Thursday, September 23rd 2021   |

Arts and Culture

Meet the Jewish mustard maven who founded a museum for his favorite condiment


(JTA) — The 16th-century kabbalist Moshe Cordovero and the Jewish philosopher Nachmanides both compared the universe to the size of a mustard seed. The biblical commentator Rashi – who lived 100 miles from Dijon, France – believed that Abraham served tongue with mustard to the three angels who visit him in the 18th chapter of Genesis.

Long before there were Jewish delis, mustard apparently was important to...

The greatest Holocaust movie ever made, starring Steve Buscemi, debuted on 9/11. It’s time to revisit it.


(JTA) — On Sept. 11, 2001, the greatest Holocaust film ever made, before or since, premiered at a festival — and quickly disappeared, largely unnoticed.  

The film’s cast included Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, David Arquette, Michael Stuhlbarg and Mira Sorvino, and it was written and directed by the acclaimed Jewish actor Tim Blake Nelson. Roger Ebert called it one of the best films of the year; later,...

9/11 musical ‘Come From Away’ returns to stage and screen, with Jewish values at the center of its story


(JTA) — When U.S. airspace closed as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, 38 planes were grounded in Gander, Newfoundland, stranding nearly 7,000 international travelers “on the northeast tip of North America.”

So begins the story of “Come From Away,” the Tony Award-winning Canadian musical chronicling the real experiences of those “plane people,” and of the good-hearted locals who...

Daveed Diggs, Rachel Bloom, Sue Bird and more: The Almas award 5781’s top Jewish pop culture contributors


(JTA) — It’s not just the High Holidays, the time of year when Jews reflect on their past year and atone for their sins. For the third time now, it’s also time to appreciate the Jewish moments that helped define the year in pop culture — in the form of The Almas.

Alma, which like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is part of 70 Faces Media, released its...

‘Seinfeld’ moves to Netflix on Oct. 1

(JTA) — Netflix is now master of the “Seinfeld” domain.

All nine seasons of the megahit show about nothing are heading to the streaming giant on Oct. 1, Netflix announced Wednesday.

The show had been available on Hulu for years. Netflix bought the rights for 2021 in 2019. Jerry Seinfeld released a joke statement on the news to Variety.

“Larry [David] and I are enormously grateful to Netflix for taking...

This Jewish family has been making honey wine for 150 years


(JTA via Kveller) – Rachel Lipman cares deeply about preserving her Jewish family’s fifth-generation winemaking business, Loew Vineyards, but the 28-year-old is keeping an eye on the future, too. As one of the youngest winemakers in Maryland — if not the youngest — she’s pushing through boundaries in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

But that’s not all. Lipman is also educating customers about her family’s extraordinary legacy of...

Ezra Furman has sung about God in her indie rock. Now she’s going to rabbinical school.


(JTA) — “How would I describe myself?” Ezra Furman said wryly, tearing a corner off of her slice of pizza in a shop in Somerville, Mass. “I try to avoid it.” 

There’s certainly a lot to cover. The 34-year-old musician is an acclaimed indie rocker, an observant Jew, a transgender woman, a mother, and — as of this fall — a rabbinical student. 

“I would say I’m...

Joshua Mitnick, a compassionate Israel reporter in a harsh region, dies at 50

By Dina Kraft

TEL AVIV (JTA) — On a blistering summer day a few years ago, journalist Joshua Mitnick and his Palestinian translator, Nuha Musleh, were out reporting a story about an East Jerusalem village.

The Palestinian residents were protesting the Israeli security barrier that was being built there, cutting them off from the rest of the city.  The two marched for several kilometers alongside the villagers. Musleh, refraining from...

Ed Asner, who starred as Lou Grant, dies at 91


(JTA) — Ed Asner, who trademarked a gruff, flawed, and loving persona as Lou Grant in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and in a spin-off series about journalism, has died at 91.

“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully,” the family said Sunday on Asner’s Twitter account. “Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head...

Following media criticism, Spike Lee is re-editing his documentary featuring 9/11 conspiracy theorist who flirted with antisemitism


(JTA) — Spike Lee has announced that he is re-editing the final episode of his new HBO documentary series about New York following reports of early media screenings that criticized the Oscar-winning filmmaker for prominently featuring a conspiracy theorist who has entertained antisemitic ideas.

“New York Epicenters: 9/11-2021½,” a four-part documentary examining the character of the city in the 21st century, began airing Sunday on HBO.