Some months ago, I was granted access to a digital galley of Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. As soon as I heard that the book had won the inaugural Natan Book Award (the committee for which included my idol Jeffrey Goldberg), the book went straight to the top of my TBR list. I knew that it was going to be pretty impressive.
And it was. But I didn’t feel sufficiently qualified to write about it. So I didn’t seek a reviewing assignment before the book’s official release this month.
But I am continuing to be impressed–and educated–as I listen to Shavit’s radio interviews and read reviews of the book. Continue reading ›
One of the ways I’m trying to learn about playwriting involves attending as much live theater as I can. If the plays in question focus on Jewish subjects and characters, so much the better.
This week, I was lucky to attend a performance of “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” a one-act play by Mark St. Germain that is based on the life of Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer (née Karola Ruth Siegel on June 4, 1928 in Germany). You probably got to know Dr. Ruth as a radio celebrity (as I did). But she’s had a quite an extraordinary life even beyond that. The play is all about that extraordinary life. (And speaking of extraordinary: I can’t explain quite what it was like to see the play with the real-life Dr. Ruth sitting directly behind me.)
If you have the opportunity to see “Becoming Dr. Ruth” I hope that you will do so. Meantime, you might enjoy this interview with Dr. Ruth on CUNY TV, occasioned by the play’s arrival at the Westside Theatre in New York.
“Isn’t it a little weird? There are nine or ten resolutions against Israel. And I know there’s a problem with the Palestinians. But there’s other bad shit going on and they’re spending so much time on this.”
–Unnamed U.N. interpreter, quoted by The Times of Israel