Love It. Fear It. Smear It.
Is 'Halachic' Going Mainstream?
Sitting Shiva for Spot?
A 'Crazy' Look at Paris Strip Palace
Boycotting Israel and My Olive Tapenade
From Esperanza to Shprintze
Israeli Gas Masks Help Get You High(er)
Was Adolf Hitler Leader or Follower?
Why My Daughter Isn't Bilingual — Yet
Preaching Lost Art of Fermentation
'Homegrown' Story of West Coast Jews
Remembering Mike Wallace
Sisters in Skivvies on the Lower East Side
An Anthem for LGBT Youth
Jewish Gangsters at the Mob Museum
Mayim's Most Important Role
‘Cabaret’ Comes to Tel Aviv
A Transsexual at Yeshiva University
'Strange' Evolution of Legendary Song
Kehinde Wiley Paints Israelis in Color
Nudge, Nudge. Wink, Wink.
Sweating in the Cleveland Schvitz
Berlin Film Festival Gets Serious, Mostly
Addicted to Aggadah
Why Do Men Write All the Baby Manuals?
Jewish Oscar Winners, From Allen to Zinner
Cleveland Rocks — Not Really
Raised Christian, But Jewish by Birth
Be My Israeli Valentine
The Jew and Hitler's Bug
Academy Awards Slideshow
Oscar Wins for ‘The Artist’; ‘Footnote’ Shut Out
The Jewess of 'Downton Abbey'?
The Allure of the Burka
Who Will Light Up Jewish Kids Lit?
Leonard Cohen's Old Whine in a New Bottle
Stephen Colbert vs. Maurice Sendak
X-Rated Dispute in Knesset
A Fraught Journey To Judaism
Bringing Real Bagels to the Motor City
Saying Mazel Tov in Mandarin
Strange Origins of David Cronenberg's 'A Dangerous Method'
How Jews Stayed in Good Spirits During Prohibition
The Word 'Jew' Has Fallen Out of Favor
Last Song of Hitler's Favorite Crooner
Making Foodie Resolutions for New Year
For the Glove of the Game
Adrienne Cooper Embodied Progressive Spirit
TV Ripped My Son From Reality
How Authentic Is ‘Porgy and Bess’?
Sandra Bernhard Shows Her Softer Side
Gimme Some New Time Religion
Tintin and the Anti-Semites
Gimme Some Old Time Gossip
Jewish Cookies Santa Would Love
The Hanukkah Bush and Christmas Dreidel
She’s been a red-carpet regular for years, but Monday marked the first time that Bar Refaeli attended the premiere of one of her own films.
The Sports Illustrated cover girl, equally well-known as the girlfriend of Leonardo DiCaprio, celebrated the new film not in Hollywood but in Rishon Lezion, where a large crowd turned out for the premiere of “Session,” an English-language drama directed by Israeli filmmaker Haim Bouzaglo.
The Holocaust, for better or worse, turns up at the Academy Awards as often as Meryl Streep. The genocide has been so ubiquitous in recent years — in movies ranging from “The Reader” to “Inglourious Basterds” — that next month’s Oscars will be notable partly for the absence of films that address it.
That hasn’t stopped the subject from turning up in pre-Oscar campaigning, however. In an e-mail sent out after Sunday’s Golden Globes, an anonymous writer criticized one of this year’s front-runners, “The King’s Speech,” for “largely “gloss[ing] over the Nazi-sympathising past” of the movie’s protagonist, England’s King George VI.
They don’t look that appetizing in photos. But Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz swears that green bagels from a Canarsie bakery taste like “heaven” with a little butter or cream cheese.
It’s a good thing Markowitz has a taste for the emerald-colored dough rings; Brooklyn’s Bell Bakery is producing a million of them to cheer on Jets fans before Sunday’s big game against the Steelers.
The bagels, as a press release today breathlessly trumpeted, have also been named an “official food of the world-famous Sundance Film Festival,” which kicks off Thursday in the presumably bagel-deprived burg of Park City, Utah. “Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and other officials will hold a press conference on Tuesday, January 18, 11:00 AM at Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street) to announce the official bagel of New York, which tens of thousands of filmmakers and other Sundance Film Festival-goers from all over the world will be enjoying,” the press release says.
Israel will give its highest literary honor next month to Ian McEwan, the English author behind books including “Atonement” and “Saturday.”
A winner of the Man Booker Prize for his 1998 novel “Amsterdam,” McEwan will accept his latest honor, the Jerusalem Prize, at the start of the Jerusalem International Book Fair on February 20.
For a Jewish visitor to Poland, is it moral to steal souvenirs that may have themselves been looted from Jewish homes during the Holocaust?
Not according to yesterday’s Ethicist column in the New York Times Magazine. “Traveling in Poland, I visited antique stores offering Jewish items — menorahs, mezuzas — that seemed more than 65 years old,” wrote Randy Malamud of Atlanta. “[I] found myself unable to pay for what was probably stolen property. Part of me wishes I had stolen (liberated?) some of them. Would that have been justified?” In his response, Ethicist scribe Randy Cohen quoted Marilyn Henry, a Jerusalem Post columnist who “has written much about such sad relics.” Cohen advised that “while the items may have been looted during the Nazi era, they may have been treated as legally ‘abandoned’ when the family was deported; they may have been sold at fire-sale prices by the original owner/family to raise funds to flee; they may have been held with the best of intentions by neighbors in anticipation that a Jewish family would return, and the family did not return.”
With star turns in films like “Barney’s Version” and “Lies My Father Told Me,” Jewish Montreal has been making headlines for its cinematic profile. But a string of anti-Semitic incidents over the weekend is shining a less sanguine spotlight on the city’s Jewish community.
The Montreal Gazette reported today that four synagogues and a Jewish school in the heavily Jewish neighborhoods of Cote St. Luc and Hampstead were targeted by vandals who smashed windows with rocks, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Rabbi Reuben Poupko, who serves as chairman of the Jewish Community Security Coordinating Committee in Montreal, told the Gazette the crimes constitute “an organized and systematic attack on Jewish institutional life” and promised that the people who use the buildings on a regular basis would not be intimidated by the vandals. “The reason it’s so troubling is that was not an isolated affair,” he said.
Busybodies are constantly giving couples who have difficulty conceiving all sorts of advice — foods to eat, vitamins to take, acupuncturists to try. It ranges from well-meaning to downright offensive. Now, along comes a suggestion more bizarre than almost any other… with scientific backing.
Dr. Shevach Friedler, an infertility doctor at the Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center near Tel Aviv, has concluded that if couples try IVF, what they really need is jokes and magic tricks. He got a medical clown to entertain women straight after they had embryos implanted in their wombs. Some 36.4% of them conceived, compared with 20.2% of women he surveyed who weren’t entertained post-implantation.
Medical clowning is a big thing in Israel, where doctors increasingly believe it benefits patients. In 2006, Haifa University’s Department of Theatre began a special bachelors’ program for a group of medical clowns who wanted to build on their knowledge. Then in 2009 it launched a degree program that trains and accredits medical clowns. Yes, clowns are literally having a laugh at the taxpayer’s expense.
Paul Giamatti has played a broad range of characters, from a station manager in Howard Stern’s “Private Parts” to John Adams in the award-winning HBO series of the same name. In his latest role (for which he earned a Golden Globe at last night’s award show), he plays the hard-drinking, foul-mouthed Barney Panofsky in “Barney’s Version,” a film based on the Mordecai Richler novel.
The film, which opened in limited release January 14, traces Panofsky’s life through three generations and just as many wives. Giamatti recently spoke with the Forward’s Curt Schleier about the challenges of playing a not-so-politically-correct Jewish man:
Curt Schleier: Were you aware of the book and Richler before you got involved with the film?
Paul Giamatti: I was aware of [the book], but I had not read it. I knew who the author was, but I never read anything by him. I’d always gathered he was like a Philip Roth or a Saul Bellow or something like that.
Barney is not a very nice guy, is he?
As discussed in last week’s Forward, Britain’s chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, has announced that he will retire in 2013, and speculation has begun about potential successors.
Sure, it’s fascinating to those of us who keep abreast of developments in the world’s Jewish communities, but did you know it’s also of interest to…. bookmakers. Believe it or not, you can now place a wager on who will fill Sacks’ shoes. Paddy Power, Ireland’s biggest betting company, is offering odds on 15 possible — or in some cases pretty impossible — successors. It’s open for bets online, here.
Most potential successors are British rabbis. A favorite (with 13/8 odds) is British export to the U.S. Shaul Robinson, who is currently senior rabbi at New York’s Lincoln Square Synagogue. The final column, however, consists of bizarre outsiders. There’s the Israeli modern-Orthodox leader Benny Lau (with 33/1 odds) and the British businessman and boss on the British version of “The Apprentice,” Alan Sugar (250/1).
That’s what the estate of J.D. Salinger is calling Frederik Colting, the Swedish novelist who’s created a sequel to Salinger’s beloved 1951 magnum opus, “Catcher in the Rye.” The BBC reports that Colting’s “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye,” which depicts “Catcher” protagonist Holden Caulfield as a haunted septuagenarian, has been banned from release in the U.S. and Canada at the estate’s behest.
Colting reached a settlement with Salinger’s estate to end a lengthy copyright dispute over the book, according to the BBC and trade publication Publishers Weekly. As part of the deal, the book cannot be published stateside, though it can be sold in other countries. Colting must also stop using his own title for the book.
Jews don’t run Hollywood, but it turns out an Israeli controls the Golden Globes — much to the dissatisfaction of some inside the entertainment industry.
Judith Solomon, a writer for Israeli magazine Women’s World, has earned a long list of Hollywood enemies as the person responsible for seating at the pre-Oscars award ceremony.
A new profile reports that Solomon caused a “mini world war” last year when she decreed that agents and managers couldn’t sit in “the pit,” the high-visibility area closest to the Golden Globes stage.
If you don’t see the parallels between dreadlocks and traditional Jewish side curls, it might be because you haven’t spent enough time with one of Bob Marley’s sons.
“There’s a link between rastas and peyot,” says DeScribe, a Hasidic musician who has been collaborating with Rohan Marley, the sixth of Bob’s 11 children. “They grow their rastas for the same reason we grow our peyot: because it’s written in the Torah that you need to allow peyot.”
An Australian-born musician also known as Schneur Hasofer, DeScribe is currently promoting his latest project with Marley, a song touting Marley Coffee, Rohan’s socially and environmentally minded coffee company. With Rohan’s permission, DeScribe created a new song, “Livin’ With the Grind,” using influences from Bob Marley’s “One Cup of Coffee.” It was released on December 22.
With hummus sweeping grocery stores across the nation, perhaps it’s not surprising that a major fast-food chain is experimenting with falafel.
The Subway sandwich chain has gotten into the act with its new falafel sandwich, which the company is currently testing in the Chicago area. The chain is billing the meal as a healthy option, noting that it contains no saturated fat and is a good source of protein.
A special Web page promoting the sandwich shows it offered on whole-wheat bread in the traditional sub-sandwich style, as well as on a piece of flat bread that resembles pita crossed with Wonder Bread. The sandwiches contain chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as what appears to be Subway’s take on tahina.
What’s so special about the Holocaust?
That’s the question a Ukrainian association is asking after the soon-to-be-built Canadian Museum of Human Rights revealed plans that include a separate gallery for the Holocaust. According to the Toronto Sun, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA) is claiming the current plan “elevates some cases of human suffering above others.”
The UCCLA’s research director, Lubomyr Luciuk, told the Sun that “no gallery should be dedicated to one story, and one story alone. There are many other incidents of genocide in human history, why is that being lumped together?”
Being Jewish is good for your health.
So says the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a newly released survey that asked more than half a million Americans about their physical and emotional health, workplace satisfaction and health-related behavior. Jews scored the highest of any religious group, achieving an overall score of 69.8, placing them above the atheists and agnostics, Catholics, Mormons, and other religious communities. Protestants scored the lowest, with a 64.8.
The link between religious observance and good health is not entirely clear, however, since a majority of the survey’s Jewish respondents — 55% — classified themselves as “nonreligious.” (Sixteen percent categorized themselves as “very religious.”)
How many prominent Steven (or Stephen) Cohens must exist to warrant an article in the New York Times? Try eight, and that’s not including the additional Steven Cohens – the magician, the wrestler, the soccer player – found on Wikipedia.
There’s Steven Cohen, secretary to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Steve Cohen, a Memphis congressman. Stephen F. Cohen, professor of Russian studies and history at New York University. And Stephen A. Cohen, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
The Forward recently reported on the heroic exploits of Wojtek, the Nazi-fighting Polish bear. Now comes belated news of another animal who antagonized the Germans in World War II.
Jackie, a mutt belonging to Finnish pharmaceutical tycoon Tor Burg, was trained to imitate Hitler by his Nazi-hating owners, according to newly released documents cited by the Associated Press. The Nazi regime was so angry about Jackie “that it started an obsessive campaign” against Burg and his German born-wife, AP reports. In the middle of the war, the Foreign Office in Berlin commanded its diplomats in the Nazi-friendly Finland to gather evidence on the dog, and even devised plans to destroy Burg’s pharmaceutical wholesale company, the article explains.
Spend enough time getting your news from the Middle East, and you, too, might conclude there’s no dark deed, no far-fetched plot, that’s too complicated or bizarre for the Mossad.
Arab governments and pundits have focused recently on the Mossad’s dark dealings in the animal world, “arresting” an allegedly Zionist vulture in Saudi Arabia, and suggesting Israel might be behind a series of shark attacks off the Sinai Peninsula. (Really! These accusations have really been made.)
To help readers stay abreast of new developments, Foreign Policy’s “The List” blog has helpfully catalogued recent accusations of Mossad malevolence, ranging from the vulture incident to a Turkish newspaper’s suggestion of a Zionist plot behind a heavy-metal concert in Istanbul.
From “Papa, can you hear me” to Mama Rose: Musical-theater fans and Barbra Streisand cultists are plotzing over the news that La Streisand has reportedly met with composer Stephen Sondheim and playwright Arthur Laurents to discuss starring in a film version of “Gypsy,” their classic 1959 musical.
According to a dispatch in yesterday’s NYTimes.com Artsbeat blog, Laurents had also “suggested Tom Hanks to play the role of Herbie, Rose’s love interest and the talent manager of her two daughters, Baby June and Louise. ‘Barbra loved the idea,’” Laurents told the Times. Streisand mouthpiece Dick Guttman confirmed that “there have been conversations”, the Times said.
Sharing Jerusalem hasn’t been easy for humans, but maybe aliens can help.
That’s the prize-winning idea behind “Secular Quarter #3,” a sci-fi film that claimed $10,000 recently from the Association of Planning and Conservation, an Israeli organization concerned with Jerusalem architecture. The group selected “Secular Quarter #3” (shown below) as the winner of its “Jerusalem 2111” contest, in which filmmakers offered their visions of what Jerusalem will look like in 100 years’ time.
Competing against almost 100 submissions from 11 countries, Israeli filmmakers David Gidali and Itay Gross shared the prize for the two-minute “Secular Quarter #3,” which shows a Jerusalem divided by massive metal domes that cover landmarks including the Knesset, Western Wall and Dome of the Rock. Alien spaceshifts remove the metal domes, leaving Jerusalem’s residents to face each other.
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