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From Hebrew school to Hollywood: ‘Jewtopia’

From Hebrew school to Hollywood: ‘Jewtopia’

“JEWTOPIA,” the new comedic film directed by co-writer Bryan Fogel and based on the long-running theatrical hit, appeals to a much wider audience than the title suggests, according to producer Courtney Mizel.

Mizel feels the movie version of the off-Broadway play penned by Fogel and writing partner Sam Wolfson demonstrates that Jewish stereotypes describe non-Jewish families as well.

“A strong mother figure; the pressure for kids to succeed; marrying within one’s own religion; the sense of duty and obligation — these characteristics exist in countless cultures,” she says from Los Angeles.

For example, you don’t have to be Jewish to identify with those predictable outbursts between mother and daughter.

Cast member Rita Wilson, whose heritage is Greek, related easily with the comedy’s Jewish context because it resonated with her own upbringing.

Last Updated ( Monday, 30 September 2013 13:45 )

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Nate Freiman’s big year: first Israel, now Oakland

Nate Freiman’s big year: first Israel, now OaklandBALTIMORE — Last September, first baseman Nate Freiman was doing his best to help Israel secure a spot in the World Baseball Classic. Despite some super hitting from the towering slugger, the team fell short. Fast forward a year. Freiman, 25, now finds himself in another playoff chase. Only this time it’s as a rookie in the big leagues, splitting time at first base for the Oakland Athletics. Playing for the A’s has been “an amazing experience,” Freiman said in a locker room interview...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 September 2013 10:42 )

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‘When comedy went to school’ investigates the secret of the Catskills

‘When comedy went to school’ investigates the secret of the CatskillsTO everyone under 40, and anyone outside of New York, the popular Catskills summer resorts of the mid-20th century must seem as distant, obscure and foreign as the Yiddish theatre. Both institutions were important signposts in the history of Jews in America. Now, both belong more to the past than the present. “When Comedy Went to School,” a new documentary by Mevlut Akkaya, Ron Frank and Lawrence Richards, picks a particular entry point to revisit the heyday of Grossinger’s and the many ...

Last Updated ( Monday, 09 September 2013 11:05 )

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Hiking through Israel at 63, feeling the footprints

Hiking through Israel at 63, feeling the footprints ROSH HASHANAH EDITIONSECTION D PAGE 10 AFTER miles of climbing the jagged edge of Israel’s Karbolet Mountain, wilting from the vertical and melting in 98-degree desert heat, we held the treasure map in our trembling fingers. This was not a map to Roman ruins or a friendly hikers’ hut, though there were plenty of those on our 600 mile route through the “Shvil.” What we sought was far more precious: Bottles of water, left by our outfitters, buried in sand as protection from desert pira...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 August 2013 11:40 )

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Rosh Hashanah in the summer

Rosh Hashanah in the summerThe days are still long. The sun is still bright. Yet Rosh Hashanah is rapidly approaching. With its early arrival, it makes it hard to want to turn on the oven and heat the house. Labor Day is just days before Rosh Hashanah. It’s still grilling season. As a result of the early holiday, it allows for a change of foods and flavors. Embrace that Rosh Hashanah is early because you just might find that new favorite dish. Mary Fabrikant, owner of Le Vie Catering, recommends utilizing the summer p...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 August 2013 11:58 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

IDF reserve officer disciplined for passing info to Bennett during Gaza op

Marcy Oster The Israel Defense Forces took disciplinary action against a senior reserves officer who reportedly passed classified information to a government minister during Operation Protective Edge. ... [Link]

Oops! Palestinian typo promotes ‘violent’ protest

Uriel Heilman Is Mahmoud Abbas planning to herald the coming of a new intifada during an upcoming speech in New York — or did organizers of the event badly mangle their press release? ... [Link]

Group Jewish wedding held in eastern Ukraine

Cnaan Liphshiz The Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine held a group wedding for 19 Jewish couples. ... [Link]

Mortar from Gaza hits Israel for first time since cease-fire

Marcy Oster A mortar shell fired from Gaza hit Israel — the first since a cease-fire ending the most recent Hamas-Israel conflict — Israel’s military confirmed. ... [Link]

Renaming of Fla. bridge for Henry Ford nixed over ‘dark history’ with Jews

Ron Kampeas Officials in Fort Myers City, Fla., withdrew a proposal to rename a bridge for Henry Ford after residents raised concerns about his anti-Semitic publications. ... [Link]

ISIS-inspired lone wolves seen as posing ‘significant’ threat to Jews

Ron Kampeas Extremists returning from the Iraq-Syria arena may seek to target Jewish institutions abroad, security consultants told JTA. ... [Link]

Lone soldiers unwind at Lady Gaga concert

Marcy Oster Israeli soldiers welcome the chance to exchange Gaza for Gaga. ... [Link]

Bill and Hillary disagree on Netanyahu? Not so much

Ron Kampeas The Clintons are not so far apart in their takes on Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. ... [Link]

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