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Volume 29, Number 50

February 20-26, 2015

Cover of February 20-26, 2015 Jewish Journal

Charles Cohen, the New York real-estate mogul, is sitting quietly in his massive corner office at the Pacific Design Center (PDC), the landmark red-blue-green triptych of West Hollywood buildings he owns, when his two top

. . .

Why Jews must stay in Europe
Rob Eshman

If, God forbid, some crazy Muslim were to shoot and kill a security guard outside a synagogue in Sherman Oaks, would you pack up and move to Israel?

How Bibi could surprise the world
David Suissa

When the eyes of the world are on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu on March 3 as he speaks to the U.S. Congress, he’ll have an opportunity to shock them all – Congressmen, Israeli voters, the foreign press, European leaders, Arab dictators, the United Nations and President Barack Obama.

Hollywood’s necessary not-niceness
Marty Kaplan

The billion people who will watch the 2015 Academy Awards got a great gift last week from Amy Pascal, the recently fired co-chair of Sony Pictures, who said this to Tina Brown at a Women in the World conference in San Francisco:

Flowers and Israeli and Denmark flags in front of the synagogue in Krystalgade, Copenhagen, on Feb. 16. Photo by Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix Denmark/Reuters

Terror is a perfect reason to move to Israel

To be honest, I have to acknowledge a certain prejudice: I find it quite perplexing that there are Jews in Europe at all, that there are Jews living there willingly just 70 years after the Holocaust.

Thomas L. Friedman on what’s wrong with Islam

The following is excerpted from remarks New York Times columnist Tom Friedman gave Feb. 8 at Stanford University at the annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture.


A snapshot of France and her Jews at the crossroads

I was in Paris on the Shloshim (ceremony marking the 30th day of the passing of a loved one) of the murder of four Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket on a Sabbath eve last month.

<em>Brian Williams from

The real sins of network TV anchors

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.

Graham Moore

Meet Oscar-winner Graham Moore: Hollywood’s newest Jewish writing prodigy

Like the subjects on which he writes, Moore is something of an anomalous genius himself.

Film editor William Goldenberg. Image credit, Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Inside the careful editing process of ‘The Imitation Game’

In 2013, veteran film editor William Goldenberg said, he was “humbled and thrilled” when he took the stage at the Dolby Theatre to accept his first Academy Award for cutting Ben Affleck’s Iran thriller, “Argo.”

Sarah Adler in "Aya"

A short film goes a long way for actress Sarah Adler

French-Israeli actress Sarah Adler has walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and at the Ophir Awards (the Israeli Oscars) for starring turns in noted dramas such as Jean-Luc Godard’s “Notre Musique” and Etgar Keret’s “Jellyfish.”

From left: Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash.” Photos by Daniel McFadden, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

‘Whiplash’ director draws from personally experiencing the cost of greatness

In an excruciating sequence in writer-director Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” 19-year-old Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller), an ambitious young drummer, frenetically performs for his sadistically abusive teacher.

From left: Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Nazis, suicide and the Jew behind ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

The Grand Budapest hotel is nestled into a snow-capped mountain dreamscape — a painterly paradise in the former republic of the fictional Zubrowka, which was once, we are told, “the seat of an empire.”

‘Foxcatcher’: Why it took 7 years to complete

For Hollywood screenwriters, having your work rewritten is a fact of life, although it goes without saying that most writers hate it.

The rabbi missing from ‘Selma’

Ava DuVernay's film "Selma" is a remarkable depiction of a key moment in the civil rights movement, highlighting the strategic savvy, relentless courage, and human frailties of Rev. Martin Luther King, his inner circle of advisors, local grassroots activists, and the many other crusaders who traveled to this rural town to draw attention to the need for a voting rights bill in 1965.

<em>Ricardo Darin in

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

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

Letters to the editor: Brian Williams, Mashadi Jews, Bibi and more
Letters to the Editor

Mesmerizing interview [with Itai Anghel] — I had no idea (“The Un-Brian,” Feb. 13; appeared online as “Itai Anghel: The Brave Israeli Interviewing ISIS, Kurdish Fighters in Syria”).

Meet the voters transforming Israel’s political landscape

Chani Lerner-Mor’s political activism began on a street corner here in Raanana, Israel, in 1993.

American Jewish former diplomat speaks in Cairo

Daniel Kurtzer, the former diplomat, continues to be soft-spoken, and his outlook envisions opportunities for conflict resolution.

Despite Speechgate drama, U.S.-Israel defense relations stay solid

American-Israeli relations may be enduring a challenging period due to the political drama surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress, but you’d never know it from the recent confirmation hearing for defense secretary nominee Ashton Carter.

Some Democrats accede to Netanyahu and Boehner
Los Angeles

Most of the outspoken supporters of Israel among Los Angeles’ congressional representatives will attend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech on Iranian nuclear capabilities before a joint session of Congress — but not without first expressing their displeasure with the Israeli leader and Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

‘Holocaust by Bullets’ Reveals mass killing sites

As is often the case with an idea that becomes a movement, Father Patrick Desbois’ interest in seeking out the dead originated with a personal quest.

My fifth-grade family tree project

My son Joey’s fifth-grade class at Sinai Akiba Academy is participating in the worldwide “My Family Story” competition sponsored by Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People, on the campus of Tel Aviv University.

How to get started on your family tree

Building your family tree has never been easier. Here are some quick steps to help you get started.

Shimon Peres offers a taste of history, positivity
Los Angeles

Shimon Peres, Israel’s former longtime president and two-time prime minister, appeared at a gala for top funders of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Feb. 11 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Moving and shaking: Shimon Peres, Father Patrick Desbois and more
Los Angeles

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Feb. 11 King David Society gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel featured Shimon Peres, Israel’s former longtime president and two-time prime minister.

Moshe Ninio: A Turkish rug and a trick of the eye

Step into the darkened Project Room 1 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and you’ll see a rectangular mirror in the middle of the floor.

From left: Jack Lebewohl and Fyvush Finkel at New York’s 2nd Avenue Deli. Photo courtesy of delimanmovie.com

‘Deli Man’: A colorful bio sandwiched inside a tasty documentary

Erik Greenberg Anjou’s documentary “Deli Man” began when the filmmaker met Ziggy Gruber, 45, the jovial, Yiddish-speaking proprietor of Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen in Houston.

PBS documentary traces 350 years of Jewish migration

“You survive, you honor us by living,” Martin Greenfield’s father told him.

Confronting Israel in poetry

Journalists who cover the Israel-Palestine situation understand the difficulty of finding words that don’t bring with them the burden of history and politics.

Calendar: February 21-27

David Abir’s solo exhibition culminates in this final installation, and even if you haven’t seen the first three parts of the series, “Relief” isn’t to be missed.

Chef melds Israeli, socal flavors in stylish eateries

“This one is me,” chef Lior Hillel said, smiling as he held up a bottle of the kale tahini sauce bottled under the Kronfli Brothers label, which he makes with his business partners, Daniel and Robert Kronfli.

Survivor: Morris Price

“You remain,” the SS soldier said, pointing at Morris Price — then Moniek Prajs — instructing him to wait in the open truck that had just arrived at Birkenau from the Krakow ghetto.

Obituaries: Week of February 20, 2015

Danny Arazi died Jan. 17 at 74. Survived by wife Rache; sister Ruth (Gabriel) Bach; nieces and nephews. Mount Sinai

Torah portion: Fair and square
Torah Portion

Parashat Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19)

Design lessons from Oscar-nominated movies

This year’s crop of Oscar contenders is filled with memorable performances, meditations on life and death, nail-biting suspense and, yes, valuable decorating lessons. If you’ve ever sat through a movie and wondered not whether the butler did it, but where the butler bought that sofa, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Last Week's Jewish Journal

February 20-26, 2015

Charles Cohen walks the red carpet; Oscar issue; Moving to Israel

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