Heroes and Villains

What happens when you discover your heroine was a vile anti-Semite?

Do we cancel people because of their corrosive words and deeds or do we try to see them as flawed human beings? This question came up while I was writing the first American biography of Maud Gonne in 40 years…

Air Mail

How Mike Reiss Converted ‘The Simpsons’ To Judaism

Mike Reiss has been a writer for “The Simpsons” for 28 years. He has won 4 Emmy Awards and a Peabody for his work on the show. A multi-talented Harvard graduate — he was president of the Harvard Lampoon — he has also written 18 children’s books, five plays and now a memoir…

The Forward

A WASPy Jew Finds Her Roots

My 93-year-old father recently died at home in his sleep. He was Jewish, but he was buried by a reverend in a nondenominational cemetery in Connecticut. A few years earlier, he had told me he had mixed feelings about being buried by a rabbi who’d speak in “that language you don’t understand.”…

The Forward

‘Landmark of Dreams’: A Place Teeming With Love, Loss, Memory and Folklore

The mind of choreographer Jody Oberfelder is preoccupied. It swirls with love, folklore and dreams, fixations she shares with another artist of a different medium, Marc Chagall. Oberfelder pulls her ideas and images for dances from diverse sources, including Chinese puzzles and the Brothers Grimm. But Chagall holds a special place in her mind…

The Forward

Business; Global Issues Flow Into America’s Coffee

n a growing movement reminiscent of the grape boycott in the 1970’s, antiglobalization and human rights advocates in California have been promoting the purchase of Fair Trade certified coffee — coffee that guarantees a so-called living wage to poor coffee farmers in developing countries. An estimated 25 million of these farmers have suffered because raw coffee prices have fallen below the cost of production…

The New York Times

A Citizen’s Complaint: On Being Busted By the L.A.P.D.

When, in his State of the Union Message, President Bush said that we should support our local police and be tough on crime, I had my doubts. What kind of crime is he talking about and how tough is tough? Has anyone told him about the Los Angeles Police Department?…

The Nation