Wednesday, June 16th 2021   |

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Benjamin Netanyahu replaced as Israeli prime minister after 12 years in office


(JTA) — After 12 years, seven elections and three corruption charges, Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer the prime minister of Israel.

Netanyahu, who served as Israel’s leader continuously beginning in 2009 and holds the distinction of being the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was removed from the job in a razor-thin vote in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Sunday. The vote, 60-59, installed a new...

Director, writer Susan Sandler releases ‘Julia Scotti: Funny That Way’


It’s taken more than six years of her life, beset with challenges such as a global pandemic in the final year of post-production and editing, but Susan Sandler has finished the documentary film she began in 2015 and released “Julia Scotti: Funny That Way” in time for Pride Month.

In the Jewish universe, Sandler is noted for her work as a playwright and in particular for her...

Jason Robert Brown’s ‘Songs for a New World’ freshly minted at Jazz Museum

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out”)

Jason Robert Brown was all of 25 when he first propositioned Daisy Prince, the daughter of renowned Broadway producer Hal Prince, to take him on as a project in which he would supply the songs and she would direct.

For five years prior, Brown had plied his trade on and off-Broadway and on Madison Avenue, providing music for the soundtrack of his...

New museum here puts the family histories of Southern Jews on display


(JTA) — Janis Rabin’s family emigrated from Poland, eventually settling in Bogalusa, Louisiana. For years, she and her relatives had kept memories and stories of their family’s Jewish experience to themselves, or shared them casually with friends.

So when Rabin entered the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience on Howard Avenue on the day it opened to the public, she was moved by seeing her family’s...

Netanyahu changed the way Americans view Israel — but not always in the way he wanted


WASHINGTON (JTA) — In 2001, when he was out of office and in what he thought was a private setting, Benjamin Netanyahu boasted, “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.”

Reelected in 2009, and still serving 12 years later, Netanyahu has moved American Jews and Democrats in one direction — but not, from his...

UPDATE: New coalition government formed in Israel; Netanyahu is out

By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN

(JERUSALEM) – Yair Lapid, the chairperson of Yesh Atid informed President Reuven Rivlin that he had been able to form a coalition government with less than an hour before his mandate would have expired. The message was sent at 11:22 p.m. Israel time on Wednesday by email and additionally by telephone.

When Lapid spoke to President Rivlin, he informed him that the coalition...

Who is Naftali Bennett, Israel’s (likely) next prime minister?


(JTA) — As soon as next week, Benjamin Netanyahu may no longer be prime minister of Israel.  So who will be the next person to lead the Jewish state? The answer may be Naftali Bennett, a former Netanyahu ally who supports many of his right-wing policies and is a longtime, staunch advocate for Israel’s West Bank settlements. Like Netanyahu, he opposes Palestinian statehood, and at times he...

Naftali Bennett joins with Lapid; likely to take over as next Israeli prime minister

By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN

(JERUSALEM) – Former defense minister Naftali Bennett, the head of the Yamina Party, appears to have formed a new coalition government in Israel with Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid Party, which will likely ensure Bennett will replace Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister initially. Lapid would take over as prime minister six months later.

While Netanyahu’s Likud Party still controls 31 seats and...

Heather Massie’s one-woman show at BB’s Stage Door Canteen examines Hedy Lamarr’s dual roles as screen icon, scientist

By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic, WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out”)

It may surprise several devotees of classic film that Hedy Lamarr, the screen legend once considered “the most beautiful woman in the world” was born Jewish. Given the period of anti-Semitism promoted by fellow Austrian Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party, it’s not very hard to understand why she hid that fact as a young woman living in Nazi Europe. 

But according...

Museum of Southern Jewish Experience set to open on May 27

By DEAN M. SHAPIRO, Special to the CCJN

Nearly four years after making the initial announcement, the long-awaited opening of the Museum of Southern Jewish Experience (MSJE) has been set for Thursday, May 27, in its new location in New Orleans.

The museum, located at 818 Howard Avenue, will open its doors at 11:00 a.m. that day, following a media-only press conference in the facility’s lobby. No special ceremony is...