Arts and Culture

Meet Stefan Zweig, the Jewish novelist who inspired ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

A scene from "Grand Budapest Hotel" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)A scene from "Grand Budapest Hotel" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

(JTA) —Wes Anderson’s whimsical film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was nominated for nine Academy Awards last week, just days after winning the Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical. Named one of the best films of the year by several top critics, it could earn Anderson, a director whose… Read more »

Sundance’s Jewish fare: a preview

Sarah Silverman, shown here with co-star Josh Charles, aims to break out as a dramatic actress in "I Smile Back." (Eric Lin)Sarah Silverman, shown here with co-star Josh Charles, aims to break out as a dramatic actress in "I Smile Back." (Eric Lin)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Although it’s now well entrenched in the Hollywood ecosystem, the Sundance Film Festival remains a venue for some of the film industry’s more offbeat voices and still largely unknown talent — and a place for boldfaced names to redefine themselves. Jewish subjects and artists again… Read more »

Local Jewish musicians jazzed about upcoming festival

Max GoldschmidMax Goldschmid

It’s cool. It’s funky. And, if you ask local musician, producer and owner of 11:11 Studios, Mike Levy, its rhythm can be visualized something “like an egg rolling” — slightly off-kilter, yet quasi-sober — “steady, but swinging,” he calls it. We’re talking about jazz and, later this month, Tucson… Read more »

Carolyn Starman Hessel, Jewish world’s book maven, turns the page

(JTA) — When Carolyn Starman Hessel joined the New York-based Jewish Book Council in 1994 — at the request of friend Marsha Posner — she knew nothing about the publishing world. Since then, she’s been called the “Jewish Oprah” for her ability to help authors find audiences, and has… Read more »

Singing praises — and not — for Christmas remake of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’

Leonard Cohen during a concert in Ramat Gan, Israel, Sept. 24, 2009. (Marko/Flash90)Leonard Cohen during a concert in Ramat Gan, Israel, Sept. 24, 2009. (Marko/Flash90)

BALTIMORE (JTA) — The YouTube entry is headlined, “A Christmas Version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ That Will Give You Chills!” To some, the video is giving conniptions. “Hallelujah,” one of the Canadian-Jewish songwriter/singer’s most popular compositions, was penned in 1984 and quickly zoomed past fan-favorite territory to iconic. Plenty… Read more »

Tucsonan promotes socially relevant theater, new venues

Sheldon MetzSheldon Metz

Sheldon Metz thought he was retiring from a big-time career as an event producer when he came to Tucson in 2007.  “Instead, I’m busier than ever,” says Metz, 69. “My doctor says that’s what keeps me going.” Soon after Metz and his wife, Linda Schulman-Metz, arrived here, he jumped… Read more »

Libeskind-designed Holocaust monument ‘collecting dust’ in Toronto warehouse

The Wheel of Conscience monument commemorates the doomed Holocaust-era voyage of the M.S. St. Louis. (Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21)The Wheel of Conscience monument commemorates the doomed Holocaust-era voyage of the M.S. St. Louis. (Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21)

TORONTO (JTA) — Mere days after the Wheel of Conscience was unveiled in January 2011, it broke down — something that would happen to the Daniel Libeskind-designed Holocaust monument twice more within the year. In January 2012, the wheel broke again and was sent from its home at the… Read more »

Take JTA’s 2014 news quiz

(JTA) — What made headlines (in Israel, the U.S. and around the world) in 2014? Test your knowledge with JTA’s annual news quiz: 1. Palestinian officials apologized to Czech authorities after the Palestinian envoy to Prague, Jamal Al-Jamal, was killed in an explosion in his home because: a) a… Read more »

At 98, Kirk Douglas finds his poetic muse

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch, the son of an immigrant Russian Jewish ragman, marked his 98th birthday on Dec. 9 by launching his 11th book. The legendary star of 87 movies (who can forget “Spartacus”?) can look back, in happiness and grief, on countless one-night… Read more »

Young artists portray Joseph’s ‘Dreamcoat,’ win tickets

"Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors" by Haya Gibly, age 9"Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors" by Haya Gibly, age 9

An independent panel of judges has chosen the winners of the Arizona Jewish Post’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” art contest, in partnership with Broadway in Tucson. The winners each receive a pair of tickets to the show’s opening night on Jan. 7 at UA Centennial Hall. The… Read more »

Issues of identity at forefront in Tucson Jewish film festival

Lacey Schwart'z film "Little White Lie" tells of her discovery in adulthood that her father was black. (JTA)Lacey Schwart'z film "Little White Lie" tells of her discovery in adulthood that her father was black. (JTA)

The Tucson International Jewish Film Festival, featuring several international award-winning films, Arizona premieres, and special guests, will run Jan. 15-24, 2015. Now in its 24th year, the TIJFF is one of the longest running Jewish film festivals in the country. This year, it will include 19 films over nine… Read more »

Pozez music events to probe Jewish identity

Israeli cellist Amit Peled with perform on Jan. 12 at the University of Arizona.Israeli cellist Amit Peled with perform on Jan. 12 at the University of Arizona.

                                      The second Shaol and Louis Pozez Jewish Fine Arts Symposium  and Concert will take place on Monday, Jan. 12, and will explore the lives and music of European composers of… Read more »

‘Homely’ ancient rock adds evidence of King David’s existence

The House of David inscription is featured in "Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age," on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York through Jan. 4. (Meidad Suchowolski)The House of David inscription is featured in "Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age," on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York through Jan. 4. (Meidad Suchowolski)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Dimly lit, the stone slab, or stele, doesn’t look particularly noteworthy, especially when compared to the more lavish sphinxes, jewelry and cauldrons one encounters en route to the room where it is installed. Indeed, in a Twitter post this fall, art journalist Lee Rosenbaum described… Read more »

‘Exodus’ is testosterone-fueled journey to ancient Egypt

Moses, as best I recall from Hebrew school and “The Ten Commandments,” was a reluctant prophet with a speech impediment who was ultimately persuaded by the unspeakable, unceasing suffering of his people—and God’s fearsome support—to confront Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of slavery. My, how (biblical) times have… Read more »

Chanukah feature: Music hath charms to soothe December Dilemma

A CD set of Christmas and Chanukah music provided the inspiration for the title for the new exhibtion at Philadelphia's Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. (Courtesy Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation)A CD set of Christmas and Chanukah music provided the inspiration for the title for the new exhibtion at Philadelphia's Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. (Courtesy Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation)

PHILADELPHIA (JTA) – In text accompanying a new exhibition at this city’s National Museum of American Jewish History, Sammy Davis Jr. is quoted on why he converted to Judaism. “I became a Jew because I was ready and willing to understand the plight of a people who fought for… Read more »

What will New Republic exodus mean for American Jewish thought?

(JTA) — Last week’s departure of most of the editorial team at The New Republic — including Franklin Foer, Leon Wieseltier, Judith Shulevitz and Julia Ioffe — didn’t just blow a hole in the landscape of American journalism. It also threw into doubt the future of what has long… Read more »

Chanukah gifts for bookworms

(Courtesy of Riverhead; photo of Sarah Wildman by Kate Warren)(Courtesy of Riverhead; photo of Sarah Wildman by Kate Warren)

(JTA) — Looking for a  Chanukah gift for the bibliophile in your life? Here are some 2014 Jewish-themed selections spanning fiction, memoir and essay collections. “All I Know and Love” (William Morrow) By Judith Frank In the tradition of the great 19th-century domestic novels, Judith Frank brings us the… Read more »

NY Jewish milieu influenced British transplant

Chicago, "The Blues" collage by Andy BurgessChicago, "The Blues" collage by Andy Burgess

Local artist Andrew Burgess will hold his first open studio event at 5634 E. Linden Street on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 2 to 7:30 p.m. “I grew up in North London in Golders Green, a strong Jewish area. My family celebrated all the Jewish festivals and my mum made… Read more »

‘Cirque’ theme for Chabad Chanukah event

CSA-handout

The Velocity Circus/ Circus School of Arizona will headline Chabad of Tucson’s Cirque du Chanukah celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. at Castlehill Country Day School, 3225 N Craycroft Road (The Gregory School entrance). Circus leader Rachel Stegman will be joined by local artists in presenting the event’s… Read more »

The Red Tent’ gets new life in gauzy Lifetime movie

1-Minnie Driver (Leah), left, holding hands with Rebecca Ferguson (Dinah), with Morena Baccarin (Rachel) behind them, from the Lifetime miniseries "The Red Tent." (Joey L./Lifetime)1-Minnie Driver (Leah), left, holding hands with Rebecca Ferguson (Dinah), with Morena Baccarin (Rachel) behind them, from the Lifetime miniseries "The Red Tent." (Joey L./Lifetime)

(JTA) — Surely the Torah’s redactors never imagined that their Dinah — voiceless daughter of Jacob and Leah, rape victim avenged by her brothers — would one day be portrayed on the small screen as a lusty young midwife’s apprentice who takes her romantic fate into her own hands.… Read more »