• Barbra Streisand, who New York Magazine says entered the mainstream by “smoothing out all her misfit attributes until she seemed almost homogenized: like buttah,” has returned to form with her new album Love is the Answer, which she will promote with a show at her old New York haunt the Village Vanguard on Saturday. [NY Mag]
• Once, Jews operated in a shtetl system, living in small communities of insiders; now, “our physical locations change while the internet has created a sort of virtual community.” [New Voices]
• At a Rosh Hashanah meal, the last remaining Jew in Afghanistan told a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, “Don’t talk about the Taliban, just eat.” [LAT]
• Sacha Baron Cohen will perform the voice of an Israeli tour guide on an upcoming Simpsons episode “that all faiths can come together and be offended by.” [JTA]
The New York Times calls a new biography of Louis Brandeis by Melvin I. Urofsky “long, stately and satisfying.” [NYT]