Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Yael Rasooly: ‘They must do their art’

Israeli performer and puppeteer Yael Rasooly brings one-woman show to Minnesota Puppetry is unique among the performing arts in that it allows one performer with two suitcases of props to create an entire stage play. Performer Yael Rasooly, as an example, working in the space between two rooms in an Israeli apartment, created Paper Cut, […]

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

When cantors were stars

Puppeteer Lisa Sturz digs into her own family history by MAX SPARBER This is an unusually busy month for Jewish puppetry in the Twin Cities. There is Israeli puppeteer Yael Rasooly’s one-woman show Paper Cut, also featured in this issue, as well as Lisa Sturz, a puppeteer from Asheville, N.C., who will be at Open […]

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Norman: A New York hustler’s rise and tragic fall

  Richard Gere plays the eponymous character in Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, by American-Israeli director Joseph Cedar (Beaufort, Footnote). The film premiered this year at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, then had a lengthy run at the Edina Cinema. For Jewish World readers who missed it […]

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Operation Yellow Star and Black Thursday

Operation Yellow Star, by Maurice Rajsfus, (translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Mike Mitchell), and Black Thursday: The Roundup of July 16, 1942, by Rajsfus (translated by Aronoff), DoppleHouse trade paperback, 276 pages, $19.99 Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER Seventy-five years have diminished neither Maurice Rajsfus’ fury at the punctilious wartime collaboration of French police nor his […]

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Jem Lester: Speaking for the silent

Shtum, by Jem Lester, Overlook, 320 pages, $26.95 Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER Parenting a profoundly autistic child sounds like a subject for heartbreak, not humor, but Jem Lester conveys both in his fascinating Shtum, a novel in which the subject of the story says not a word. Shtum, thought to be Yiddish, means still, speechless […]

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Joseph Haj: ‘What humans do’

The Guthrie Theater’s Joseph Haj directs Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George by MAX SPARBER Sunday in the Park with George rather buffaloed audiences when it first came out in 1984. The musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, retold the story of the making of Georges Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece “A Sunday […]

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Remembering Cantor Sarah Lipsett-Allison

“She wanted to engage the community through music.” by MAX SPARBER “Sarah Lipsett-Allison was our cantor for 20 years,” Rabbi David Locketz, senior rabbi at Bet Shalom, tells the American Jewish World in interview before correcting himself. “Well, she wasn’t exactly our cantor the entire time, because she went through cantorial certification, but that’s not […]

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Red Cross in tatters

Humanitarians at War: The Red Cross in the Shadow of the Holocaust, by Gerald Steinacher, Oxford, 352 pages, $32.95 Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER When World War II ended, the reputation of the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross was in tatters — not least because of its silence during the Shoah. Creator of the Geneva […]

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Cowboy suits, Jews and Minnesota

The rhinestone cowboy look got its start with Jewish immigrant and former Minnesotan  By MAX SPARBER If you grew up watching old Westerns, particularly those involving singing cowboys, you probably noticed their costumes. They were hard to miss, with bright colors, chain stitching and floral appliqués. But you probably didn’t know that they mostly originated […]

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Stories of survival with Stephen Tobolowsky

My Adventures with God, by Stephen Tobolowsky, Simon & Schuster, 353 pages, $25 Reviewed by NEAL GENDLER Asked in an interview to describe his Judaism, actor Stephen Tobolowsky replied “Judaism is not something I do. It is something I am. It isn’t an occupation. It is a definition.” That wasn’t always so. The first half […]