Categories
Commentary

A Landmark Court Verdict Against Racial Hatred

Morris Dees, an American civil rights litigation lawyer and the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has been fighting hate organizations in the United States for some 50 years now. In what he describes as an epiphany, he decided that the most effective way of bringing down neo-Nazis and their ilk was to hit them […]

Categories
Jewish Affairs

The Historic Synagogues Of Poland

Scattered throughout Poland are synagogues in various architectural styles that once served a large and venerable Jewish community. Found in towns ranging from Zamosc and Orla to Krasnik and Lancut, they remind Poles and foreign visitors alike that Poland was home to one of the most vibrant and important Jewish centers in the Diaspora before the […]

Categories
Television

The Club: A Turkish Drama With A Jewish Twist

The Club, a six-part Turkish Netflix drama set in Istanbul during the 1940s and 1950s, portrays Turkey’s Jewish minority soberly and frankly. It highlights the positive and exposes the negative, providing viewers with a reasonably nuanced picture of Jews in a Muslim society. Matilda Aseo (Gokce Bahadir), the main character, is a Sephardi Jew whose […]

Categories
Film

A Starry Sky Above The Roman Ghetto

Fascist Italy’s persecution of its Jewish citizens is hardly a new theme in Italian cinema. Vittorio De Sica’s The Garden of the Finzi Continis (1970) and Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful (1998) were both commercial and critical hits, winning the Academy Award in the best foreign film category. Giulio Base’s A Starry Sky Above The […]

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Film

Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn

Radu Jude’s jolting and sometimes bizarre Romanian-language movie, Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn, which opens in Canada on November 26, is unconventional, to say the least. To the best of my knowledge, it is the first mainstream film featuring hardcore sex. Yet it would be a huge mistake to define it by its occasional […]

Categories
Film

Mish-Mish: Jewish Movie Pioneers In Egypt

David, Herschel and Salamon (Shlomo) Frenkel were pioneers in the truest sense of the word. They were the first filmmakers to bring the art of the animated cartoon movie to Egypt. Active in their adopted homeland from the mid-1930s until the early 1950s, the Frenkels created Misha-Mish Effendi, the Egyptian equivalent of Mickey Mouse. With the […]

Categories
Middle East

Israeli Decision Triggers Pushback

Last month, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz designated six Palestinian civil and human rights groups in the West Bank as terrorist organizations with links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. This is an outfit whose armed wing has hijacked Israeli aircraft and carried out attacks against Israelis since the 1967 Six Day […]

Categories
Film

Julia: Portrait Of A Great Chef

Julia Child was, as an observer of the American food scene said, “the first rock star chef.” She was one of the authors of the two-volume primer on French cuisine, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which has sold more than two-and-a-half million copies since its publication in 1961. And she was the hostess of […]

Categories
Film

Xueta Island

More than half a century before the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, hundreds of Jewish men, women and children on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Majorca were forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism. They were to be known as Xuetas, which may come from the word “Jueto,” or “little Jew.” The converts became crypto-Jews, […]

Categories
Commentary

Bringing Discredit On America

Michael Flynn, former President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, should be censured for having promoted the outrageous notion that the United States should have only one religion. At a recent rally in Texas, he said, “If we are going to have one nation under God, we must have one religion.” He added, “One nation under […]