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Jewish Journal

Tom Tugend

  • An unwinnable case becomes a golden ticket

    1 week ago

    When attorney E. Randol “Randy” Schoenberg saw himself portrayed on the big screen by hunky Ryan Reynolds in the movie “Woman in Gold,” he immediately spotted a difference.

    “Obviously, I’m not the sexiest man alive,” Schoenberg acknowledged, referring to the label People magazine...

  • ‘The Cobbler’: Adam Sandler takes a walk in 1903 New York

    3 weeks ago

    Some three years ago, film director-writer-actor Thomas McCarthy was sitting at his desk, in his office located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, playing with ideas for a movie, when the proverb about walking in another man’s shoes popped into his head.

    What would happen, he...

  • Nimoy Unalienated

    March 2, 2015 | 8:47 am

    This was written by Tom Tugend in March 1991

    As a struggling young actor in the early 1950s, Leonard Nimoy, inspired by the rebirth of the Jewish State and childhood memories of Zionist rallies in Boston Garden, considered making aliya to join Habimah.

    Upon cooler reflection on...

  • Oscar honors Jewish talent but bypasses Israel

    February 23, 2015 | 12:32 am

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  • Oscar gives nod to Jewish talent but bypasses Israel

    February 23, 2015 | 12:16 am

    Given that there were few world famous Jewish names among nominees for the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood Sunday night, the tribe did fairly well.

    “The Great Budapest Hotel” tied with “Birdman” for the most Oscars, with four each, though the latter walked off with the best...

  • PBS documentary traces 350 years of Jewish migration

    February 18, 2015 | 2:49 pm

    “You survive, you honor us by living,” Martin Greenfield’s father told him. Greenfield, now a New York master tailor, recalled the words after his liberation from the Buchenwald concentration camp.

    The quote could be taken as the theme of “The Jewish Journey: America,” a PBS...

  • The real sins of network TV anchors

    February 13, 2015 | 9:42 am

    Brian Williams has fallen from grace for fabricating some pseudo heroics in his past Iraq war coverage, but the real problems of network news anchors are of a different kind.

    The British counterparts of Williams (NBC), David Muir (ABC) and Scott Pelley (CBS) are called...

  • Son’s postcard to Lodz Ghetto resurfaces 72 years later

    February 12, 2015 | 5:18 pm

    Almost 73 years ago, on March 21, 1942, Stefan Prager wrote a postcard from Sweden to his parents, who had been deported from their native Berlin to the Lodz Ghetto in Poland.

    He wrote about his recently celebrated 18th birthday, adding, “I’m feeling healthy and the winter passed...

  • ‘Wild Tales’: Six crazy nights make it a foreign-language contender

    February 12, 2015 | 3:38 pm

    Members of the tribe looking for an Oscar finalist full of Jewish characters will find it in an unlikely place — Argentina’s “Wild Tales.”

    The movie by director Damian Szifron is among the five surviving nominees in the foreign-language film category, culled from entries...

  • Hebrew charter school to open in Minneapolis-St. Paul

    January 29, 2015 | 11:34 am

    A new Hebrew charter school is scheduled to open in suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul in September.

    According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Agamim Classical Academy in Hopkins, Minn., will be the first U.S. public school to offer a focus on both the Hebrew language and classical...

  • Jerusalem film school brings shorts to L.A.

    January 28, 2015 | 1:16 pm

    A brother-sister filmmaking team from Israel will introduce itself, its unusual alma mater and its Oscar-winning father on the evening of Feb. 5 at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills.

    Emanuel and Nurith Cohn will present “Little Dictator,” their first production since...

  • Five years in the making, ‘The Return’ takes new look at Polish Jewish revival

    January 23, 2015 | 2:43 pm

    On the crumbling wall of a former Polish synagogue, adjacent to a one-time Jewish ritual bath converted into a car wash, a graffiti artist has painted “Jews, We Miss You” in Polish and German.

    The message, scrawled on the wall in the Polish town of Dabrowno, is an apt message in...

  • ‘Night Will Fall’ lifts a curtain on concentration camp atrocities

    January 22, 2015 | 11:33 am

    The first time I saw the horrific newsreels of the liberation of the concentration camps, showing mountains of skeletons piled up and skulls staring out of empty eye sockets, was in 1959.

    By a fluke, I had a bit part playing a court translator at a war-crimes trial in the...

  • “Time Stands Still”

    January 21, 2015 | 9:17 am

  • And the 2015 Jewish Academy Award nominees are…

    January 15, 2015 | 10:18 am

    “The Grand Budapest Hotel” topped the field with nine Oscar nominations — in a tie with “Birdman” — as Hollywood unveiled the list of official Academy Award contenders on the morning of Jan. 15.

    Tribesmen looking for the Jewish angle noted that “Budapest Hotel” was inspired by...

  • ‘Brain Death’ conference aims to educate about the disputed definition

    January 14, 2015 | 11:36 am

    When is dead really dead? And when the answer and criteria for this question are in dispute, who decides? The doctor, the family, a religious authority, a court judge, or federal and state laws?

    In the past year, a number of high-profile cases have stirred public interest in this...

  • Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis remembered with tears and laughter at funeral

    December 22, 2014 | 7:40 pm

    My immortality, if there be such for me, is not in tears, blame or self-recrimination.

    But in the joy you give to others, in raising the fallen and loosening the fetters of the bound.

    In your loyalty to God’s special children – the widow, the orphan, the poor, the stranger in...

  • Kindertransport film picked for permanent preservation

    December 21, 2014 | 9:21 am

    Oscar-winner “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport” has been selected for permanent preservation in the Library of Congress by the National Film Registry.
     
    The film, released in 2000, documents the rescue of some 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from...
  • “Chocolate Bar” and genetic disease research

    December 19, 2014 | 5:04 pm

    A campaign started quietly by a couple of first-graders two years ago to help find a cure for a rare genetic disease passed the $1 million mark in late December, with donations streaming in from all 50 states and 60 countries across the globe.

    The million-dollar achievement was...

  • Israel bypassed in Oscars race

    December 19, 2014 | 1:26 pm

    Israel is out, but a Polish Holocaust-related film is in, as movies from nine countries advanced on Nov. 19 in the Oscar race for best foreign-language film.

    “Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem,” Israel’s entry, did not make the cut. The film depicts the five-year legal struggle...

  • Join globetrotter Bruce Feiler on a journey through Jerusalem

    December 17, 2014 | 3:41 pm

    Every religion has its pilgrimage, and PBS’ “Sacred Journeys” provides a lively visual guide to six of the best-known destinations for the devout.

    On Dec. 23, series host Bruce Feiler visits Jerusalem, and while the date might indicate a link to Christmas, the focus is on Sukkot,...

  • A TV pilgrimage to Jerusalem and other holy sites

    December 16, 2014 | 2:14 pm

    Every religion has its pilgrimage, and PBS’ “Sacred Journeys” provides a lively visual guide to six of the best-known destinations for the devout.

    On Dec. 23, series host Bruce Feiler visits Jerusalem, and while the date might indicate a link to Christmas, the focus is on Sukkot,...

  • Golden Globes nominate Israeli film

    December 12, 2014 | 10:10 am

    “Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem” got a boost Thursday (Dec. 12), when the Golden Globes selection committee nominated the Israeli movie as one of the five finalists for top honors in the best foreign-language film category.

    As the title indicates, “Gett” deals with the...

  • Kirk Douglas, a poet at 98, gets personal

    December 9, 2014 | 4:20 pm

    Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch, the son of an immigrant Russian-Jewish ragpicker, marked his 98th birthday on Dec. 9 by launching his 11th book.

    The legendary star of 87 movies (who can forget “Spartacus”?) can look back, in happiness and grief, on countless one-night...

  • ADL notes accomplishments, road ahead, at annual meeting

    November 12, 2014 | 2:58 pm

    Some 300 lay and professional leaders from across the United States gathered Nov. 6-8 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the annual Anti-Defamation League (ADL) national meeting, which offered both good and bad news, as well as an upcoming changing of the organization’s guard.

    ...
  • Hungarian film fest comes to North Hollywood

    November 12, 2014 | 1:45 pm

    The latest film festival to open in Los Angeles features a title about a Holocaust survivor who has erased all memories of his Jewishness. Another honors a Swiss diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews. There is also the documentary about the world’s first female rabbi, and...

  • Holocaust artworks live on at Downtown L.A. gallery

    November 5, 2014 | 2:56 pm

    Bernard Zakheim’s agonizing and defiant Holocaust sculptures and paintings, many not seen for three decades, are now on display at the ARTpraisal Gallery in downtown Los Angeles.

    Frequently described as the Jewish Diego Rivera, Zakheim studied under the Mexican master muralist,...

  • Words as weapons in new film ‘Diplomacy’

    November 5, 2014 | 1:28 pm

    As American and Free French divisions closed in on Nazi-occupied Paris in late August 1944, Hitler issued a clear order to the commander of Wehrmacht troops in the French capital.

    Before evacuating the City of Light, the Führer told Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz to blow up such...

  • Controversies roil UCLA, Berkeley campuses

    October 30, 2014 | 9:41 am

    “Leaked emails reveal partnership between Hillel, PR firm,” read the headline on a story that made the front page of Wednesday’s Daily Bruin, the lively UCLA student newspaper.

    The plotline for this story may seem a bit arcane for those not up-to-date on campus politics, but the...

  • Jews at the helm of U.S. Ebola response

    October 21, 2014 | 3:47 pm

    The United States’ two main point men in dealing with the Ebola crisis, Ronald (Ron) A. Klain and Thomas (Tom) R. Frieden, have some things in common.

    Both are 53, high achievers and Jewish.

    Each is well-known in his professional circles, and now as both men find themselves in...

  • Watchers of the sky

    October 20, 2014 | 8:41 am

  • Documentary gets inside head of Heinrich Himmler

    October 7, 2014 | 12:24 pm

    In 1941, Heinrich Himmler took time out from organizing the Final Solution to write to his 12-year-old daughter, Gudrun: “In life, one must always be decent, courageous and kind-hearted.”

    This fatherly advice illustrates one side of the SS Reichsfuehrer and the real architect of...

  • Affluence

    September 26, 2014 | 11:53 am

  • Musician Hershey Felder plays Irving Berlin

    September 18, 2014 | 3:17 pm

    Onstage, he has been George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein, and now, Hershey Felder is ready to tackle the most prolific American songwriter of them all — Irving Berlin.

    The multitalented Felder — pianist, actor, playwright, composer and producer — will introduce the world...

  • The Israel Film Festival gives locals a glimpse of Israel’s soul

    September 18, 2014 | 3:03 pm

    The Israel Film Festival (IFF), which annually gives viewers a close-up of the nation’s heartbeat beneath the glaring headlines, has been set for Oct. 23 through Nov. 6.

    A red carpet opening-night gala at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on Oct. 23 will be followed a week later...

  • New documentary ‘Altina’ gives success a different definition

    September 17, 2014 | 3:16 pm

    Ambitious girls looking for role models among successful and accomplished women of the past might turn to scientist Marie Curie, aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart or social-justice champion Eleanor Roosevelt.

    And then there was Altina “Tina” Schinasi.

    Tina grew up in the opulent...

  • After 20 years, L.A. Jewish Symphony still reflects the Jewish experience

    September 3, 2014 | 1:35 pm

    When Noreen Green founded the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (LAJS) in 1994, she had to wrestle with a couple of questions.

    First, what defines a Jewish orchestra and differentiates it from other orchestras? And will a woman conductor, that rarest of species, succeed in molding a...

  • Hanging with the Beatles — in 1964

    August 20, 2014 | 1:50 pm

    It was 6 a.m. on Aug. 19, 1964, when the phone rang in the Studio City apartment of Ivor Davis, then a young West Coast correspondent for London’s Daily Express, circulation 4 million.

    On the other end of the line was the paper’s foreign editor, who told Davis to drive to Los...

  • Leonard Fein, progressive activist and writer, dead at 80

    August 14, 2014 | 3:59 pm

    Leonard Fein, a towering figure in Jewish progressive thought and action, died Aug. 14. He was 80.

     “Leibel” as he was universally addressed, was a prolific writer, a professor at Brandeis University and the creator of organizations and institutions that have left a lasting...

  • Foreign fighters in Israel: 2014 isn’t 1948

    July 25, 2014 | 10:42 am

    Reading about the mass outpouring of mourners at the funeral for Max Steinberg, the 24-year old Angeleno killed fighting for Israel in Gaza, I was struck by a routine mention toward the end of the report.

    It read, “U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro extended a message of support and...

  • Paul Mazursky, filmmaker, 84

    July 9, 2014 | 9:08 am

    Filmmaker Paul Mazursky, 84, whose perceptive social satires explored the nascent sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s and created complex Jewish characters, died June 30 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of pulmonary cardiac arrest.

    In his 17 films, released between the late...

  • Journalist Torgny Segerstedt speaks truth to Nazi power in Swedish film, ‘The Last Sentence’

    June 18, 2014 | 9:57 am

    The Swedish film “The Last Sentence” opens with a 1933 newsreel of Adolf Hitler strutting as Germany’s new chancellor and ends with 1945 footage of Russian troops closing in on the Führer’s bunker.

    During those 12 years, as Hitler first threatened and then swallowed one European...

  • Not a bad Oscar night for Jews

    March 3, 2014 | 12:16 am

  • German WW II film shows war is hell — win or lose

    February 26, 2014 | 5:21 pm

    The victors in any war write its history, so the saying goes. But what about the loser’s story?

    Germany was the loser in World War II, on the fighting front and the home front. Nowhere has this aspect of the war been told as graphically, accurately and powerfully as in the film...

  • L.A. youth become Israel’s brave lone soldiers

    February 26, 2014 | 4:37 pm

    “I want to give back, not just sit back,” Samuel “Shimmy” Kandel said. The 19-year-old Angeleno was explaining in a phone interview why he decided to interrupt his studies at Santa Monica College to serve as an American volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

    Danny Rubin...

  • Ambassador’s talk has unexpected fallout

    February 24, 2014 | 7:14 pm

  • ‘Omar’ in line for foreign language Oscar

    February 19, 2014 | 11:35 am

    For cinema fans interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this is a banner year, with Oscar submissions from both sides focused on the Israeli occupation.

    Israel’s “Bethlehem,” which pits Shin Bet agents against diverse Palestinian factions eager to blow up the Jewish...

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