People of the Book These Are Your Books!

If the average American reader in 1970 (and surely there were many more then) were asked which authors’ books they look forward to reading, the names would certainly include Bellow, Malamud, Roth, Singer, Ozick, Heller, Potok, Mailer, Paley, Salinger, Asimov, Uris, Wouk, Levin, Grade, Gladshteyn … I’m sure you know where this is going. Jewish… Read More

People of the Book Isaac Bashevis Singer Told the Truth About Us

On Aug. 3, 2004, I was sitting in the expensive London garden of a rich Jewish friend from my father’s grad school, all too relaxed in her gorgeously lush English garden that overlooked one of the world’s loveliest public parks.  I’d spent myself broke three times that summer to engorge myself upon theater and concerts as… Read More

People of the Book The Xanadu of Kosher Food

Remember Miracle Market? The kosher supermarket that was open for just a few years in the ’90s? It was owned by the children of landsleit from my zaydie’s shtetl. My parents always remained friendly with them, and I vividly remember them joking around. My father once pitched them an idea for a advertising slogan: “Miracle… Read More

People of the Book The Jewish Responsibility

A friend of mine who may or may not be Marc Shapiro shared an article yesterday from the Forward about a Jewish journalist who saw the whole Charlottesville massacre transpire — and in circumstances like that, even one dead is a massacre. The article contained this quote: “Supporters broke out spontaneously with calls ‘The goyim… Read More

People of the Book The Hedgehog and The Fox

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. The fox skits about, collecting from every place it can reach; the hedgehog collects exclusively from the small piece of land under which it burrows. The fox is clever and social, he easily escapes conflict and blends into his surroundings. The hedgehog is dogged and… Read More

People of the Book Family Business

When you watch Officer McCluskey slug Michael Corleone, it should be impossible for a Jew not to wonder how often small Jews got beaten up in the eras of Henry Ford and Father Coughlin by huge Irishman. McCluskey is the old American alpha male — Scotch-Irish, brawny, mercurial, a little dumb. The old American alpha… Read More