Sunday, November 28th 2021   |

Arts and Culture

Alex Edelman’s new comedy show raises contentious questions about Jewish identity. He says that’s the point.

By BEN SALES

(New York Jewish Week via JTA) — If you click through Twitter, you may come upon a list of some 250 accounts called “Jewish Nat’l Fund Donors.” 

But it’s safe to say that no one on the list has ever given any money to the actual Jewish National Fund, an organization best known for acquiring land and planting trees in Israel.

That’s because the list is made...

2022 Grammy Awards: The Jewish nominees, from Doja Cat to Drake to an Israeli cellist

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Some of the music industry’s most popular Jewish artists were included in the 2022 Grammy Award nominations unveiled on Tuesday.

Here’s a roundup:

Doja Cat, a Black and Jewish pop star-rapper hybrid who has become one of the most listened-to artists in the world — Spotify lists her as the 7th-most-streamed musician on its platform as of Wednesday morning — racked up nominations in in...

‘My Unorthodox Life’ couple Batsheva Haart and Ben Weinstein have separated

By PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) — Fans of Netflix’s “My Unorthodox Life” started buzzing late Wednesday when Ben Weinstein, the husband of the star’s daughter, posted a picture of himself to Instagram with an intriguing caption: “Officially not-famous.”

Was Weinstein signaling that he had split from Batsheva Haart, the influencer and daughter of fashion executive Julia Haart whose journey out of Orthodoxy was the subject of the hit series this summer?...

Van Gogh painting stolen from Rothschild by Nazis sells for $35.9 million, breaking record

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — A watercolor painting by Vincent Van Gogh that was stolen by the Nazis from its Jewish owner during the Holocaust was sold at auction for $35,855,000 Thursday, breaking the record for the largest sum ever paid for a Van Gogh painting on paper at auction.

The painting had been purchased by Max Meirowsky, a German Jewish art collector, in 1913. When Meirowsky left Germany for...

Jewish actor Paul Rudd is ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ for 2021

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Paul Rudd, the Jewish movie star whose original family name was Rudnitsky, was named People magazine’s “sexiest man alive” in 2021.

He responded to the magazine with the signature sense of humility that has helped endear him to fans — in addition to his good looks — for over two decades of mostly comedic roles.

“When I think about myself, I think of myself as...

Gal Gadot tells a joke in Hebrew on James Corden’s ‘Late Late Show’

(JTA) — Gal Gadot is back to speaking Hebrew on late-night American TV.

In an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Late Show” on Tuesday night, host James Corden subjected the Israeli star to a game titled “Gal Ga-YES or Gal Ga-NO.” Corden challenged Gadot to perform a series of tasks, including throwing a grape in the air and catching it in her mouth, and reading a line in a British...

Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ Jewish manager, to be honored with a statue in Liverpool

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — The Beatles’ Jewish manager who was credited with ushering the band to global fame and success will be memorialized with a statue in Liverpool, according to the BBC.

Brian Epstein, born on Yom Kippur to a family of Russian and Lithuanian Jewish descent, first discovered The Beatles in 1961 at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. He became the band’s manager in 1962, overseeing the group’s...

Mila Kunis, Neil Patrick Harris, Helen Mirren and over 200 other celebrities sign letter denouncing cultural boycott of Israel

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — More than 200 celebrities, including actors Mila Kunis, Billy Porter, Neil Patrick Harris and Helen Mirren, signed an open letter opposing efforts to boycott an LGBTQ film festival in Tel Aviv.

The letter published Wednesday is a response to calls from activists with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to boycott the Tel Aviv International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, also called TLVFest, an annual film festival...

Mort Sahl, Jewish comedian who fused stand-up with political satire and inspired the likes of Lenny Bruce, dies at 94

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Mort Sahl, a Jewish satirist who was credited with making caustic political and social satire popular in stand-up comedy, died Tuesday at 94.

Often walking on stage holding just a rolled up newspaper, Sahl liked to riff on the headlines of the day in extended improvised monologues. At a time when comedians tended to steer clear of politics, Sahl took aim at politicians and was...

Jay Black of ‘Jay and The Americans’ dies at 82

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — When Jay Black wanted The New York Times to understand that he was a hell-raiser, he said he was thrown out of New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.

When he made the same point to The Forward, he added that he was subsequently tossed out of three yeshivahs.

“Three yeshivas,” Black said twice for emphasis in a 2014 interview. “I was a bad kid.”

Black,...