• May 23, 2019

    In His New Play, Jesse Eisenberg Gives Susan Sarandon Something to Be Happy About


    Jesse Eisenberg is a five-tool player on the American cultural ball field, with memorable movie roles — from his Oscar-nominated Mark Zuckerberg to his evil-genius, Superman-nemesis Lex Luthor — to poignant moments on stage, humor pieces for the New Yorker, assorted essays, and a novel. Yet, he is also an accomplished playwright, often starring in his own work, such as The Revisionist, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2013 and co-starred Vanessa Redgrave, and The Spoils, directed by Scott Elliott for The New Group in 2016, which went on to have a successful run in London’s West End, as well.

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  • August 29, 2018

    "'Operation Finale' and Israel's Improbable Transformation"

    One advantage to living in polarized times is that it makes spy movies easier to accept on their typically black-and-white terms. Good versus evil is allowed only one natural outcome. The action on the screen is important, for sure — but moral clarity is important, too.

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  • June 15, 2018

    The Jewish campaign to establish global human rights after the Holocaust

    Washington Post

    People seek, or claim to possess, a variety of rights: constitutional, civil, political, economic and cultural. Human rights, which many people believe are guaranteed, are arguably the best known and the least understood.

    The notion of human rights began to take shape after the Holocaust, so it is not surprising that Jews played an important role in their emergence. In his enlightening new book, “Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century,” James Loeffler, a historian at the University of Virginia, explores how a small group of Jewish lawyers and activists from around the world inspired the human rights movement and the creation of entities such as the United Nations that, sadly, have failed to fulfill the promises of their ideals.

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  • March 29, 2018

    New Yiddish Rep Brings Hanaoch Levin to Off-Broadway


    In what was avant-garde Off-Broadway theater at its finest, the New Yiddish Rep just wrapped up several weekends of repertory performances of The Labor of Life and The Whore from Ohio, two short plays by Hanoch Levin, one of Israel’s most celebrated and controversial playwrights, in both the original Hebrew and in Yiddish, with English supertitles at the Theater at 224 Waverly.

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  • November 17, 2017

    "The Story of the Jews": a tale of triumph amid persecution

    Washington Post

    In this multicultural age, when the politics of identity celebrates difference — melting pot be damned — Jews, bizarrely, have ended up less an ethnic group than a subcategory of white privilege. Israel is perceived as a colonial power, and Jews are regarded as blue-blooded patricians with no claim to historical oppression. 

    This comes as a surprise to Israelis who are the offspring of biblical Jews and who survived many wars initiated by Arabs. And Jews with memories of the Holocaust can recall at least two millennia when Jewish blood was decidedly red and discussed only in the context of blood libels — the surreal accusation that Jews slaughtered Christians to make Passover matzo. (Anyone who has ever eaten the bread of affliction, however, knows that it tastes bad enough without plasma.)

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