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Arts

The Phenomenon of Jewish-Asian Marriages

The face of intermarriage in the United States has changed significantly since the Supreme Court, in the 1967 landmark Loving v. Virginia case, ruled that race-based legal restrictions on marriage are unconstitutional. Since then, mixed marriages between Americans of different racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds have risen dramatically, especially in ten states: California, Texas, New … Read More

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Arts

Fire At Sea

The small, remote Italian island of Lampedusa, 70 kilometers off the coast of Africa, has borne the brunt of the migrant crisis afflicting Europe. In the past 20 years, 400,000 migrants have landed there on their way to the European mainland, while 15,000 have drowned en route. Gianfranco Rosi’s spare but affecting documentary, Fire at … Read More

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Arts

A Cinematic Portrait Of Israel’s Yarkon River

I have fond memories of the Yarkon River. On one of my first dates with the Israeli woman who would become my wife, we sat under a grove of fragrant eucalyptus trees on the bank of the Yarkon in Tel Aviv, talked and admired the lush scenery. It was early April and the weather was … Read More

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Muslims And Jews In France

It’s a little-known fact. France, next to Israel, has the greatest number of Jews and Muslims living side by side in any country in the world. France is home to four to six million Muslims and 500,000 to 600,000 Jews. Since a significant proportion of its Muslim and Jewish citizens hail from the same countries … Read More

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Canadian Jihadists and Islamic State

Tens of thousands of foreign jihadists have flocked to the Middle East to fight forIslamic State, which also known goes under the name of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. By all estimates, 60 to 150 of its recruits have been Canadian citizens, a somber fact that emerges in Mark Bourrie’s The Killing Game: Martyrdom, … Read More

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My Father My Lord

The late Assi Dayan was a chartered member of Israel’s secular cultural elite, but in David Volach’s meloncholic┬áMy Father My Lord, he plays David Eidelman, a deeply pious Israeli Orthodox rabbi who’s dealing with the emotional fallout of a personal tragedy. In the first scene of the film, scheduled to be presented by the Toronto … Read More

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Norman, A Film By Joseph Cedar

Norman Oppenheimer, the main character in Israeli director Joseph Cedar’s first English-language film,┬áNorman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer, is a man in motion. People think they know Norman, yet no one really knows him. He’s omnipresent, yet he’s elusive. Norman reminds a viewer of Jay Gatsby, the alluring and … Read More

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The Women’s Balcony

Emil Ben Shimon’s Hebrew-language movie, The Women’s Balcony, takes a viewer into a divided Sephardic Jewish community in Jerusalem.┬áPremiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, it’s about tradition, friendship, faith and rebellion. The opening scene sets the tone. On a beautiful Saturday morning, with the rays of the sun glinting off beige stone buildings, … Read More

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A History Of Antisemitism In Canada

Jews in Canada live a charmed life. Living in a liberal democracy defined by such values as fairness, tolerance and inclusion, Jews have it good here, though Canada definitely has its share of bigots and racists. Before World War II, Canada was a far different country, a place where racism was depressingly common. Ira Robinson, … Read More

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Arts

Paris Can Wait

A two-day road trip which showcases the magnificent scenery and delectable gastronomic delights of southern France perks up Eleanor Coppola’s Paris Can Wait, which was screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. This an old-school 1950s movie, and Coppola has resurrected it in style. Starring Diane Lane as the wife of a busy, penny-pinching … Read More