The Arty Semite

See the Arch of Titus, Now in Color

By Blair Thornburgh

We can never know for certain what ancient Jews and Romans saw when they passed under the Arch of Titus, but thanks to technology and a team of scholars, we now have an inkling.

Wikimedia Commons

The arch, dedicated in 81 C.E., celebrates the destruction of Jerusalem by the Emperor Titus and features an iconic bas-relief carving of a menorah on one side. Using a high-resolution digital scans and a process called ultraviolet-visual spectrometry, researchers sponsored by the Yeshiva University Center of Israel Studies and the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma discovered earlier this month that the stone surface of the menorah was once painted a yellow-ochre color, the New York Times reports.

It’s an exciting discovery, and one that’s potentially surprising. That’s because looking at ancient works of art isn’t straightforward. Even when spared man-made damage and cared for by preservationists, objects inevitably decay: stone chips, textiles unravel, paint fades. Compared with their brightly decorated and cloth-draped original splendor, the colorless surfaces of Roman sculpture we see today literally pale in comparison.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Visual Art, Restoration, Monuments, Arch of Titus, Blair Thornburgh

Buffalo’s Oldest Synagogue May Be Destroyed

By Samuel D. Gruber

Crossposted from Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art and Monuments

David Torke

The former Ahavath Sholom Synagogue at 407 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, N.Y., built in 1903, is threatened with demolition. The building is one of the last standing synagogue of the “facade-dome” type that was popular at the end of the 19th century.

Jewish use of the building ended in the 1960s, and it became home to the Greater New Hope Church of God in Christ. The structure is now empty and in disrepair. Time may not be long for the building, but local efforts to save it may yet stave off the wrecking ball.

According to the blog fixBuffalo:

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Ahavath Sholom Synagogue, Synagogue Architecture, Restoration, Samuel D. Gruber, Architecture, Samuel Gruber's Jewish Art and Monuments

Film Premiere With Free Piano Lessons

By Ariel Zilber

Crossposted from Haaretz

As Tel Avivians hurried home to beat the rush-hour traffic after another start to the workweek, dozens of passersby along the busy intersection between Carlebach and Ha’arbaa Streets were drawn to the plaza facing the Cinematheque, the site of a not-so-ordinary film preview.

Rafi Deloya
Actor Sasson Gabbay at the preview of ‘Restoration,’ at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque.

Seven pianos were scattered throughout the bustling Tel Aviv plaza, where people were treated to free, 10-minute lessons by teachers carefully selected by Melnik Pianos, one of the city’s oldest distributors and importers of pianos.

The event, which mimicked a similar venture in New York earlier this year, was held to mark the premier of “Restoration,” a film starring Sasson Gabbai and Henry David. Set in early 20th-century Tel Aviv, the plot revolves around one family’s effort to save its furniture restoration business by trying to piece together the remains of a highly valued piano that was found by chance.

Read more at Haaretz.com

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Sasson Gabbai, Restoration, Henry David, Haaretz, Ariel Zilber, Film

This Week in Forward Arts and Culture

By Ezra Glinter

  • Gabrielle Birkner watches Yossi Madmoni’s “Restoration,” the only Israeli selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

  • Pianist András Schiff talks to the Forward about growing anti-Semitism in his native Hungary.

  • Gordon Haber reflects on integration and re-segregation in his native Los Angeles.

  • Eileen Reynolds goes to see Yoav Gal’s biblically inspired space-age video opera “Mosheh.”

  • David Biale reads through the new crop of second-generation Holocaust memoirs.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: This Week in Forward Arts and Culture, The Other Woman, Sundance, Restoration, Natalie Portman, András Schiff, Yoav Gal, Yossi Madmoni

Out and About: Israeli Winners at Sundance; Ian McEwan Defends Jerusalem Prize Acceptance

By Ezra Glinter

Israeli filmmaker Talya Lavie, whose ‘Zero Motivation’ won the Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • Two Israeli films, “Restoration” by Yossi Madmony and “Zero Motivation” by Talya Lavie, picked up prizes at Sundance.

  • The Egyptian Museum was hit by looters, but it could have been worse.

  • Israeli filmmakers have received death threats over their film on the Gaza war.

  • Ian McEwan has defended his decision to accept the Jerusalem Prize, telling his critics, “I’m for finding out for myself, and for dialogue, engagement, and looking of ways in which literature, especially fiction, with its impulse to enter other minds, can reach across political divides.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Zero Motivation, Yossi Madmony, Talya Lavie, Sundance, Seth Rogen, Saturday Night Live, SNL, Restoration, Mark Zuckerberg, My Mother's Curse, Out and About, Macy Gray, Looters, Jesse Eisenberg, Jerusalem Prize, Ian McEwan, Henry Meyer, Gaza, Egyptian Museum, Egypt, Barbra Streisand




Find us on Facebook!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.