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  • Arts & Culture Angst over Identity Has Young Writers

    Aaron Davidman, artistic director of San Francisco’s Traveling Jewish Theatre, recently wrote a short performance piece called “Letter to Uncle Morris.” In this reflection on contemporary Jewish identity, the character named Uncle Morris pokes fun at the title of Davidman’s company. “What kind of a name for a theater is that?” Uncle Morris asks. “We’re… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture for an Israel Plagued by Scandals,

    “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” an officer declares in a Hebrew version of “Hamlet,” and the Israeli audience shifts uncomfortably in its seats. In this modern version of the Shakespeare classic, the audience and the actors are acutely aware of how relevant the centuries-old tale of corruption and tragedy feels at a… More ▸

  • Grants for Emerging Jewish Artists Reflect Culture’s Growing Influence

    Choreographer Dan Safer hopes to transform what he sees as a boring Passover seder into a spectacular event. “It’s an epic story of mythological proportion,” says Safer, envisioning a stage made of a huge table around which an audience sits as they watch a chaotic performance bound by the order of the seder. The UJA-Federation… More ▸

  • News Analysis Learning from the Lebanon War,

    Gabi Ashkenazi, the blunt general who takes over as the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff next week, faces a mammoth task: Within the next few months he’ll be expected to restructure the army, redefine its operational doctrine and restore its self-belief. Six months after last summer’s war in Lebanon, the IDF is still smarting… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Cuban Salsa Combined with Klezmer

    Klezmer music, rooted in the Jewish shtetls of 19th-century Eastern Europe, is making an unprecedented comeback. So is Cuban salsa, whose distinctive Afro-Caribbean rhythms are enjoying a wave of global popularity. It was only a matter of time before some enterprising musician came along and combined the two. That would be Havana-born drummer Roberto Juan… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Hitler Gets His 15 Minutes of Fame:

    Can a Jewish filmmaker in Germany turn the Nazi dictator into a joke without trivializing him? Dani Levy says yes; others aren’t so sure. Levy’s new film, “Mein Fuhrer: The Truly Truest Truth about Adolf Hitler,” has received cool reviews across Germany, but theaters reportedly were full on its Jan. 11 opening day. Levy, 49,… More ▸

  • News Brief

    a.. Israel reportedly is considering the acquisition of an American missile-killer to replace a locally made version. Ha’aretz reported Tuesday that Israel and the United States are in talks on the possible purchase of the THAAD, or Theater High-Altitude Area Defense system, which would replace the Israeli-made Arrow II. More ▸

  • Obituary Teddy Kollek, Prolific Builder of Jerusalem,

    Teddy Kollek, the longtime Jerusalem mayor who died this week at the age of 95, is being remembered as the most prolific builder of the city since King Herod. The man who in 28 years transformed the Israeli capital from a dusty backwater to an international city of parks, theaters and museums died Tuesday in… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A Toronto-based theater removed a controversial play about a pro-Palestinian activist’s death from the short list for its upcoming season. Martin Bragg, artistic producer for the Canadian Stage Company or CanStage, said “My Name Is Rachel Corrie” was dropped from consideration because it was dramatically weak, not because of its political content. More ▸