Arts and Culture

Meet the Israeli composer of Indian Muslim music who collaborates with Radiohead’s guitarist

Shye Ben-Tzur, right, playing with Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood at the Sacred Jerusalem Festival, Sept. 1, 2015. (Noam Chojnowski)Shye Ben-Tzur, right, playing with Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood at the Sacred Jerusalem Festival, Sept. 1, 2015. (Noam Chojnowski)

(JTA) — For most musicians working in the underappreciated genre of world music, recording an album with Jonny Greenwood, the guitarist of the famed English rock band Radiohead, would be something of a pipe dream. And what about having that experience filmed by acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson (“There… Read more »

Oscars red carpet preview: Is modesty the new sexy?

Mayim Bialik at the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California, Jan. 17, 2016. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Mayim Bialik at the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California, Jan. 17, 2016. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Pity Jennifer Lopez. As far as memorable red carpet moments go, she set such a high bar at the 2000 Grammys with her now-legendary plunging green Versace dress that she seemed destined to never top it. But many fashion insiders (and followers) have been buzzing about the actress-singer’s… Read more »

Woody Allen’s sidekick shares all

From left, Woody Allen, Tony Roberts and Diane Keaton in a 1977 publicity shot from "Annie Hall." (Courtesy of Tony Roberts)From left, Woody Allen, Tony Roberts and Diane Keaton in a 1977 publicity shot from "Annie Hall." (Courtesy of Tony Roberts)

NEW YORK (JTA) — There’s a memorable scene in “Annie Hall” when Woody Allen’s character, Alvy Singer, rants about finding anti-Semites everywhere he goes. “You know, I was having lunch with some guys from NBC and I said, ‘Did you eat yet?’ and said, ‘No, Jew?’ Not, ‘Did… Read more »

David Bowie was into kabbalah and other Jewish facts about the late icon

David Bowie at a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival in France, May 13, 1983. (Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)David Bowie at a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival in France, May 13, 1983. (Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — It was clear long before the Internet swelled with heartfelt tributes to David Bowie that the late musician was an artistic legend. The 69-year-old Englishman, who died Jan. 10 after an 18-month battle with cancer, reinvented himself countless times in a music career that spanned more than five… Read more »

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK How a Jewish reporter celebrated Chanukah at the Kremlin

Rabbi Berel Lazar speaking at the Kremlin, Dec. 8, 2015. (Courtesy of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia)Rabbi Berel Lazar speaking at the Kremlin, Dec. 8, 2015. (Courtesy of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia)

MOSCOW (JTA) — Like many tourists in Red Square, I have often wondered what lies beyond the tall walls that separate this Moscow attraction from the Kremlin, the official residence of Russia’s president and the nerve center of the state. As a journalist long obsessed with Russia, I’ve wanted… Read more »

How ‘Transparent’ is reshaping views of transgender Jews

Jeffrey Tambor, right, with Judith Light in the second season of "Transparent." (Courtesy of Amazon Studios)Jeffrey Tambor, right, with Judith Light in the second season of "Transparent." (Courtesy of Amazon Studios)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — The prevalence of transgender issues in pop culture seems to have reached a pinnacle this year. Caitlyn – nee Bruce – Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair. The movie “Tangerine,” which stars transgender actors, took film critics by storm. Director Tom Hooper’s “The… Read more »

Inspiring Jews we lost in 2015

Actor Theodore Bikel arrives at the 55th Annual Drama Desk Awards in New York City, May 23, 2010. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)Actor Theodore Bikel arrives at the 55th Annual Drama Desk Awards in New York City, May 23, 2010. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

(JTA) — As 2015 winds to a close, we’d like to take a moment to honor the memories of those who we lost over the past 12 months. From remembering lives cut short by senseless, dark tragedies to tributes to revered icons who lived life to the fullest, here are some Jews… Read more »

In ‘Blind Love’ doc, Israelis learn to be witnesses to Nazi cruelty

Participants in the March of the Living walking with their guide dogs. (Yossi Zeilger)Participants in the March of the Living walking with their guide dogs. (Yossi Zeilger)

TORONTO (JTA) — Fingers flit over a tombstone in Warsaw’s Jewish cemetery, caressing its faded Hebrew letters. Feet stumble on pathways at a Nazi death camp, crooked and strewn with stones. Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, punctures the sound of rustling leaves and hard rain in rural… Read more »

From HBO to Arthur Miller, what a ‘tough guy’ actor learned from his Jewish grandma

Michael Zegen, center, works those biceps in a scene from "A View from the Bridge." (Jan Versweyveld)Michael Zegen, center, works those biceps in a scene from "A View from the Bridge." (Jan Versweyveld)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On a trip to London last year, actor Michael Zegen caught a revival performance of Arthur Miller’s 1955 drama, “A View from the Bridge,” about a Brooklyn longshoreman whose protective impulses toward his niece tilt toward lust. “I had a terrible seat,” he told JTA.… Read more »

The real-life Jewish debauchery behind ‘The Night Before’ Christmas movie

From left, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in Jonathan Levine's "The Night Before." (Courtesy of Columbia Pictures)From left, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star in Jonathan Levine's "The Night Before." (Courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

(JTA) — Director and writer Jonathan Levine (“The Wackness,” “50/50”) may have grown up in Jew-centric Manhattan, yet he recalls feeling somewhat like an alien every Christmas. “I don’t think it was malicious,” Levine, 39, says in a telephone interview with JTA. “But, in a way, I felt like an… Read more »

S’mores Brownies

S'mores Brownies (Shannon Sarna)S'mores Brownies (Shannon Sarna)

(The Nosher via JTA) — It’s no great secret that I hate pareve desserts. Or perhaps I should more accurately say I hate bad pareve desserts. Some might even say I have made it my mission in life to dream up pareve desserts that don’t suck. And this brownie recipe… Read more »

The young Jewish chef who made vegan food tasty — long before Beyonce made it cool

Chloe Coscarelli, a winner of "Cupcake Wars," has opened a hip vegan eatery in Manhattan. (Mikey Pozarik/Paperwhite Studio)Chloe Coscarelli, a winner of "Cupcake Wars," has opened a hip vegan eatery in Manhattan. (Mikey Pozarik/Paperwhite Studio)

NEW YORK (JTA) — There’s a buzzy new eatery on the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal streets in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. The restaurant, by CHLOE, is garnering consistently good reviews and attracting slews of young, hip diners. Recently it even hosted the launch of a lingerie-line collaboration between two “it” girls.… Read more »

At 25, Tucson International Jewish Film Festival going strong

The 25th annual Tucson Jewish International Film Festival is dedicated to the memory of Bob Polinsky, a longtime volunteer.The 25th annual Tucson Jewish International Film Festival is dedicated to the memory of Bob Polinsky, a longtime volunteer.

Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about. —Steven Spielberg The Tucson International Jewish Film Festival uses that “magic” to promote the preservation of Jewish culture and celebrate cultural diversity. For 10 days, Jan. 14 - 23, the 25th annual festival… Read more »

Body Scripting, ‘Faun’ choreographer’s unique technique, to be Tucson J workshop

Gregg Mozgala (left)  and choreographer Tamar Rogoff in a scene from ‘Enter the Faun,’ which will be screened as part of the 25th Tucson International Jewish Film Festival.Gregg Mozgala (left) and choreographer Tamar Rogoff in a scene from ‘Enter the Faun,’ which will be screened as part of the 25th Tucson International Jewish Film Festival.

When New York choreographer Tamar Rogoff invited Gregg Mozgala, an actor with cerebral palsy, to dance the role of the faun in an original production, they had no idea that their collaboration would lead to a profound and unexpected physical transformation. At the time they met in 2008, Mozgala… Read more »

Itzhak Perlman named winner of 2016 Genesis Prize

Itzhak Perlman at the White House, where he received the Presidential
Medal of Freedom, Nov. 24, 2015. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Itzhak Perlman at the White House, where he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Nov. 24, 2015. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Itzhak Perlman, the Israeli-born violin virtuoso, was named the third winner of the Genesis Prize. Perlman was named the winner on Monday of the annual $1 million prize that has been dubbed the “Jewish Nobel.” He joins former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the actor-director… Read more »