Arts features

Matisyahu: He's lost his locks and wife but found a new voice

By Paul Lester, July 10, 2014

In 2011, American Chasidic reggae-rapper Matisyahu (aka Matthew Paul Miller) shaved off his beard and announced that he was "reclaiming" himself. "At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity… to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth," he told fans via his website.


Max Weber: An American Cubist in Paris and London 1905-15

By Julia Weiner, July 3, 2014

Max Weber is credited with introducing Cubism to the USA with works inspired by what he had learnt in Paris in the early 1900s. He is of particular interest to Jewish audiences as from 1919 onwards, he did a number of paintings of Williamsburg's Chasidic community.


A day at the races? No, we’re filming a BBC thriller about the Middle East

By Sandy Rashty, June 30, 2014

I’m on set with the stars of the BBC’s latest political thriller, The Honourable Woman, which deals with the Israel-Palestinian conflict through the lives of the Stein family. As the story goes, the Steins once ran a lucrative Zionist arms procurement company under the watch of patriarch Eli Stein, who came to Britain as a Holocaust refugee in 1939.


TV review: Friday Night Dinner

By Jennifer Lipman, June 19, 2014

There were high hopes for Friday Night Dinner when it began in 2011. After all, here was subject matter rife with comic potential, a talented ensemble including the always excellent Tamsin Greig and, in Robert Popper, a writer who was working off his own experiences of Shabbat meal mayhem in Edgware. What was not to like?


It's hold the Front page as actress gets Curious

By Gerald Jacobs, June 19, 2014

'I've been writing - for the Guardian, Independent, Observer - almost as long as I've been acting," says Rebecca Front, recalling the genesis of Curious, her newly published collection of gently candid, personal essays.


Young pundit has no time for elevenses

By Rosa Doherty, June 6, 2014

Grace McLaughlin has performed stand-up in Scandinavia, holds strong political opinions and has just made her TV debut on a Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary. Grace is 11.

The west London schoolgirl was a voluble participant in Dinner at 11, broadcast on Monday, in which a group of children from diverse backgrounds were filmed at a dinner party discussing issues important to them.


Phyllis, 92, cooks up a storm

By Sandy Rashty, June 2, 2014

Grandmother Phyllis Morgan is about to make her TV debut at 92 as one of the stars of retail expert Mary Portas's show, Mary's Silver Service, which launches on Channel 4 next week.

The programme follows Portas in her quest to bring pensioners back into the workplace and Harrow-based Morgan is one of them.


How Holby tackled a story from the Shoah

By Rosa Doherty, May 15, 2014

Viewers of prime-time BBC One hospital drama Holby City are being gripped by a storyline involving a Jewish doctor and a patient with a Nazi past, which the programme makers have included to put antisemitism in the spotlight.


To be totally Frank, Jon Ronson's interests are on the margins

By Stephen Applebaum, May 12, 2014

Over the years, Jon Ronson’s fascination with finding out what makes people on the margins tick has seen him hang out with members of the Klu Klux Klan [“They didn’t know I was Jewish — they do now”] and the Aryan Nations [“They asked: ‘What is your genealogy?’ That’s the one time I felt some risk”].


Reflections on leading Israel tour

By Rosa Doherty, May 1, 2014

What could possibly go wrong for the young leaders tasked with the responsibility of looking after the 1,200 16-year-olds taking UJIA Israel Experience tours in Israel this summer. For Mancunian Lindsay Weisberg, 21, “the worst thing that could ever happen to me as a tour leader would be, God forbid, if I lose a child. Can you imagine?”