As Vidi Bilu recalls it, she and Dalia Hager were working on a series they were hoping to sell to Israeli television, when their conversation turned to their experiences in the military. Even in the Holy Land, it is not typical for women "to talk about their memories of the army," she says. But the chat got them thinking that their experiences might make a good film.
There's a serious note to Oren Safdie's musical comedy, "Jews & Jesus" -- his own life. Safdie, 38, drew on his interfaith dating experiences to write the play about two religiously mixed couples trying to walk the fine line between tradition and emotion, love and guilt. Debra (Iris Bahr), the child of a mixed marriage, travels to Israel, where she meets an American rabbinical student (Griffin Shaw) struggling against the temptation of premarital sex.
One of the items I smuggled out of Auschwitz, when the Nazis moved me into Camp Number Eight -- a quarantine camp, for those suspected of carrying typhus -- was my spoon.
Over the years, I have listened to the stories of hundreds of such Jews. No two are alike. Given the prejudice against religious belief with which they grew up and in which they were educated, each Jew who becomes religious is a miracle.
I'm not surprised that Southern Baptists are praying for the conversion of the Jews. I'm praying for Southern Baptists. I pray that they see how hypocritical and offensive it is for them to say they love Jews and in the same breath trash our religion.
It is "Train of Life's" misfortune to be released a year after the Oscar-winning Italian film, to which it inevitably will be compared and judged.
For many Jewish parents, who associate the holiday with demons, death and wickedness, as well as with Christianity, Halloween is problematic.
He played a scumbag ex-husband in "First Wives Club"; harried father in both "Clueless" and "A Night at the Roxbury"; and President Richard Nixon in this year's "Dick." And this week, Dan Hedaya was recognized for his prolific body of work at the Third Annual Los Angeles Sephardic Film Festival (alongside fellow actor Shaun Toub and film editor Kent Beyda) -- something he never anticipated while growing up in Bensonhurst.
There were a multitude of good works to choose from during the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance's fifth annual Mitzvah Day, from the high-profile CROP Walk for Hunger to tree-planting at Lake Balboa to canned food drives at every temple from Simi Valley to North Hollywood.
In "Hit and Runway," a straight Italian-American naif teams up with a gay Jew to write a screenplay. In "Aimee & Jaguar," a Jewish woman and a Nazi's wife begin a torrid affair. In "Man is a Woman," a gay man marries a woman, a Yiddish singer, who has never known a man.
In 1961, a saddened and disheartened 23-year-old Algerian school teacher and musician named Gaston Ghenassia was merely one of the thousands of refugees on a ship bound for France, leaving his homeland in the aftermath of the Algerian Revolution. Little did he know at the time how defining a moment it was to become in his life.
"The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years," an 82-year-old man rinses out his dentures in his solitary apartment and longs for love and sex. Another elderly man laments that he has been impotent since receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
Selma, 73, discusses her sexless marriage, her affairs, the elderly man who tried to rape her and the hopelessness of living alone. "Touching, it's what I miss," she confides. "What I'd really like is not the sex act itself. I just want to be held."
Earlier this year, Greg Laemmle wasn't sure there was going to be another Cinema Judaica: The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.
If you need proof that miracles still happen in this world, look no further than Benjamin Kadish.
Recently, The Journal caught up with three comics whose Judaism informs their act and whose career informs their Judaism. Cathy Ladman quips about her intermarriage; Mark Schiff brings his comic pals to perform at an Orthodox shul fund-raiser; and Larry Miller views stand-up as Talmudic discourse.
A big part of being a parent is stumbling around by the feeble glow of midlife's night-light, going, "Wha...? What happened?" But after eight years of it, I'm beginning to understand.
Not since the gas lines of the 1970s, perhaps, has a commodity been in such high demand. With the arrival of North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme in Southern California, it seems people can't get enough of the sweet stuff the company's been selling for 62 years.
Dean Ward says he was born at least two decades too late. He had an affinity for films of the mid-century, for the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. "I used to scour the TV Guide for when the old movies were on."
When thecolumnist and author Jack Newfield started work on his documentaryabout Robert F. Kennedy, his mind was rooted as much in the presentas it was in the past. Yes, a large part of the purpose of thethree-hour special, "Robert F. Kennedy: A Memoir" (Discovery Channel,Sunday, June 7, 8 p.m.), was to commemorate and honor the latesenator on the 30th anniversary of his assassination.