December 14, 2006
Prager; CAIR; Gibson; The Boot!
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Al Jazeera, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran's president teach that Jews are the scourge of the earth and must be destroyed. They would be very pleased with the anti-Semitism originating from within what masquerades as our representative news organ!
The Prime Grill
After reading the puff piece on The Prime Grill, I cannot wait to spend $125 per person, especially if it includes a sumptuous glass of mevushal (cooked) wine ("A Kosher Steakhouse? Well Done!" Dec. 1).
The best kosher wines are not mevushal and, thanks to our zealous kashrut authorities, not on the menus of any local kosher restaurants.
I would certainly like to see an open discussion of the logic of continuing this practice.
Rob Eshman was typically astute and thoughtful in his article about the reaction to Michael Richard's racist outburst and what it says about the complexities of American Jewish identity ("Michael Richards, Still Not a Jew," Dec. 1). But he is dead wrong is in his charge that it is "black hypocrisy" for some African Americans to use the "n-word" publicly while insisting that other ethnic groups, especially whites, should not.
If anything it is Jewish hypocrisy for Eshman to pass judgment on blacks who use the "n-word" and not on Jews who invoke the same exact privilege. There are many Jewish performers who traffic in Jewish stereotypes to mixed audiences, and to mixed effect, casually tossing around terms like "Heeb" or perpetuating the self-hating class and gender stereotypes of "JAPs" in order to advance their careers. I've cringed many times at Jon Stewart's use of the term "Jewey" but I suspect there are many Jews who laugh at it. Would they laugh if it was Chris Rock saying it? Probably not. Would Eshman have given his hekhsher to the anti-Semitism laced "Borat" movie had it not been made by a Jewish performer? I doubt it.
Black use of the "n-word," controversial within the black community, is a complex mix of brazenness, self-love and self-hatred. The same cannot be said about Richards' vicious attempt to verbally assert his racial dominance, his frightening nostalgia for lynching and his shock that an uppity black person would dare "interrupt the white man." Michael Richards is not Richard Pryor. And that's not about hypocrisy, it's about context.
I am the writer/director of the documentary "Ever Again," which Tom Tugend wrote about in The Jewish Journal on Dec. 8 ("European Anti-Semitism Spurs Controversial Comparison"). It is a shame that Tugend chose to conclude his piece with a criticism of our film by Michael Berenbaum.
For reasons I cannot understand, Michael Berenbaum, a man I know and respect, voiced this criticism despite the fact that he has never seen our film. And had he seen it he would have understood that one of the main theses of our documentary is exactly the same point he made in Tugend's piece: "To a large extent, what we see now is the revolt of an underclass, spurred by anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and anti-globalization."
Furthermore, the title of our film is not, as Tugend suggests a "...clear allusion to the Holocaust-era battle cry, 'Never Again.'" The title is, in fact, a statement that anti-Semitism, even after the Holocaust, continues to haunt us.
Fortunately, on the same day that The Journal chose to run this critical view of our documentary, "Ever Again" received rave reviews in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Time Out. I hope in the future we receive better treatment from the writers of The Jewish Journal.
Morris Newman's story about architect Brenda Levin was both enlightening and encouraging; however, the story contains some errors (Designing Woman Preserves Observatory's Past for Future," Nov. 3). Wilshire Boulevard Temple was not built by Harry and Jack Warner, and it was not built in the 1930s. In fact, construction on the building, designed by famed architects Abram Edelman (son of the temple's first rabbi and architect of the previous temple at Ninth and Hope streets and the Breed Street Shul), David S. Allison (UCLA's Royce Hall, Wilshire Methodist Church, Edison Building, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles), S. Tilden Norton (Los Angeles Theatre, first and second Sinai Temple ) commenced in 1928 under the supervision of Rabbi Edgar F. Magnin, with the building being completed and formally dedicated in 1929. And the Warners, though perhaps notable congregants and participants in the building's capital campaign, did not "build" the temple.
They did contribute in no small part by commissioning famed artist Hugo Ballin to create the biblically-themed murals that adorn the sanctuary. Coincidentally, Ballin was the artist who a few years later created the beautiful murals for the Griffith Observatory. The Jewish Historical Society invites all of your readers to inquire about our tours of historic Jewish Los Angeles.
Jewish Historical Society of Southern California
Correction: The name of the artist in "Two Sephardic Visions" (Seven Days, Dec. 1) should have been Mireille Abitbol.
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