Arts features

Have you heard the one about the female rabbi?

By Rosa Doherty, November 24, 2016

The labour room was frantic with preparations moments before Debbie Young-Somers gave birth to her first child. It was at that moment she decided it was a good idea to tell her midwife what she did for a job.

But with hindsight, it is not something she would recommend to other expectant rabbis.


I couldn't cope without Shabbat

By Rachel Creeger, November 10, 2016

As a freelance writer, director and comedy performer, who used to be a social worker, I have always been a bit of a workaholic. I've often had multiple jobs or roles which involve a large amount of prep. Now working in theatre and especially comedy, I'm often busy both day and night, including weekends.


Making art from an intimate ritual

By Charlotte Oliver, October 13, 2016

"I always say that I don't care if people like or dislike my work; I just want them to engage."

So says Rachel Libeskind, the 27-year-old American artist who this week launched her first solo exhibition in the UK, at Contini Art in central London. And she means it, too, if the title of her show is any indication: The Circumcision of Christ and Modern Oblivion.


'I always felt something was missing'

By Charlotte Oliver, September 15, 2016

As she speaks, Nicole Farhi's hands rest below her chin, only occasionally moving to stress a point or to single out something in the room, before effortlessly retreating to their former position.


Arts Agenda

September 1, 2016


Kirk's centenary

Kirk Douglas epitomised the Hollywood heart-throb in the 1940s and '50s, playing heroes and villains but never taking himself too seriously. In anticipation of his 100th birthday later this year, the BFI Southbank are featuring 20 of his greatest films this month, including Spartacus, Champion and 2,000 Leagues Under the Sea.


The man behind the masks

By Charlotte Oliver, July 21, 2016

Friedrich Nagler was a man of many faces, all hidden behind an unassuming mask.

To the outside world, he was a low-key, blue-collar worker, who toiled through a series of menial jobs throughout his life to provide for his wife and two children.

But delve deeper, and you find a child publicly shamed as illegitimate, a bitter reminder to his father of his mother's extra-marital affair.


Making up her own YouTube success

By Lianne Kolirin, July 7, 2016

Write off Ashley Waxman Bakshi as just a pretty face at your own peril.

She has a degree in business and economics and a masters in counter-terrorism. She worked for Israel's Ministry of Defence, trading weapons with other nations. But she has found fame and fortune for something quite different.


You didn't always have to be Jewish

By Michael Freedland, May 19, 2016

The sound coming from the radio was distinctive - the opening bars of the theme from Fiddler on the Roof. And then a voice: "You don't have to be listen for the next 20 minutes or so."

The voice was mine. The month was May and the year was 1971. Forty five years ago.


The power of humour and how to spot a Jew

By Ashley Blaker, May 19, 2016

So my tour is pretty much at an end and, as I approach the final show at JW3, I can't help but look back and wonder what I've discovered about Jewish Britain. After all, in the past few months I've visited 40 different communities and performed in front of well over 5,000 people so I reckon I've seen a pretty good cross-section of Anglo-Jewry.


Me? Well, I am a good Jewish joker

By Mark Maier, May 12, 2016

The Jewish Chronicle asked me: "What makes a good Jewish joke?" I do. At least I think I do. When I say, "I think I do", what I actually mean is, going on past evidence, I'm quietly confident, when it comes to making a good Jewish joke, I'm the person you'd want to listen to.