November 23, 2012 |
El Iluminado A Graphic Novel Ilan Stavans and Steve Sheinkin Basic Books: 208 pp, $24.99 Halfway into the graphic novel "El Iluminado," a Spanish literature professor in an Indiana Jones hat wanders into a café in Santa Fe, N.M., and receives a pearl of wisdom from a gray-haired woman. "A Jewish soul is a Jewish soul," the woman says. "When you have it, you know. " The professor is a real person: Ilan Stavans, a Latino literary maven known for his insightful criticism, his authoritative anthologies and his quirky translation of "Don Quixote" into the mother tongue of millions of Americans, Spanglish.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2012 |
"Call Me Maybe" has gone Jewish, just in time for Rosh Hashana. The French arm of the Jewish Agency for Israel created "Call Me Maybe-Chana Tova," a parody video of the Carly Rae Jepsen song to ring in the Jewish New Year. ( Shana Tova is how you say Happy New Year in Hebrew). The video was posted to YouTube on Sept. 3 and had already racked up close to 675,000 views by Monday afternoon. That's hundreds of thousands more views than it had Monday morning. The Jewish Agency for Israel was instrumental in establishing the state of Israel, but now the organization has made strengthening Jewish identity in young people around the world and in Israel its mission.
August 12, 2012 |
The "intactivists" - anti-circumcision people who are trying to get the practice outlawed in the U.S. and elsewhere - claim that cutting off an infant's foreskin reduces his capacity for sexual pleasure as an adult. Whenever I hear that, I always say, "Huh?" That's because I'm a member of the circumcision generation. During the middle part of the last century, hospital births, and hence the circumcision of baby boys, became nearly universal in the U.S. By the mid-1960s, 90% of male U.S. babies, Gentile and Jewish alike, had their foreskins removed within days of birth.
February 2, 2012 |
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank Stories Nathan Englander Alfred A. Knopf: 210 pp., $24.95 Give Nathan Englander credit for chutzpah. The title of his new book of short fiction, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank," draws on two iconic antecedents: the young diarist killed at Bergen-Belsen and the Raymond Carver story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. " Each, in its way, informs the collection; each, in its way, helps to set the terms.
August 2, 2010 |
Israel moved Sunday to deport the offspring of hundreds of migrant workers, mostly small children who were born in Israel, speak Hebrew and have never seen their parents' native countries. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the new policy was intended to stem a flood of illegal immigrants, whose children receive state-funded education and healthcare benefits, and to defend Israel's Jewish identity. "On the one hand, this problem is a humanitarian problem," Netanyahu said during a meeting Sunday of the Cabinet, which had debated the move for nearly a year.
June 13, 2010 |
Unconscionable. Offensive. Hurtful. Bigoted. Terrible. Hateful. These are the words being used to describe Helen Thomas' recent comment about Israel and Palestine. Editorialists across the country have condemned her statement that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go back" to Europe. Let's agree that she should not have said those things, and that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East fundamentally requires reconciliation between Palestinians and Israeli Jews.