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  • Updated Travel Guide Sets Sights on Jewish Revival in Eastern Europe

    When she set out to write the first comprehensive Jewish travel guidebook on the countries of the former Eastern bloc, Ruth Ellen Gruber might as well have been documenting the secret life of a New Guinea tribe of cannibals. Seventeen years ago, little was known among mainstream U.S. travelers about the Jewish heritage of the… More ▸

  • Traditionalists Have Nothing to Fear from Creative Ways of Young Jews

    For many younger American Jews, American Jewry looks like this: “Synagogues are for people with children. And they’re generally uninspiring.” “JCCs are for people with children. And they don’t have great gyms, either.” “Federations only want my money. Then they want me to be quiet.” “This Jewish organization wants to tell me how I ought… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Seattle Jews are providing the public with information to balance the local production of a controversial play about a pro-Palestinian activist s death. “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” which opened March 15, is a one-woman show chronicling the life of Corrie, a young woman from Washington state who volunteered in Gaza with the International Solidarity… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Holocaust denier David Irving gave a talk to an audience of some 250 people in Budapest. Speaking Monday in a small theater to a friendly crowd, Irving mostly railed against what he claims are European curtailments against freedom of speech, according to the Budapest Sun, an English-language weekly. Irving, a Briton and self-proclaimed historian, was… More ▸

  • Israeli Films Need U.S. Screens, but Offer Something in Return

    Midway through the Contra Costa International Jewish Film Festival in this San Francisco surburb, the theater is filled for a screening of the 2005 Israeli film “What a Wonderful Place.” Susan Richman drove in from Martinez with her husband. He’s Jewish, she’s not. “We thought this sounded interesting, and it won some awards in Israel,”… More ▸

  • After Visiting Israel, Fire Chiefs Wonder About U.S. Preparedness

    After spending a week in Israel watching how the country deals with terrorism and its aftermath, one member of a visiting delegation of American fire chiefs came to a realization about the United States. “We are just not as prepared for what goes on in the mall with checking bags and packages, and restaurants with… More ▸

  • Polish Embassy, Theater Spar over Play About Anti-semitism

    A planned production by the Jewish Theater of New York on anti-Semitism in Lodz has generated an angry exchange of letters with the Polish government. Piotr Erenfeicht, press secretary for the Polish Embassy in Washington, complained about the portrayal of his country in online publicity materials for “Last Jew in Europe, a tragicomedy about the… More ▸

  • 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 ▸