Felix Salten was a hack who cultivated ties to the Habsburg court and wrote the bestselling memoir of a fictional prostitute. He was also a charismatic Zionist who outshone Buber on the stage and—not so coincidentally—wrote Bambi.
A traveling exhibit attempts to explain the Jewish fascination with Mah Jongg, a favorite past-time of mid-century Jewish suburbia, Jewish country clubs, and Catskill resorts.
In real life, or as much of it as historians can reconstruct, Septimania was a name for the region of southern France that included the Jewish populations of such venerable cities as Carcassonne, Narbonne, and Toulouse. Jonathan Levi leans on the most delightfully far-fetched version of these events in his latest novel.
In the four-plus years since the Arab Spring, regimes have fallen, alliances have shifted and re-shifted, and new (and terrifying) actors have appeared on the scene. The diplomatic and strategic assumptions of several decades seem to have been upended. Nowhere is this more dramatically apparent than across Israel’s northern border. What, if anything, should Israel do about the Syrian crisis?