It was not, perhaps, the most fortuitous timing. The coincidence of Muhammad “Abu” Abbas, the Palestinian who engineered the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, being captured by American troops in Baghdad in mid-April and the debut of a new film version of John Adams’ opera about the hijacking, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” is not the sort of publicity-grabbing confluence of events that a major arts organization like Lincoln Center usually seeks.
Yonatan Zilberman may have been a bit hesitant when he began thinking about directing his first film, the documentary “Watermarks.” After all, his academic background at MIT was in physics and business. He was executive producing another documentary when he first learned of the amazing story of the Hakoah Vienna sports club and its assemblage of world-class Jewish athletes, but he wasn’t — strictly speaking — a filmmaker.
His friend and soon-to-be-co-producer, Yonatan Israel, however, never had any doubts.
Now in its 17th year, the New York Jewish Film Festival, which opens Jan. 9, is truly a fixture on the local film calendar, so much so that this year’s event includes one world premiere, 10 U.S. premieres and 12 New York premieres. If you subtract the seven retrospectives (see sidebar), that means that all but one of the 32 films in this year’s festival are so new that the prints are still wet from the lab.
For Shelley Cohen, a member of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side and a mother of three, traveling anywhere with her oldest child, a 20-year-old quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, can often prove taxing. Her son Nathaniel is afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a congenital, rapidly progressive illness that destroys the body’s muscles.
One of Jill Maura Rabin’s favorite stories concerns a recent visit to her office by a frail and shaken 93-year-old woman.
The woman had come to see Rabin, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, because of pelvic-organ prolapse and incontinence, a related ailment that often sends women to nursing homes.
While an undergraduate at Columbia, Elana Stein Hain divided her day in two. Half a day, she took courses in history and other subjects. During the other half, she studied Talmud with a chavruta. "I created my own dual-curriculum," she says. "I wanted to spend the bulk of my day surrounded by Jewish texts."
Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
The housing crisis we keep hearing about is being reported almost entirely from the vantage point of speculators and sellers. But if you are a young couple starting out in life, seeking to buy your first apartment or home, why is it a crisis if the housing market is in a recession, prices dive and you can suddenly afford to buy?
Sunday, June 1st, 2008
Not that long ago, we were talking with Sherwood Goffin (see story here), the wonderful chazzan at Lincoln Square Synagogue, about the problem of amateurs who, when leading services, freely staple niggunim (spiritual melodies), or beautiful popular Israeli songs, such as Erev Shel Shoshanim, or even Puff The Magic Dragon, to verses of the davening without any regard to how appropriate the particular tune might be to the verse.