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From Bible heroines to Madoff, Rabins’ rock opera strikes new chord

From Bible heroines to Madoff, Rabins’ rock opera strikes new chord

BERKELEY, Calif. — Plucking a violin on an empty stage, an animated scene of Manhattan skyscrapers scrolling behind her pregnant body, the musician, poet and Torah student Alicia Jo Rabins begins to sing what sounds like a mystical incantation of sorts.

“Bring me your empty jar, I will fill it,” she intones. “Where it comes from, I can’t tell you, no one knows.”

Inspired by the biblical story of the prophet Elisha, Rabins, 37, is musing in the broadest possible terms about the crimes of Bernard Madoff, whose decades-long Ponzi scheme and the resulting fallout — particularly in the Jewish community — led to the creation of her first experimental rock opera, “A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 September 2014 12:28 )

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The celluloid chasid helps Hollywood get chasidim right

The celluloid chasid helps Hollywood get chasidim rightNEW YORK — When it comes to chasidic characters in movies, film consultant Elli Meyer believes that the real deal trumps a random actor in costume. But that approach isn’t without its challenges. Meyer, a New York-based Lubavitcher chasid, recounted one occasion when he was hired to cast extras for a film but refused upon learning that shooting would take place on Yom Kippur. “Who told you to hire Jews?” one of the producers said, according to Meyer, though ultimately the shooting was...

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2014 08:53 )

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Ex-WNBA chief Donna Orender cheers NBA breakthrough on women

Ex-WNBA chief Donna Orender cheers NBA breakthrough on womenBALTIMORE — As a former WNBA president who played in what is considered the first US professional basketball league for women, Donna Orender has been eager for a trailblazing female to join the National Basketball Association in a prominent role. So she was plenty pleased last week when the world champion San Antonio Spurs hired Becky Hammon, a point guard with the WNBA’s Stars of the Texas city, as a paid assistant coach — a first in NBA history. “Becky’s a special woman, a great pl...
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Pat Bowlen — consistent from the beginning

Pat Bowlen — consistent from the beginningEditor’s note: In light of the announcement last week that Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has stepped down from the operations of the franchise due to Alzheimer’s, we reprint this interview with him conducted by IJN Sports Editor Gerald Mellman. The interview appeared in the IJN, June 23, 1989, and is remarkable for its consistency with so much of what has been written about Bowlen since he announced his illness. BRONCOS owner Pat Bowlen, who also doubles as the president and chief execut...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 July 2014 14:51 )

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In Lacrosse, Israel is 7th in the world

In Lacrosse, Israel is 7th in the worldWINNING championships is nothing new for Yochanan Katz, midfielder for the Israeli national lacrosse team that competed last week in the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships held in Commerce City, Colo. During his first year playing high school lacrosse in Minnesota in the late 90s — on one of that state’s first six varsity teams — Katz’s talents contributed to his team taking the state championship. A few years later, when he played as a starter for Colorado State ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 July 2014 04:34 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Tom Brady has a menorah

Gabe Friedman Why does a non-Jewish football player display the Hanukkah candelabra in his home? ... [Link]

New documentary traces Larry Kramer’s righteous anger

Anthony Weiss At Sundance, a documentary on writer and AIDS activist Larry Kramer explores his epic struggle, warts and all, to force the world to see a crisis before its eyes. ... [Link]

In Sundance drama, Silverman puts her darkness on display

Anthony Weiss Comedian Sarah Silverman offers a raw portrayal of depression and displays her talent as an actress in “I Smile Back.” ... [Link]

Hebrew charter school to open in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Julie Wiener The Agamim Classical Academy will focus on both the Hebrew language and classical instruction, a pedagogical approach “that emphasizes grammar, rhetoric and logic.” ... [Link]

Yazidi militia makes public request for Israeli help

Ben Sales A lieutenant colonel said the militia needs weapons and aid to fight ISIS, and that the Yazidis and Israel fight similar enemies. ... [Link]

Gazans storm U.N. building over aid stoppage

Ben Sales The protesters crowded in front of the building and damaged its property one day after UNRWA said it would stop the coastal strip’s reconstruction process. ... [Link]

Pelosi says she told Netanyahu speech could hurt Iran talks

Ben Sales The House minority leader also criticized the speech’s timing, coming two weeks before Israeli elections. ... [Link]

Israeli speed skater wins European championship

Ben Sales Vladislav Bykanov’s gold medal was the first ever by an Israeli at the European Short Track Speed Skating competition. ... [Link]

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