Arts and Culture

Books that made a difference — BenDameean Steinhardt

“Teachings On Healing, From A Spiritual Perspective” by Gabriel of Urantia and Niánn Emerson Chase changed my life. This book gave me a renewed sense of empowerment in my own healing process, emphasizing the importance of focusing on having positive thoughts and higher responses to everyday circumstances. I now… Read more »

Books that made a difference — Sharon Geiger

I walked up the subway stairs at the 42nd and 5th Avenue subway stop, looked around and headed for the New York City Public Library, 42nd Street branch. I had visited and worked at many libraries and would continue to visit and work at a variety of libraries throughout… Read more »

In teaching Holocaust, educators focus on prewar lives, not just camps

Guide with Holocaust educators on Centropa trip outside the entrance to Theresienstadt, a former concentration camp outside of Prague, July 2010 (Centropa)

PRAGUE (JTA) — Educators who teach Holocaust history face the same challenge every year: how to get students interested in one of history’s greatest tragedies more than 65 years removed from World War II. In the old days, the formula was straightforward. “You show kids horrifying pictures, scare them,… Read more »

R rating sticks for “A Film Unfinished”

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Israeli director Yael Hersonski fought long and hard to bring the Warsaw Ghetto documentary “A Film Unfinished” to the screen, but she couldn’t beat Hollywood’s rating board. Earlier this month the Motion Picture Association of America upheld a previous decision of an R rating for… Read more »

On a Warsaw Ghetto film, an unwitting collaboration

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — The place is the Warsaw Ghetto, the year 1942, and the black-and- white footage shows fashionably dressed men and women, with yellow Stars of David as accessories, having a high time at a champagne ball. Later we see emaciated kids rooting through mounds of garbage… Read more »

‘Dancing Auschwitz’ video gets mixed review

A YouTube video of a family singing and dancing at Auschwitz has received more than half a million hits and mixed reaction. Australian artist Jane Korman filmed her 89-year-old father Adolek Kohn, a former inmate at Auschwitz, and her three children dancing outside the infamous death camp in Poland,… Read more »

Anne Frank diary published as comic book

A graphic novel version of Anne Frank’s biography was released in the Netherlands. The 160-page book, launched July 9, uses text and illustrations to tell Anne’s story and make connections between her life and historical events during the period. According to Anne Frank House Museum spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker, the… Read more »

Jewish fusion music key to Budapest’s ‘Jewstock’ festival

Flora Polnauer, guitarist Daniel Kardos, and sax player Janos Vazsonyi perform in Budapest. (Ruth Ellen Gruber)

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Flora Polnauer, 28, tilts back her head, half closes her eyes and hums a few bars of a song by her hip-hop/funk/reggae band HaGesher. The song is “Lecha Dodi,” the Shabbat evening prayer — sounded over a Yiddishized version of the Beatles song “Girl.” It’s just… Read more »

Boxer Dmitriy Salita is humbled, but not down for the count

Dmitriy Salita works out as he eyes a return to the ring, but has involved himself more directly in helping move young Russian Jews closer to Judaism. (Claudio Papapietro)

NEW YORK (Forward.com) — Dmitriy Salita speaks about the future of his boxing career with a look of pure intensity in his otherwise mournful brown eyes. All the greatest boxers have this stare, a perfect distillation of concentration and discipline and total faith in the strength of their arms.… Read more »

‘Cultural intifada’ as Costello, Meg Ryan and others cancel Israel plans

British singer Elton John performs in Ramat Gan, Israel, June 17, 2010. (Flash90 / JTA)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Actress Meg Ryan’s decision to cancel her appearance at this week’s Jerusalem Film Festival didn’t garner the same attention in Israel as British rocker Elvis Costello when he nixed his Israel concert this spring. Both, however, were a reminder to Israelis that in the eyes of… Read more »

Moscow exhibit gives a voice to Jewish Red Army soldiers

A Jewish Red Army veteran speaks at the "Writings and Reflections of Jewish Soldiers in the Red Army" exhibit in Mpscow. (Anna Rudnitskaya)

MOSCOW (JTA) — Lev Fein, a Jewish soldier in the Red Army, returned home to Minsk in 1945 to find a letter about his family being wiped out by the Nazis and the dire consequences of the occupation for Belarus Jews. “Father and Uncle Fein died on the third… Read more »

The ‘Beetle’ airs July 5 on PBS’ “Global Visions”

In Israel, childhood ends when you get married, or so Yishai Orian informs us at the outset of his charming shaggy-dog story of a movie. But after six years of marriage, with his wife about to give birth to their first child, there’s some question whether the pony-tailed filmmaker… Read more »

Drake, a black Jew, is hip-hop’s newest star

In a culture of misfits and outsiders, Aubrey “Drake” Graham is the ultimate outsider — a big-time black Jewish rapper. His star is rising rapidly on the hip-hop scene. Though fans have followed the Jewish-Canadian Drake since his days as basketball star Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian soap “Degrassi:… Read more »

Books that made a difference – Eileen Warshaw

To submit  your “Books that made a difference” entry,  mouse over “Contact” and  select “Books that made a difference” from the drop-down menu.. Submissions will be posted online and selected entries will appear in the AJP Rosh Hashanah issue on Sept. 3. The book that changed my life: “This… Read more »

Books that made a difference – Bob Kovitz

To submit  your “Books that made a difference” entry,  mouse over “Contact” and  select “Books that made a difference” from the drop-down menu.. Submissions will be posted online and selected entries will appear in the AJP Rosh Hashanah issue on Sept. 3. In Basic Training for the U.S. Army,… Read more »

Father’s story of loss reinforces bonds of love

I was nearing the end of my interview with writer Barry Kluger. The media executive, whose columns often run in the Scottsdale Republic and occasionally in the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, had just published his first book, “A Life Undone: A Father’s Journey Through Loss.” Kluger lost his… Read more »

Germany’s Oberammergau Passion Play better, but not good

This scene in the Oberamergau Passion Play, showing Jesus' crucifixion, perpetuates the charge against the Jews of deicide, some Jewish critics say. (Passion Play/Obergammergau 2010/JTA Photo Service)

Berlin (JTA) — It’s a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in the Bavarian village of Oberammergau, nestled in the German Alps. After witnessing it in the 1930s, Hitler reportedly proclaimed, “Never has the menace of Jewry been so convincingly portrayed as in this presentation of what happened… Read more »

Musician Sam Glaser will hail fathers at Congregation Anshei Israel

Singer/songwriter Sam Glaser will be in Tucson to celebrate a local friend, his own father, and fathers everywhere this Father’s Day. The acclaimed Jewish pop musician will perform at a fundraiser suggested by his friend Michael Deitch on Sunday, June 20 at 1 p.m. at Congregation Anshei Israel. Deitch,… Read more »

Israeli teens to perform at JCC

The Israel Scouts (Tzofim) Friendship Caravan will return to Tucson on Tuesday, June 15, with a free song and dance performance at the Tucson Jewish Community Center at 6 p.m. Four performing groups, consisting of five male and five female 17-year-old Israeli Scouts, travel across North America each summer.… Read more »

‘Win at Work!’ reflects conflict resolution guru’s lifelong quest for peace

Diane Katz

The key to changing an organization or workplace is not to ascribe blame, says Diane Katz, organizational psychologist and author of the newly published “Win at Work! The Everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution.” Katz founded her consulting company, The Working Circle, in 1995, the same year she moved… Read more »