Jewish Journal

Avner Hofstein

  • Books: Oren ‘Tempts’ Israeli readers and defies critics

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    When Ram Oren helped define a new generation of Israeli "airplane reads" in 1994 with his fast-paced best seller, "Temptation," he faced a challenge: to persuade the Israeli elite that his book did not signal the demise of literature and the erasure of Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Agnon...
  • Hasfari’s ‘House’ Moves to Laguna

    April 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    As Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Richard Stein walked down Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv during a trip to Israel last December, he was struck by a Bauhaus-style building famously used in the city decades ago.

    "It was a historic landmark, something to do with the Haganna, and I...

  • IFF: Personal, not political stories drive lineup

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "Frozen Days" is not detached from current events. Set in Tel Aviv, amid the suicide bombings of the second intifada, the film, directed by first-time feature director Danny Lerner and starring Anat Klausner, portrays a young woman's search for her lost identity after surviving a...
  • Musical Journey in Time

    May 4, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Ah the '60s. Those were the days when Geula, Aliza and Hedva would prance around in their khaki skirts in the Israeli military band -- they were the highlight in entertainment for the young and na?ve Israel. After their army stint, they continued performing, singing passionately...

  • Spectator - Anchorman in a Foreign ‘Land’

    February 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    For 40 years, Chaim Yavin was the symbol of objective journalism in Israel, the figure people looked up to in time of crisis, despair or political change. As the anchorman of Channel One's IBA news, for years the only legal TV network operating in the Israeli media arena, Yavin was...

  • Light Shines on Israel’s Invisibles

    November 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    So where do Israelis usually look for answers when they are in trouble or face a midlife crisis? Some go abroad for a vacation in the Himalayas; others take a lover or drown themselves in drink. The main characters in two new Israeli films chose another path. They turn to Israel's...

  • My Father, My Hero

    February 5, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    There's a framed glass poster that hangs on the wall of Assaf Ramon's Houston bedroom wall. While the image of the smiling astronaut in the orange jumpsuit is famous, the Hebrew words inscribed at the bottom of the poster are not:

    "Assaf, my oldest son, each night, look at the sky...

  • Kidnapped Dreams

    October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Ben Wertzberger dreamed of moving to Las Vegas to start a new life. Tired, sick and impoverished, the 24-year-old Israeli packed his DJ equipment on Dec. 2, 2002, and together with his childhood friend, Adar Neeman, prepared to head to the Las Vegas to break into the club scene.


  • Mourning

    July 3, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    On a white brick ledge in his Chatsworth backyard, Avi Hen's fancy barbecue -- once the symbol of his family's happiness -- now sits abandoned. Avi sometimes wanders over to it and remembers the days when he would host 30 people for a party.

    The house would fill with friends; his...

  • It’s ‘Here’ Because of the Translator

    October 10, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Does humor translate? Are one country's characters so unique to that place that no other nation would understand them? Or are people the same all over the world?

    Judging by the experience of the Israeli play, "I'm Here Because of My Wife" -- a comedy about three couples from...