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The Arts and Letters section of the New Vilna Review highlights some of the most exciting things happening in modern Jewish literature and Jewish contemporary art. This section of the site is focused on showing the rest of the world how artists are making use of Jewish themes and ideas in the American Jewish community, in Israel, and elsewhere in the Diaspora, to explore what it means to be Jewish in a modern world.



Film Review: “My Perestroika” (2010)

by Jamie Bushell

May 10, 2011


Times of political and cultural upheaval often lead to periods of deep introspection and personal change. In a review of the 2010 film "My Perestroika," writer Jamie Bushell discusses the ways in which this film portrays just this sort of experience for a group of former classmates, as they look back on what life was like for them in the Former Soviet Union, both before and after the fall of communism.
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Laughter, Music and Joy: The New Center for Arts and Culture Celebrates Mimouna

by Daniel E Levenson, ALM

May 6, 2011


Mimouna Celebration

The New Center for Arts and Culture has been doing some impressive work in Boston, creating events and programs which have a Jewish flavor, but are open and accessible to all. In this piece, new Vilna Review publisher Daniel E. Levenson writes about this year's Mimouna Celebration, an event which drew hundreds of Jews and Muslims from the Boston area to an evening of laughter, discussion and music all centered around the traditional Moroccan Jewish holiday of Mimouna, which marks the end of Passover.

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A Review of Hillel: If Not Now, When? by Joseph Telushkin

by Gerald Sorin

February 18, 2011


The debates between the ancient sages Hillel and Shamai have fascinated scholars and observant Jews for thousands of years. In this new book by Joseph Telushkin, the author attempts a closer look at Hillel, considering the overall architecture of his ideas and why they remain relevant today. In this review, Gerald Sorin, professor, author and Director of Jewish Studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz, offers a candid and engaging review of Mr, Telushkin's new work.

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Society, Tolerance and Jews:  New Center for Arts and Culture Co-Sponsors a Discussion on The Merchant of Venice

by Daniel E. Levenson, ALM

January 28, 2011


People love the work of William Shakespeare for many reasons – the fluidity of the language, the clever turning of a phrase, the heart-breaking stories of love, loss and revenge. But we also like Shakespeare because he makes us think about our own lives and the societies in which we live. And while he may have intended to hold a mirror up to his own Elizabethan society, what he has bequeathed us is clearly so much more than that. What we have in many of his plays is in fact a tool for better understanding ourselves and our cultures, an activity which is essential for all free and healthy societies, one might argue. This idea, that Shakespeare is challenging us in the here and now, was clearly at the center of a discussion held on stage at the Paramount Theater in downtown Boston this past week, at an event entitled “Shakespeare’s Jews.” The program, which was held  in anticipation of an ArtsEmerson staging of The Merchant of Venice, this coming March and starring Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham in the role of Shylock.

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An Interview with Peter Marck, Principal Bass of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

January 18, 2011


The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is about to embark on a seven-city US tour in celebration of their 75th anniversary. Recently, Principal Bass player Peter Marck, took some time to answer a few questions about the history of the orchestra and its role in Israeli society.

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Color and Motion: Chagall on Newbury Street

by Daniel E. Levenson, ALM

January 3, 2011


In July of 2005 I passed up a chance to see one of the artist Marc Chagall’s more famous works – the stained-glass windows that adorn the chapel of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. To be fair, I had other things on my mind at the time, having just left the emergency room where I had spent the night passing in and out of consciousness while hooked up to an IV, battling some unknown virus which had rendered me severely dehydrated and border-line delirious. But that’s a tale for another time - what I am interested in discussing here is not my experiences with the Israeli healthcare system (which was, on the whole, positive if not a bit confusing) but the artist whose work I did not see as I nibbled on some dry toast in the back of a taxi cab, heading for a friend’s apartment to convalesce. Despite this less than happy episode, Chagall, a name I had known, but an artist whose work I was not very familiar with, continued to carry in my mind a connection to Jerusalem and Israel and Jewish art, all very positive things.

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  • Arts & Letters Archive


Welcome to the New Vilna Review

*A Note From the Publisher - February 8, 2012*


Dear readers and contributors,

The New Vilna Review has been going through some changes the past few

months, and our focus has shifted to offering an expanded selection of

poetry, fiction and arts writing. We are once again accepting submissions,

and look forward to continuing to publish some of the most interesting and

thought provoking work in the world of Jewish arts and letters.

-Daniel E. Levenson

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

The New Vilna Review



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New Vilna Review Insulated Travel Mug

This 16 oz. travel mug features an original design by local New England artist Sarah Pelletier. These mugs make great gifts for friends, family, colleagues or treat yourself and know you are helping to support Jewish arts and culture.

S&H: $2.00
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