Arts and Culture

French Jews react to first screening of buzzy, irreverent comedy on anti-Semitism

Director Yvan Attal, right, with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Dany Boon during the filming of "The Jews" in Paris. (Courtesy of Wild Bunch Productions)Director Yvan Attal, right, with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Dany Boon during the filming of "The Jews" in Paris. (Courtesy of Wild Bunch Productions)

PARIS (JTA) — When the French-Jewish film director Yvan Attal titled his much-hyped comedy about anti-Semitism “They Are Everywhere,” he did so in reference to how some anti-Semites feel about Jews and vice versa. But the French-language title applies in another way, too: Though the film has yet to… Read more »

Modern Orthodox dating gets a close-up in new web series

Leah Gottfried in a scene from the first episode of "Soon by You," a web series she created and directs. (Dignity Entertainment)Leah Gottfried in a scene from the first episode of "Soon by You," a web series she created and directs. (Dignity Entertainment)

NEW YORK (JTA) — “There’s no such thing as a bad date — there’s just a funny story,” says Jessica Schechter, a 28-year-old modern Orthodox woman who teaches acting in New York City and lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. There’s the guy who took her to the action… Read more »

‘Nazi Hunters’ details triumphs, flaws of vanishing breed

the-nazi-hunters

In June 2014, 89-year-old Johann Breyer appeared before a Philadelphia federal judge charged with complicity in the gassing of 216,000 Jews at Auschwitz. American and German investigators presented the court with documents that proved that Breyer, a dedicated SS officer, was a willing participant in the Nazi death camp’s… Read more »

A fresh crop of Jewish books for spring

Alligator Candy Jacket

(JTA) — Spring — when nature itself seems to reawaken — is a time for renewal. So it’s probably a good idea to spruce up your bookshelf (or e-reader or audiobook app), no? Here are nine Jewishy suggestions to rejuvenate your reading. Alligator Candy (Simon & Schuster) By David… Read more »

Jewish dentist represents France in world’s most-watched song contest

Amir Haddad, a French-Israeli dentist, will represent France at this year’s Eurovision contest. (Courtesy of Eurovision)Amir Haddad, a French-Israeli dentist, will represent France at this year’s Eurovision contest. (Courtesy of Eurovision)

(JTA) — The Eurovision Song Contest — the world’s most popular televised singing competition, which pits singers from 43 countries against one another in the battle for the year’s best pop song — is being held this week. France’s representative is a 31-year-old Israeli singer, Amir Haddad, who goes by the… Read more »

Actress Kathryn Hahn talks about playing Rabbi Raquel on ‘Transparent’

Kathryn Hahn arriving at the FYC special screening of “Transparent” at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles, May 5, 2016. (Michael Tran/FilmMagic)Kathryn Hahn arriving at the FYC special screening of “Transparent” at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles, May 5, 2016. (Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Kathryn Hahn’s no rabbi, but this nice Catholic girl from Cleveland plays one on TV. As Rabbi Raquel Fein on “Transparent,” the groundbreaking Amazon series about a dysfunctional Jewish family with a transgender parent (Jeffrey Tambor), Hahn has spent a lot of time thinking about… Read more »

In new film, Yitzhak Rabin narrates his autobiography

Yitzhak Rabin, right, and his wife, Leah, in 1968 (Israel Government Press Office)Yitzhak Rabin, right, and his wife, Leah, in 1968 (Israel Government Press Office)

(JTA) — “Rabin in his Own Words,” which opens in Friday in New York, Los Angeles and South Florida, is more than a tribute to the two-time Israeli prime minister tragically gunned down in 1995. The aptly named cinematic autobiography, which uses archival footage going back to the statesman’s childhood, is entirely narrated… Read more »

Ezra Furman — a gender-bending, genre-crossing, observant Jewish rocker — is the next big thing

Ezra Furman wraps tefillin and reads Jewish philosophers while on tour. (Phil Sharp)Ezra Furman wraps tefillin and reads Jewish philosophers while on tour. (Phil Sharp)

(JTA) — Ezra Furman is an acclaimed indie rocker who, while hanging on his tour bus, has been known to lay tefillin. Striking, too, is Furman’s typical getup: The singer and guitarist often eschews the standard millennial indie rocker uniform — skinny jeans, tight T-shirt — in favor of… Read more »

Neil Simon play coming to Invisible Theatre

Hollywood scriptwriter Herb Tucker (David Alexander Johnston) explains to his girlfriend Steffy (Susan Kovitz) why he doesn’t want to get married again. (Tim Fuller)Hollywood scriptwriter Herb Tucker (David Alexander Johnston) explains to his girlfriend Steffy (Susan Kovitz) why he doesn’t want to get married again. (Tim Fuller)

Invisible Theatre will stage Neil Simon’s comedy, “I Ought to Be in Pictures,” April 19-May 1. Ticket information is available at 882-9721 or invisibletheatre.com.… Read more »

Celebrity impressionists returning to Tucson

The Edwards Twins, identical twin celebrity impressionists, will return to Tucson, their childhood home, for a charity performance at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Sunday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. Anthony and Eddie Edwards, who are Jewish, are alumni of Rincon High School. They have toured the globe for… Read more »

UA dance concert to benefit Holocaust History Center

Amy Ernst’s “In the Shadow of the Dreamers” featuring members of the UA Dance Ensemble. (Ed Flores)Amy Ernst’s “In the Shadow of the Dreamers” featuring members of the UA Dance Ensemble. (Ed Flores)

“In the Shadows of the Dreamers,” a dance commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, will be part of a University of Arizona School of Dance concert later this month to benefit the Holocaust History Center at the Jewish History Museum. The concert and reception will be… Read more »

Meet Sarah Aroeste, the Jewish Mom Revitalizing Ladino Music

Musician Sarah Aroeste (Courtesy of Sarah Aroeste)Musician Sarah Aroeste (Courtesy of Sarah Aroeste)

(Kveller via JTA) — Sarah Aroeste is one of those people who seem utterly fascinating. She’s a mom and Ladino musician who recently released her fourth album “Ora de Despertar,” or “Time to Wake Up.” In her music, she explores her connection between her Sephardic roots in Greece and her passion for Ladino musical… Read more »

Evening with Israeli dancers at UA planned

  The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and the University of Arizona School of Dance will present “An Evening with Yaniv Abraham & Guy Shomroni” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1737 E. University Blvd. The event is free and open to the… Read more »

‘Batman v. Superman’: Jesse Eisenberg on Lex Luthor’s embrace of Jewish culture

From left, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Ben Affleck as Batman in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice." (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics)From left, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Ben Affleck as Batman in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice." (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics)

(JTA) — When the highly anticipated movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” opens nationally on Friday, several burning questions will finally be answered. Among them: Which superhero is tougher? Does Wonder Woman hold her own? And does actor Jesse Eisenberg, who often plays characters of a more sensitive sort,… Read more »