Why Not Say What Happened by Morris Dickstein

Book Review // Why Not Say What Happened

WHY NOT SAY WHAT HAPPENED:  A Sentimental Education Morris Dickstein Liveright Publishing Corporation W.W. Norton 2015, pp. 320 $27.95 -------------------------------   Review by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt In the foreword of his affecting memoir, Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education, Morris Dickstein recounts an odd, revealing incident. In 1965, at age 25, he has returned to New Haven to write his doctoral thesis for the Yale English Department after a year at Cambridge University studying literature on a prestigious fellowship and traveling on the European continent. One day he finds himself walking in the deteriorating neighborhood where five years earlier he had shared an apartment with two other observant Jewish graduate students. Passing the three-story frame house that contained the apartment, he is surprised to see it looking abandoned. Overcome by an urge, he nervously enters, finds no name on the landlord’s door, and climbs the...

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Map of the Kimdoms of Judah and Israel

Jewish Word // Judeans

These days, all eyes are on what many are calling the new anti-Semitism, arising from both far-right and far-left politics, radical Islam and virulent anti-Zionist ideologies. But the old anti-Semitism isn’t forgotten—a 2013 Anti-Defamation League poll showed that 26 percent of Americans believe that “Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.”

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Alan Gross Headshot

Alan Gross: A Profile in Art and Courage

The Washington, DC resident and former USAID subcontractor was arrested in 2009 for bringing computer and networking equipment to Cuba’s Jewish community. Two years later, he was convicted of being “a threat to the security and integrity of the state,” and sentenced to 15 years. As a prisoner, Gross lived his life in the confines of a small cell, fighting anger, boredom and declining health…

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Kosher Cheese on a cracker

Talk of the Table | Kosher Cheese Comes of Age

When Brent Delman was growing up in Cleveland, his culturally Jewish family, like their Eastern European forebears, ate lots of soft, fresh cheese—cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese—without worrying much about whether it was kosher. After all, cheese is just curdled milk, and as long as it’s not eaten with meat, what could be treif about it?

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Anita Diamant and Dara Horn Talk

Anita Diamant & Dara Horn: In Conversation

We live in the era of Jewish historical fiction. Hundreds of novels set at some point in the long Jewish past have been published in recent years, some based on biblical stories or Jewish folk tales, others built around major historical figures. The phenomenon shows no sign of slowing, with readers continuing to greedily devour historical fiction, and writers delighted to feed their addiction.

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The New Sultan of Turkey

Former Prime Minister—now President—Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist Party are more powerful than ever. Is the nation’s democracy under siege? By Yigal Schleifer Adiminutive 63-year-old with dyed blond hair and a raspy smoker’s cough, Mücella Yapici hardly fits the profile of a criminal mastermind. But Turkish judicial authorities see it differently. Since last year, the architect and urban planner has been on trial for organizing and maintaining an “illegal criminal organization.” If convicted, Yapici could face 30 years in jail. Despite the legal proceedings, I found Yapici in a buoyant mood during a visit to her office, located in Karaköy, a neighborhood on the European side of the Bosphorus that has served as one of Istanbul’s ports since Byzantine times. “I am Al Capone!” Yapici told me by way of introducing herself and her case. “It’s not a...

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