Categories
Television

Lansky: A Biopic Of An American Gangster

Meyer Lansky (1902-1983) was one of the dominant figures in the American underworld from the 1930s until his death. He was a key figure in the National Crime Syndicate, a confederation of Italian, Irish and Jewish gangsters, and one of the founders of Murder Inc., the enforcement arm of the mafia. Lansky, whose friends and […]

Categories
Television

Jaguar — Nazi Hunters In Spain

Jaguar, a six-part Netflix series set in Madrid in 1962, unfolds against the backdrop of World War II, Nazi concentration camps, and German war criminals enjoying the fruits of immunity in postwar Spain. A small band of Spaniards whose lives were upended by Nazi oppression plot to kidnap and bring to justice Aribert Heim, a […]

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Commentary

Helmut Oberlander Eluded Justice

Helmut Oberlander died at home in Waterloo, Ontario, on September 23 “surrounded by loved ones,” according to his lawyer, Ronald Poulton. “A loving family man, he will be dearly missed.” As far as I’m concerned, he will not be missed. Not today. Not tomorrow. Or ever. Oberlander, an ethnic German from Ukraine, died peacefully at […]

Categories
Film

Sukkot In Warsaw

Dmitriy Khavin’s 21-minute movie, Sukkot in Warsaw, offers a fleeting glimpse of Jewish life in contemporary Poland. Currently being screened online by the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation’s J-Flix program, it unfolds in Muranow, Warsaw’s old Jewish district, during the Sukkot holiday. This lean and all-too-brief documentary leaves viewers with an impression of a truncated community […]

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Middle East

The Iron Dome and Progressive Democrats

Progressives in the Democratic Party in the United States are turning out to be a real thorn in Israel’s side. In the past few years, this pro-Palestinian group has lambasted Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and denounced Israel as an apartheid state.¬†Of late, they have escalated their campaign by trying to deny military aid […]

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Middle East

Naftali Bennett Hews To The Status Quo

With a little more than 100 days having elapsed since he succeeded Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister, Naftali Bennett has hewed to the status quo with respect to two major interrelated issues — the Palestinians and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Bennett leads an extremely diverse coalition consisting of eight of the 13 […]

Categories
Film

The Hidden Life Of Trees

A magnificent tree is a sight to behold and a majestic forest is awe-inspiring. I have walked and hiked through sun-dappled and dim forests and jungles alike and have never been disappointed by the sylvan and spiritual vistas. Trees are ubiquitous, whether in rural regions or in urban settings, but they should not be taken […]

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Middle East

The Abraham Accords One Year On

A few days ago, at a Zoom event marking the first anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House in Washington, D.C., Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid invited yet more Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel. “The Abraham Accords club is open for new members as well,” said Lapid in […]

Categories
Film

Asia — A Somber Film From Israel

Ruthy Pribar’s debut feature film, Asia, which opens in theatres in Ontario on October 1, is a somber and affecting portrait of a mother and her daughter grasping for companionship, love and fulfillment. It unfolds over a short period of time in Jerusalem. Asia (Alena Yiv) and her daughter, Vika (Shira Haas), share a modest […]

Categories
Film

Hester Street Returns

A restored version of Joan Micklin Silver’s 1975 classic, Hester Street, awaits viewers who fondly remember and still savor it. Based on Abraham Cahan’s short story, Yekl, it will be screened at the forthcoming New York Film Festival. Silver, who died earlier this year, made Hester Street on a shoestring budget, and her husband distributed […]