/outsider activists, popular resistance movements, and evildoers-ex-machina.

Polyartist: An Interview with Richard Kostelanetz

February 27, 2012

There may not be a causal relationship between Jewishness and an avant-garde sensibility, but Jewish communities have given rise to some terrific avant-garde work. Or maybe Jews just tend to be comfortable outside the mainstream, which is often where the most interesting creative work flourishes and finds its home.


February 6, 2012

The quince was a cure-all to the ancients, but in Avshalom Kaveh’s twisted world, the fruit takes sides against our natural capacity to forgive and forget. This tragicomic story of angels and human devilry is Kaveh’s first publication in English. (Translated by Stephen Katz.)

In Song Together: For Linda Hirschhorn, Music is a Path to Transformation

January 24, 2012

Harmony is like drash. Singing a song simply is like pshat; harmonies give you the chance to interpret text. If you hear a lyric, especially sung in counterpoint, the words coming at a different time, you’ll get a different experience of what the words might mean, what’s important. Major or minor, syncopated or lullaby: those communicate so much. It’s important to understand the text, to try to find how my song matches my understanding of the text.

Winners of the Anna Davidson Poetry Prize

December 27, 2011

The Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize for Poetry on the Jewish Experience has been awarded since 1987 and is funded by the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund. We are pleased to publish the winning poems here, by Dan Bellm, Jehanne Dubrow, and Anna Torres.

Elsewhere: a Faith story, for Grace Paley

October 4, 2011

She woke up to a clinking sound like a stuck thought, as if there were some pestering obstacle in a story she wasn’t writing that would work itself out in her sleep if she could pay attention enough.

Albert J. Winn's “Summer Joins the Past”

August 25, 2011

Summer camps offer brief encounters with utopia. Though usually located somewhere out in the wild, they are constructed, self contained domains, each fostering a worldview of its own. Dedicated to the collective living of an ideal existence, summer camps promote fantasy.“Summer Joins the Past,” Albert J. Winn’s series of photographs of abandoned Jewish summer camps in North America, offers a quiet yet eloquently evocative tour of these places out of time.

Salt and Pepper

August 24, 2011

A poem by Samuel Menashe (1925-2011)

Is There a Future for the New Jewish Culture?

July 17, 2011

The big wave of hip, innovative Jewish media seems to have washed out.

Five Stories

July 11, 2011

It cost me a great effort to discover the hidden secret of the things, but soon I was seized with panic because without my realizing it, I lost the sense of their simplicity.

New Jew

June 7, 2011

Nina Shepard had been a Jew for fifteen minutes. She sat at her table at the Ivy and regarded her soft-shell crab.

Digging in the Dirt... in Israel and L.A.

May 9, 2011

Stacie Chaiken writes, “I cannot simplify my relationship with Israel any more than I can simplify my relationship with my mother.” Read an excerpt from her solo play “The Dig” here, and see it in person at the Zeek L.A. Launch Event on Thursday, May 12.

The Listener: Memory, Lies, Art, Power

May 4, 2011

Holocaust literature must now exceed hundreds of thousands of volumes, the rise of Hitler to power in Germany itself thousands more tomes, but comic art has been sparse. David Lester’s new volume is a remarkable contribution to the genre.

Holy longing, holy language: Yehoshua November’s "God’s Optimism"

April 11, 2011

A wordless niggun I know asks why a soul enters the world, and then answers “to know God.” Surely that is the answer these poems provide.

The New Jewish Literature

April 1, 2011

We are witnessing a new era of Jewish writing in the United States, and as its readers we are particularly pleased to be in a position to watch it develop.

The Metamorphosis: Jonathan Kis-Lev's Jerusalems

March 21, 2011

Kis-Lev’s images depict Jerusalems which have become mundane, detached from heaven, sundered from holiness. Only in such a Jerusalem could mosque, synagogue, and church equally and peaceably divide the horizon.

Rethinking Modern Hebrew Literature: A Review of Shachar M. Pinsker's Literary Passports

March 10, 2011

Hebrew literature did not begin in Palestine. It began in Europe, as part of a distinctly modernist approach to 20th century European Jewish life.

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