Arts and Culture

Political Education, Illustrated

March 8, 2010

Imagine comics for half-literate kids with back pages devoted to Mozart’s Magic Flute, Victor Hugo, or the overthrow and death of Mussolini.

Epic Journey

March 8, 2010

Storytelling from a female perspective, prints by Sarah Bernstein.

With or Without Pockets

March 4, 2010

“I have the right to wear my own clothes, but not the right to have pockets in those clothes. What am I supposed to do with my hands without pockets? I hate when they swing at my sides, and crossing my arms over my chest is the wrong body language. So, I clasp my hands tighter and tighter, missing the bite of silver rings into my flesh, the pain that holds me to the present.”

We're Not White Trash. We're Jews.

March 3, 2010

Holocaust education sure ain’t what it used to be. What happens when two adolescent girls try to steal books about the Shoah - from their local public library.

A Children's Tale: The White Ribbon Turns Michael Haneke's Bleak Filmmaking Back On Itself

March 2, 2010

Controversial director Michael Haneke takes a new approach with The White Ribbon, nominated for a “Best Foreign Film” Oscar. The film has a lot to tell us about the state of storytelling today and what we can learn from the period, right before World War I, in which it is set.

Knitting Peace

February 25, 2010

Slideshow of Michele Feder-Nadoff’s recent installation at the Elmhurst Gallery Accelerator Space.

Voices of the Levites

February 25, 2010

Playing with Israeli Messianism can be dangerous, but the groundbreaking Israeli band Kolot HaLevi’im (Voices of the Levites) reconstructs the past with a hybrid musical aesthetic and theological creatiivity that takes us very much into a progressive present.

The Trees

February 24, 2010

This graceful short story by Israeli author Yuval Yavneh illuminates a fundamental human connectedness.

Songs of Zion

February 24, 2010

Yehuda Halevi is one of the most significant figures in Jewish literary history. Frequently cited as a proto-Zionist religious thinker, Hillel Halkin’s new biography of the medieval Jewish poet reminds us that this is only a part of his greater story.

Slavery and the Holocaust

February 22, 2010

A look at the Idea Coalition curated Slavery and the Holocaust exhibition, currently being held at Philadelphia’s Vivant Art Collection.

Tzit Tzit Fiber Art and Jewish Identity

February 22, 2010

Slideshow of recent contemporary Jewish textile exhibition in Pennsylvania, curated by Ben Schachter.

All the Taste Without the Flavor: Charlotte Gainsbourg's IRM

February 18, 2010

Collaborating with Beck, who wrote most of the songs, Charlotte Gainsbourg produces tasteful alternative rock with wide-ranging appeal on IRM. But the music is too cautious, resulting in an album that’s easy to like but hard to love.

Avatar Meets Garden of Eden

February 17, 2010

Is Avatar just another Lion King? Or, even worse, a manipulative mythic replay of the Garden of Eden?


February 14, 2010

Fotografia de Maxi Kohan.

Talking About WHOSE Generation? The Super Bowl in Music

February 8, 2010

Although the majority of the players in the Super Bowl were African-American and many of the league’s most devoted fans are people of color, the use of the Arcade Fire to score the NFL’s commercial for itself reinforced a message conveyed by inviting the half-Who to play the halftime show: the league’s priority is to satisfy white, middle-class viewers.

Ajami as Israel

February 2, 2010

Ajami is the latest Israeli film to be nominated for an Academy Award. Opening Wednesday in the US, Shai Ginsburg reviews the controversial drama, comparing it with the likes of legendary European features such as Pasolini’s Accatone.


February 2, 2010

“Somebody must go,” said Lucinda. “Somebody must go seeking.” “When will you return?” “When I know what it is I seek.”

A Chill To Warm the Heart: Mark Glanville and Alexander Knapp's A Yiddish Winterreise

February 1, 2010

This remarkable song cycle repurposes Yiddish folk songs according to the logic of Franz Schubert’s famous Winterreise, turning his tale of a heartbreak into an allegory of the Holocaust.

Before He Became a Communist

January 29, 2010

David Bergelson’s The End of Everything is a classic work of Yiddish literature. A portrait of the Ukrainian Jewish community’s transition to modernity, the novel also sets the stage for the author’s own radicalization. Ezra Glinter reviews Joseph Sherman’s new translation.

The Time I Took Communion

January 27, 2010

Children and hippies tend to have certain things in common, like believing that all religions are the same. What happens when a nice Jewish girl goes to church, looking for her Israeli father.

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