A new social program for 20- and 30-something Jews is bringing comedian Sarah Silverman, playwright Tony Kushner, New York literary editor Ira Silverberg, and other Jewish artists and cultural leaders all under one tent — metaphorically — in 2013.
Abraham Lincoln has been dead for almost 150 years, yet suddenly he’s everywhere. At the Skirball Cultural Center, you can see an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Lincoln, amid an impressive array of founding American documents.
It was the latest dustup over what constitutes acceptable discourse in the American Jewish community when it comes to Israel. Except this time the battle wasn’t contained within the community, but began at a university board meeting and spilled over onto the front page of The New York Times. When the dust had settled, the City University of New York had reversed its decision to withhold an honorary degree from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner over his views on Israel.
Trustees of the City University of New York approved an honorary degree for playwright Tony Kushner, reversing an earlier decision. The executive committee of the CUNY board of trustees voted Monday night to award Kushner an honorary doctorate during commencement ceremonies next month. The committee can reverse decisions of the full board.
Having embarrassed themselves more than was absolutely necessary in the eyes of many New Yorkers, trustees of the City University of New York are gathering Monday evening to undo the damage.
Ed Koch call for the City University of New York to terminate its relationship with a trustee who engineered the denial of an honorary degree to Tony Kushner because of the playwright's criticism of Israel.
And so, my two favorite playwrights find themselves on opposite sides of a longstanding Jewish divide. "All sound creative art is rooted in a ghetto," the critic Ludwig Lewisohn once wrote. Once out of that ghetto, the roots bifurcate, and we Jews have fashioned two strategies for survival. For the Mamets, salvation lies in toughness and certainty, the People of the Butch. For Kushner, our promise is in compromise and doubt.
A new bookshelf, overflowing with volumes, testifies to Gady Levy's latest and perhaps most ambitious endeavor: the Celebration of Jewish Books, which begins on Monday and extends through an all-day festival on Sunday. The celebration will offer lectures and signings with 40 authors -- including big names, such as Larry King, Michael Chabon, Kirk Douglas and Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) -- plus music and dance performances, food and a thousand titles for sale, provided by Borders and the Hebrew-language bookseller Steimatzky.
Interview with playwright Tony Kushner.
7 days in the Arts
After director Mike Nichols took his wife, Diane Sawyer, to the first screening of his six-hour HBO film of Tony Kushner's epoch-defining, "Angels in America." She said, "I know what this is about. It's about being Jewish."
She's right, but it's also about being gay in the latter 20 years of the 20th century. It's about friendship and redemption. It's about the feeling we all have in our darker hours that as a species, we could be on the verge of extinction. It's about the struggle for the soul of America between the right and the left, and it's about so many other things that it's virtually impossible to describe.
Today, "Brundibar" is experiencing a revival of sorts. It is the title and story of a new children's book written by Tony Kushner, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak (Hyperion Books for Children), and this weekend, the Jewish Community Foundation and the Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation sponsored Youth Opera Camp of Santa Monica College Conservatory will be performing the opera at the Miles Memorial Playhouse and Simon Wiesenthal Center.