Arts and Culture

Taika Waititi adapting anti-Semite Roald Dahl’s work is exactly what we need

Taika Waititi will write, direct and executive produce two series based on the work of Roald Dahl for Netflix, starting with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factor." (Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

This story originally appeared on Alma. Netflix just announced that the Academy Award-winning Maori-Jewish filmmaker Taika Waititi will write, direct and executive produce two series based on the work of author Roald Dahl for the streaming platform. The first is based on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” focusing specifically… Read more »

How to make pastrami gravlax and impress your friends

Serve pastrami gravlax at your next brunch with some good pumpernickel bagels, rye bread, cream cheese and wedges of fresh lemon. (Shannon Sarna)

This story originally appeared on The Nosher. Tell someone you made the gravlax at your next brunch and I promise they will be impressed. The truth is that gravlax is a surprisingly simple dish to make. (Here’s our video and recipe you can follow to make it). There is… Read more »

Tucson’s first mezuzah week set to ensure spiritual security

Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden

“Tucson Mezuzah Week’ is the first community-wide opportunity, offered by Congregation Chofetz Chayim and the Southwest Torah Institute, to have every Jewish home in Tucson protected by the mitzvah of placing mezuzot on every doorpost,” says the congregation’s Rabbi Israel Becker. Often called the “Jewish security system,” the mezuzah is… Read more »

ATC Cohorts Club promotes love of theater

Sara Lopez

Arizona Theatre Company launched a new program this year as another way to involve the local community. The program, called the Cohorts Club, gives citizens of Tucson and Phoenix the opportunity to see everything that encompasses a show ATC puts on. Designated members of the public attend rehearsals, tech… Read more »

Rugelach, Syrian pepper dip on menu for Tucson Festival of Books demo

Leah Koenig

Leah Koenig will be representing Jewish cuisine at the Tucson Festival of Books with her new cookbook, “The Jewish Cookbook,” which includes recipes from around the globe. Koenig’s recipes have been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine’s Grub Street, and other popular… Read more »

Hear balalaikas ringing out at orchestra’s annual concert of music and dance

Folk dancers, musicians, and singers will join the Arizona Balalaika Orchestra for its 40th anniversary concert in Tucson on Saturday, March 7.

The Arizona Balalaika Orchestra’s 40th Anniversary Concert of traditional music and dance of Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and other Slavic countries is Saturday, March 7, at 7 p.m. at Pima Community College Center for the Arts. The 25-member orchestra, founded in 1980 by Mia Bulgarin Gay, presents a wide spectrum… Read more »

Tucson J services expand to massage therapy

The J now offers professional massage therapy by appointment.

The Tucson Jewish Community Center recently added rest and relaxation to its vast array of services and activities. iBalance Wellness Spa now delivers on-the-spot massage services, with regularly scheduled appointments. Therapies include therapeutic, deep tissue, and rehabilitative massage with therapists professionally trained in acute and chronic pain and stress… Read more »

Holocaust memoir from 1945 rediscovered

In 1945, “Rien où poser sa tête” was quietly published in Geneva, Switzerland. In the memoir, translated as “No Place to Lay One’s Head,” the author tells the story of her escape from the Nazis, how she smuggles herself into Switzerland. She writes about Kristallnacht, the Nazi occupation of… Read more »

Jewish filmmaker Paula Kweskin uses storytelling to give voice to oppressed women

Paula Kweskin created the Censored Women’s Film Festival out of a growing concern that women’s voices worldwide were being silenced. (Lacey Johnson)

Beaten and abused by her husband, Robina was just 25 when she set herself on fire, preferring death by suicide to the “dishonor” of leaving her spouse. In Iran, a woman considered to be dressed immodestly is forced, screaming, into a police car. In Pakistan, a girl tells her… Read more »

Is ‘Hunters’ basically Jewsploitation? A JTA editor and a rabbi discuss Amazon’s Nazi-killing show.

Logan Lerman, left, and Al Pacino as Jewish Nazi hunters in Amazon's "Hunters." (Christopher Saunders)

Spoiler alert: This chat reveals information about the first half of the first season of “Hunters.” (JTA) — “Hunters” is nothing if not great fodder for armchair debate. Amazon’s new series follows a band of comic book-esque Nazi hunters in late 1970s New York City who attempt to dismantle… Read more »

These 7 Jewish actresses shaped Hollywood as we know it

(Elisabeth Bergner via United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division; Libby Holman via Confetta/Flickr; Ruby Myers via Bollywoodirect/Medium; Sylvia Sidney via Vintage Everyday; Luise Rainer by Paramount/ Wikimedia Commons; Lillian Roth via Wikimedia Commons; Hedy Llamarr by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

This story originally appeared on Alma. Both on screen and behind the scenes, Jewish directors, producers and writers are credited with developing the Hollywood system as we know it today. These seven pioneering Jewish actresses defied expectations of their gender and many survived religious persecution, fleeing Europe during World… Read more »

Jewish farms are booming. Now the farmers want to grow their community.

Sarah Julia Seldin, left, and Shani Mink are founders of the Jewish Farmers Network. (Ben Harris)

REISTERSTOWN, Md. (JTA) — When Sarah Julia Seldin arrived at the main national gathering of Jewish foodies in 2016, she was disappointed to find no programming aimed specifically at people like her. There were sessions on kosher cooking, Jewish food ethics and the realities of kosher animal slaughter. But… Read more »

I enjoyed the Belgian carnival that featured anti-Semitic floats. Then I searched for homes in Israel.

Men wearing suits portraying haredi Jews with an ant's abdomen and legs at the annual procession of the carnival in Aalst, Belgium, Feb. 23, 2020. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

AALST, Belgium (JTA) — I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the Holocaust. Partly as a consequence of covering Jewish news in Europe at a time of rising anti-Semitism, Holocaust associations often come to mind in my daily life — on crowded trains, for example. But… Read more »

Ben Schwartz is the voice of ‘Sonic: The Hedgehog’ and is friends with Billy Crystal. He’s still worried about fitting into Hollywood.

Ben Schwartz at a "Sonic: The Hedgehog" event in Hollywood, Calif., Jan. 25, 2020. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Ben Schwartz fits in well in the world of neurotic Jewish comedians. He was so anxious to get the word out about his new movie, “Standing Up, Falling Down” — a delightful indie dramatic comedy co-starring Billy Crystal in which Schwartz plays a struggling stand-up comedian who… Read more »

Nissim Black’s ‘Mothaland Bounce’ is the most authentically Jewish song you’ll hear this year

Hasidic Jewish rapper Nissim Black and scenes from his latest single, "Mothaland Bounce." (JTA Montage)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Fans of mainstream Jewish music may find Nissim Black’s latest single “Mothaland Bounce” jarring and alien, but they’re just not listening with an ear to the rhythm of Jewish history. Set against the aural backdrop of an African basso profundo beat, and framed by scenes… Read more »