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Zach Braff at Sundance: ‘Wish I Was Here’

Zach Braff at Sundance: ‘Wish I Was Here’

ZACH Braff is unabashedly and proudly Jewish. One might not deduce that, though, from the caustic attitude toward organized Judaism expressed at the beginning of his new film, “Wish I Was Here.”

In his second foray as director, a decade after the indie success of “Garden State,” Braff plays a chronically unemployed, 30-something Los Angeles actor with a devoted wife (Kate Hudson) and two children in Jewish religious school.

Braff’s Aidan Bloom is avowedly secular — his father (Mandy Patinkin) chose and pays for the kids’ education as a way of inculcating their Jewish identity — and he delights in cracking cynical jokes about religion while driving his offspring to school. To underscore his disrespect, Bloom sneaks a hit on a joint after the children get out the car, only to be caught in the act by a rabbi.

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Tel Aviv coach headed for NBA

Tel Aviv coach headed for NBAJERUSALEM — David Blatt, who guided Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague basketball championship, stepped down as the Israeli team’s coach to pursue opportunities in the NBA. Blatt made the announcement June 12 at a news conference in Tel Aviv. The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have contacted Blatt for their vacant head coaching post. New York, Minnesota and Golden State reportedly are interested in Blatt, who holds US and Israeli citizenship, to fill slots as an assistant coach....

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2014 13:13 )

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Brazilian Jews see World Cup as a great Jewish opportunity

Brazilian Jews see World Cup as a great Jewish opportunityRIO DE JANIERO — When Argentina plays its opening-round matches in the World Cup, Mariano Schlez of Buenos Aires will be screaming his support from the stands. But taking in his home country’s matches in Brazil isn’t all that will be occupying Schlez for the first fortnight of the month-long soccer spectacle. Also filling his calendar are 14 “Jewish” events that he and his wife have organized in seven of the host cities. They include Shabbat evening prayers, beach soccer games leadi...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2014 13:25 )

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Roth no longer an enfant terrible

Roth no longer an enfant terribleLOS ANGELES — “What is being done to silence this man?” an American rabbi asked in a 1963 letter to the Anti-Defamation League. He was talking about the novelist Philip Roth, whose early novels and short stories cast his fellow American Jews in what some considered a none-too-flattering light. Fast-forward half a century. On May 22, the writer whose works were once denounced as profane was honored by one of American Jewry’s sacred citadels: The Jewish Theological Seminary, Conservative...
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Detroit Tigers roaring with Jewish duo

Detroit Tigers roaring with Jewish duoBALTIMORE — The rarity arose in the initial meeting of first-year Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and his second baseman Ian Kinsler, newly traded from the Texas Rangers: a Jewish player reporting to a Jewish manager. Ausmus was “raised the same way I was,” Kinsler learned, with an upbringing in which Judaism “wasn’t something that was completely ingrained in our lives,” the 31-year-old Arizona native said in his pronounced Texas twang. The chat also covered Ausmus’ experience...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:53 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Synagogue launches religious court case to evict Rabbi Barry Freundel

Ron Kampeas Kesher Israel has gone to the Beit Din of America to oust its former rabbi, who is facing charges of voyeurism, from his synagogue-owned residence. ... [Link]

For Haifa woman, a needle-in-a-haystack search

mbrodsky Miriam Grab has almost nothing to go on in her search for relatives from her father’s Czech family wiped out in the Holocaust – not even names. ... [Link]

Portugal adopts return law for Jewish descendants

mbrodsky The legislation, to be made public next month, offers citizenship to some descendants of Sephardic Jews. ... [Link]

Senators waiting on Palestinian aid pending review of ICC moves

Ron Kampeas Seventy-five senators pledged not to support assistance until the Obama administration reviews the admittance of Palestine to the International Criminal Court. ... [Link]

Decades after he fled, Austria celebrates Nobel laureate Martin Karplus’ amateur photography

Ben Harris The Vienna-born octogenarian chemist took the photographs on his travels in the 1950s but only began exhibiting them publicly a decade ago. ... [Link]

Greet Muslim visitors with Israeli flag, Texas lawmaker tells staff

Ron Kampeas Ask Muslims to renounce terrorism and swear allegiance to the United States, too, the state rep. instructed. ... [Link]

Iran sanctions bill advances

Ron Kampeas A key Senate committee moved the measure to the full Senate, but it won’t be considered by the body until March 24 at the earliest. ... [Link]

Alberto Nisman laid to rest where AMIA victims are buried

Ben Sales The prosecutor in the AMIA Jewish center bombing was buried in the “Martyrs Section” of the main Jewish cemetery in Buenos Aires. ... [Link]

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