On the Origin of ‘Shyster’

Master etymologist Gerald Cohen knows how jazz got its name, why they’re called hot dogs, and much more

Requiem for a Racist Rapper

Hip-hop artist Scarface’s anti-Semitic tirade may actually signal the beginning of a new, better cultural era

The Netherlands’ Jewish Mother

Beatrix abdicated so she could usher in a new era—of heads of state who have never experienced war

Curse of the Survivor

Singer Vera Gran was haunted by allegations of Nazi collaboration. A new book asks if survival made her guilty.

Herod’s Edifice Complex

The great Judean builder and his outsized ego are the subject of a monumental Israel Museum exhibit

Allan Sherman’s Last Laugh

A thorough new biography chronicles the rise and fall of the big, Jewish self-destructive funnyman

Hating Gwyneth Paltrow

You may think you know where this column is going. You’d be wrong.

The Beilis Conspiracy

A century after the last blood libel trial, the idea that Jews drink Christian vital fluid is still alive and well

Monster Mash

Helene Wecker’s new The Golem and the Jinni reads like When Harry Met Sally, if Harry and Sally were beasts

The Israeli Wagner

Playwright Joshua Sobol brings the composer to life on the Vienna stage but can’t bring him home to Tel Aviv

Steinhardt Collection at Sotheby’s

The philanthropist’s sale of his extensive personal Judaica keeps Jewish culture in the limelight

Jodi Picoult’s Holocaust Vampires

Some historians see the best-selling writer’s new novel The Storyteller as trash. Here’s why they are wrong.

My Jewish Characters

A writer considers the fictions of religious identity—in life and on the page

Inside the Ringelblum Archive

A guided tour of Polish Jewry’s greatest treasure, once buried in the rubble of Warsaw

Poland’s History Detective

Zygmunt Miłoszewski plumbs the country’s painful past in his best-selling thrillers

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