Arts and Culture

Hummus in Hanoi: Israeli chef brings Middle Eastern cuisine to Vietnam

At Daluva, bún chả — a traditional Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodles — is made with falafel. (Courtesy of Daluva)At Daluva, bún chả — a traditional Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodles — is made with falafel. (Courtesy of Daluva)

HANOI, Vietnam (JTA) — Shahar Lubin earned his culinary chops in Israel and, later the United States, cooking his way through more than 20 restaurants, starting at the age of 16. Still, it was a leap when he moved to Vietnam and opened a restaurant of his own. “I… Read more »

See how teen pals found each other some 50 years later

David Bak, alongside the 1932 Chevrolet Model A he restored, reconnected with a friend he worked with at a Haifa auto repair shop in the late 1960s. (Courtesy of David Bak)David Bak, alongside the 1932 Chevrolet Model A he restored, reconnected with a friend he worked with at a Haifa auto repair shop in the late 1960s. (Courtesy of David Bak)

SEEKING KIN The “Seeking Kin” column aims to help reunite long-lost relatives and friends. (JTA) – As a librarian, Oren Kaplan researches obscure facts and utilizes databases to track down information. So when the Haifa resident read a recent “Seeking Kin” column about someone in his city, Menahem Orenstein,… Read more »

Valentine’s Day: An ideal date for Jewish weddings?

This kippah will be distributed at the wedding of Lena Silver and Aaron Wolfson. (Courtesy of Silver and Wolfson)This kippah will be distributed at the wedding of Lena Silver and Aaron Wolfson. (Courtesy of Silver and Wolfson)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — In December, around the time my wife and I were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, we received an invitation to an outdoor Jewish wedding to be held on Valentine’s Day 2016. Printed on a red postcard affixed with a heart postage stamp, the couple, Lena Silver… Read more »

Invisible Theatre to produce premiere of local playwright’s ‘Deelmayker’

Kathleen Erickson as Anne and Jack Neubeck as Bernie in Warren Bodow’s “Deelmayker” (Tim Fuller)Kathleen Erickson as Anne and Jack Neubeck as Bernie in Warren Bodow’s “Deelmayker” (Tim Fuller)

Invisible Theatre will stage the world premier of Tucson playwright Warren Bodow’s “Deelmayker” Feb. 9-21. “Deelmayker” (the spelling refers to an Internet account) tells the story of Bernie Harris, a charismatic 65-year-old wheeler-dealer living in Palm Springs with a wife he adores. Harris realizes that as he’s been getting… Read more »

Capitol Steps will skewer both sides of aisle at Hillel benefit

capitol steps

When the performers of the Capitol Steps take the stage at the Fox Tucson Theater, there’s a good chance Barack Obama will sing a rock song, Joe Biden will sing a show tune and Chris Christie will dance. Even Vladimir Putin, shirtless, of course, cannot stay off the stage.… Read more »

At Sundance, ‘The Settlers’ trains lens on movement’s extremist fringe

A still from “The Settlers,” which premiered Jan. 22 at the Sundance Film Festival. (Courtesy of Shimon Dotan)A still from “The Settlers,” which premiered Jan. 22 at the Sundance Film Festival. (Courtesy of Shimon Dotan)

PARK CITY, Utah (JTA) – What is a settler? That’s the question that opens the new documentary film “The Settlers,” which premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival here. Written and directed by Shimon Dotan, the film offers an answer almost immediately: a religious fundamentalist driven by messianic… Read more »

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 »