Carl Reiner On Judaism, Atheism And The ‘Monster’ In The White House
Michael Kaminer for The Forward
At 96, Carl Reiner still slays. The comedy deity, who is being honored at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival, has maintained his singular outlook — melding the clear-eyed and cockeyed, the everyday and absurd. Busier than most people half his age, Reiner’s prolific on Twitter, where the current occupant of the White House has been a frequent target. And he’s still cranking out content that proves funny is ageless.
Women Take Center Stage
By Rokhl Kafrissen for Tablet Magazine
Rokhl’s Golden City: Changing the face of Yiddish theater—and the sound of Yiddish music
If you hold by the Great Man theory of history, modern Yiddish theater begins with Avrom Goldfaden, the poet, playwright, and theater entrepreneur who took Yiddish dramatics out of the intimate, domestic field of the Purim-shpil and made it (as Yiddish students are taught in the Goldfaden chapter of College Yiddish) a commercially viable enterprise in the late 19th century. If you long for a feminist historical perspective, however, you can say that modern Yiddish theater begins with the inclusion of women on the Yiddish stage.
Maybe we can have it both ways.
Koolulam, Israel’s Mass Singing Sensation
By Renee Ghert-Zand for Hadassah Magazine
One evening in December, 3,500 people showed up to sing the Israeli hit “Me’alay Dmam” (“Stillness Above Me”) outside the Eshkol cultural center in the south of the country in support of the Gaza border communities that face frequent rocket fire and attacks. The crowd included people from throughout Israel—religious boys with kippot and earlocks, Ethiopian mothers holding young children, twentysomethings with nose rings and older men in buttoned-down shirts. Directed by a gentleman standing on a central platform, they joined together in three-part harmony, caught in the moment, belting out the song while waving flashlights to its rhythms.
The Soul of a Machine
By Samantha Shokin for Tablet Magazine
How theremin virtuosa Clara Rockmore’s life and loves shaped her eerie music
The theremin was the first electronic instrument to be mass-produced and the only instrument played without physical contact. Originally shaped like a box with two antennae, one for pitch control, the other for volume, its unmistakable sound has long been associated with vintage science fiction—warbling, eerie, inorganic. 2020 will mark the centennial of its invention by the Russian physicist Leon Theremin. But it was Clara Rockmore, considered by many to be the greatest thereminist in history, who elevated the instrument above novelty status, leading Theremin to fall in love with her.
12 Israeli Shows to Binge Watch Now That You’re Done with ‘Shtisel’
By Lior Zaltzman for Kveller
I love Shtisel, you love Shtisel, everybody loves Shtisel! The Israeli show, about an Ultra-Orthodox family of the same last name, is taking American audiences by storm. Streaming on Netflix, this show has been covered by the New York Times and even has a Facebook fan group with more than 6,000 fans.