Jewish Journal

Susan Josephs

  • CalArts dance dean creates site-specific ‘Fluid’ movements

    June 12, 2008 | 2:34 pm

    When he first started out as a dance artist, Stephan Koplowitz often performed his work in senior centers, shopping malls and on public streets.

    "I already had the sensibility of taking my work out of the theater into the outdoors," he said. "It became part of my DNA."


  • Video pioneer dances with feminine personas

    March 13, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    As a little girl growing up in New York City, Eleanor Antin went with her mother to see a performance by the world-renowned Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. "I can still see the dancers in my mind, leaping across the stage," she said. "I absolutely loved it."

    Years later, as a conceptual...

  • Master Class: Israelis and Angelenos learn the secrets of show business

    July 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    How do you get anyone in Hollywood to return your phone call? How do you sell an idea at a pitch meeting without seeming arrogant, desperate or, worst of all, boring? How do you protect your idea or script as it makes the rounds of producers and agents? And when that agent or...
  • L.A. Film Festival features a history of hate and an Israeli spy

    June 21, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    As a schoolboy, Oren Jacoby once gave a research report about the Crusades, without "having any idea about the Jewish communities that were massacred. We were taught a sanitized version of events," he said.

    Now an acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Jacoby can safely be called an...
  • Film: Talmudic tradition translates into ‘Treatment’

    June 14, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    In another life, Oren Rudavsky might have been a psychoanalyst. "I often think of it as my alternate career, he said.

    In this life, Rudavsky has forged a successful career as a New York City-based filmmaker known for award-winning documentaries about Jewish life, including the...
  • Concert shakes up the way people view belly dancing

    June 14, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Suzy Evans has spent a significant chunk of her life debunking myths about belly dancers.

    "There were so many times when I came across people who thought that belly dancers were like strippers," she said. "Or the belief that belly dancers only come from the Middle East."

  • Windy City’s Best Leap Into the Bowl

    June 15, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    As artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Jim Vincent remains passionately committed to working with choreographers from all over the world. "This company has never been based on a singular voice," he says.

    Considered one of America's leading and most distinctive...

  • In This Corner—the Choreographer

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Choreographer Keith Glassman always wanted to learn more about his grandfathers and why they both pursued boxing careers in their youth.

    "There are a lot of unanswered questions in my family," he says. "My grandparents and their generation were very reticent when it came to talking...

  • Play Reading’s the Thing for Director

    May 18, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Sitting in her living room and poring through an enormous photo album, Alexandra More acts like the proud parent of successful offspring.

    "Will you just look at them?" she gushes, pointing at one photograph after another of famous actors participating in her play readings. "Such...

  • Dassa Connects a Step-Kick at a Time

    May 4, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    By the age of 4, Dani Dassa knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

    "I remember going to the synagogue on Simchat Torah and watching the adults jumping up and down with the Torah," he says. "Even then, I knew there was something to that kind of dancing."

    Some 73 years...

  • ‘Monumental’:

    March 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When they first started dancing together, Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras used to lock themselves in a studio for somewhere between five and seven hours a day. Together, they tried to make their bodies react in "authentic ways," irrespective of how high they could jump, how fast they...

  • Capturing Chasidim

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    As a street photographer, Maya Dreilinger echoes the sentiments of the 1982 "Missing Persons" song "Walking in LA." Driving around the city, "you don't see a lot of people walking," she said. "But the Chasidism are always out on the streets and not just on Saturdays."

    With her...

  • Limon’s Company Revives a Classic Dance

    December 8, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    In 1957, Jose Limon toured Poland with his dance company. In the rubble-strewn cities still reeling from the ravages of World War II, the choreographer contemplated the resilience of people in the aftermath of great tragedy. And when he stood before the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto,...

  • ‘Bee’ Spells Family D-y-s-f-u-n-c-t-i-o-n-a-l

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal knows exactly why the dysfunctional yet deeply Jewish Naumann family became her chosen muse.

    "What drew me to them," she said, "was what drew me to 'Anne Frank.' It's a story about people with whom we can all identify."

    The Naumanns are the...

  • Hello Jacobowsky!

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Jerry Herman doesn't play favorites with his musicals. Ask him to rank "Mame," "Hello, Dolly!" or "La Cage aux Folles" and he'll tell you, "I love them all." But as for which character he most wants to emulate, he'll admit that it's the Jew who calls himself S.L. Jacobowsky.

    "I want...

  • Spectator - Scene of the Shot

    October 13, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In New York City of the 1930s and '40s, Arthur "Weegee" Fellig often worked all night, shooting the latest murder, fire or urban melee with his Speed Graphic camera. An unshaven, fedora-wearing, tough-talking, cigar-smoking loner, Weegee renamed himself after the popular Ouija board...

  • Where India Meets Neil Simon

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Michael Schlitt sees a definite connection between his type of Jewishness and his reasons for directing a Neil Simon play in India. Being drawn to India and all things Eastern is Jewish, he says. And so is asking a million questions about everything.

    "Basically, my work is very...

  • The Ties That Bind Two Schools of Faith

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Azmeralda Alfi is the administrator for the Bureau of Islamic Arabic Education (BIAE).

    Aviva Kadosh the director of day school and Hebrew language services for the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE).

    And although on the face of it, it may seem otherwise -- they have a lot in common.

  • Spectator - Family Doc Unlocks Doors

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Growing up in Syracuse, N.Y, Eileen Douglas lived for the moments she could climb into her grandfather's lap and find the pennies he brought -- special for her. He faithfully visited his grandchildren every day after leaving his work as a butcher. Yet he never really spoke about his...

  • Like Some ‘Guilt’ With Your Chick Lit?

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt" edited by Ruth Andrew Ellenson (Dutton, $24.95).

    When Ruth Andrew Ellenson achieved the writer's milestone of selling her first book, her father responded in classic Jewish parental fashion.

    "He was thrilled and said, 'Honey, that's...

  • A Rhythmic Spin on Boyle Heights’ History

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Choreographer Heidi Duckler drove around Boyle Heights one day, in search of her next project and "feeling that my heart was in this community." Suddenly, she saw a building with a striking dome and "I just knew it had to be a synagogue," she recalls.

    Sure enough, Duckler had...

  • Writer Kaufman Brings Offbeat to Stage

    September 1, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    During the period he lived in New York and worked odd jobs, Charlie Kaufman once had a conversation with a colleague about Jews and height.

    "I said Jews are small, she said Jews are tall. But I really couldn't conceive of that," he said. "I'm short, plus I had these uncles who had...

  • Sarah’s Tent to Fete Feminist Scholar

    August 18, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Driving down Wilshire Boulevard about 35 years ago, Savina J. Teubal saw the bumper sticker that changed her life.

    "It was one of those 'Question Authority' bumper stickers that were popular in the early '70s," she recalled. "Up until that point, I had been aware of the injustice in...

  • Writer, Cast Find Faith in ‘Lessons’

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Wendy Graf sat in a synagogue several years ago listening to a rabbi's sermon.

    "She was talking about experiencing a traumatic event and how her faith had been sorely tested," Graf recalled. "That really got me thinking."

    Graf went on to write "Lessons," her latest play that mines...

  • ‘Jubana’ Memoir Rescues Its Author

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "Jubana! The Awkwardly True and Dazzling Adventures of a Jewish Cuban Goddess" by Gigi Anders (Rayo/HarperCollins, $23.95).

    Three years ago, Gigi Anders found herself down and out in Hackensack, N.J. Her fiancé couldn't go through with their wedding, she had quit a job at a nearby...

  • A New Blend of Chick-Lit Sleuth

    April 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    "Sex, Murder and a Double Latte" (Red Dress Ink, $17.95)

    Like her protagonist Sophie Katz, Kyra Davis has skin the color of a "well-brewed latte." That's why she has spent a large portion of her life fielding comments about her ethnicity.

    There was her supervisor at a clothing...

  • Tour Puts Kosher Boy Scout in Limelight

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    As a kid growing up in Philadelphia, Edward Schwarzschild did a stint as a Kosher Boy Scout and hated it.

    "Carrying two sets of dishes into the wilderness was a real turn-off for me," he said.

    Now 40, Schwarzschild hails from a venerable tradition of writers who have mined...

  • At Method Fest, It’s All About the Acting

    March 31, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    When it comes to film festivals, Calabasas is far off the beaten path for the Sundance crowd. But there's method to the madness of film lovers who beat a path to Calabasas in the first week of April.

    The seventh annual Method Fest claims to be the nation's only festival that...

  • Love in a Time of War

    July 25, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Right after a bombing in Jerusalem, A.S. went out on a date.

    Because she now assiduously avoided bars and cafes, "I had to wrack my brains for a place to go," she recalls.

    Downtown was out of the question. Ditto for Emek Refaim, the Jerusalem street known for its trendy restaurants...

  • Signs of Love

    November 2, 2000 | 6:59 pm

    Esther has been dreaming about Jake for four years. So when he finally asked her out, she did not hesitate to say yes. It no longer mattered that he lived in Miami and did not lead an Orthodox Jewish life. Though she hated to think of leaving New York City and wanted to make sure...

  • When Mr. Perfect Isn’t Jewish

    September 21, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Lydia does not scoff at the notion that her current boyfriend might very well be an act of revenge. On the other hand, "I've tried my best and it got me nowhere," she says. "Maybe my priorities have changed. Mark treats me like a queen, and he's someone I can trust. That matters to...

  • Getting Clocked

    September 7, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    My friend Lauren got married at 24. For two years, she lived in peace. After all, she had conducted her life according to the Proper Schedule and deserved to be left alone by concerned family and peers. When she got together with her single girlfriends, she could only sympathize with...

  • Choosing Celibacy

    July 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    At 16, Carl Birman started secretly to date men. At 21, he came out and plunged into a gay world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. He joined a group called the Radical Fairies that promoted promiscuity and paganism. As for the ages between 5 and 10, he tried to bury them in the past....

  • Walking My Baby Back Om

    June 1, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    At a 1991 Jewish Renewal retreat in Pennsylvania, Rosalie Harris was in a Chevra Kadisha class, crying over the recent death of her sister, when Ephraim Eisen reached out to hold her hand. She had met him the day before and dismissed him as one of those nice guys who somehow fail to...

  • Singles

    May 25, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    After she gave birth to Kitty, Jane Modell Rosen would sit by her daughter's crib and cry. Various shades of happiness, sadness, excitement and fear would wash over her exhausted body. While pregnant, "I had not dared express to God what I wanted," she recalls. "But I felt that...