If you don't know who Bernard Henri-Levy is, don't worry. There's a new celebrity French intellectual you should know: Elisabeth Badinter. She's an older feminist who recently became a celebrity in France with her trenchant new book attacking other feminists' views. And like BHL, she's Jewish.
There are certain things that we all read on the Web that we find unbelievable. Not "unbelievable" as in "amazing," but events that simply cannot be believed. Some of these crazy things have actually occurred as reported, but many are simply hoaxes. Thank God for websites like Snopes.com to debunk these myths.
Jill Abramson, the just-annouced new editor of The New York Times, got a tattoo when she was 49. It was of a subway token and Abramson said she got it to re-affirm her roots as a lifelong New Yorker. And perhaps needless to say, a Jewish New Yorker. She spoke with New York magazine last year in a prophetic profile written when she was then the No. 2 editor at the paper, under Bill Keller's one-spot.
The Fieldston School in Riverdale has many famous alumni. They include: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Roy Cohn, Stephen Sondheim, Eli Zabar and Diane Arbus. Needless to say they're all Jewish. But re-reading this New Yorker profile of the revered black poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, I was reminded that the prestigious prep school has done much to reach out to less affluent non-Jews.
The Cannes Film Festival's board of directors did the right thing in expelling Lars von Trier from the festival today. The decision came only a day after Von Trier, a Danish director who was raised an atheist, though told that his father was Jewish, made outrageous comments about Hitler.
Twitter is still in its infancy and users around the globe continue to discover new ways to use the microblogging application. One national Jewish organization is now looking to release an entire encyclopedia via Twitter. If you think that sending out the content from an encyclopedia in less than 140 characters at a time might take a long time... well, you're correct.
The Jewish Women's Archive has begun to tweet The Jewish Women's Encyclopedia. The Twitter feed can be followed at #jwapedia
Jewish fiction is alive and well in America, and holding up a large pike in the tent is Nathan Englander. The Orthodox day school drop-out, born in 1970 on Long Island, has never made his affinity for Jews a secret: "The Ministry of Special Cases," his 2007 best-seller, focused on Jews who disappeared during Argentina's "dirty war." And his first collection of short stories, "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges" (2000), was riddled with Jewish-themed works.
Earlier this week the Israeli-Arab actor and peace activist Juliano Mer Khamis, 52, was shot dead, presumably by Palestinian militants. The New York Times had a moving story about the funeral for Mer Khamis held on Wednesday, reporting that the Israeli government allowed his coffin to be taken briefly to the edge of a West Bank checkpoint. They made the gesture so his Palestinian supporters could pay their respects, as they were not permitted to go to his burial inside Israel.
I was very sorry to learn of the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis, 52, an actor who famously described himself as “100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent Jewish.”
Born in Nazareth to a Jewish mother and Arab-Israeli father (making him halachically Jewish), Mer-Khamis, a onetime paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, co-created and ran The Freedom Theatre, a company for Palestinian children and youth from the refugee camp of Jenin.