Arts & Life

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Satire group headlines Beth El event
BY Heather Norris
September 4, 2014

The Capitol Steps will highlight Beth El Congregation’s Evening of Celebration on Sept. 14. The political satire group was formed in 1981 in Washington, D.C., as a group of Senate staffers putting on a show for a Christmas party and has since expanded to a 20-member troupe that has performed in all 50 states. While CONTINUE »

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Seinfeld writer, novelist comes to Gordon Center
BY Simone Ellin
September 4, 2014

Ever wonder who coined the phrase: “Yada yada yada?” What about “double dipping?” “Shrinkage?” Although these terms are now part of English vernacular, that wasn’t always the case. All three phrases came out of the brain of journalist, comedy writer, TV producer and YouTube host-turned-novelist, Peter Mehlman. Mehlman, a University of Maryland alum, will bring CONTINUE »

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Anti-vaccine movement creates tension in Jewish community
BY Simone Ellin
August 28, 2014

As children return to school this week, some parents, physicians and scientists are engaged in an increasingly fierce debate over the safety and necessity of childhood vaccinations for diseases such as polio, hepatitis B, pertussis, diphtheria and chicken pox. Emotions run high on both sides, with parents who choose not to vaccinate claiming that they CONTINUE »

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Yiddish tango links time, space, musical styles
BY Anthony Weiss/JTA
August 28, 2014

LOS ANGELES — The music that packs the Skirball Cultural Center’s stately courtyard — Yiddish tango — is a musical hybrid twice over. On the tango side, it is a blend of African-born rhythms and a potpourri of European music styles. On the Yiddish side, it combines mournful liturgical melodies with folk songs. Tango too CONTINUE »

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Documentary reveals a Jewish woman’s complex racial identity
BY Rebecca Spence/JTA
August 28, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — When Lacey Schwartz celebrated her bat mitzvah more than two decades ago in her hometown of Woodstock, N.Y., a synagogue-goer turned to her and said, “It’s so nice to have an Ethiopian Jew in our midst.” Never mind that Schwartz, a striking 37-year-old with long black curls and a megawatt smile, is CONTINUE »