Monday Media: Gail Levin on Lee Krasner

As spring turns to summer, we bring you a final podcast from last fall’s Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. In this talk, Professor Gail Levin discusses her fascinating book Lee Krasner: A Biography.

This first-ever biography of Lee Krasner brings her out of the shadow of her formidable husband, the renowned painter Jackson Pollack. Levin reveals that Krasner was an independent woman of uncompromising genius, as well as a significant artist in her own right. Levin, an art historian and personal friend of Krasner, examines the evolution of a woman whose life was as dramatic and intriguing as her art.

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Podcast: Israel, Loose Nukes and the End of the World

With all the discussion around Israel, Iran and “the bomb,” this seems like the perfect time to share this riveting panel discussion, Israel, Loose Nukes and the End of the World, from the 2011 Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival.

Professor Avner Cohen, author of The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb, and journalist Ron Rosenbaum, author of How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III, sat down with distinguished journalist and former network correspondent Marvin Kalb to discuss the history and risks of Israel’s nuclear ambiguity and worst-case-scenarios in an age of atomic anxiety.

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Media Monday: Alicia Oltuski’s Precious Objects

Today’s podcast from the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival features Alicia Oltuski’s fascinating talk on Precious Objects: A Story of Diamonds, Family, and a Way of Life.

Alicia Oltuski, a 26-year-old journalist and daughter of a diamond dealer, takes readers behind-the-scenes to reveal the shrouded inner workings of the diamond industry and some of its most fascinating characters. Combining interviews with family, friends, dealers, craftsmen, gemologists, scientists, detectives and entrepreneurs with historical research, Oltuski lifts the curtain on the extraordinary world of diamonds.

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Monday Media: Lucette Lagnado Podcast

On Closing Night of the 2011 Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival, journalist and acclaimed memoirist Lucette Lagnado talked about her newest book, The Arrogant Years. Lucette Lagnado is also the author of the award-winning The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit, hailed by the New York Times book review as a “crushing, brilliant book.” Lagnado offers an inverted look at the “American Dream,” adding new layers to her Egyptian-Jewish family’s story.

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Monday Media: Ursula Hegi Podcast

We’re excited to begin offering a new batch of podcasts from our 2011 Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. In this recording from Saturday, October 29th, 2011, author Ursula Hegi talks about her newest book Children and Fire. Like her bestseller Stones from the River, the book is set in the fictional town of Burgdorf, Germany in the early days of the Third Reich. Hegi illuminates the beginnings of the iron fist of Nazism over Germany and its people, examining how one joyful and gifted teacher can become seduced by propaganda and encourage her 10-year-old students to join Hitler Youth.

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What We’re Listening To: A Religious Case for Equality

One of The Forward’s “fifty most influential Jewish leaders in America,” Jay Michaelson tackles the contentious “God vs. gay” divide. He argues that religious communities should favor gay rights because of religion, not in spite of it. As both a gay rights activist and religion scholar, he explores the moral principles that favor acceptance of GLBT people, contending that these values outweigh the ambiguous verses so often cited by conservatives.

Click here to listen to Jay’s recent interview on WAMU’s Interfaith Voices. Jay will be at the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival on October 23rd.


Shabbat Surfing: Jewish Podcasts

The rain this week has taken the normally unpleasant DC commute to a new low.

So what to do when you’re stuck in traffic, sitting forever on the train platform, or just slogging through the wet city streets?

Personally, I love listening to podcasts. They take me away from whatever I’m doing (commuting, washing dishes, doing laundry) and transport me completely. I become absorbed in amazing stories, learn new things, and just generally make myself a more interesting human being.

Here are some Jewish podcasts you won’t want to miss:

-Our own Authors Out Loud podcasts feature J favorites like Andre Aciman, Lucette Lagnado and Allegra Goodman.

-The 92nd Street Y podcasts are the mother lode. Their poetry archives are particularly amazing.

Vox Tablet, the podcast of Tablet Magazine, never fails to entertain and enlighten.

The Israel Hour keeps me dancing with the newest (and the oldest) Israeli pop sensations.

-Finally, iTunes has a giant directory of Jewish-related podcasts. Wade through and discover something wonderful.

Shabbat Shalom!

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