Jewish Journal

Howard Kaplan

  • Books: Nusseibeh ‘Once Upon a Country’ memoir ends in disillusionment

    September 8, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life" by Sari Nusseibeh with Anthony David (Farrar Straus and Giroux, $27.50).

    Sari Nusseibeh's political memoir is a monumental achievement both in breadth and boldness. There is little like it on the Palestinian side, certainly nothing from...

  • ‘Empire’ Conquers Monstrous Task

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977" by Gershom Gorenberg, (Times Books).

    It is not accidental that Gershom Gorenberg limited his substantial study, "The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977," to the first...

  • Misused by Gibson, Instructor Charges

    March 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    "It's all -- maybe not all fiction -- but most of it is." -- Hutton Gibson, Mel Gibson's father, on his opinion that the Holocaust has been exaggerated. Newsweek, March 1, 2004

    "I have friends and parents of friends with numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a...

  • ‘Tattooed Girl’ Mines a Root of Prejudice

    January 8, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Alma Busch fled the dirty poverty of Akron Valley, a poor mining town in Pennsylvania, about which she tells us, "There'd been no Jews, not a one."

    Alma continues in an interior monologue: "No Jew would live in such a place ... if you traced it back far enough, not whose names were...

  • Blood, Sweat and Tears of N.Y. Birth

    November 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterstam and Early Manhattan," by Beverly Swerling. (Scribner paperback, $15.)

    John Irving, whose novels have the rare distinction of being widely praised, read and filmed, has said that he always follows havoc with healing. Spanning the...

  • American Identity

    March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "A Jew in America: My Life and a People's Struggle for Identity" by Arthur Hertzberg (HarperSanFrancisco, $29.95).

    Pride in American Jewish life, from the ivory towers to the country club greens, has centered on "Making It," as longtime Commentary Editor-in-Chief Norman Podhoretz...

  • Koufax a Hit,

    November 7, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" by Jane Leavy (HarperCollins, $23.95).

    On Sept. 9, 1965, Sandy Koufax pitched a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs. Less than a month later, the opening game of the World Series fell on Yom Kippur and, in an act that reverberated throughout...

  • The Rabbi, Divorced

    October 10, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Four years ago, Perry Netter feared his divorce from his wife, Esther, would end his career as a rabbi. Sitting in his office at Conservative Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, he said he knew that people want their rabbi married. Congregants like to gaze upon the rabbi's family as the...

  • The Spirituality of Separation

    October 10, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "Divorce Is a Mitzvah: A practical guide to finding wholeness and holiness when your marriage dies" by Rabbi Perry Netter (Jewish Lights Publishing, $16.95).

    Perry Netter's wonderful title comes from the preeminent biblical commentator, Rashi, who in the 11th century said of the...

  • Rudderless Until Redemption

    August 29, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "Under Radar" by Michael Tolkin (Atlantic Monthly Press, $23).

    Recently, I heard Michael Tolkin speak at Temple Beth Am about "Under Radar." Pacing frenetically, he explained that midway through the writing he had stalled and shelved the manuscript. During that time, slipping on his...