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  • Up Close: November 24, 2014

    by TJC Staff
    Play

    This week on Up Close, two perspectives on the cycles humans go through.

    When it comes to recent political cycles, NBC News Political Director and moderator of “Meet The Press,” Chuck Todd, has had a front-row seat. He discussed his take on Barack Obama’s presidency thus far in The Stranger: Barack Obama in The White House.

    Then, the cycles that may be less apparent to most of us are the ones the Earth goes through, cycles that can last hundreds, millions and even billions of years. Those are the cycles MacArthur Genius Grant awardee and Columbia University professor Ruth DeFries examines in The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. She offers her take on how humans have manipulated and disrupted the Earth’s natural cycles, and what it could mean for us in the future.

    Watch the complete episode of Up Close on TJC on-demand on cable in the TJC Original Series/Interviews category. You can also watch highlights from the episode in the video above, or listen to the complete audio of this episode at the top of this post or by subscribing to our weekly audio podcast at http://feeds.feedburner.com/tjcupclose or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tjcs-up-close/id807702211.

    November 25, 2014 | No Comments »

    Week in Review: November 21, 2014

    by TJC Staff

    Four killed in a synagogue attack in Israel, including a prominent American-born rabbi; was a Jewish rapper’s website hacked by Isis?; a Reform synagogue reaches out to Israelis in America; a Yemenite-Israeli band’s US tour; and a preview of next week’s “Up Close” interview with Prof. Ruth DeFries, author of “The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis.”

    November 21, 2014 | No Comments »

    Up Close: November 17, 2014

    by TJC Staff
    Play

    This week on Up Close, how we recover stories and characters from our personal and collective pasts.

    First, King David is one of the most fascinating and complicated figures from the Bible, and yet how much do we really know about him? Rabbi David Wolpe discusses his new book, David: The Divided Heart.

    Then, the idea of the “wandering Jew” is one we often hear, but its origins go all the way back to a legend that spread among 13th century Christians. First-time novelist Stephanie Feldman turned her research on this legend into a book that reclaims and expands on this character, The Angel of Losses.

    Finally, acclaimed novelist and Russian Jew Anya Ulinich scrapped her second book; instead she wrote and illustrated a graphic novel that’s loosely based on her own life, and the result is Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel.

    Watch the complete episode of Up Close on TJC on-demand on cable in the TJC Original Series/Interviews category. You can also watch highlights from the episode in the video above, or listen to the complete audio of this episode at the top of this post or by subscribing to our weekly audio podcast at http://feeds.feedburner.com/tjcupclose or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tjcs-up-close/id807702211.

    November 17, 2014 | No Comments »

    Week in Review: November 14, 2014

    by TJC Staff

    Israelis attacked amid conflict around the Temple Mount; nuclear negotiations with Iran; Israeli Supreme Court allows widowed woman to marry after her in-laws used “yibum” to keep from doing so for 13 years; Meredith Ganzman talks to actor Raviv Ullman about “Sticks and Bones” in a segment from ROW J; and highlights from Steven I. Weiss’ UP CLOSE interview with Rabbi David Wolpe about his book, David: the Divided Heart.

    November 13, 2014 | No Comments »

    Up Close: November 10, 2014

    by TJC Staff
    Play

    This week on Up Close, a look at different ideas of feminine roles in morality, religion and politics.


    First, Yahoo Travel Managing Editor Jo Piazza sings the virtues of Catholic nuns, at least of some of them. She describes the surprising stories of ten remarkable nuns, some fighting for causes seen as antithetical to Church doctrine, in her book is If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters on a Mission.

    Then, is the situation for women’s equality in Israel going backwards? Elana Maryles Sztokman argues that it is in her latest book, The War On Women in Israel: A Story of Religious Radicalism and the Women Fighting for Freedom.

    Finally, in America there’s been a lot of talk about a Republican “war on women,” but Fox News contributor and TownHall.com news editor Katie Pavlich argues that it’s actually the Democratic party which is harming women. She discusses her book, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women.

    Watch the complete episode of Up Close on TJC on-demand on cable in the TJC Original Series/Interviews category. You can also watch highlights from the episode in the video above, or listen to the complete audio of this episode at the top of this post or by subscribing to our weekly audio podcast at http://feeds.feedburner.com/tjcupclose or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tjcs-up-close/id807702211.

    November 10, 2014 | No Comments »

    Week in Review: November 7, 2014

    by TJC Staff

    Diplomatic crisis between U.S. and Israel over “chicken-$#*%”; new study finds increased enrollment in Jewish day schools; famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal is the subject of a new one-man show and TJC’s Meredith Ganzman talks to the producer in a segment from “Row J”; and a preview of Steven I. Weiss’ “Up Close” interview with Jo Piazza, author of If Nuns Ruled the World.

    November 6, 2014 | No Comments »

    Up Close: November 3, 2014

    by TJC Staff
    Play

    This week on Up Close, we look at what it means to build and destroy civil societies.

    First, the collapse of the Soviet Union left many with hope for the future of the countries and territories within the Iron Curtain, but under Pres. Vladimir Putin, Russia now has less wealth per person than India, while a band of billionaires and Putin rule the country. Russian expert Karen Dawisha explains how this situation came to be in Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?.

    Then, what would life be like if all of our institutions were destroyed and people were left to fend for themselves? Edan Lepucki imagines such a future in her debut novel, California. She discusses her dystopian vision and the surprising attention she and her book received from “The Colbert Report” some months back.

    Finally, the American Jewish community as many of us imagine it to be — mostly comfortable and suburban — was not always that way. Sociologist Deborah Dash Moore explores the impact that cities and urban life had on the Jews of the past and on Judaism as we know it today in Urban Origins of American Judaism.

    Watch the complete episode of Up Close on TJC on-demand on cable in the TJC Original Series/Interviews category. You can also watch highlights from the episode in the video above, or listen to the complete audio of this episode at the top of this post or by subscribing to our weekly audio podcast at http://feeds.feedburner.com/tjcupclose or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tjcs-up-close/id807702211.

    November 5, 2014 | No Comments »

    Week in Review: October 31, 2014

    by TJC Staff

    U.S.-Israel relations hit a new low; Conversion Bill makes it through Knesset; the American Jewish Committee searches for alternatives to the Chief Rabbinate’s power over religious rites in Israel; actor Steve Guttenberg talks about his new children’s book and teaches our reporter how to disco; and a preview of this week’s episode of Up Close includes highlights from our interview with Putin’s Kleptocracy author Karen Dawisha.

    October 31, 2014 | No Comments »

    Up Close: October 27, 2014

    by TJC Staff
    Play

    This week on Up Close, we’re talking about symbols both physical and philosophical — the symbols we make, the symbols we wear and the symbols we use to guide our lives.

    First, why do people get tattoos, and how do they choose which symbols to put on their skin? Graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton and Buzzfeed Books Editor Isaac Fitzgerald talk about their illustrated book, Pen & Ink: Tattoos & the Stories Behind Them.

    Next, the fashion world experienced a makeover in the 1990s, opening up to alternative notions of beauty thanks to a few rogue figures who would become icons in their own right. NY Post reporter Maureen Callahan captures the details of that shift and the intimate lives of her subjects in Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and the 90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion.

    Finally, how do symbols and restrictions, including those in the Jewish tradition, actually free us to live better lives? Cornell University professor Tracy McNulty wrestles with these questions in Wrestling With The Angel: Experiments in Symbolic Life, which host Steven I. Weiss calls one of the books that did the most “to surprise and shift my perspective” this year.

    Watch the complete episode of Up Close on TJC on-demand on cable in the TJC Original Series/Interviews category. You can also watch highlights from the episode in the video above, or listen to the complete audio of this episode at the top of this post or by subscribing to our weekly audio podcast at http://feeds.feedburner.com/tjcupclose or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tjcs-up-close/id807702211.

    October 28, 2014 | No Comments »

    Week in Review: October 24, 2014

    by TJC Staff

    Steven I. Weiss reports on TJC’s year-long investigation into Rabbi Barry Freundel, the rabbi arrested last week for voyeurism at the mikvah; the High Holidays may be over but Christian Niedan learns that we can still learn from others’ personal reflections of the past year via Reboot’s 10Q project; Meredith Ganzman takes us backstage with Cinderella’s Jewish fairy godmother, Judy Kaye, in a preview from our theater show, ROW J; and a peek at Steven Weiss’ UP CLOSE interview with Prof. Tracy McNulty, author of “Wrestling with the Angel: Experiments in Symbolic Life.”

    October 23, 2014 | No Comments »

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