Give Me a Challah
Last Friday night, a group of 20-something foodies gathered to celebrate Shabbat. Well, maybe not “celebrate” in the traditional sense of prayers and candles, but a Sabbath meal all the same. In the back of a thrift store on the corner of Prince and Mott Streets, two long wooden tables had been erected for a family-style eating experience among the displays of distressed jeans and vintage belts.
Several times a week, the store is turned from a Soho boutique into City Grit, a “culinary salon” founded in 2011 by Sarah Simmons, an emerging chef recently named one of “America’s Greatest New Cooks” by Food & Wine magazine. Ms. Simmons was standing in front of a comfortably packed room, explaining the genesis of her “Southern Shabbat” dinner, which we’d soon be tucking into.
houses of the holy
The Lower East Side’s Jewish population has dwindled over the recent decades, but a new kosher, school-converted condominium building will hit the market in the spring and restore some of the neighborhood’s historic character and Jewish community. The condominiums at 371 Madison Street has received its certificate of occupancy and will begin selling condominium targeted at Jewish families, the The Times reports.
After suffering through the fetid Relatively Speaking, my pain must have shown in the scowl on my face as I trudged toward the exit at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. “To get it, you have to be Jewish,” said a woman ahead of me. What nonsense. Since when do you have to be gay to see the truth in The Boys in the Band, or black to be moved by the universal humanity of Lorraine Hansberry or August Wilson? My date was Jewish, and she didn’t laugh either. Well, she later admitted over a badly needed post-theater nightcap, she did laugh at a couple of lines. O.K., two laughs in a 2½ hour evening of three alleged one-act “comedies” is not what I call much of a success, and Relatively Speaking is a vulgar, poker-faced failure of dire proportions. You don’t have to be Jewish to know bad writing, hysterical overacting and lame direction when you see it, even if the guilty perpetrators include Elaine May and Woody Allen, two of my heroes, actors such as Marlo Thomas and Steve Guttenberg, and director John Turturro, who should stick to acting. All of them have triumphed on previous occasions. This is not one of them.
For partisans of President Barack Obama, the headlines were alarming.
“Jewish Donors Warn Obama on Israel,” said The Wall Street Journal. “Obama’s Jewish Backers on Edge Over His Mideast Peace Plan,” proclaimed the Los Angeles Times.
The denunciations were swift and final. President Obama, it seemed, had made a fundamental error in calling for Israel Read More