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With ‘Story of the Jews,’ Schama returns to this roots

With ‘Story of the Jews,’ Schama returns to this roots

BOSTON — For decades, Simon Schama has dazzled the public with epic books and popular television documentaries on topics ranging from Rembrandt to the French Revolution.

The famed British-born historian garnered an International Emmy with his 2006 television series “The Power of Art,” while his book Rough Crossings, about escaped slaves who joined the British cause during the American Revolution, won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

But not since his earliest writings had Schama, a professor of art history and history at Columbia University in New York, focused on Jewish topics.

With “The Story of the Jews,” the 69-year-old Schama is returning to his Jewish roots in what is perhaps his most personal work.

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For ‘The Hockey Maven,’ it’s all about the game — and Israel, too

For ‘The Hockey Maven,’ it’s all about the game — and Israel, tooUNIONDALE, NY — As the Boston Bruins buzz the Islanders net throughout the opening period of a game at the Nassau Coliseum, Stan Fischler is standing 10 feet behind the Plexiglas to the left of New York goaltender Kevin Poulin. Fischler, a hockey broadcaster for four decades, can feel the rattling boards of forechecking Bruins. There’s no place he’d rather be. Providing New York-area hockey fans with a bird’s-eye view and expert analysis is what Fischler, 81, has done on broadcasts of...
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Denverite to direct film starring Bruce Dern

Denverite to direct film starring Bruce DernANY writer knows that one of the hardest things to accomplish these days is selling a book. Another, perhaps even more daunting task, is getting an actual movie made. Arnie Grossman, a Denver author and screenwriter, has now done both. He is also directing the movie he wrote, “The Boat Builder,” which will star Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern. When asked how he has now managed to accomplish what he has only dreamed of doing, he says, “I have to admit there was some kind of alignment of ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 March 2014 13:42 )

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Oscar-nominated ‘Omar’ puts Israelis in harsh light

Oscar-nominated ‘Omar’ puts Israelis in harsh lightLOS ANGELES — For cinematic observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this is a banner year, with both sides choosing Oscar submissions that center on the Israeli occupation. Israel’s “Bethlehem,” which pits Shin Bet agents against diverse Palestinian factions eager to blow up the Jewish state, was eliminated early by the Academy Awards selection committee. The Palestinian “Omar” is among the five finalists among foreign language films. Although it is considered a long shot to ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 February 2014 12:56 )

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Claude Lanzmann of ‘Shoah’ (1985) offers another painful documentary

Claude Lanzmann of ‘Shoah’ (1985) offers another painful documentaryLOS ANGELES — When French director Claude Lanzmann finished filming and editing his eight-hour epic “Shoah” in 1985, he still had stashed away nearly 11 hours of interviews with one man. The man was Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Jewish council, or Judenrat, in the Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto in Czechoslovakia and the only Nazi-installed “elder of the Jews” not killed during the Holocaust. Compressed into the 3 1/2-hour documentary “The Last of the Unjust,” t...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 February 2014 14:56 )

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JTA News

U.S. court tosses Palestinian complaint against charities that support West Bank settlers

Gabe Friedman The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York threw out an appeal from a group of 13 Palestinians who sought damages for alleged “terrorist attacks” by Israeli West Bank settlers. ... [Link]

Key congressional committees approve anti-BDS amendments

Ron Kampeas Key congressional committees approved amendments to a major trade act that would require U.S. negotiators to discourage trading partners from boycotting Israel or settlements in the West Bank. ... [Link]

U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaida member with Jewish lineage

Gabe Friedman (JTA) — Adam Yahiya Gadahn, one of the two American al-Qaida members killed in the U.S. drone strikes disclosed Thursday by the White House, was himself of Jewish ancestry. Gadahn, 36, who also ... [Link]

Orthodox rabbis join the conversation on LGBTQ inclusion

Gabe Friedman For the first time, prominent rabbis and renowned mental health researchers engaged in a public discussion about homosexuality and Orthodoxy. ... [Link]

Israeli filmmaker wins top honor at Buenos Aires festival

Julie Wiener Nadav Lapid was named Best Director for his film “The Kindergarten Teacher.” ... [Link]

From the Archive: First rumblings in the battle for pluralism at the Western Wall

Julie Wiener Conflicts over prayer at the holy site began almost as soon as Israel’s Six-Day War victory made the area accessible to Jews. ... [Link]

FBI chief apologizes for Holocaust comment on Poland

Cnaan Liphshiz Comey’s apology, which came on Monday at the urging of the Polish foreign ministry, follows his op-ed about the Holocaust, which was published last week by the Washington Post. ... [Link]

Israel, Portugal honor ‘humble’ priest who saved Jews

Cnaan Liphshiz A devout and private man, Joaquim Carreira first received recognition for his heroism only last year. ... [Link]

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