Four Questions for Jeffrey Rosen

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Mark down the date: Friday, June 20, 2014. It was the day that the world realized that Israel had become a force in the world of professional basketball. Former Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv head coach David Blatt, who led the yellow and blue to both the 2014 Euroleague and Israeli Basketball Super League championships, was… Read More

Winning Shot

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LOS ANGELES — In 1981, David Blatt moved to Israel in pursuit of a path of lifelong worship — to play professional basketball. Now, more than 30 years later, Blatt is leaving Israel to make a different, and totally unprecedented, form of aliyah — to leave the ranks of Israeli basketball to coach in the… Read More

Evil, Even in Argentina

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Seven decades after the Holocaust, Josef Mengele is still a difficult name to stomach, as the repercussions of his medical experiments echo throughout history. So when I first heard about “The German Doctor” (“Wakolda” in German), a historical drama set in early 1960s Argentina and focused on part of Mengele’s life on the run from… Read More

Boisterous Yet Heartfelt

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Going back at least as far as Moses, Jews have taken public positions at personal risk. Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre’s inspiration comes from more recent role models: Larry Fine, Lenny Bruce, Mel Brooks and Woody Allen. The star and writer-director of the bracingly honest indie comedy “Obvious Child” embrace their Jewish comic influences and… Read More

Culinary Delights

The HardLox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival in Asheville, N.C., is a popular fundraiser that features everything from hot dogs to noodle kugel. (Courtesy Marty Gillen)

Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark. Not exactly the Jewish capitals of America, but they are both home to major Jewish food festivals. From street vendors to strolling klezmer musicians, food festivals bring people together with traditional favorites, uniting history and culture. According to Marty Gillen, chairman of Asheville’s HardLox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival,… Read More

Have You Heard?

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With so much talk of inclusion, it’s easy to conclude it’s just a buzzword, the issue of the moment. Inclusion can be hard to define, and what feels inclusive to one person may not feel that way to another. Yet, some institutions are taking meaningful steps toward including individuals with disabilities in their programming. Baltimore’s… Read More

Dancing with Autism

After she adopted her son Neal, Elaine Hall created the Miracle Project, a program that uses musical theater to engage autistic children and teens
(Provided)

During Passover of 1996, Elaine Hall traveled from Los Angeles to Russia to adopt her then 2-year-old son, Neal. A year later, Neal would be diagnosed with autism, and Hall would begin an odyssey that would change not only her life and Neal’s life, but also the lives of the many others they would touch…. Read More

Mixing it Up

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It was during a family Seder many years ago that theatrical director, producer and playwright Eric Rosen’s free-spirited Jewish father chose to break the news of his secret marriage to Rosen’s Southern Baptist mother. One can only imagine what Elijah must have observed when he visited the Rosen home that night. But whatever the prophet… Read More

Elf Magic Lets Loose

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To a clueless onlooker, it might look like the members of Elf Magic are engaged in live-action, spontaneous beat poetry. “I’m a Cup O’ Noodles!” “I’m a fork!” “I’m a spoon!” “I’m a knife!” “Knife stays.” “I’m a knife!” “I’m O.J. Simpson!” “I’m a glove!” “Glove stays.” The warm-up, called “I’m a Tree,” which began… Read More

Jewish camp trend-spotting

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Nostalgia about summer traditions notwithstanding, Jewish camps have changed dramatically from a generation ago. Camp’s value for Jewish education and identity-building is now a major focus of communal attention. Major Jewish foundations, federations and organizations are investing heavily in the sector. Many camps have become more intentional about incorporating Jewish learning, Shabbat and Israel into… Read More