Articles written by Ndrew Silow Carroll

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Comedian Richard Lewis, dark prince of Jewish neurosis, dies at 76

(JTA) — Comedian Richard Lewis, who parlayed his neurotic Jewish personality and self-deprecating humor into a 50-year career as a standup and actor, died Wednesday. He was 76. Lewis had been in ill health for a number of years and last April a...

 

Pearl Berg, world's oldest Jewish person and 9th-oldest overall, dies at 114

(JTA) — Pearl Berg, thought to be the oldest Jewish person in the world and the third oldest American, died Feb. 1 in Los Angeles. She was 114. A philanthropist active in her local Hadassah chapter, Berg was married for 58 years to Mark Berg, a b...

 

Critic's account of classical music after the Holocaust is named Jewish book of the year

(JTA) - Music critic Jeremy Eichler's study of how classical composers made music after the Holocaust was named the book of the year by the Jewish Book Council, which will present the National Jewish...

 

The best Jewish books I read in 2023

(JTA) - When I spoke with novelist Elizabeth Graver in August about her novel "Kantika" - inspired by her own Turkish Jewish family - I asked her how she managed to breathe life into a tired genre...

 

How 'decolonization' became the latest flashpoint

(JTA) — Attend or watch footage of a campus pro-Palestinian demonstration these days and you are likely to see someone carrying a sign reading “Decolonization is not a metaphor.” Almost immediately after the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, George W...

 

Conservative Judaism's flagship in mourning

(JTA) - The Jewish Theological Seminary community is in mourning after three revered scholars long associated with the Conservative movement flagship died within days of each other. Rabbi Israel...

 

Faces of some of Israel's fallen

(JTA) -After the deadly attack by Hamas, the Jewish world has joined to share in the grief of the mourners and lament the lives cut brutally short. Below are just a fraction of the men and women who...

 

Israeli opposition, pro-democracy protesters press unity in face of attacks from Hamas

(JTA) — Hours after Saturday’s deadly surprise attack on Israel by Hamas, the Israeli protest group Achim le’Neshek (Brothers and Sisters in Arms) was helping arrange transportation for army reservists being called to the front. “Brothers and Sis...

 

How the Bible anticipated Israel's fight over the judiciary

(JTA) — For those following the judicial reform crisis in Israel, this week’s Torah portion is almost too on the nose. For months now, Israel has been convulsed by protests in response to a plan by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “reform” Israel...

 

Paul Reubens, Pee-wee Herman creator and son of a pilot in Israel's war of independence, is dead at 70

(JTA) — I was just out of college when I got a freelance assignment from a small entertainment magazine to interview a rising comic named Pee-wee Herman. Of course that wasn’t his real name, but the...

 

Alan Arkin dies at 89

(JTA) - Alan Arkin knew he was going to be an actor from the age of five. "Every film I saw, every play, every piece of music fed an unquenchable need to turn myself into something other than what I was," he wrote in his 2011 memoir, "An Improvised...

 

The hora, the hora! How Jewish wedding music got that way

(JTA) — When my wife and I were planning our wedding, we thought it might be cool to hire a klezmer band. This was during the first wave of the klezmer revival, when groups like The Klezmatics and The Klezmer Conservatory Band were rediscovering t...

 

Ben Stiller satirizes Adam Sandler's 'Chanukah Song' at Mark Twain Prize ceremony

(JTA) - Ben Stiller offered his own High Holiday alternative to Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song" as his fellow Jewish comedian accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. During an awards...

 

'Two Israels': What's really behind the judicial reform protests

(JTA) — When Benjamin Netanyahu put his controversial calls for judicial reform on pause three weeks ago, many thought the protesters in Israel and abroad might declare victory and take a break. And yet a week ago Saturday some 200,000 people d...

 

Can a Holocaust documentary have a happy ending? Should it?

(JTA) — Holocaust documentaries tend to sit along a scale from horrific to heartwarming. For every “Night Will Fall,” the rediscovered British film showing gruesome scenes from newly liberated Nazi concentration camps, there is a family-friendly film...

 

Now translated into 49 Jewish languages: the Jewish spring ritual of counting the Omer

(JTA) — There are 49 days between the second night of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot, but who’s counting? Jews the world over, in fact, and in languages familiar and obscure. The daily counting of the Omer is an old ritual being given new lif...

 

Which side are you on: Jewish American or American Jew?

(JTA) — Earlier this month the New York Times convened what it called a “focus group of Jewish Americans.” I was struck briefly by that phrase — Jewish Americans — in part because the Times, like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, tends to prefer “A...

 

Abraham Zarem, one of the last surviving Manhattan Project scientists, dies at 106

(JTA) — Abraham Zarem was 28 when he joined the Manhattan Project, the vast U.S. government effort to develop the atom bomb. Engineers like him gathered in secret laboratories in New Mexico, California, New York City and elsewhere to provide the p...

 

Burt Bacharach dies at 94

(JTA) - Songwriter Burt Bacharach, who with his longtime lyricist Hal David turned out a string of hits in the 1960s and '70s - including "Alfie" and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" - died on...

 

State lawmakers challenge Yeshiva University's claims to public funds

(New York Jewish Week) — Three state lawmakers are asking if Yeshiva University misrepresented itself as a secular institution in order to qualify for more than $230 million in public funds. Their letter demanding a full accounting from the Modern Or...

 

U.N. exhibit remembers when the world turned its back on stateless Jewish refugees

(New York Jewish Week) - In 2017, Deborah Veach went back to Germany, looking for the site of the displaced persons camp where she and her parents had been housed after World War II. They were in...

 

Book bans, Ukraine and the end of Roe: The year 2022 in Jewish ideas

(JTA) — Jewish eras can be defined by events (the fall of the Second Temple, the Inquisition, the founding of Israel) and by ideas (the rabbinic era, emancipation, post-denominationalism). It’s too early to tell what ideas will define this era, alt...

 

How the Lanner case still haunts American Jewry

(JTA) — It’s been over 20 years since my predecessor as editor of the New York Jewish Week, Gary Rosenblatt, first exposed the predations of Rabbi Baruch Lanner. His powerful investigation led Lanner’s bosses at the Orthodox Union to issue a report d...

 

The Torah supports me in an argument with my wife that I will never win

(JTA) — For years I worked in an office where, in order to make an outside phone call, you had to dial 9 plus 1 plus your number. At least once a week, the police would show up in the lobby because someone had accidentally dialed 9-1-1. The head o...

 

What is a Jew? Israel's renovated Diaspora museum attempts a three-story answer

JERUSALEM (JTA) — I was on a short visit to Israel last week, and spent time with a friend with whom I have been engaged in a 30-year argument. Elli Wohlgelernter and I met when he was the managing editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and I was a...

 

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