How Jewish Was Stanley Kubrick?

The Director of 2001 and Eyes Wide Shut Had the 'Aura of a Talmudic Scholar' and Favored Plots Dealing With Cultural Outsiders

Many people are surprised to discover that legendary director Stanley Kubrick—whose masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey is 50 years old this year—was Jewish. He rarely spoke of it, his films seemingly contained no explicit reference to it, and his work fell outside the stereotypical definition of a Jewish film. “But how Jewish was he?” they ask. This is a thorny question that, after decades of researching the director’s life and work, I believe I can answer. A sense of historical, cultural, and intellectual Jewishness underpins all of Kubrick’s films.

Kubrick …

The Amsterdam Rabbi Who Became the Most Famous Jew in the World

In the 17th Century, Menasseh ben Israel Did More Than Anyone to Promote Judaism and Educate Christians of Its Richness

Toleration across political and religious divides is increasingly giving way to suspicion and hostility. So it is no small comfort to study the lives of those who, in even more …

The Jewish Immigrant Philanthropist Who Didn’t Like the Word “Charity”

Julius Rosenwald Made Sears a Retail Giant and Used His Wealth to Give the Poor Tools for Upward Mobility

The biography of Julius Rosenwald, one of the most thoughtful and transformative philanthropists in American history, parallels the life experiences of many Jewish immigrant families of the mid-19th century—women and …

The Jewish Heart of L.A. Lives in Koreatown

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Newly Restored Sanctuary Is Astonishing. So Is the History of the Congregation.

Angelenos regularly travel thousands of miles abroad to view imposing, inspiring edifices, yet we have such a place right here in our city: Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s newly restored sanctuary. This …

Why I Traveled 3,000 Miles to Get to Temple

In the Midst of Divorce, I Escaped New York for a More Serious Religious Experience—and Found It In L.A.

It’s Friday night and I’m sitting by myself near the back of the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, listening to Rabbi Mordecai Finley talk …

Lost and Found in Jerusalem

Helping Women in the Jewish State Helped Me Find Meaning in My Lukewarm Jewishness

“Where are you going?” the grizzled, shaggy-bearded driver barked at me. After 15 hours of traveling, I was sandwiched between tourists on an Israeli shuttle en route from Tel Aviv …