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‘The King and I’ livens up Saenger Theater

By DEAN M. SHAPIRO, Special to the CCJN

In the mid-1800s, when the then-superpowers of Great Britain and France were amassing their vast overseas empires and hungrily swallowing up the smaller enclaves of Southeast Asia, only one of those nations managed to maintain its independence: the Kingdom of Siam.

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Simon’s ‘Odd Couples’ on boards at Rivertown

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

There is no doubt that Neil Simon is one of the great Jewish comedic geniuses in American theatre. With an innate understanding of what is funny, steeped in his early days as a writer when he penned classic skits for people like...
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JTS honors Dr. Thomas Oelsner at Mardi Gras World


Touro Infirmary Foundation held its annual gala at Mardi Gras World this past Saturday night, November 4, honoring Dr. Thomas Oelsner, a retired nephrologist who served as Touro Infirmary’s first Chief of Nephrology. Oelsner, who worked at the hospital from 1967 to...
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Company mgr. for ‘King and I’ looks forward to NOLA opening

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

For “The King and I” company manager Steve Varon the business of show business has long been in his blood. Usually, though, in his capacity as the representative of the show’s producers on the road, he has several other Jewish members of the...
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Kushner’s ‘Caroline, or Change’ ending run in Westwego

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

There is an adage to which many critics adhere that there is only one “i” in review; ergo, critical analysis which employs the first person should be similarly limited. But the current production of “Caroline, or Change,” co-produced by Loyola University and...
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Interview: Dr. Tom Oelsner speaks out prior to his acceptance of JTS Award

By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN

Dr. Tom Oelsner, a member of the Judah Touro Society (JTS) and the longtime chief of the Nephrology Department at Touro Infirmary, will be honored with the JTS Award this Saturday night, Nov.4, at the annual Touro Foundation gala at Mardi Gras World.

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UPDATE: 8 people killed, 11 injured in ‘lone wolf’ NYC terror atack

NEW YORK (JTA) — Eight people were killed and 11 more were injured as a truck rammed into a crowd and struck a bus in the worst act of terror in New York City since 9/11.

Five of the people killed were Argentine tourists visiting Manhattan to celebrate the 30th...
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UN launches ‘unprecedented’ $1.3 billion legal campaign against Israel


(JNS.org) — The United Nations has earmarked some $1.3 billion to fund Palestinian legal campaigns against Israel and to support the creation of an independent Palestinian state, in what experts are calling an unprecedented act singling out the Jewish state at the world body.

A document that was recently...
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Rhonda Shear back in NOLA to promote book

By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN

The phone rings right on time as it has for countless other interviews. The Caller I.D. prominently displays the name Van Fagan, but I know right away who it is. It is not Van Fagan, but rather his lifelong obsession, the girl he...
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Orthodox Union’s new project says women don’t need to be rabbis to be leaders


NEW YORK (JTA) — The Orthodox Union (O.U.) is founding its own division to advance women as congregational leaders, as well as to promote Jewish study and communal participation for women in Modern Orthodoxy.

The announcement comes nearly nine months after the group, an umbrella association of...
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