Channel Esther: BOBST, a Serial Novel

by Esther Cohen The Story Begins MANY OF US believe we know what happened: how people went from there to here. This country in particular is full of stories, stories of departures and then arrivals. Bobst is where my own story begins. In the late 19th century. Let’s say 1883. Before my grandmother Rivka was born. Her parents […]

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Levinsky Park — on African Refugees in Tel Aviv

AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR BETH TONI KRUVANT AND EDITOR CINDY KAPLAN ROONEY ABOUT THE FILM, LEVINSKY PARK (2016) by Esther Cohen SOUTH TEL AVIV is home to one of Israel’s underserved populations, Sephardic Jews, some barely earning a living. In the midst of this neighborhood, home since 2005 also to more than 60,000 African refugees from Sudan, Eritrea, […]

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Channel Esther: Henry’s Tribute Last Night

by Esther Cohen I HAVEN’T been to the penthouse in years. Not since I left my job. And although I’d ordered drinks a week ago to avoid any problems they weren’t there and the man named Irving on the phone at Google Express couldn’t explain why. But the posters I worked on for years were […]

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Channel Esther: Leaving Israel. Davka

by Esther Cohen Discussed in this essay: P.S. Jerusalem, a documentary film by Danae Elon. 2017, 90 minutes. I AM IRRESISTIBLY drawn to books, films, dance, theater pieces about Israel and Israelis, even though in so many ways this might seem counterintuitive, given my politics, my New York loyalties, my interest in mixing up many […]

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Commemorating the Fire

by Esther Cohen RUTH SERGEL is a deeply original visual and performance artist and filmmaker, the author of See You in the Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, published last year by the University of Iowa Press. The book, she says, “is a chronicle of how I learned to be an […]

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Channel Esther: The Last Laugh

by Esther Cohen Discussed in this essay: The Last Laugh, documentary film directed, photographed and edited by Ferne Pearlstein, with jokes by Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Robert Clary, Rob Reiner, Louie C.K., Susie Essman, Harry Shearer, Jeffrey Ross, Alan Zweibel, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, Larry Charles, David Steinberg, Abe Foxman, Lisa Lampenelli and […]

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Channel Esther: Manny Kirchheimer’s Films at MoMA

by Esther Cohen STARTING FEBRUARY 3, New York’s Museum of Modern Art will hold a retrospective of films by longtime Jewish Currents subscriber Manny Kirchheimer. Featured films include, among others, 1) Claw, 1968, which juxtaposes Manhattan’s old facades and gargoyles with “the restless compulsion of the modern city to rise ever upwards, the jowls of […]

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