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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

New York’s Met Council names new CEO, will stay independent

Gabe Friedman Touro College official Alan Schoor will take the reins for an agency that has been on shaky ground since the 2013 arrest of longtime chief William Rapfogel for embezzlement. ... [Link]

Name of Palestinian teen killed in revenge slaying removed from Israel’s memorial

Marcy Oster Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s parents requested that the name be removed from the Mount Herzl memorial. ... [Link]

Recycling toilet water and 4 other Israeli answers to California’s drought

Ben Sales Israel’s once perpetual water shortage looks to be mostly over thanks to a mix of technology, policy changes and public awareness campaigns. Here’s what California could learn from that su... [Link]

Siren, ceremony mark start of Israel’s Memorial Day

Marcy Oster Some 23,320 fallen soldiers and civilian victims of terror are being recognized this year, among them the 67 soldiers and five civilians killed in Israel’s operation in Gaza last summer. ... [Link]

Reconstructionists consider dropping ban on intermarried rabbis

Uriel Heilman Those who support the ban say ordaining intermarried rabbis is not an inclusivity issue, as ordaining gay or women rabbis was. ... [Link]

Polish fashion guru called out for posing with SS hat

Cnaan Liphshiz Holocaust commemoration activists filed a criminal complaint against fashionista Michal Witkowski and urged him to visit Auschwitz. ... [Link]

Woman with Saudi and Jewish ancestry wins $40K in racial profiling settlement

Julie Wiener Shoshana Hebshi was pulled off an airplane, detained and strip-searched on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. The ACLU said she was singled out because of her Middle Eastern name and appearance. ... [Link]

Israelis among world’s least religious, poll finds

Julie Wiener The WIN/Gallup poll of 63,898 residents in 65 countries found that 65 percent of Israelis described themselves as either not religious or convinced atheists. ... [Link]

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