Short Takes

Tikkum Olam, Brazilian Style

10/03/2012
Staff Writer

Last Wednesday night, when much of the Jewish community was still bolting bagels and lox to break the Yom Kippur fast, about 50 Jews were taking in the art and music of Umbanda, an eclectic religion unique to Brazil, at a downtown gallery.

“We tried to provide a creative post-Yom Kippur experience,” said Alex Minkin, 39, a creator of Ticun Brasil, the group that hosted the party. He works by day as a consultant.

Yiddishkeit and Brazilian culture come together at Ticun Brasil event. Photos by Rocío Pichon Rivière

Seeking Teen Activists

09/19/2012
Editorial Intern

At age 13, Zak Kukoff of Thousand Oaks, Calif., would watch his autistic younger cousin sit alone on the playground. “It’s not that students didn’t want to be her friend — they just didn’t know how,” he said. “It hurt me to see.”

Diller Teen Award-winner Daniel Rosenthal of Santa Rosa, Calif., takes his magic shows to hospitals and schools.

Israeli Films, Now Streaming

09/19/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Looking for a little Israeli culture but don’t want to leave your house? Well, how about streaming an award-winning Israeli movie with your choice of snack: popcorn or bamba (Israel’s snack of choice, peanut-butter puffed goodness). Make it the ultimate movie night with one of the Israeli classics like “Sallah Shabati” or even a film in movie theaters right now.

A scene from “Aviva, My Love,” an Israeli film available on new JCC in Manhattan streaming website.

Holocaust Railroad Case To Proceed

09/04/2012
Staff Writer

For the first time, the U.S. Court of Appeals has found that a case may be brought against a foreign national railroad in a Holocaust-related case that seeks billions of dollars.

Late last month, the court in Chicago refused to dismiss a suit against the Hungarian State Railroads (also known as the MAV) brought by Hungarian victims of the Holocaust who claimed the railroad must compensate them for the property it took from them in violation of international law.

A lawsuit against Hungary’s wartime railroad may be brought, according to a U.S. Court of Appeals.

Israeli Pianist’s Newest ‘Venture’

07/22/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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When rockets are falling on your hometown and you’re half a world away, it’s hard to concentrate on music. Alon Nechushtan’s family is in Rishon LeZion, “in rocket range, just north of Rehovot,” the pianist-composer says with a wan smile. He is in New York City with his wife and child, pursuing a burgeoning career as a jazz musician. He doesn’t want to talk about this subject, other than to drily observe that “these are toxic times.”

Alon Nechushtan moves between jazz, klezmer and classical music.   Spencer Gordon

For Alan Dershowitz, There’s Life After Harvard

07/22/2014
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Alan Dershowitz’s house is a bit of a mess.

The rooms of his Martha’s Vineyard home are cluttered with half-unpacked boxes from his Cambridge house, which he and his wife sold after he retired from Harvard Law School in June.

Alan Dershowitz hanging out on the porch of the Chilmark General Store in the Martha’s Vineyard town of Chilmark, Mass. JTA

The Jewish Foodie Behind The Black Ant

07/16/2014
Staff Writer
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Don’t complain about the bug in your soup — it’s supposed to be there. The Black Ant, a modern Mexican restaurant that opened in May, might be the most treif restaurant you can find.

From gefilte fish to crispy grasshoppers: Black Ant co-owner Cliff Freid.  Courtesy of The Black Ant

A Dream ‘Gig’ In The Bygone Catskills

07/16/2014
Special to the Jewish Week
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By the time that Kutsher’s Country Club fell to the wrecking ball in May, the Catskills were already long past their prime as a Jewish vacation paradise. In fact, the popularity of the “Jewish Alps” was already waning in the 1970s, when “The Gig,” Doug Cohen’s new musical about a group of amateur jazz musicians who land a prized booking in the Borscht Belt, is set.

Doug Cohen’s musical captures a “sense of celebration” about the heyday of the “Jewish Alps.”  Courtesy of Doug Cohen

Everyone’s A Comedian

07/08/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Miriam Borenstein, 27, had a great line about online dating. Saul Daiell, 33, joked about teaching. But in the end, “High-Powered” Howard Newman took home the title of Funniest Jewish Comedian in the annual contest sponsored by The Jewish Week.

Funniest Jewish Comedian winner Howard Newman, left, and Geoff, who produces the annual event.

Eyal Maoz’s Many Sides

07/08/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Eyal Maoz not only remembers the first guitar he ever was given. He still has it, a Spanish classical guitar.

“I remember my first electric guitar, too,” he adds. “It was red and very hard to play, and I have it even now. I completely ruined it making it into a fretless.”

Eyal Maoz is curaing a week at The Stone.    Courtesy of Eyal Maoz
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