CULTURE

  • Finding love amid the horror — Jewish Renaissance

    Is it possible to create a believable love story in a setting as hellish as Auschwitz? Barney Pell Scholes talks to the team behind the drama The Tattooist of Auschwitz to find out… Although Heather Morris’s book The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a huge international bestseller when it was published in 2018, debate continues to rumble over its historical accuracy.…

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  • Memories of Berlin before the breakout of World War II — Jewish Renaissance

    Matthew Reisz introduces Barbara Loftus’s beautiful, two-volume collection of artwork, stories and more, which launched earlier this month It was only in 1994 that Hildegard Basch began to speak openly about her experiences of growing up Jewish in pre-war Berlin. This initially led her daughter, the artist Barbara Loftus, to produce a series of haunting works depicting the episode in…

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  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz ★★★★

    The new small-screen adaptation of Heather Morris’s contentious best-seller is an unmissable marvel First published in 2018, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris was a global best-selling book that ran into controversy over its historical inaccuracies. Now, a new limited series attempts to tackle this complex legacy. Both book and series are based on the testimony of Holocaust survivor…

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  • Passover reading — Jewish Renaissance

    For that issue, we asked writers, poets, artists and photographers to choose a part of the Passover story that resonated with them to interpret in any way they wanted. The resulting contributions touched on many of the themes of exile and freedom that were so dear to Ester, encompassing art by David Breuer-Weil, Sophie Herxheimer, Tom Berry and Jacqueline Nicholls,…

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  • 3rd Prize — Jewish Renaissance

    Last June, The New York Times reported that ‘Hava Nagila’ had echoed through Monte-Carlo Beach Club at an after party for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Its recital at a plush Monaco club reflects the secularisation and ubiquity of the century-old Jewish folk number. Yet, even as it assumes increasing status amongst non-Jews, the traditional song still offers a rich…

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  • The Zone of Interest ★★★★ — Jewish Renaissance

    There are a few monotone moments, strangely ethereal night scenes. A girl, the movie’s only active resister, leaves apples for the starving prisoners. In daylight, we glimpse the dropped fruit, indicating that this is not a fairy tale. Glazer based this sequence on the testimony of a real life former junior member of the Polish resistance, whom we know only…

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  • Welcome to Wales — Jewish Renaissance

    “This project is designed to help others tell their stories in as positive and creative a way as possible,” says Howard, who is a descendant of Eastern European émigrés. “I started with telling my own story, but my aim is to make this installation universal. The stories can be shared among anyone who comes in to take part.” Interaction with…

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  • Urgent Voices: Hebrew Poets

    As part of our ‘Urgent Voices’ series, in which key jewish cultural figures respond to the continuing crisis following the 7 October attacks, we hear from a handful of Hebrew poets In these difficult times, when war seems to erase all words, a group of contemporary Hebrew poets have found solace in poetry. The artform raises difficult questions that sometimes…

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  • Guys and Dolls ★★★★★

    The all-immersive revival of the deservedly popular musical marches on, with a magical mix of new and established cast members As I wrote a year ago, when I first had the unforgettable experience of standing amongst fellow audience members, “‘Immersive’ and ‘moving’ are adjectives that one might use figuratively to describe a theatrical experience. I’m using them literally here.” For…

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  • The New Look ★★

    Apple TV’s flashy fashion drama about legendary haute couture designers during World War II cuts a weak silhouette of a story Viewers are promised a lot in the first 15 minutes of The New Look. It’s 1955. We see glittering shots of twirling models bearing the ‘New Look’ line of the legendary Christian Dior (Ben Mendelsohn) as the fashion maestro…

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