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Will 'Ida' take home best foreign film?

Will 'Ida' take home best foreign film?

LOS ANGELES — For the past few decades, Holocaust films have been common — and often victorious — fare at the Academy Awards.

But this year, the Polish nominee in the Foreign Language Film category ventures into the less frequently explored territory of the Holocaust’s aftermath.

“Ida,” writer-director Pawel Pawlikowki’s stark black-and-white film, is an unsparing look at the discomfiting void left behind after the obliteration of Poland’s Jews.

Set in 1962 Poland, the film tells the story of Ida, a young Catholic novitiate living a life of simple devotion at a rural monastery as she prepares to take her vows as a nun.

Last Updated ( Friday, 20 February 2015 09:26 )

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Up, up and away: How American vets created Israel's air force

Up, up and away: How American vets created Israel's air forceWHY DID a bunch of Jewish American GIs — several of whom did not, by their own admission, have a strong Jewish identity — risk their American citizenship, jail time and, not least, life itself, for what could only be described as the ultimate daredevil mission? Was it just for the thrill of risk taking for which pilots, particularly in aviation’s early days, were known? This is the core question that spurs “Above & Beyond,” the recently released documentary about the unlikely sto...

Last Updated ( Friday, 13 February 2015 08:50 )

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From Rangers fan to NHL top boss

From Rangers fan to NHL top bossNEW YORK — In the late 1960s, Gary Bettman would finish classes at his Queens high school, take the subway to Madison Square Garden and whip out his student ID card to land a ticket for 50 cents to a New York Rangers game. He’d sit in the arena doing his homework until the game began and he would cheer on favorite players like Rod Gilbert and Eddie Giacomin. Though the Rangers were a storied hockey club, Bettman was drawn to the newer franchises. Growing up in a single-parent home, “I di...
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After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine?

After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine?THIS YEAR is the 50th anniversary of the play, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Originally, the composer (Jerry Bock), and lyricist (Sheldon Harrnick) wanted to make a different musical, one based on Shalom Aleichem’s “Wandering Stars.” They decided that story required too many characters so they decided instead to write about Tevye the Dairyman. Most people probably know that Shalom Aleichem created the Tevye character; what they may not know (I didn’t until I read a collection of his stori...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 January 2015 14:10 )

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Merging sports with charity

Merging sports with charityBALTIMORE — At the first Detroit Tigers game he attended, in 1940, Bob Matthews saw slugging first baseman Hank Greenberg play. Now a retired orthodontist living in Farmington Hills, Mich., Matthews can gaze each day at his hero’s image on visits to the JCC of Metropolitan Detroit in nearby West Bloomfield. On a wall by the facility’s fitness room hangs a framed print showing a baseball field’s dugout and a “team” of uniformed Jewish players surrounding a bat-gripping Greenberg. T...
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Ugandan rabbi launches second bid for Parliament

Marcy Oster Gershom Sizomu in a 2011 bid finished second in his district but contested the results, saying the election was fixed. ... [Link]

Holocaust denier David Irving leading tour of WWII sites

Marcy Oster Irving, who has been barred from several countries and was jailed in 2006 in Austria, launched what he calls “Real History” tours in 2010. ... [Link]

Jewish history in the Yukon to be documented

Marcy Oster The $55,000 grant from the territorial government will fund research on a small, Gold Rush-era Jewish cemetery in Dawson City and the influence wielded by the Jewish community there. ... [Link]

Marking numbers on refugees’ arms recalls Holocaust, Italian Jewish leaders say

Marcy Oster Czech police used felt-tipped pens to mark the hands and arms of refugees, mainly from Syria, taken off a train near the border crossing with Austria. ... [Link]

Israel strikes Hamas base in Gaza after gunfire on kibbutz homes

Marcy Oster One of the bullets reportedly shattered a kibbutz home’s window and hit a television as two children, ages 6 and 9, were watching it. ... [Link]

Zero-tolerance policy on anti-Semitism, Belgian PM vows

Cnaan Liphshiz Security for Jews in Antwerp, where some 18,000 Jews live, was a prominent issue on the agenda during Prime Minister Charles Michel’s visit. ... [Link]

Norwegian politician compares smoking bans to Nazi persecution of Jews

Julie Wiener “This is legally enforced discrimination. Jews were also already being persecuted from 1933,” said Geir Finne, leader of the Coastal Party. ... [Link]

J Street U’s new Muslim president says she’s ‘culturally Jewish’

Andrew Tobin Amna Farooqi, a senior at the University of Maryland, is a critic of Benjamin Netanyahu, but reads David Ben-Gurion. ... [Link]

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