The era of Jewish boxers -- tough guys from the ghettos, like Benny Leonard and Barney Ross -- is over. For that matter, the era of boxing itself, once king of all American sports, has passed, as well. In that regard, Dmitriy Salita is doubly a throwback, being both Jewish and a boxer, with an added twist: As a practicing Orthodox Jew, he does not fight on the Sabbath. What normally might be a potentially fatal limitation for a boxer (many fights are scheduled for weekend nights) has proved to be a public relations bonanza for this undefeated junior welterweight, now the star of Jason Hutt's documentary film, "Orthodox Stance," opening April 11 in Los Angeles.
Just four years ago, Nextbook got its start as an organization committed to promoting public library programs dedicated to Jewish topics. In short order, the ever-evolving nonprofit has conquered a swath of territory in the contested realm of Jewish arts and ideas, steadily expanding while maintaining its focus on Jewish cultural and intellectual life.
This year, and not for the first time, my celebration of a major American holiday will be stymied by my celebration of a major Jewish holiday. Monday night, April 2, I will be at my parents' table for the first night of Passover. At the same time, I will not be in front of the television watching the NCAA tournament's championship game.
"Paper Dolls" is initially structured to resemble a standard-issue triumph-of-the-outsider tale, with the group auditioning for a performance slot at a legendary Tel Aviv nightclub -- and succeeding. But dreams prove illusive; the group's lone club performance is disastrous, and the performers are not invited back.
"God's Sandbox," the latest Israeli film to tackle women's issues, depends in large part on the mystery and romance of the desert for its effect. This is evident from its very first moments, when a car, driving slowly along a winding desert road, stops at what appears to be no particular point, and lets out a passenger: a middle-aged woman wearing a sensible straw hat to protect herself from the scorching heat, lugging a bulky suitcase.