Wednesday, January 27th 2021   |

Arts and Culture

Mandy Patinkin on why Inigo Montoya is Jewish and what Saul Berenson would tell his Israeli sister about Trump

(JTA) — Mandy Patinkin brought a piece of his silver-screen past to the table in his first direct appeal to American Jews to vote for a candidate, Joe Biden.

Inigo Montoya’s sword plays a role in Patinkin’s appeal in a Jewish Democratic Council of America ad debuting Friday.

In an interview, Patinkin said it wasn’t the first time he used objects that melded his fictional and real universes: Saul Berenson,...

Prince and the Jews: The late rock star’s best Jewish friend tells all in new memoir


(JTA) — In the late 1960s, when Neal Karlen was not even 10 years old, he would spend time at the home of his grandparents, one of the few Jewish families that remained on the north side of Minneapolis. Karlen would play basketball and ride bikes with a group of African-American kids who lived in the neighborhood. One of them, he later realized, was a young Prince...

Holocaust survivor’s daughter wants her late mother’s interview out of ‘Borat’ sequel

(JTA) — The daughter of a late Holocaust survivor is suing to have her mother’s appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming “Borat” sequel removed from the film, stating that the comedy mocks “the Holocaust and Jewish culture.”

Cohen, who is Jewish, interviewed Judith Dim Evans earlier this year “under false pretenses with the intent of appropriating her likeness,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed this week with the Superior Court...

Gal Gadot to star as Egyptian queen Cleopatra in historical biopic

(JTA) — Gal Gadot will channel a real-life wonder woman as the star of a blockbuster film about the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

The Israeli star will work on the film alongside “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, Deadline first reported.

Gadot’s husband Yaron Varsano and the couple’s Pilot Wave production company will be involved in the project as well. Universal, Warner Bros, Netflix and Apple also vied for the rights to...

Who’s on first? Liberal Billy Crystal and conservative Bill Kristol compete to endorse Biden

(JTA) — Take your pick: Crystal method, or Kristol, Bill’s persuasion.

Billy Crystal, the actor and comedian, and Bill Kristol, the onetime top adviser to Republican officials who has become a prominent “Never Trumper” joined in an ad released this week to explain why they were voting for Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee hoping to oust Donald Trump on Nov. 3.

“We never agree on anything!” says Crystal who pretends...

Moral of ‘The Keeper’ is about forgiveness, perseverance


There is a minor, but pivotal moment in Marcus H. Rosenmüeller’s film “The Keeper” where a rabbi makes a major and dramatic declaration. Based on the real life story of Bert (Bernd) Trautmann, the film recounts how Rabbi Alexander Altmann, a noted, former German-Jewish scholar who had fled the Nazis, advocates his fellow Manchester citizens accept Trautmann, a former decorated Nazi soldier, as the goalkeeper for their...

Jewish poet Louise Gluck wins Nobel Prize in Literature

(JTA) — Louise Gluck, the American granddaughter of Hungarian Jews, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.

Gluck, 77, was awarded “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal,” the Nobel committee wrote in its announcement.

Her collections of poetry — which explore broad and painful topics, such as family life, trauma and aging — include the books “The Wild Iris,” “Meadowlands,” “The...

Succot, the pandemic and a lynching come together in a multiracial Jewish dancer’s new art installation


(JTA) — For his latest installation, dancer and choreographer Adam McKinney drew inspiration from what may seem like disparate sources: the Jewish holiday of Succot, the coronavirus pandemic and the 1921 lynching of a Black man in Texas.

“Shelter in Place” consists of a “deconstructed sukkah,” tree branches hanging from the ceiling and elements making up the schach, a see-through material put on top of the sukkah,...

Jewish actor Rick Moranis assaulted in New York City

(JTA) — Jewish actor and comedian Rick Moranis was the victim of an assault in New York City, police said.

On Thursday, media outlets reported that someone punched an unnamed 67-year-old man in the head on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Police said the following day that Moranis visited the hospital for pain in his head, back and hip and then reported the crime. A video shows Moranis falling...

Natalie Portman’s debut children’s book makes 3 classic tales ‘gender-safe’

(JTA) — Actress, director and Academy Award winner Natalie Portman can add another title to her resume: children’s book author.

The Israeli-American movie star rewrote three classic children’s stories — “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Three Little Pigs” and “Country Mouse and City Mouse” — to be more “gender-safe,” in her words, with fewer male pronouns and more gender diversity.

She wrote about the thinking behind the project in...