Reviews

Finding your place: New Haggadah makes Passover personal

April 16, 2017

I’m a Haggadah hoarder. Over the years, our family has collected dozens of different Haggadot for the Passover holiday. They range from the highly traditional to the decidedly modern. We have classic Haggadot with commentaries from the Me’am Lo’ez (originally written in Ladino by Rabbi Yaakov Culi in 1730), Rabbi Marcus Lehman of Mainz (late […]

Read the full article →

Indie rock discoveries at the fringes of Jacob’s Ladder

May 30, 2016

I’m probably the worst person to review the annual Jacob’s Ladder folk music festival that took place last weekend on the grounds of Kibbutz Nof Ginosar on the Sea of Galilee. I’m generally not a big fan of folk unless it’s either prefixed with “indie” or has “rock” appended afterward. As a result, I spend […]

Read the full article →

Secular in City

March 16, 2016

Yaniv doesn’t like Jerusalem. “It’s nothing personal,” he said nonchalantly between demonstrative slurps of my wife Jody’s famous chicken soup, as he joined us at the Shabbat table a few weeks back “I just don’t feel welcome here – in the city that, is,” he added, looking sheepishly at Jody. “It’s just so…you know…religious.” There’s […]

Read the full article →

The Little Bakery that Could

February 25, 2016

When the German Colony branch of Jerusalem’s Pe’er Bakery closed down last year after 43 years of operation, fans of its signature sweet whole wheat challah let out a collective kvetch: where would we go for challah now on Fridays? But Pe’er’s challah is back in the neighborhood, albeit at another establishment – the Coney […]

Read the full article →

Lessons from The Leftovers: finding meaning in an ISIS-filled world

January 1, 2016

Two weeks ago, the HBO TV series The Leftovers completed its stunning second season. With its incessantly bleak tone, and ratings that were not much better, critics and fans called it “the best show on television you’re probably not watching.” But you ought to. Go out and binge watch all 20 episodes right now. Because […]

Read the full article →

Silence, Mindfulness and Recovering from Election Obsession

April 20, 2015

After months of election obsession, rapaciously reading everything I could, poring over polls and talking with anyone and everyone I could for the better part of the winter, I did the only thing left to do. I shut up. Literally. Just a few days after the votes were tallied, my wife and drove up to […]

Read the full article →

Who Took My Bar Munchies?

March 22, 2015

Who ever heard of a bar without bar munchies? But that’s exactly what happened to us recently when my wife and I mustered up the courage to head out with friends on a cold Jerusalem night to check out Gatsby’s, a much talked about new cocktail lounge in downtown Jerusalem. The first thing to know […]

Read the full article →

Cultivating Local Indie Acts at Jacob’s Ladder Music Festival

May 26, 2014

The Jacob’s Ladder music festival, held twice a year at the Nof Ginosar kibbutz along the Sea of Galilee, and which just concluded its spring session this past weekend, has been quietly transforming itself from a groovy environment in which to hear interesting and enjoyable music into a growing platform that cultivates and helps launch local indie […]

Read the full article →

Game of Thrones meets HaTikvah in video mashup

April 29, 2014

I’m not a fan of Game of Thrones. That doesn’t mean I have anything against the popular TV show based on the book series of the same name; I just haven’t found time to fit it into my already too busy TV watching schedule. But Jerusalem virtuoso rock violinist Michael Greilsammer’s new mashup of the […]

Read the full article →

Who Needs Peace Talks? Musical Coexistence in Jerusalem

April 9, 2014

As the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were breaking down last week, the Old City of Jerusalem was an unlikely spot of musical coexistence. And nowhere was that more pronounced than in a hard-to-find back alley called Muristan Square where two performances demonstrated that the situation doesn’t have to be as bleak as […]

Read the full article →