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  • News Brief

    Roman Polanski said his film version of “Oliver Twist” reflected some of his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. The European Jewish director was in Israel this week to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, which features first screenings of his adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel about an orphan in… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Best-selling Authors Compare Notes on Jewish Families, Israeli Influences

    In their first meeting, Nathan Englander and Etgar Keret playfully joust about influences and literature and how experiencing Jewish and Israeli life informs their writing. Englander, 36, a former Long Island yeshiva boy turned darling of the American literature scene and his Israeli counterpart, Keret, 38, in turns adored and excoriated for his fantastical and… More ▸

  • News Brief

    The Former Czech president and a Czech Jewish writer will receive honorary doctorates from the University of Haifa. Vaclav Havel and Arnost Lustig will be honored in late May, according to the Czech daily Pravo. Havel, 69, has been nominated repeatedly for the Nobel peace prize, and Lustig, 79, for the Nobel prize for literature…. More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Dorothy, Shmorothy: Kansas U. Gets Enthusiastic Yiddish Scholar

    As bullets whistled overhead and the smoke of the Battle of Black Jack wafted through the warm air 150 years ago this month, a terse conversation passed between two men fighting alongside abolitionist John Brown. “Nu, was meinen Sie jetzt?” (So, what do you think of this now?) August Bondi, who later recorded the conversation… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Philip Roth won the prestigious PEN/Nabokov literary award. Roth, whose most recent novel is “Everyman,” won the $20,000 biennial prize given to “a living author whose body of work, either written in or translated into English, represents achievement in a variety of literary genres and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship.” The PEN American… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Wwi Zionist Spy Ring’s Mystery Pursued in New Historical Novel

    When American-born Hillel Halkin and his wife Marcia first visited the northern Israeli town of Zichron Ya’acov in 1970, they discovered an unsolved mystery. The town is named for Baron James de Rothschild, and its Jewish community dates to 1882. It ranks among the earliest farming communities that Zionists established in the Holy Land in… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A private foundation established a $100,000 Jewish literary prize. The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature will be given to an emerging writer who has written a book that focuses on themes of Jewish interest. Fiction and non-fiction books will be considered in alternate years. More ▸

  • News Brief

    A World War II novel hidden from the Nazis is being published in English. After her mother, Irene Nemirovsky, was arrested in 1942 and taken to a concentration camp, Denise Epstein, then 13, carried her mother’s novel in a suitcase as she hid from the Germans in basements and schools, Reuters reported. More ▸

  • Profile ‘ride ‘em Jewboy': Kinky Friedman Takes Aim at Governor’s Job in Texas

    Kinky Friedman is the only candidate for Texas governor whose campaign material includes a 13-inch talking action figure and bumper stickers that read “My governor is a Jewish cowboy.” The 61-year-old singer, author and satirical gadfly is also the only candidate who has written a country song about the Holocaust — it’s called “Ride ‘em,… More ▸