Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tablet Magazine and Vox Tablet

Posted By Ann Rabinowitz

There is a new daily on-line Jewish magazine in town, Tablet Magazine, which came into being in June, 2009.  Covering such areas as Arts & Culture, Life & Religion, News & Politics, and The Scroll, the magazine’s articles are varied and quite individualistic.
One such article, “In the Palm of His Hand, A look at Abraham Hochman, 19th-century Lower East Side clairvoyant”, gives a comprehensive look taken from the Yiddish press of the modern-day equivalents of ancient prophets.  These individuals can be considered performance psychics in Jewish life.
Another piece is entitled “Words of Our Fathers, What a 1942 essay contest revealed about immigrants’ lives, in the Old World and the New”.  It discusses a contest sponsored by YIVO on the theme “Why I left Europe and what I have accomplished in America” which requested 25 notebook pages of text and then resulted in the submission of 223 essays.  These essays were a wonderful source of genealogical material.
In addition to its regular articles, the magazine has a weekly pod cast segment entitled Vox Tablet hosted by Sara Ivry.  The pod casts in Vox Tablet are fascinating and succinct discussions of various Jewish cultural topics which include some of the following:
Sulochana (Ruby Myers) and Zillo in Saubhagya Sundari
Credit:  Courtesy Neepa Majumdar

Rose Ezra, Ruby Myers and Farhat Ezekiel Nadira, were beloved stars of Indian film in the 1920’s-1930’s and even later and they were Jews.  This program gives much insight into a little known aspect of Indian film and Bollywood, as it is known today.  Highlighted are Jewish women from the Indian Baghdadi community who were given prominent roles due to acting being forbidden, at that time, by religious restrictions to Hindu or Muslem women.
 
Oral Tradition
Yiddish Radio in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Host Sara Ivry interviews Professor Ari Y. Kelman, University of California, Davis, author of “Station Identification:  A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio in the United States”.   Professor Kelman discusses Yiddish programming in all its vibrant and exciting aspects.
 
Caraid O’Brian, is a translator and performer of Yiddish theater.  Ms. O’Brian gives a lyrical description of how an Irish Catholic girl from Galway, Ireland, became involved in the Yiddish theater.  She is known for her performances in New York as Molly Bloom from James Joyce’s “Ulysses”.  This year she appeared on Blooms Day, June 16, 2009,
 
Eve Sicular, is a klezmer musician, who developed “J. Edgar Klezmer”, a multimedia look into the life of her paternal grandmother Adele Sicular, a government psychiatrist.  In her genealogical search for the roots of her grandmother’s life, she describes how her request for her grandmother’s FBI files, enabled her to create songs based on those files for her performance.

In conclusion, “Tablet Magazine” is a unique addition to the growing abundance of Jewish publications on the Internet.  It is expected that it will grow apace with its well-written and interesting topics and pod cast capabilities.

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