JANUARY 2014


THE JEWS OF KRAKOW

We meet the Jews of Kraków this month, featuring Agi Legutko on the life of Kraków's most famous rabbi, Moses Isserles; Rabbi Avi Baumol discusses the ways that teaching Kraków's Jews changed his view of the world; and Magda Koralewska revealed how the Beit Kraków Reform congregation interprets the Torah through art. Elsewhere Eric Moses explains what cantors can and should do for their congregations, Judi Herman reviews the film based on Marcus Zusak's bestseller The Book Thief, David Herman looks at the life of the popular English wartime cartoonist Philip Zec, and much more besides.

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WHAT'S NEW

Hungary: Government tries to boost image • Argentina: New Rabbi MP • Israel: Move towards Pluralism

INNOVATORS

The Spiro Story Janet Levin hears about the eventful life and achievements of Robin and Nitza

THE BENEFACTORS

How to Get the Young to Give? David Russell talks to 23-year-old Alexandra Abrams, who leads the way in encouraging her peers to give to charity

THE JEWS OF KRAKÓW

Jewish Kraków Jonathan Webber • Timeline Michal Galas and Agi Legutko • The Rema The life of Kraków's most famous rabbi, Moses Isserles (the Rema or Remuh) by Agi Legutko • Pre-War Memories Felik Scharf's reminiscences of childhood • Growing up in Kraków Views from books by Janina Fischler-Martinho and Eva Hoffman
Reconstruction • Jonathan Webber describes the recent revival of the Jewish community and the restoration of many of its buildings • The Best Job in the World! Janet Levin talks to JCC director Jonathan Ornstein • Reassessing Attitudes Rabbi Avi Baumol on how teaching Kraków's new Jews has changed his view of the world • Jewish Publishing Reborn Connie Webber interviews Kraków-based publishers Wojtek and Malgosia Ornat • Finding a New Identity Agi Legutko tells how she was drawn to the study of Yiddish – and then discovered her Jewish roots • Midrash through Art Magda Koralewska on how the Beit Kraków Reform congregation interprets the Torah through art • Magda's Jewish Journey Like many in Poland, Magda converted to Judaism as an adult. She tells how it came about that by the age of 31 she had been president of two communities.
Polish Expressions of Loss • David Clark reviews Sefer by Ewa Lipska • Unwritten Elegy for Kraków's Jews • Adam Zagajewski's poem • Revisiting David Clark and Marcel Manson explain why they return to Kraków's Jewish Culture festival again and again • Jewish Place as a Living Phenomenon Karen Underhill explains how visitors can help to keep Jewish culture alive in places where there are no longer Jews • The Festival Jonathan Webber on the local and international importance of Kraków's Jewish Culture Festival

MUSIC

Reinventing the Cantor Eric Moses explains what cantors can and should do for their congregations • Welcomed with open Arms Three new London full-time cantors: Steven Leas, Jason Green and Paul Heller talk about what their role means to them • Putting Music at the heart of the Community Introducing North London's women cantors: Cheryl Wunch of Alyth Gardens, Jaclyn Chernett of Kol Nefesh, and Zöe Jacobs of Finchley Reform Synagogue.

FILM/THEATRE

The Book Thief Judi Herman's review of the new film based on Marcus Zusak's bestseller
Shiver • Judi Herman talks to Daniel Kanaber, author of a new play on loss and memorialising the dead, coming to Watford Palace Theatre

ART

Uproar! Judi Herman visits the Ben Uri's exhibition on the first 50 years of the London Group with Moich Abrahams, a contemporary London Group artist

CARTOONISTS

Philip Zec David Herman's look at the life of the popular English wartime cartoonist

BOOKS

Confessions of a Literary Footballer Rebecca Taylor talks to writer Jonathan Wilson about the importance of football in his life and his book Kick and Run • Nick Barlay's Scattered Ghosts reviewed by Agi Erdos • Monica Bohm Duchen's Art in the Second World Warreviewed by Julia Weiner • Royal Jews reviewed by Jonathan Romain • Hineni reviewed by Janet Levin • Jewish Glasgow: An Illustrated History reviewed by Janet Levin • Books in Brief Rebecca Taylor looks at what reviewers are saying about books whose authors are coming to Jewish Book Week • Maureen Kendler reviews Unscrolled: 54 Writers and Artists Wrestle with the Torah • Antony Polonsky's The Jews in Poland and Russia: A Short History reviewed by David Herman • Yossi Klein Halevi: Like Dreamers reviewed by Colin Shindler
Malcolm Forbes reviews Jonathan Lethem's Dissident Gardens • Saving Mozart by Raphael Jerusalmy reviewed by Judith Mirzoeff • David Salon's Pschatts reviewed by Vesna Domany Hardy • Baghdadian Jews of Bombay by Rachel Manasseh reviewed by Margery Cohen

FOOD

Vodka Stories Agi Erdos reveals the historical connection between the Jews of Eastern Europe and the region's favourite spirit. She also talks to film director Dan Edelstyn about his brief experiment in vodka production.

LAST WORDS

Es Brent – It Burns A Yiddish poem and its English translation by Kraków song writer Maurice Gebirtig

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