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  • Novel Tears Down a Sacred Shrine

    By Peter Manseau

    June 23, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank: A Novel" by Ellen Feldman (W. W. Norton & Company, $23.95).

    One of the more surprising moments in recent music history comes midway through the celebrated 1998 indie rock album, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," by the band Neutral Milk Hotel. Hiding in...

  • 7 Days in the Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    June 16, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday, June 18

    The near month-long dance-on-film extravaganza that is the Dance Camera West International Dance Film Festival offers a poignant Jewish dance piece this evening. Head to the Redcat to view Kaeja's Dance Company's short dance film, "Departure," which evokes the...

  • Meow With a French Accent

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Comic books aren't just for kids anymore. In both the United States and France, they've been enjoying a popular explosion among readers of all ages.

    One of the stars of the explosion in France is Joann Sfar, an enfant terrible whose work has become so popular, that it can be found on...

  • 7 Days in Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    May 12, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday, May 14

    For a more tolerable Barney that the kids'll still enjoy, take them to the Geffen's Saturday Scene this morning. Children's book author, illustrator, singer and songwriter Barney Saltzberg is more pleasant than the purple dinosaur and entertains little ones ages...

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  • Winning the Great Sponge Cake Battle

    By Judy Bart Kancigor

    April 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    It’s that time again. With Pesach here, it’s time for my annual wrestling match with my nemesis, the dreaded sponge cake.

    Aunt Estelle was famous for her mile-high sponge cakes. Years ago she sent me her recipe, outlining every step in exquisite detail. Yet every time I try it,...
  • The Many Lives of Lev Nussimbaum

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    "The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life" (Random House, $25.95).

    Lev Nussimbaum lived as though life were theater, inventing an identity, dressing the part, shifting scenes, seeking audiences everywhere. He thought he could keep rewriting the...

  • Appreciating Saul Bellow’s Jewishness

    By John J. Clayton

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    It disturbed me to hear on U.S. public radio and read in The New York Times that Saul Bellow was to be seen as simply an American writer -- which, of course, he is -- and not significantly a Jewish writer.

    Maybe they think they're doing him a favor? I think they're bleaching out a...

  • Sugar, Spice and a Binary Device

    By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

    March 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    "The Seventh Beggar" by Pearl Abraham, (Riverhead, $25.95).

    A key dropped down a drain by a brother later proves to be an exit sign for his sister lost wandering in the sewers. A boy faints and it is unclear if he has suffered an epileptic seizure, or experienced a vision...

  • Caricatured Tribute to Artists on ‘List’

    By Carolyn Slutsky

    March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    "Hitler's List: An Illustrated Guide to 'Degenerates'" by John Minnion. (Checkmate, 2004).

    In the summer of 1937, the Nazi Party opened an exhibition in Munich titled "Great German Art."

    Much of the show's art was culled from Hitler's personal collection -- he had amassed a...

  • Kishon—The Writer

    By Tom Teicholz

    February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    The world lost one of its great comic artists last month. I am referring not to Johnny Carson, who was little known outside of the United States, but to Israeli satirist Ephraim Kishon, 80, who, although little known in America, was beloved around the world. I read somewhere that...

  • History on Trial

    By Michael Berenbaum

    February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    "History on Trial: My Day in Court With David Irving," by Deborah E. Lipstadt (Echo, 2005) $25.95.

    For five excruciating years, from the moment that David Irving sued her for libel in England until the appeals process ran its course, Deborah Lipstadt had to remain silent....

  • Eating Ham for Uncle Sam

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    February 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    "How World War II Changed a Generation" by Deborah Dash Moore (Harvard University Press, 2004).

    Walking near my parents' home in Florida -- where I'm writing this column -- I noticed a hat with World War II insignias, much like the one my father sometimes wears, in the back window...

  • Death of a Moralist

    By Tom Teicholz

    February 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Although Arthur Miller was only 33 when "Death of a Salesman" premiered on Broadway, it was a transformative moment in American drama, and Miller's impact on successive generations of writers continues to this day. In "Death of a Salesman," Miller was able to find poetry in the...

  • Shadows of Shoah in ‘Snicket’ World

    By Gaby Wenig

    February 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Daniel Handler looks like a character in one of his own "Lemony Snicket" novels. At a breakfast interview with The Journal at a New York café, he wears a pinstriped suit with a handkerchief in the pocket -- reminiscent of something the bumbling Mr. Poe might wear when he...

  • Down Terror’s Deadly ‘Road’

    By David Finnigan

    February 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Portland author Anne Marie Oliver has seen suicide bombers and other Palestinian extremists up close, and she says the cultish world of the terrorist group Hamas has "its own momentum and driving force and it has nothing to do with almost anything else."

    Oliver and co-author Paul...

  • The Once and Future Yiddish Language

    By Zackary Sholem Berger

    January 13, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    "Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish" by Dovid Katz (Basic Books, $26.95).

    Given the sentimentality of much recent writing on the subject, American Jews might be forgiven for believing that no one with a critical eye, or without sepia-colored glasses, could possibly...

  • Safe Harbor From Shoah in ‘Shanghai’

    By David Finnigan

    January 13, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Boys can be squirrely when any adult visits a classroom to lecture. That's why when Ursula Bacon comes in to talk about her Holocaust experience, she tells stories about how she once had a cockroach for a pet, and that she didn't have use of a toilet for eight years.

    Such...

  • The Art of Laziness

    By Amy Klein

    January 13, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Here were my New Year's resolutions: Clean out my house, get in shape, finish my novel, yada yada -- the same ones I made last year. And if the first two weeks of 2005 are anything to go by, the next 50 are sure to bring about failure in this endeavor.

    But at least I'm...

  • ‘A Day Apart’—Together

    By Julie G Fax

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Keeping its commitment to promoting "homemade Judaism," The Shalom Hartmann Institute has published "A Day Apart, Shabbat at Home" ($24.95), a step-by-step guidebook containing everything from helpful hints to spiritual reflections on how to make Shabbat meaningful.

    Noam Sachs...

  • elizabeth shum title

    By Elizabeth Shum

    December 9, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    elizabeth text age
  • 7 Days in the Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    November 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday, November 20

    Why just dust off that same old menorah when you can ring in this Chanukah with a shiny new one, too? The 24th annual Festival of Jewish Artisans comes to Temple Isaiah this weekend, featuring Judaica and decorative fine art by more than 30 artists. Kicking...

  • Passing on a Legacy of Love

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    November 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    "All That Matters" by Jan Goldstein (Hyperion, $17.95).

    Walk into Zabar's and it's easy to spot 76-year old Gittel "Gabby" Zuckerman. She's feisty and funny, and her shrinking height and failing health don't diminish her power. Nor do the memories of the family she lost in the...

  • Jewish America’s Trials and Triumphs

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    October 28, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Although the first Jews to establish a community in North America arrived in New Amsterdam from Recife, Brazil, in September 1654, the first Torah scroll was brought over a year later in 1655, borrowed from a synagogue in Amsterdam. That Torah, cloaked in green and dark purple, was...

  • Briefs

    October 21, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Bush Signs Security Aid

    President Bush signed a law giving $25 million to protect Jewish sites and other nonprofit institutions. On Monday, Bush signed the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which earmarks money for high-risk nonprofit institutions to be doled out by the...

  • Writer Confronts Intifada Lethargy

    By Michal Lemberger

    October 14, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "I'm just so tired," Israeli author Orly Castel-Bloom says. She's not speaking about the effects of her recent flight into Paris, where she has come to deliver some lectures. Nor is it the interviews she has given since landing earlier in the day, although that has zapped her, too....

  • Rabbinical School Dropout

    By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Women who join the rabbinate may be venerated as spiritual and feminist icons, but what about a woman who tries out being a rabbi and can't handle it? That's one of many questions Amy Sohn's novel, "My Old Man" (Simon & Schuster, $23) explores. In her novel, Sohn, who began her...

  • Apocalypse, Nu?

    By Rachel Donadio

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A few years back, Irwyn Applebaum, the president of the Bantam Dell Publishing Group and a maestro of mass-market fiction, traveled to Rancho Mirage, for a meeting at the home of Tim LaHaye, the evangelical preacher and creator of the "Left Behind" series. The wildly best-selling...

  • The Italian Job

    By Rob Eshman

    September 30, 2004 | 8:00 pm

     

    Diego Brasioli is a diplomat with a secret life. Italy's consul general in Los Angeles is not, a la John le Carré, a spy on the side. But he is, a la John le Carré, a novelist.

    Brasioli has written a book, "Paradise Cafe," which sold surprisingly well in Italy and earned him...

  • Judaism Walks With

    By Mark Oppenheimer

    September 23, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Rabbi Mark Borovitz's memoir of how prison Torah study turned an alcoholic grifter and check-kiter into a successful rehabilitator of Jewish cokeheads, gamblers and other addicts is a blustering and grandiose book, marred by clichés and solecisms. And yet, I liked "The Holy Thief: A...

  • ‘Toddler’ Guide for Tantrum-Free Kids

    By Marc Ballon

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Harvey Karp and Paula Spencer ($22.95, Bantam).

    Three-year-old Freya Wood wanted a Hershey's Kiss. And she wanted it now.

    "Mommy, I want chocolate! I want chocolate! I want chocolate!" said Freya, hurling herself to the floor and shrieking at...

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