Thursday, September 16th 2021   |

Arts and Culture

Oscars 2021: Jewish nominees (nearly) strike out

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — It was an unusual Academy Awards in several ways.

Forced to adapt to social distancing protocols, the ceremony was split into different venues but mostly took place in Los Angeles’ Union Station. For only the second time in history, a woman won best director — and the first woman of color at that, as the award went to Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland,” which also won...

Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish are besties who dance the hora in new film ‘Here Today’

By PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) — Comedian Billy Crystal and actress Tiffany Haddish are so close that Crystal read a Torah portion at Haddish’s 2019 bat mitzvah ceremony in Los Angeles.

Now the two Jewish celebrities are taking their friendship to the big screen in a buddy comedy called “Here Today.” The first trailer for the movie, out May 7, was released Thursday, and it includes a shot of Crystal and...

New short film skewers the ‘Miss Hitler’ beauty pageant — and the everyday anti-Semitism it represents

By STEVEN SILVER

(JTA) — “Miss,” a short film that debuted on Vimeo on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, at first seems like a British version of Lena Dunham’s “Girls”: Two young female roommates, Nina and Olive, share a London flat and appear to have something of an uneasy relationship. 

Nina tells Olive that she wants to compete in an online beauty pageant and would like her photographer roommate to...

One Jewish photographer’s mission to preserve the legacy of the Rosenwald schools

By DAVID SCHECHTER

ATLANTA (JTA) — To the end of his life, the civil rights hero and later congressman John Lewis remembered the half-mile walk from his family’s farm in rural Pike County, Alabama, to the Dunn’s Chapel School.

There was no school bus for Black children; Lewis’ hike was short compared with the miles walked by many of his classmates. They were being educated in surroundings separate from whites,...

ADL chief calls for Tucker Carlson’s ouster after Fox News host endorses white supremacist conspiracy theory

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — Tucker Carlson, a popular Fox News host, defended a white supremacist conspiracy theory on the cable network, spurring the head of the Anti-Defamation League to tweet “Tucker Must Go” and send a letter to Fox News saying he should be fired.

Appearing Thursday on “Fox News Primetime,” Carlson said Democrats are coordinating a “replacement” of current U.S. voters with immigrants from the “Third World.”

“I...

Helen Mirren to play Golda Meir in upcoming film ‘Golda’

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — It’s a Meir moment.

Academy Award winner Helen Mirren will portray Golda Meir, Israel’s only female prime minister, in an upcoming biopic set during the Yom Kippur War.

Production on “Golda” will begin later this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The news follows the announcement last month of another star-powered production on Meir, a series titled “Lioness” led by Israeli actress Shira Haas of “Unorthodox”...

PBS postpones debut of ‘Til Kingdom Come’ documentary on evangelicals and Israel for ‘editorial review’

By STEPHEN SILVER

(JTA) — PBS has decided to postpone airing the documentary “Til Kingdom Come,” which examines the close relationship between American evangelicals and Israel, in the light of accusations that the film misleadingly spliced together two separate parts of a speech by former President Donald Trump.

The film, which was directed by the Russian-Israeli documentary filmmaker Maya Zinshtein, was released as a rental for in-home viewing in late...

George Segal, vanguard of 1960s wave of young Jewish actors, dies at 87

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — George Segal, whose career as an actor ranged from shattering Jewish stereotypes in his youth to cheerfully indulging them in his dotage, has died at 87.

The fact that early in his career Segal had to field questions about why he didn’t change his name or fix his nose was a testament to how unusual it was at the time for a Jewish actor who...

JEWZY.TV exec expanding global Jewish streaming service reach

By ALAN SMASON

If JOTT TV CEO Jeremy Wootliff has his way about it, JEWZY.TV, his Jewish streaming service with high end movies, news and other features, will be a part of every Jewish home worldwide. 

His vision has taken him to the United States first because it is, after all,  the world’s biggest TV market, but he is moving into phase two of his operations and setting up the...

James Levine, cantor’s grandson who led the Metropolitan Opera for 40 years, is dead at 77

By ANDREW SILOW-CARROLL

(JTA) — James Levine, the grandson of a cantor who led New York’s Metropolitan Opera as artistic director for more than 40 years, has died.

The cause of death was not announced, although Levine had been in ill health for years. He was 77 and passed away on March 9.

Levine was one of the dominant figures in opera and American classical music until being fired in...