Jewish life in North America was nearly aborted before birth when the governor of New Amsterdam sought to expel 23 Brazilian Jews, who landed at the southern tip of Manhattan in 1654.
In a petition to his superiors at the Dutch West India Company in Amsterdam, Peter Stuyvesant urged "that this deceitful race... be not allowed to further infest and trouble the new colony."
Becky Wahlstrom isn't a Jew, but she plays one on TV. As Grace Polk on CBS's "Joan of Arcadia," the blond Chicagoan looks refreshingly unlike your stereotypical Jewish character. Of course, Grace's character wasn't supposed to seem Jewish from the start. The contrary, politically outspoken, rebellious teenager in black has been packed with surprises since her character debuted in last year's first season. Recently, it came to light that her mother is an alcoholic. Toward the end of last year, it was revealed that her father was a rabbi and that, at age 16, she was finally giving in to his pleadings that she have a bat mitzvah. Tonight, then, is the big night. Grace will become a woman in the eyes of the Jewish community at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26.
When Bill Platt pitched his action-oriented "Darklight" TV movie two years ago, he hoped to create a new genre: "Chai-Fi."
The 32-year-old filmmaker intended the project -- inspired by the Jewish "demoness" Lilith -- to merge his heritage with his sci-fi obsession.
"I wondered if I could make Jewish legend fun for audiences who liked 'The Matrix,' he said. "And I wanted to see if I could create my own Jewish superhero."
I'm seeing someone. Let's call her Alison. We're dating. We're in that very gray area between being total strangers and celebrating our silver wedding anniversary. Three months into it and people are already asking when we're getting married. At this point, we're cautiously optimistic, still prefacing all our plans with the phrase: "If you're still speaking with me," as in: "If you're still speaking with me in two weeks, would you like to go to the theater on Thursday night?"
If we're still speaking on Sunday at 9 p.m., you will generally find us parked in front of the television set watching "Sex and the City."
In my house last Sunday evening Tony Soprano easily defeated Anne Frank as "must-see TV." Yes, even in the home of committed Jews, the rancid affairs of a New Jersey Mafia family beat out the young girl of the Holocaust. The question is, why?