I was with Obama in Israel and in Europe, and I saw how he focused on the urgency of the Iranian threat. I saw how he used his discussions in Israel to remind the European leaders that Israelis are justified in seeing Iran with nuclear weapons as an existential threat -- and that for Israel's sake and our own we must put far more pressure on Iran if we are to stop it from going nuclear.
Dawn Ostroff, who in addition to being a religiously observant wife and mother, has worked her way up to a glamorous, powerful and exciting position: president of entertainment at UPN. Offering insight into the art of balancing home and work life and achieving one's professional dreams, she reminds us that it's never too late.
Our Torah portion employs an enigmatic turn of phrase that appears quite instructive in this regard. As God commands Moses to solicit the necessary stuff to build the Sanctuary, He demands that the Jews "take for Me a portion."
In January, the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) ended its international search for an executive director and picked an Angeleno: UCLA professor Peter Tokofsky.
What sold CAFAM on Tokofsky was his suggestion that the museum buck the tradition of looking outward to international cultures for exhibit material, and focus on indigenous trends instead.
"It's all right here," Tokofsky said. "This museum is going to be increasingly about L.A."
Tokofsky promises that future exhibits at the Miracle Mile museum will revel in local culture -- ethnic and popular -- and Los Angeles' populace, including the Jewish community. As an appetizer, entertainer Len Levitt will stage a Passover-themed puppet show, part of CAFAM's "Puppets" exhibition, on April 13, and Hebrew University professor Shalom Sabar will lecture on the lore and lure of Hebrew amulets on April 19.
"David Mamet calls me Hebraically challenged," confides actor William H. Macy, a longtime collaborator of the esteemed playwright. "I'm the ultimate [gentile]. Part of me is the imploding WASP, a role I've certainly played to death."
With his weak smile and wounded-looking blue eyes, Macy was riveting in his Oscar-nominated turn as a car dealer struggling to cover up his wife's kidnapping in the Coen brothers' 1996 film "Fargo." He was the humiliated husband of an oversexed porn star in "Boogie Nights," and a beleaguered 1950s sitcom dad in "Pleasantville."
Which is why he was cautious when director Neal Slavin asked him to star in his noirish feature-film debut, "Focus" -- based on Arthur Miller's 1945 novel about a milquetoast mistakenly identified as Jewish by his anti-Semitic neighbors.