Arts and Culture

How Israel overcame politics in winning the Eurovision song contest

Winner of the eurovision 2018 song contest Netta Barzilai preforms at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on May 14, 2018. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** úøáåú äåôòä úì àáéá äàéøååéæéåï ðèò

(JTA) — Hours before the Eurovision song contest’s kickoff, Rafi Kishon posted on Facebook a sobering message and a picture of himself wearing a head of lettuce for a hat. Israel’s entrant, he said, didn’t stand a chance of winning in anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Europe. “I’m sorry to disappoint you,”… Read more »

‘RBG’ filmmakers hope to inspire Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s millennial fans

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has attained pop culture icon status in the last decade. (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

NEW YORK (JTA) — One of the first scenes in a new documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg features the Supreme Court associate justice, then 84, vigorously lifting weights, doing leg exercises and holding herself in a plank position. The much buzzed-about workout routine has only added to her status… Read more »

The Kennedy Center wants to revive the Israel room you didn’t know it had

A view from the Israeli lounge within the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (Alain Jaramillo)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It’s like finding out that the White House has a mikvah in its basement and no one knows about it. Up an elegant stairway next to the concert hall at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the “Concert Lounge dedicated by the… Read more »

‘Disobedience’ is an accurate portrayal of lesbian love — and the Orthodox Jewish community

From left: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola in "Disobedience." (Agatha A. Nitecka/Bleecker Street)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Sebastian Lelio, the director who recently won the Academy Award for best foreign film for “A Fantastic Woman,” grew up Catholic in Chile knowing almost nothing about observant Jews. So when the Jewish actress Rachel Weisz approached him a couple of years ago and suggested… Read more »

A Montreal pilgrimage in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen's grave, next to three generations of his family, in the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim cemetery in Montreal. (Ben Harris)

MONTREAL (JTA) — Just inside the gate of the Shaar Hashomayim synagogue off Boulevard du Mont Royal, a gravestone bears an unusual Star of David, the sharp angles of its two opposing triangles — one reaching heavenward, the other aimed at the earth — softened into the shape of… Read more »

In Krakow, Jews celebrate their community’s ‘revival’ amid rising xenophobia

A participant at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Jewish Community Center in Krakow blows a shofar, April 22, 2018. (Jakub Wlodek)

KRAKOW, Poland (JTA) — At one of Poland’s plushest synagogues, leaders of this city’s small but vibrant Jewish community welcomed visitors from around the world to a celebration of what the hosts call their minority’s “revival” in this country. The occasion for the party Sunday at Tempel Synagogue was… Read more »

New sculpture honors Federation donors, symbolizes mission

‘Flame’ by local artist Tidhar Ozeri overlooks the Jane and Rabbi Lee Kivel Promenade between the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. (Ronen More)

A new glass and metal sculpture, “Flame” by Tidhar Ozeri, was installed late last month outside the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Jewish Philanthropy. The new work is part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s intention to use architectural elements and art in the new building to reinforce… Read more »

Film will honor Brazilian who saved Jews

Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas

The Latin American Studies department at the University of Arizona, in collaboration with the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and the Jewish History Museum, will present a free screening of “Dear Ambassador” at the UA Center for Creative Photography, 1030 N. Olive Road, on Sunday, April 22, at 2… Read more »

‘Diary of Anne Frank,’ coming to ATC, never more relevant

Naama Potok as Edith Frank and Anna Lentz as Anne Frank in Arizona Theatre Company’s upcoming production of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ (Goat Factory Media Entertainment)

David Ira Goldstein spent a week in Amsterdam this October as he prepared to direct “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which opens at Arizona Theatre Company later this month. Along with the Anne Frank House, the former ATC artistic director visited the National Holocaust Museum, The Resistance Museum, synagogues… Read more »