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Jewish Affairs

Ford Motor Makes History

On April 22, The New York Times reported that Mark Fields, the 53-year-old chief operating officer of Ford Motor, the second-largest car manufacturer in the United States after General Motors, known for working with smaller dealerships such as Wichita Ford, had been chosen to be its next chief executive, succeeding Alan Mulally. If you want […]

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Arts

Toronto Jewish Film Festival (3)

This year’s edition of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival runs from May 1-11 and features a wide assortment of feature-length movies, shorts and documentaries from around the world. A sampler: Lucia Puenzo’s Argentinian feature film, The German Doctor, focuses on Josef Mengele, the Nazi war criminal who found a haven in South America after the […]

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Arts

Last of the Unjust Probes A Terrible Dilemma

Long after his nine-hour documentary on the Holocaust, Shoah, was released in 1985, the French filmmaker, Claude Lanzmann, reviewed footage he had been forced to cut. He was probably flabbergasted by what he had left out, particularly an intriguing interview with Rabbi Benjamin Murmelstein, the last living “elder” of a Nazi ghetto. Murmelstein, who died […]

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Arts

Portrait Of A Palestinian National Poet

Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) was the national poet of the Palestinians, a man whose lyrical poetry distilled the essence of loss and exemplified the dream of statehood. Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuhin’s empathetic biopic, Write Down, I Am An Arab, will be screened at the Canadian International Documentary Festival (Hot Docs) in Toronto on April 27, April 29 […]

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Arts

Toronto Jewish Film Festival (2)

This year’s edition of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, a major event in the city’s cultural agenda, runs from May 1-11 and lives up to expectations, judging by the roster and quality of the movies. A sampler: If you’ve ever visited the Lower East Side in New York City, you may have come upon a […]

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Arts

Nikolai Gogol’s Influence On Sholem Aleichem

A portrait of the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) adorned the  office of Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916), the renowned Yiddish writer. According to Amelia Glaser, a professor of Russian and comparative literature at the University of California in San Diego, Sholem Aleichem’s attachment to Gogol  was anything but surprising. Sholem Aleichem, whose real name was Sholem […]

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Arts

Graphic Documentary Focuses On Battle For Syrian City of Homs

Homs is one of the flashpoints of the civil war in Syria, which is tearing apart the country. Peaceful protests in Homs, north of Damascus, were met with a brutal response by government forces, forcing rebels to take up arms in a bitter struggle that has degenerated into a military stalemate symptomatic of the war […]

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Arts

Meet the Patels — A Revealing Glimpse Into the Indo-American diaspora

Ravi Patel, 29, is a bachelor, a status his traditional Indo-American parents can no longer abide. Strong believers in arranged marriages, they’re certain they can find their son a suitable Indian girl, someone who shares his values and Hindu religion. Bachelorhood, they assert, is not for a nice Indian boy.   Ravi Patel Meet the Patels, […]

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Arts

Toronto Jewish Film Festival (1)

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, the finest cultural event in the city’s Jewish calendar, gets under way on May 1 and runs until May 11. As usual, there are films for every conceivable taste. A sampler: Bernard Natan was one of the founders of  the modern film industry in France. A Rumanian Jew whose original […]

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Arts

The Face of Love Is Beautifully Crafted

Are there second chances in romance? Arie Posen’s beautifully-crafted film, The Face of Love, starring Annette Bening and Ed Harris, delves into that complex and tantalizing question with the persistence and ardour of a long-denied lover. Its premise seems simple-minded at first glance. Nikki (Bening), an attractive widow in her mid-50s still grieving over the […]