Posted by JewishJournal
Video courtesy Simon Wiesenthal Center
Guri Weinberg who was one month old when his father, Moshe Weinberg and ten other Israeli athletes were tortured and murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics speaks out against the IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) 40-year refusal of a 1 Minute Moment of Silence.
Guri speaks with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean
Read Guri’s op-ed here: Why the IOC will never memorialize the ‘72 Munich massacre.
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July 31, 2012 | 4:37 pm
Posted by Uri Fintzy, JTA
Among the more popular U.S. Olympians is Aly Raisman, an 18-year-old Jewish gymnast from the Boston area whose star has been rising in London for a few reasons. First it was her song choice for the floor exercise routine—an instrumental version of “Hava Nagila” that she had used last week at the preliminaries. Then it was the results shocker: She was ahead of two-time world champion Jordyn Wieber in the qualifying stage on Sunday. Wieber was eliminated from the all-around individual finals since she finished third among the Americans and Olympic rules allow only two gymnasts from each country to compete in the finals.
Then it was a television interview she gave NBC, as Wieber was crying in the background (although the video gained popularity because of network’s decision to show Raisman with Wieber in the background), in which she expressed her happiness and surprise at reaching the finals. And then it was her parents, Ricky and Lynn, who stole the show in a video that shows them anxiously observing her routine from the stands. The video became an instant hit on the Internet.
Finally, Raisman showed everyone why she is here, as her floor exercise routine helped win the gold for Team USA in women’s gymnastics. She is set to compete again on Thursday and on Aug. 7.
July 27, 2012 | 10:30 am
Whether he actually goes through with his on-air moment of silence to honor the Munich 11 during tonight’s Olympics opening ceremonies, NBC broadcaster Bob Costas probably elevated the campaign to memorialize Israel’s slain athletes from the 1972 Games more than anyone else—even the president of the United States. The petition with more than 105,000 signatures that was begun by volunteers at a suburban New York JCC, which turned into a global movement involving heads of state and parliaments, was not enough to convince International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge that Israel’s murdered athletes are worth memorializing at an official event during the Olympic Games. But it probably gave the issue more publicity than had Rogge agreed to the moment of silence in the first place.
July 21, 2012 | 2:44 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
The suspect behind a deadly shooting in Colorado that killed 12 and injured 58 more during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” on Friday, July 20 reportedly served as a counselor at a camp run by Jewish Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Los Angeles.
NBC 7 San Diego KNSD reported on Saturday that during the summer of 2008 the alleged shooter, James Holmes, 24, was a cabin counselor at Camp Max Strauss and was “responsible for the care and guidance of a group of about 10 children.”
The NBC story quotes a statement from Randy Schwab, CEO of Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters, which runs Camp Max Straus, that says Holmes “helped [campers] learn confidence, self esteem and how to work in small teams to effect positive outcomes.”
The Journal has attempted to contact Schwab via phone and email but had not heard back from him as of Saturday afternoon.
Providing young-adult mentors for young Jewish children in working-class and single-parent homes, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters owns and operates Camp Max Strauss, according to the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters official website.
Located in the Verdugo Mountains of Los Angeles County, Camp Max Strauss is a nonsectarian camp serving underprivileged children ages 7-14. The camp provides transportation to and from camp, sports activities, arts and crafts, cooking classes, Judaica classes and sing-alongs with Jewish song leaders and rabbis.
Police arrested Holmes, 24, following the shooting and are currently holding him in custody.
July 20, 2012 | 9:50 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
On July 20, three Los Angeles-area teenagers were found guilty in an alternative juvenile court of vandalizing two homes in the San Fernando Valley with syrup swastikas, human feces and toilet paper. The girls — named only as Catharine W., Sarah M. and McKennah L. — have been ordered to complete community service at the Museum of Tolerance.
The three girls appeared at the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown L.A. They had been charged with vandalism, vandalism with a hate crime allegation, and terrorizing by use of symbol. Catharine and Sarah were found guilty of all three charges, while McKennah was found guilty only of vandalism.
The convictions stemmed from an April 3 incident in which the three girls, at the time all eighth-graders at Nobel Middle School in Northridge, together defaced the residence of a former friend from their school with toilet paper and maple syrup, and smeared their own feces on the homeowner’s vehicle. At the second home, Catharine allegedly wrote the word “Jew” and drew three swastikas on the front walkway of the home, which belongs to the son of a Holocaust survivor.
Catharine said of the swastikas: “I knew it was mean, but I didn’t know it meant death and hate.”
The terms of their probation require that all three girls complete eight hours of community service at The Museum of Tolerance within six months. Two of the girls must spend three days at Building Bridges Youth Human Relations Camp, a residential camp in the Big Bear area that features discussions with Holocaust survivors, and all three must participate in counseling along with their parents and abide by a 6 p.m.-9 a.m. curfew. Two of the girls also are required to write essays about what these experiences teach them.
The judges also forbade the girls from having any contact with their victims and their victims’ families and from having any contact with one another during the six-month period.
The girls were each tried separately, and they faced juries made up of high school teenagers as part of SHADES (Stopping Hate and Delinquency by Empowering Students), a modification of the early intervention and diversion program Teen Court. SHADES is a partnership between The Museum of Tolerance and the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Catharine’s mother, Catharine Whelpley, responded to questions during her daughter’s trial. On the night of the incident, Whelpley drove the girls to the targeted homes.
On July 18, Whelpley pleaded no contest to one charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
July 17, 2012 | 12:58 pm
Posted by Rob Eshman
A man falls for a woman. All he wants is to get her attention. His friends even try to get her to notice him. The woman is a little flattered, a little perturbed—who IS this guy? And why do his friends CARE so much? And then, one day, she…
That’s kind of where we are with the Woody Allen Israel Project. The column that launched, or rather, revealed, the international interest in Woody Allen making one of his upcoming movies in Israel has now attracted the attention of President Shimon Peres and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who released details of a meeting they had with Allen in Manhattan in early July suggesting he come film in Israel.
Today a Haaretz story appeared entitled, “To Jerusalem with love? Peres tries to lure Woody Allen to film in Israel, and sub headed, “Two weeks ago, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles launched an Internet campaign to raise funds that would let Allen film in Israel.”
Now, reporter Nurit Anderman wrote, “Israeli officials have met with Woody Allen to try to persuade the legendary director to give Europe a rest and shoot one of his next films in Israel.” She goes on:
A Jerusalem municipality spokesman told Haaretz that several months ago, while on a fund-raising tour, Barkat met with Allen and Diane Keaton in a Manhattan restaurant. Barkat invited Allen to visit the capital and consider shooting a film there.
“Allen replied that he would seriously consider it,” the spokesman said. “Barkat plans to meet with Allen again during his next visit to the U.S.”
Tel Aviv made a similar offer, but Allen has not yet responded. “The Tel Aviv municipality is leading a move to position the city in the international arena,” Mayor Ron Huldai told Haaretz.
“Obviously, a film taking place in Tel Aviv would be a vehicle to promote the city abroad, and we have constant and close contacts with leading figures in Hollywood, with the government and with Israel’s cinema community, hoping that such a move will materialize.”
Allen’s representatives, as Haaretz pointed out, told The Jewish Journal, that although he has several films already in the works, shooting an upcoming one in Israel is “certainly a possibility.”
Meanwhile, fans of the idea are continuing to show their support on the jewcer.com crowd funding site, and several have presented the proposal to certain Jewish billionaires who don’t need a crowd to fund anything.
We can’t wait to see how this movie ends.
July 13, 2012 | 12:41 pm
Posted by JewishJournal.com
Woody Allen is open to the idea of filming a future movie in Israel.
That’s the official response from a spokesperson for Woody Allen’s publicists, who responded to an inquiry from The Jewish Journal.
“While it is certainly a possibility at some point,” wrote Ashton Fontana of 42West, Allen’s public relations company, “they are fully committed for the next few films.” Allen’s production company is run by Letty Aronson, Allen’s sister and producer.
While Fontana did not elaborate, he clearly left open the possibility that the 76 year-old filmmaker, who makes one film each year, would one day make a movie in Israel.
Two weeks ago, Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Rob Eshman wrote a column proposing that funders step up and offer to fund a Woody Allen film in Israel. The director has said in several recent interviews that one criteria for him in deciding where to place his movies is whether the countries themselves offer funding and artistic freedom. Eshman suggested friends of Israel pay up to get the director to consider shooting a movie there.
The idea gained steam when Israeli actress, producer and activist Noa Tishby, co-founder of ActforIsrael.org, cut a video with The Jewish Journal making the case directly to Allen. The video has garnered thousands of views on YouTube.
The call to “crowd fund” Woody Allen’s Israel Project via the web site Jewcer elicited international media attention. Vanity Fair, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting, and Russian and Spanish newspapers—as well as numerous American papers—picked up the story.
In Israel, the leading entertainment show has featured a countdown on the fundraising totals, and Tishby has been interviewed on the idea by all major media.
For weeks, there was no word from Allen’s people.
Then, on Friday morning, came the e-mail from Fontana.
“He’s not saying yes,” said Eshman, “he’s not saying no. He’s saying, make me an offer, and I’m open to it.”
July 11, 2012 | 2:19 pm
Posted by Rob Eshman
The Woody Allen Israel Project has created a mini-media frenzy. My column calling for funding to have the filmmaker shoot a film in Israel—accompanied by a crowd funding campaign on jewcer.com—went viral. The LA Times Patrick Goldstein weighed in with a particularly insightful post today in The Los Angeles Times. Earlier this week Vanity Fair, Haaretz, Hollywood Reporter, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting and papers in Spain, England, Germany and across the US (The Kentucky Democrat???) all picked up on the story.
The campaign has been big news in Israel, where the leading entertainment show has run a daily countdown on the money raised to support the Woody Allen Israel Project.
But what does Woody think?
So far, no word from him or his producers and representatives.
But as the estimable J.J. Goldberg—the Jewish journalist’s Jewish journalist—reports online at forward.com, there is now a clue. Goldberg, a fluent Hebrew reader, translated an interview with Woody Allen that appeared in last Friday’s entertainment supplement of the newspaper Yediot. In Paris Allen sat down with Yediot correspondent Yaniv Halili, who asked him about his movies, his wife, and finally, Israel.
The Hebrew version has not appeared online, but Goldberg did translate.
Here’s what Woody said:
“I support Israel and I’ve supported it since the day it was founded. Israel’s neighbors have treated it badly, cruelly, instead of embracing it and making it part of the Middle East family of nations. Over the years Israel has responded to these attacks in various ways, some of which I approved of and some less so. I understand that Israelis have been through hard times, I don’t expect Israel to react perfectly every time and that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a wonderful, marvelous country. I’m just worried about the rise of fundamentalism in Israel, which I think damages its interests. I also have questions about your leadership, which doesn’t always act in Israel’s best interests. But even my criticism of Israel comes from a place of love, just like when I criticize the United States. It would be a mistake not to say something if you think a country you love makes a mistake and could hurt itself.”
Then why have you never visited Israel?
“I’m not a tourist. I travel regularly to three cities that I know and love — Paris, London and Rome — and that’s it. I don’t like to leave home because I’m a bit neurotic, and when I do leave home, it’s mostly for work. I don’t like flying and I don’t consider myself a curious person who wants to see new places. There are many states in the United States that I’ve never visited. My wife is of Korean origin and she’s been trying for years to convince me to go to South Korea with her — so far, unsuccessfully. She’s also very curious about Israel and wants to go there with the girls, so they can see and understand their father’s Jewish culture. I assume we’ll go and visit Israel soon. There’s no way around it.”
Does this mean Woody Allen would shoot a movie in Israel if the funding came through? Sounds to us like a yes.
Click on the jewcer button now and pledge your support for the Woody Allen Israel Project.