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Jewish Journal

  • ‘Woody on Rye’: Jewishness in the works of Woody Allen

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    2 weeks ago

    A few years ago, I discovered that there is actually something called The Big Lebowski Studies, a tongue-in-cheek academic discipline wholly devoted to a single Coen brothers movie (and, if I may say so, hardly their best movie). Yet, as far as I have been able to tell, no such...

  • Understanding the Holocaust: ‘Why the Germans? Why the Jews?’

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    August 6, 2014 | 3:51 pm

    The Jew-haters among us, as recent headlines out of France and Belgium have reminded us, reach without interruption all the way back to antiquity. Still, the worst-case scenario of genocide in general and the mass murder of Jews in particular is what happened during the Shoah. And...

  • Ayelet Waldman’s new book is more than a Holocaust novel

    by Dora Levy Mossanen

    July 31, 2014 | 2:17 pm

    I devoured all 331 pages of Ayelet Waldman’s gripping and powerful novel, “Love and Treasure” (Alfred A. Knopf) in one 14-hour marathon on my flight from Los Angeles to Israel. Before the El Al plane made its descent into Ben Gurion Airport, I began this review with Waldman’s...

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  • The true story of how scientists battled Typhus and sabotaged the Nazis

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    July 9, 2014 | 10:29 am

    By now, of course, we know full well that the Holocaust is a bottomless pit. More than a half-century after the liberation of the last camp, new and wholly unsuspecting tales of both suffering and redemption continue to reach us. “The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two...

  • Turning the Shtetl’s image upside down

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    June 20, 2014 | 2:16 pm

    The biggest challenge that Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern faces in “The Golden Age Shtetl: A New History of Jewish Life in East Europe” (Princeton University Press) is that he is working against more than a century of sentiment and nostalgia, a kind of collective fantasy that reached its...

  • Thrilling days of yesteryear

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    June 11, 2014 | 11:26 am

    Nothing links the three books described below except that each, in its own way, is so charming that I couldn’t resist opening it up and, having done so, couldn’t put it down.

    One of the treasures of American-Yiddish journalism was “A Bintel Brief” (“A Bundle of Letters”), an...

  • Gwen Edelman reappears with ‘Train to Warsaw’

    by Elaine Margolin

    June 6, 2014 | 1:03 pm

    Author Gwen Edelman remains shrouded in mystery.  In an age of relentless author promotion she has chosen to remain “virtually” invisible.  She has no website or Wikipedia page, and it is almost impossible to find out the sketchiest details of her personal biography.  I was able to...

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