Posted by Andrew Dugan
12.6.13 at 12:35 am | In June 1990, Nelson Mandela and Natan Sharansky,. . .
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March 5, 2013 | 3:06 pm
Posted by Jonah Lowenfeld
Los Angeles Police Department officers pursuing burglary suspects in the Sepulveda Pass on March 5 led the Milken Community High School to briefly lock down its campus on Tuesday afternoon.
The three burglary suspects, who were reportedly spotted by a neighbor in Woodland Hills around 1pm, first attempted to flee in a car on the 101 and 405 freeways, but after being pursued by police, exited the car on foot and ran into a thick section of brush on the west side of the 405 Freeway, near the Milken School.
The school ordered the lockdown before 2:30 pm and, in accordance with school procedures, the 740 students on campus, as well as teachers and staff, remained in their classrooms and offices, Sheryl Schreiber, Milken's Executive Director for Institutional Services, said.
"The school did have emergency procedures," Schreiber said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon. "We are happy that no one was injured and Milken was not affected, but we are also happy to say that our emergency procedures were in place and were abided by."
By 3:15 pm, the campus was back to its normal operations. "All kids are proceeding to their afternoon activities as usual," Schreiber said.
According to NBC4, LAPD caught the first of three suspects shortly before 3 p.m. At that time, LAPD officers, including canine units and off-road units, were continuing the search for the remaining two suspects.
February 25, 2013 | 1:58 am
Posted by Tom Tugend
Sunday evening’s Academy Awards ceremony wasn’t all that great for the Jewish and Israeli film talent present, but it could have been worse.
“Lincoln,” the early frontrunner in the Oscar race avoided a near total shutout with a best actor trophy for Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role.
The half-Jewish actor is the son of actress Jill Balcon, whose parents immigrated to Britain from Latvia and Poland.
The film’s other top nominees, director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner, were less fortunate and went home empty handed.
On the brighter side, “Argo,” which chronicles the rescue of six American hostages during the Iranian Revolution, came on strong at the finish, wrapping up the best picture title.
Grant Heslov, the picture’s co-producer with George Clooney and star Ben Affleck, accepted the golden statuette and film editor William Goldenberg did likewise in his category.
Two documentary features centering on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were among the five finalists in their category, but failed to garner the top prize.
In “The Gatekeepers,” Israeli director Dror Moreh interviewed six former heads of the Shin Bet anti-terrorist agency, none of whom had any good words for the policies of the primer ministers under whom they served.
The second entry, “5 Broken Cameras,” jointly directed by Palestinian Emud Bernat and Israeli Guy Davidi, viewed the confrontation between Palestinian villagers on the West Bank and Israeli soldiers protecting a new settlement.
Carrying off the documentary Oscar was the predicted favorite “Searching for Sugar Man,” about an American folk singer unrecognized in his own country, who becomes an idol in South Africa.
In the recent past, Israeli movies have scored well in the foreign-language film competition, making the top five shortlists in four of the last five years.
This time around, Israel was represented by “Fill the Void,” a sensitive portrayal of life and love in a haredi (fervently Orthodox) enclave in Tel Aviv.
Probably none of entries from 71 countries could have topped the winner, the superb Austrian film “Amour,” which examines the marriage of an elderly French couple, tested when the wife suffers a stroke.
However, “Fill the Void” was eliminated in the first cut and part of this disappointing showing can probably be attributed to the film’s anemic promotion effort.
While less accomplished films from other countries staged press screenings and arranged interviews with their directors and actors, the Israeli movie’s producers and distributors failed to make such rudimentary efforts, treating their product almost like a national security secret.
On Oscar night, in the absence of Billy Crystal and other Jewishly attuned hosts of previous years, first-time master of ceremonies Seth MacFarlane stayed away from the typical Jewish Hollywood jokes during the introductory monologue.
The show made up for this omission in the second part of the evening, when Ted, the X-rated stuffed teddy bear of the same titled movie, made an appearance. In a skit, Ted “revealed” that his birth name was Theodore Shapiro and he was actually born Jewish, which he figured would assure his acceptance into Hollywood’s ranks.
He followed up later with a joke about Hitler, of all people, and a puzzling shtick involving the von Trapp family of “Sound of Music” fame and a black-uniformed SS man.
After that, it was a relief to welcome back Barbra Streisand in a soulful rendition of “The Way We Were” in a tribute to the late composer Marvin Hamlisch.
February 12, 2013 | 12:25 pm
Posted by Marcy Oster, JTA
Hila Ben Baruch was painted into a corner and came out swinging.
Ben Baruch recently parked her car in a legal space near her central Tel Aviv apartment but returned to find the spot repainted for use by the handicapped -- and her vehicle towed.
She threatened to sue the city for ordering her to pay a fine and the cost of towing to recover her car. Ben Baruch had a strong case: A surveillance camera recording documented the space's transition, and she posted it on Facebook.
The municipality returned the vehicle for free and offered an apology.
"This was indeed a serious error, and schlemielism that is unacceptable to the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality," the city said in a statement, according to Haaretz.
Ben Baruch says she still plans to sue the city to recover damages for her mental distress. Regardless of any compensation she receives, the prime parking spot is gone -- a tough loss in Tel Aviv.
December 21, 2012 | 2:17 pm
Posted by JewishJournal
Jimmy Fallon, Billy Crystal and Jerry Seinfeld revisit Abbott & Costello's classic "Who's On First?" routine, where we finally get to meet the team's first-baseman "Who," second-baseman "What," and third-baseman "I Don't Know."
December 11, 2012 | 10:34 am
Are Israel's recent publicity problems finally over? Or did they just get worse?
In the wake of the vote granting the Palestinians upgraded status at the United Nations, and just days after "Sesame Street" actress Sonia Manzano called Israelis “bullies,” Honey Boo Boo of TLC reality show fame offered a respite.
Adi Segal, an Israeli fan of the "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" star, sent her a letter from a bomb shelter during the recent Gaza conflict.
"We watch your show every time we feel terrorized and threatened and you light up our faces," wrote Segal, a college student. "We watch it in our bomb shelters and panic room, and rejoice in the happiness and joy you spread. When you are playing redneck games, eating sketti or dumpster diving, we feel like we are dumpster diving along your side and forget the sad reality that is outside. Your family is a shining beautimous beacon of hope for the Middle East."
In response, the toddler in tiara took a photo of herself with the letter and an inflatable hammer emblazoned with the Israeli flag and posted it on her Facebook page. Is this the next step in Israeli hasbarah? Is it connected to the recent firing of the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon?
Maybe next year we'll be able to watch “Land of Milk and Honey Boo Boo.”
November 9, 2012 | 10:40 am
Posted JTA and JewishJournal.com
Nate Silver, the 34-year-old whiz who created a system in 2003 that uses statistics to accurately forecast baseball matchups, may have changed political predictions forever. In 2008, he applied his baseball model to the presidential election and accurately predicted the winner in 49 states and the District of Columbia (he got Indiana wrong.) The New York Times picked up his FiveThirtyEight blog -- named for the number of electors in the Electoral College – and Silver quickly became a lightning rod for critics and a guru for admirers. But his predictions in recent weeks that President Obama had an 80-plus percent probability of winning earned him derision from both the right and left. On Election Day, however, Silver correctly predicted the victor in all 50 state contests plus DC. On Wednesday, even Silver's detractors were doffing their hats.
November 6, 2012 | 7:31 pm
Posted by Jonah Lowenfeld
“I have kids who got laid off from their jobs. I have a grandchild who just graduated college who’s having a tough time finding a job, and I just hope things change for the better.”
- Muriel Perry, who cast her ballot at Sinai Temple this morning
Dennis Kahan said he voted Libertarian this morning at Sinai Temple. He voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson, and left the spaces for Senate and Assembly candidates blank.
On the ballot measures, Kahan voted against any that raised taxes or increased government intrusion into the private sphere – so thumbs down for both Prop. 30 and 38, which would raise taxes to pay for education as well as for Measure B, which would require condom use on the sets of adult films shot in the city of Los Angeles.
“Surprisingly,” Kahan added, “I voted no on Prop. 32,” the ballot measure that would restrict the ability of Unions and corporations to use monies deducted from payroll to pay for political activities.
“I don’t like unions, because they restrict the rights of individuals to work,” Kahan explained, “but I voted against the measure because I don’t want the government telling unions what they can and can’t do.”
Robert Rosenberg wouldn’t hint at who got his vote, but he did have this to say about what needed to change in the American system of elections.
“Shorter campaigns,” he said, “and one six-year term for President instead of two four-year terms.”