Pop culture

The women of Jacob’s Ladder: indie artists rock the Sea of Galilee

June 4, 2017

The 41st annual Jacob’s Ladder music festival was characterized by two surprises: the event’s first-ever thunderstorm and a standout preponderance of indie folk acts fronted by women.

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The Case for Boredom

February 23, 2015

When was the last time you were bored? Think about it…what do you do if you have nothing of great importance to do – say, you’re standing in a line at the pharmacy and there are three people ahead of you, or you’re waiting for a bus that Moovit says is still 7 minutes away, […]

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Top zingers from this year’s Comedy for Koby

December 13, 2013

Comedy for Koby rolled into Jerusalem this week and my wife and I were there, along with our three kids, who we treated to their first live comedy show as a Hanukah gift. (Think of it as guffaws instead of gelt.) After what I’d done last year, though, I wasn’t sure if the comedians would be […]

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Pink Floyd Comes to Jerusalem

February 12, 2013

It was just like being at a Pink Floyd concert…maybe even better. At least that was how I felt walking out of the “Echoes” show at Jerusalem’s Zappa Club on Thursday night. Echoes is an Israeli Pink Floyd “tribute band.” That means that they don’t just play covers of Pink Floyd songs; they attempt to […]

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Buses Here and There

December 7, 2012

I grew up in a small suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area with no public transportation. This was tough because I have always been fascinated (my family would say obsessed) by buses, trams, trains and the like. San Francisco had pretty much everything a transit head like me could desire, including electric trolleys, streetcars […]

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Srugim Co-Creator Tells All in Jerusalem Lecture

May 3, 2012

For its three season run, I was hooked on the Israeli TV drama Srugim. The program told the tale of four religious (and one formerly religious) young Israelis living in Jerusalem’s singles-centric Old Katamon neighborhood, affectionately known as the “swamp.” The show won praise from both religious and secular society – the latter were captivated […]

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REM returns to Israel in the form of Robyn Hitchcock

March 29, 2012

In 1995, I got fired from a job. It was the first job I’d had in Israel and the first time I’d ever been fired from anything. Suffice it to say I was pretty despondent on that day. REM saved me. The night after I was laid off, my favorite rock band REM was playing […]

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Sunk Costs on the Road to Tel Aviv

November 3, 2011

The evening was intended to be a gala celebration of the partnership between Tel Aviv and Los Angeles. 400 Angelenos, in Israel on a Federation mission, along with another several hundred local Anglos of Angeleno-descent, filled the Smolarz Hall on the Tel Aviv University campus. There was a program planned with glamorous entertainment: opera, performance […]

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Time Running Out for “The Clock”

October 19, 2011

It’s hard to know exactly how to describe “The Clock,” Christian Marclay’s award winning art installation, which is currently on display, if that’s even the right word, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Tour de Force? Spellbinding? Unbelievable? They all come to mind. The piece, at its most simplistic, consists of thousands of short film […]

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Celebrity at the Wedding

October 5, 2011

The young man in the light purple shirt and the small knitted kippa looked awfully familiar. He was sitting in the row in front of us at the chuppa of the daughter of close friends. My wife Jody went up to him. “I recognize you, but I can’t place from where,” she said. He held […]

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