The Arts

Seeking Justice For Deborah

Jewish filmmaker and Jewish lawyer take on the case of an abused woman unfairly imprisoned in California.
06/27/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

We pray the words every day, but they probably don’t register: “matir asurim,” who frees the captive. Perhaps they are too familiar, our recitation too rote. But the commandment, like the instruction to seek justice, is one of the essentials of Jewish thought and life.

Joshua Safran, left and Nadia Costa, right, meet with Peagler to take up her cause.

A French Jewish-Muslim Romance

Satisfying and poignant, ‘The Names of Love’ rises above the constraints of its genre.
06/20/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The original French title of the new comedy “The Names of Love,” which opens on June 24, was “Le Nom des Gens.” That loosely translates as “the name of people” and, for a film that is very much about the nature of identity and self-definition, it is a more apt title. On the other hand, since the film is a sweet-natured romantic comedy, maybe things are best left as they are.

Director Michel Leclerc, top right, showcases the love story of Baya and Arthur.

The Limits Of Pacifism

Novelist Nicholson Baker argues that more negotiation with Hitler might have saved Jewish lives, a view shared by few historians.
06/20/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

If there is a holy grail for pacifists—an argument that would prove, once and for all, that war is simply never a good answer—it is the case that not fighting Hitler would have done more to stop the Holocaust than fighting him. After all, even people who call themselves pacifists today often make an exception for Hitler—him, they’d fight.

Baker's essay, "Why I'm A Pacifist," came out in the May 2011 issue of Harper's.

Jerusalem Home For American Artists

American Academy inaugural fellowships go to wide range of creators.
06/13/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

American artists from Herman Melville to Mark Twain to Saul Bellow have traveled to Jerusalem looking for inspiration. But until this week, when the first-ever American Academy in Jerusalem was officially announced, there has never been a formal program encouraging artists to do so.

Graphic artist Lynne Avadenka is one of five American Academy in Jerusalem fellows.

A ‘Righteous’ Lens: Genocides Then And Now

06/13/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

During his senior year at the University of Pennsylvania, Samuel Goldberg, an Upper West Side native, day school graduate and English/filmmaking major in college, was weighing a career in philanthropy or entertainment.

Then he saw “The Last Survivor.”

Samuel Goldberg, second from right, with the Righteous Pictures team.

Jewish Theatre Of NY’s Latest Censored?

06/13/2011 - 20:00
Editorial Assistant

Tuvia Tenenbom is no stranger to controversy. He has staged plays about love letters to Hitler, Arab virgins being raped by Israeli soldiers and the sex lives of chasidic Jews.

But only recently did the U.S. State Department step in.

A Tunisian love triangle proves too controversial for the U.S. State Department.

Writing As Mourning

Francisco Goldman grieves for, and in part recaptures, his late wife in ‘Say Her Name.’
06/13/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

In 2007, Aura Estrada, a 30-year-old writer and wife of the novelist Francisco Goldman, died in a tragic accident body surfing off the coast of Mexico. Goldman was devastated, not only feeling somehow responsible for her death — which, to this day, Aura’s mother insists he is — but also inconsolable, entombed by the grief of a man who lost the love of his life.

Say Her Name Book Cover

The Cauldron That Is Hebron

New documentary looks at IDF’s thankless job as buffer between settlers and Palestinians.
06/13/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The first images one sees in the new documentary “This Is My Land ... Hebron” are seemingly familiar ones, young men wearing balaclavas and throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. It is only as the scene continues that one realizes that these young men are also wearing tzitzit and shouting in Hebrew and English. Welcome to Hebron.

Middle men: Scenes from “This Is My Land … Hebron,” with IDF soldiers trying to keep the peace.

Familiar Sound: Anat Cohen Picked As Top Clarinetist

06/13/2011 - 20:00

For the fifth straight year, Tel Aviv native Anat Cohen received the clarinetist of the year award from the Jazz Journalists Association.

The awards were presented here on Saturday.

Cohen’s latest CD, “Clarinetwork,” featured the music of legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman. It was recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 2009 during a weeklong centennial tribute to Goodman and included the A list rhythm section of Benny Green on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Lewis Nash on drums.

Anat Cohen: Honored by Jazz Journalists Association.

Love In Black And White (And Jewish)

‘Sam’s Romance’ explores the 1950s relationship between a middle-aged Jewish man and his young African-American employee.
06/13/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Loneliness, as an old Jewish proverb says, breaks the spirit. In Paul Manuel Kane’s new play, “Sam’s Romance,” set in Greenwich Village in the early 1950s, an awkward middle-aged Jewish housewares/hardware store owner, Sam (Ed Kershen) falls for his 20-year-old African-American female clerk, Natalie (Oni Brown). But Sam’s cousin Rose (LeeAnne Hutchison) — who is trapped in an unhappy marriage with a wounded vet, Joe (Todd Licea) has another agenda for her cousin — involving her brassy friend Luba (Neva Small).

Ed Kershen and Oni Brown in “Sam’s Romance.”
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