Chinese Food for Thought Cantor Helzner’s presentation at Beth Am shows the Chinese-Jewish connection is more than a Christmas meal tradition

Chinese1

According to Cantor Robyn Helzner of Temple Sinai and Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C., it turns out those buoyant kreplach in your chicken soup could be a close relative to dim sum, the stuffed dumpling delicacy that is a staple of Chinese food. Helzner’s connection to China started with an invitation from… Read More

Will 2016 Be Year of … A few storylines to keep an eye on

Democratic presidential candidates (from left), Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook in October 2015 in Las Vegas, Nev.

The wave of violence in Israel For nearly four months, Israelis have been subjected to a steady stream of Palestinian attacks that so far have killed 27, injured 279 and stoked a climate of tension in Israel not unlike that of the intifada era. A poll in November by the Israel Democracy Institute found that… Read More

Well-Seated

Brooke & Ethan Zweig
(Artful Weddings by Sachs Photography)

It was love at first sight for Ethan Zweig. Ethan met Brooke Shemer briefly at a party on New Year’s Eve 2014. Afterward, they connected at Walt’s Inn in Baltimore. “Her smile really stuck with me,” said Ethan, 30. “I really enjoyed talking with her.” Brooke noticed Ethan as well, even pointing him out to… Read More

LIBERATION

February 1945. Planes roaring overhead, people dancing, Men strutting drunkenly down the unpaved street, Laughing, singing and shouting: “The Russians are here! The Russians are here!” My uncle is one of them, The center of any celebration. We, Mother, Uncle and I had found shelter on a farm near Warsaw Where our building had been… Read More

‘True Liberation, At Last’

It was 52 years ago, in December 1963, when Felicia Graber arrived in the United States. Graber remembers it as a moment — of feeling safe, of arriving home. Her poem begins in February 1945, more than 70 years ago.  Her words bring us into another moment — that of shouts, singing and celebration. Born… Read More

‘Pearls on a String’ Islamic works reflect a world of diversity at the Walters

‘Turktazi’s Visit to the Magical Garden of Turktaz, Queen of the Fairies,’ from the Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami, Muhammad Zaman (© The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin., www.cbl.ie)

The Walters Art Museum associate curator for Islamic and South Asian art, Amy Landau, is drawn in by a good story and knows that visitors are too. So for “Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts,” Landau designed three distinct segments for the exhibition, each one focused on the… Read More

A Classic Forgotten Yiddish operetta revived for a new generation

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s “Di Goldene Kale” (“The Golden Bride”) is a 1923 operetta that’s playing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

NEW YORK — “For a German Jew, Yiddish is beneath contempt,” musicologist Michael Ochs said. “German Jews tend to think of Yiddish as bad German. The only use we had in our family for it was to make fun of it.” So it is more than a tad ironic that it was Ochs, whose family… Read More

Soul Searching Child prodigy catalyzes unsettling Israeli drama

(Kino Lorber Inc.)

Under the influence of consumerism, militarism and the pace of the modern world, the People of the Book have  little use for poetry. That’s one reading — and the most obvious and simplistic — of “The Kindergarten Teacher,” Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s unsettling saga of an adult’s missteps when presented with a preternaturally talented child…. Read More