Jewish Journal

Dennis Gura

  • A ‘Shattered’ Portrait of Israel

    June 20, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "Shattered Dreams" a "Frontline" documentary on PBS, illustrates the "even-handed," "well-balanced" style beloved of Boston's WGBH (produced in association with France 2, Abu Dhabi Television and Tel-Ad Israel). It is guaranteed to deeply aggravate partisans on all sides --...

  • Jews in the Nazis’ Ranks

    June 13, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and the Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military" by Bryan Mark Rigg (University Press of Kansas, $29.95).

    Bryan Mark Rigg's most controversial assertion is "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers'" least relevant matter. In a...

  • Locals on the Shelves

    November 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Moving out of formal academic writing, Steven M. Lowenstein, professor of Jewish History at the University of Judaism, has produced an interesting treatment of Jewish folkways, traditions and variant religious, culinary, sartorial, musical and linguistic practices. His presentation...

  • Rabbis and Ravioli

    October 18, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Years ago, UCLA visiting professor Luisa Del Giudice discovered she was more interested in the way ordinary people remembered their past than the way writers and academics recorded formal history.

    In pursuit of that interest, she founded the Italian Oral History Institute (IOHI), a...

  • The Failed Intellectuals

    October 11, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "Dream Palace of the Arabs:A Generation's Odyssey" by Fouad Ajami (Vintage Books, $14).

    In 1928, the French intellectual Julien Benda wrote his prescient work "The Treason of the Intellectuals," accusing European intellectuals of abandoning their dispassionate faith in the life...

  • The Poetry of Lamentations

    July 26, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "The Book of Lamentations: A Meditation and Translation" by David R. Slavitt (Johns Hopkins University Press. $15.95).

    David R. Slavitt's new translation of Eicha (Lamentations) demonstrates his masterful sensibilities and poetic fortitude. Avoiding the abstract and distant language...

  • Judaism Through Adversity

    July 19, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "A Letter in the Scroll: Understanding Our Jewish Identity and Exploring the Legacy of the World's Oldest Religion" by Jonathan Sacks. (The Free Press, $25.)

    Gently, gracefully, thoughtfully, Jonathan Sacks unfolds an emotionally compelling argument for Jews to reclaim and engage...

  • Feast and Help Yourself

    May 31, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "Finding Each Other in Judaism: Meditations on the Rites of Passage From Birth to Immortality" by Harold M. Schulweis. (UAHC Press, $12.95)

    "Finding Each Other in Judaism" distills decades of those quiet, private moments when a curious, wounded or concerned congregant asks the...

  • California Jews

    May 24, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Mounted in the west wall of San Francisco's Sherith Israel is a 45-foot-by-30-foot stained-and-painted glass window of Moses delivering the Ten Commandments. Off to Moses' right stand the Israelite flag-bearers, holding blue-and-white and red-and-white banners. The 1904 construction...

  • A Father’s Loss

    May 17, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Against the Dying of the Light: A Father's Journey through Loss" by Leonard Fein (Jewish Lights Publishing, $19.95)

    In January 1996, Leonard Fein's daughter Naomi, called Nomi, collapsed and died of cardiac arrest. A pacemaker had resolved a previously diagnosed heart problem, but...

  • Divine Love Diluted

    April 26, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews" by James Carroll (Houghton Mifflin, $28)

    James Carroll loves the Roman Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the church he loves isn't the church he has. Carroll yearns for that short, winsome time when he was ennobled by liberation theology,...

  • Exploring the Inexplicable

    April 19, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    My mother and I have an ongoing dispute. Sometime in the late 1960s, she was given an oversized French photograph book about the Holocaust, titled "La Deportation." As an act of Jewish solidarity, she has at times prominently displayed it. I find the cover painfully disturbing. It is...

  • Nighttime Devotion

    April 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "Entering the Temple of Dreams: Jewish Prayers, Movements and Meditations for the End of the Day" by Tamar Frankiel and Judy Greenfeld. (Jewish Lights Publishing, $16.95)

    Jews have a long history of publishing various types of devotional literature. Historically, just as men and...

  • Chai-Level Jewish Contributions

    April 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "The Presidents of the United States and the Jews" by David G. Dalin and Alfred J. Kolatch. (Jonathan David, $35.00)

    In traditional Jewish life, parents often add excitement to Pesach (or Shavuot or Sukkot) by giving gifts to their children (and even each other). Gift-giving, not...

  • The Real King David

    March 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "King David: The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel" by Jonathan Kirsch (Ballantine Books, $28)

    In his "Reading the Book: Making the Bible a Timeless Text," Rabbi Burton Visotzky writes, "To the extent that the Bible reveals the words of God to a community, it is essential that...

  • Righteous Reflection

    February 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "Dangerous Diplomacy: The Story of Carl Lutz, Rescuer of 62,000 Hungarian Jews" By Theo Tschuy; preface by Simon Wiesenthal. (Eerdmans Publishing Company, $25.00.)

    In "Dangerous Diplomacy," Theo Tschuy introduces a forgotten hero of the Shoah, Carl Lutz, a man who certainly...

  • “Unholy Order: Mystery Stories with a Religious Twist”

    January 25, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    In 1995, nurse, mystery writer and prospective single mom Serita Stevens traveled to Romania to adopt an abandoned 9-month-old baby girl. So appalled was she at the conditions in the orphanage at which she finally met her future daughter, she started Hugs and Hopes--Romania to help...

  • New Vistas

    November 29, 1999 | 11:00 am

    "The New Geography: How the Digital Revolution Is Reshaping the American Landscape," by Joel Kotkin. (Random House, $22.95)

    Joel Kotkin, a senior fellow at both Pepperdine University Institute for Public Policy and Milken Institute and a research fellow at the libertarian Reason...