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Home Authors Articles by Jonathan Kirsch

Jonathan Kirsch

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13 ARTICLES 0 COMMENTS

“Squirrel Hill” Shows Violence Against Jews Can Happen Anywhere

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Mass murder in America is such a commonplace that attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which happened only three years ago, is not much talked about nowadays.

Seeing Through the Eyes of a Traveling Truth-Teller

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Bernard-Henri Lévy is almost always described as a philosopher, a public intellectual or both.  Yet these terms are misleading.

In His New Book, David Steinberg Talks Funny Business

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“Inside Comedy” comes at a fraught moment in American comedy, but Steinberg helps us put the latest hot topic – Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” – into its historical context.

The Disturbing Realization that “People Love Dead Jews”

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The bitter ironies that abound in Dara Horn’s new book begin with the title itself: “People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present” (Norton).

The “Many Faces” of the Jewish Immigrant Experience

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Persoff charts his metamorphosis from a greenhorn into an American -- and from an aspiring engineer into an accomplished actor—with the evocative scene-setting and story-telling that fleshes out the saga of the Jewish immigrant experience in America.

The Shoah and the Struggle for Beauty

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“After: The Obligation of Beauty” by Mindy Weisel is a testament to the artist’s lifelong struggle to make sense of the Shoah and, especially, the ordeal that her parents survived in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

Book Review: “Is Superman Circumcised?”

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The key to understanding Superman is to think of him as Jewish.

Book Review: “To All Who Call In Truth” by Michael Oren

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It is a crime story that sheds light on the culture, politics and strife of America in the 1970s.

Book Review: The Story of Esther Meets the Story of America

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No other biblical text is richer with meaning for American Jews than the Book of Esther, as Rabbi Dr. Stuart W. Halpern points out.

Book Review: ‘Sergeant Salinger’

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Charyn tells his tale with a wink and nod to the biography of the real J.D. Salinger.

Book Review: ‘Sapiens: A Graphic History’

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The latest manifestation of the “Sapiens” publishing enterprise is “Sapiens: A Graphic History”, a series that tells much of the same sweeping saga in comic-book format. 

‘Tales of the Holy Mysticat’ Provides a Fresh Take on Jewish Mysticism

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Adler employs both wit and wisdom in using the Mysticat to explore the inner meaning of Jewish wisdom.

‘Golem Girl’ Vividly Illustrates a Life Spent Overcoming Disabilities

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Lehrer’s memoir deserves to be saluted as an all-too-rare example of a book that shows us what a remarkable human being can be glimpsed if we only peel away the clinical label of “disabled.”

Sisters, Secrets and Shivah in the Novel ‘Evening’

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Nessa Rapoport tells her tales with utter clarity and dignity, and yet her prose also is charged with energy, emotion and sly humor.

Watching the Wall Between Church and State Crumble

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A review of the book “The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State.”

Novel’s Russian Jews Find Rough Going in Israel

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The setting of “Jerusalem as a Second Language,” a new novel by Rochelle Distelheim (Aubade Publishing), harks back to a remarkable moment in history.

Timothy Snyder Ties Freedom to Health in ‘Our Malady’

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“Health and history” is how Timothy Snyder describes the focal point of his latest book, “Our Malady: Lessons in Liberty From a Hospital Diary”...

Excerpt: When Natan Sharansky Met Nelson Mandela

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ON FEBRUARY 11, 1990, FOUR YEARS TO THE DAY after my release, the South African government freed Nelson Mandela. He had served twenty-seven years in...

A Conversation With Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy

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Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, co-authors of “Never Alone,” spoke with Jewish Journal book editor Jonathan Kirsch via Zoom from Jerusalem.

New Memoir Reveals Natan Sharansky’s Life as a Jewish Activist

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From Russia came the first pioneers of the Jewish state in modern Israel, including Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Golda Meir, all...

Something for Everyone in ‘Night Archer’ Stories

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We first came to know Michael Oren as a historian and the author of best-selling history books such as “Power, Faith, and Fantasy” and...

‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ Makes the Case for Soviet Influence in the Trials

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Hirsch argues that the Soviet role has been neglected or even misstated in previous accounts, both in academic scholarship and popular culture.

‘Modern Kosher’ Offers a Taste of Jewish Cuisine’s Evolution

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The book is so inventive and inviting that it has a shelf life that will extend far beyond our present circumstances.

‘Nazi Menace’ Serves as Timely History Lesson

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Hett usefully observes that by studying history, perhaps we are not condemned to repeat it.

A Jew’s Brazilian Journey Revived in New Translation of ‘On a Clear April Morning’

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Marcos Iolovitch’s “On a Clear April Morning” is an especially exotic version of the Jewish immigrant experience.

Nazis Have Upper Hand in Page-Turning ‘What-If’ WWII Novel ‘Rocket’s Red Glare’

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“Rocket’s Red Glare: A WWII Era Alternative History Novel” is a deeply informed and wildly inventive re-imagining of America during the Second World War.

‘New Jewish Canon’ Provides Much Food for Thought

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Some of the very best Jewish learning does not happen in seminar rooms, synagogues or online, but at home, on the couch.

One Israeli Soldier’s Psyche Comes to Light in ‘The Drive’

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A principled critic of the IDF comes in the form of one its soldiers in a new book.

‘Her Sister’s Tattoo’ Is an Insightful and Compassionate Tale of Sisterhood and Activism

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“Her Sister’s Tattoo” is a fictional story that enables readers to understand the tragic case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

‘Surviving Autocracy’ Attacks Trump’s Failings, Warns of His Power

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The first book by Masha Gessen that I reviewed in the Journal was “Where the Jews Aren’t,” an account of Stalin’s cynical attempt to...
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