Arts & Culture

Articles about local concerts, plays, books and movies, exclusive interviews and blog posts that bring some Jewish perspective to pop culture.

What’s Jewish about fun-in-the-sun favorites
Explore a new book compiling historical and contemporary Israeli poetry.
A new historical romance novel explores deep issues and their resolution.
A new memoir reveals never-before-told stories of the Chicago Bulls from their former team doctor, Michael Lewis.
Remix Judaism photo
Check out this new book to get a fresh take on modern Judaism.
Ben Ginsburg
Explore an art exhibition this weekend at a modern, young gallery encouraged for all.
jewish kids books
Great Jewish children’s books are released every year. But sometimes it’s great to revisit some old friends.
The Adventures of Bernstein and Bernstein photo 1
A new local podcast goes looking for Judaism in the panels of comic books.
Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel photo
New documentary guarantees you a seat on the Team Israel bandwagon
Sustainable Nation photo 1
A new documentary highlights Israelis’ role in sustainable water solutions
Two new ‘Jewish Stars’ shine in Chicago photo
Marc Luban and Kenneth Lyonswright -- are two of the winners of the Jewish Stars talent contest held by Jewish Rock Radio.
Yentl photo
Jewish-themed movies that are upbeat, optimistic and romantic.
Binging on the gift of 'Maisel' photo
Indeed, the hype is legit and, probably like many of you, I'm hooked.
christmas music
A list of 25 Christmas songs written by Jews, told in the form of a song, of course.
8 Episodes of Chanukah photo

Memorable modern TV moments celebrating the Festival of Lights

yiddish professor
Meet Jessica Kirzane, the new Yiddish lecturer at UChicago.
hava nagila photo
Scrolling through the documentary offerings on Netflix, I began to feel that there were a lot of them on one subject: The Holocaust.
Rebekah Frumpkin's first published novel, 'The Comedown,' is earning critical acclaim.
Disobedience photo 1
The director of 2018’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar dives into Orthodox Judaism in his latest film
weird al

 How seeing the parody king perform his original music brought me sweet validation.

Foxtrot photo 1
Israel’s submission to the Academy Awards is an unabashed and core-cutting examination of guilt, grief and human flaws.
Movies that sound Jewish, but aren't photo2
Here are some movies that you'd think would be Jewish in theme or content but are far from it.
jews in space
Year after year I am reminded that, especially compared to Christmas, there is a sad lack of Jewish holiday movies, which brings me to thinking there is even more so a lack of Jewish-themed movies.
It sounds Jewish, but is it? People Edition photo
It’s time to play everyone’s favorite game -- is that person Jewish?
Into the Jungle photo 1
Daniel Radcliffe playing an Israeli surviving in the Bolivian jungle? You have this Jewish movie-lover’s attention.
It sounds Jewish, but is it? Part 2 photo
Last time, we examined words and terms with “Jew” in them, but there are many more things that sound as if they could be Jewish, yet aren’t.
Menashe photo

Menashe, a new independent Yiddish-language film, is a touching -- and in many ways groundbreaking -- portrait of a 30-something Hasidic single father in Brooklyn.

My Epic Reading Journey to The Dark Tower photo
In the wee hours of the morn on February 21, 2017, I finally completed my epic journey through Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series -- and all the novels, novellas and stories that weave through it.
It sounds Jewish, but is it? photo
Not everything that sounds Jewish is Jewish.
A Wonderful Woman – and an Even Better Advocate photo
To me, Gal Gadot represents something more than just being Jewish.
And the award is named for photo
In many cases a high honor, prize or award in that field is named for a Jewish pioneer in that area.
The Wedding Plan photo 1
The Israeli film, featuring a knockout lead performance, opens in Chicago on May 19
Israel: Many Voices photo
Storytelling and collaboration to bring our community closer
Fourth Annual JCC Chicago Jewish film festival kicks off March 9 photo
The Fourth Annual JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival opens March 9 and includes an Academy Award nominee and an exclusive special showing of a star-studded film prior to its national debut.
Painting the World with Love photo 1
Local artist Chai Wolfman’s painting collection “Grounded in Hope” is on display at Uncommon Ground in Edgewater through Feb. 6
Stories and Voices that Must Be Heard photo
The first event I attended post-election that didn’t involve me eating my feelings was “Israel Story Live.”
Why Stars Hollow is the Best Jewish Community Ever photo

Re-watching Gilmore Girls in anticipation of the Netflix revival has reminded me how “Jewish” this show actually is.

Key & Peele and The Big Event photo
A look at the comedy duo’s Chicago connections and Jewish humor.
Israel’s ‘This American Life’ Visits Chicago photo
The story behind Israel Story, a podcast with live shows in Chicago on Nov. 15 and 16
Young Adult’s Guide to the 2016 Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema photo
Film fans take note: The 11th Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema kicks off today, Tuesday, Nov. 1, and runs through Nov. 13.
A Real-Life Jewish Superwoman photo
There's no quality I admire more than courage, people who have the chutzpah to stand up for what they believe in, what they know to be right, no matter how much external forces try to sway them in the other direction.
Remembering Gene Wilder photo
I am talking, of course, of the greatest Gene Wilder movie you (probably) have never seen, Start The Revolution Without Me.
Three Queer Jews say ‘I Do’ photo
A Jewish, Queer woman trying to track her own family tree as it grows out of control around her. That’s the premise of a new play I Do Today, which premiered last week at Chicago’s Greenhouse Theater Center.
Neo-Nazis on Film
How should a Jewish person in today’s America react when confronted with Nazism? Film is one way we have wrestled with and explored this question.
Not Throwing Away His Shot photo
An interview with my friend during his three-day wait to see ‘Hamilton’ in New York
My Evening with Mel Brooks photo 1
It’s not every day I get to see the most influential Jew I’ve never met.
Films About Tough Jews photo

Yes, it’s a list, not a joke.

Guide to McSweeney’s Most Jewish photo

Rather than make you look through all 21 webpages of McSweeney’s lists for the Jewish ones, I went and did that for you.

New play ‘A Splintered Soul’ photo_md

A Splintered Soul brings a unique interpretation to the traditional Holocaust stories shared on stage.

‘Nurture the Wow’ focuses on the spirituality of parenting photo

After Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg became a mother for the first time, she found herself trying to make sense of this profound life-changing experience that we call parenthood.

Third annual JCC Chicago Jewish Film Festival photo_md

Jack Yonover is quite an impressive and articulate eighth grader. Two years ago, Yonover, who is allergic to pistachios and cashews, came up with the idea to make a documentary for his bar mitzvah project reflecting on the fears and frustrations of living with food allergies.

5 Reasons Video Games Are My Books photo

Life. Not the cereal, or the “Game of,” but the one we all live in. That life. It’s a tough one, and sometimes, a little escape is in order.

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Moses photo

Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Indiana Jones went after the Ark of the Covenant, currently has an 8.5 on It's the highest rating of any film in the franchise, with The Last Crusade -- in which Indy pursued the Holy Grail -- at an 8.3. The other two films don't rate anywhere near that high.

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