Democratic presidential front-runner Obama survived a malicious viral e-mail campaign that he was a Muslim. But can the populist candidacy of the Illinois senator survive the truthful revelations about his 20-year relationship with his spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, the "black separatist" Christian pastor?
The Jewish Journal invited writers who will be featured at Sunday's Festival of Books to answer the simple, essential question that every Jewish writer is often asked: "What Jewish sources -- ideas, writings, traditions -- inspire you, and how do they show up in your work?" The following show that there is no easy answer to what defines a Jewish author, but there is no question that there's much to draw upon within the faith.
Moshav Band, which was founded as a direct result of Carlebach's influence, just released its first English only album -- "Misplaced."
There are, according to The Forward newspaper's recently published "Forward 50" -- a listing of the 50 most-influential Jews in America -- at least seven Angelenos whose voices are being heard way beyond the West Coast.
Despite our tradition that sets the 13th year as the start of adulthood, 13 is not the end of childhood or the beginning of adulthood. Instead, it is the start of a new stage -- teenager. Neither an adult nor child, a teenager is like Dr. Doolittle's Push-Me, Pull-You: Sometimes he seems to be pushing toward adulthood, and at other times he is pulling back toward childhood.
"The Jewish Century," by Yuri Slezkine. (Princeton University Press, $29.95).
Yuri Slezkine opens this major new book by declaring: "The modern age is the Jewish age, and the 20th century, in particular, is the Jewish century." This assertion may ring bells.
Do the Jews have anything left to give to America?
This question was on my mind recently, after I was on a panel at Brandeis-Bardin Institute to discuss the Jewish influence on American culture. The popular view on this subject is invariably, "Just look at all the Jews who run Hollywood and the media; look at the humor, the attitude, the Yiddish terms, etc. Jews are everywhere."
This is true, but when you start to look beneath the surface, you see a more complicated picture, one that suggests the waning influence of Judaism and the need to re-examine the Jews' role in America as we begin the 21st century.
Reality TV is nothing new. Since the dawn of television, there have always been unscripted formats and game shows of one kind or another. However, the current incarnation of reality programming -- shows such as "Survivor," "The Bachelor," and "Fear Factor" -- may be the most durable and successful shows in the history of reality programming. What's more, reality TV is the most innovative area of current programming, far more creative than sitcoms, hour-long dramas, sports, news or movies and miniseries. In fact, it may be helpful to think of current reality shows as game shows or "event programming" much like the highly touted TV movies of the 1970s and '80s.
I learned all this and more when I attended a recent panel at The Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills called, "Keeping it Real: The Past, Present and Future of Reality Television."
"The U.S. had all the right reasons for going to war with Iraq without the support of United Nations," said Jordana Friedman, an eighth-grader at Kadima Hebrew Academy in Woodland Hills. "[Their leaders] lied. They said they were disarmed. Do we want another Sept. 11? I think we're totally justified."