Wednesday, June 16th 2021   |

Jews in the News

Hadassa Margolese, fighter for religious tolerance, quits Beit Shemesh


TEL AVIV (JTA) — Two years ago, Hadassa Margolese became a symbol of resistance to haredi Orthodox domination after she allowed her 8-year-old daughter to tell an Israeli reporter how religious men had spit on her as she walked to school.

The report made headlines around the world and cast Margolese into the spotlight as a defender of the rights and values of the Modern Orthodox community...

‘Homeland’ writer’s work shaped by IDF service, Jewish heritage


( – Israeli-born writer and director Gideon Raff knows the cost of war. That knowledge, as well as his Jewish background, helped him create two of television’s most compelling dramas.

Raff’s “Prisoners of War” series on Israel’s Channel 2 won the Israeli equivalent of an Academy Award for best drama in 2010 and was sold to 20th Century Fox. Originally titled Hatufim in Hebrew, the show was adapted into the acclaimed Showtime series “Homeland” in...

After career in Congress, Peter Deutsch finds new life in Israel


RAANANA, Israel (JTA) — When U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch lost his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2004, forcing him out of Congress for the first time in 12 years, he didn’t quite know what to do with himself.

So he did something not entirely uncommon among American Jews who haven’t quite figured out their next step: He went to Israel.

More than eight years later, Deutsch...

Double wedding in Seattle caps rapper’s transformation


(JTA) — Five years ago he was D-Black, a hip-hop artist rapping about the violence, gang activity and drugs of his African-American ’hood. Today he’s Nissim Black, an Orthodox Jew davening in a Sephardic shul in Seattle and writing songs he describes as rap/urban alternative that “speak a message of hope and inspiration.”

The shift in his musical message will be on full display with his new...

Israeli pianist soldier (finally) strikes the right key


NEW YORK (JTA) — “You have night blindness,” the Israeli army doctor announced unsympathetically at my pre-service medical examination.

“You’re dismissed from your IDF mandatory army service by law,” he said and called the next soldier-to-be.

I was frightened by the diagnosis. I had worn glasses since I was 3, but I never thought I would lose my vision at 18.

It turned out not to be...

Meet restauranteur Lisa Schroeder, Portland’s resident Jewish mother in chief


PORTLAND, Ore. (JTA) — It’s brunch time at Mother’s Bistro & Bar and owner-chef Lisa Schroeder has a small crisis on her hands involving the accidental defenestration of a busboy.

Moments earlier, a server had tripped and gone flying through one of the restaurant’s large picture windows. Shattered glass covered the pavement outside, where the hapless staffer was being treated for a nasty gash by an ambulance...

Evyatar Borovsky: A settler with an actor’s legacy


(Tazpit News Agency) – In the recent media coverage of Evyatar Borovsky’s murder, the 31-year-old father of five young children was described in several international reports as a “hardline settler.” Borovsky, who hailed from the community of Yitzhar, was on his way to a theater rehearsal when he was stabbed to death by a Palestinian on the morning of April 30 at the Tapuach Junction, a central...

Ben Feldman hams up Jewish role on ‘Mad Men’


NEW YORK (JTA) — Advertising, it’s fair to say, is in Ben Feldman’s blood. Yes, he technically plays a fictional advertiser, the Jewish copywriter in AMC’s award-winning drama “Mad Men.” But Feldman says it was his excellent marketing skills that landed him the role.

“The casting loved that I was a Jew in real life,” Feldman told JTA. “They were looking for the typical character, a Jew...

Diane von Furstenberg: fashion icon, Holocaust museum supporter


NEW YORK (JTA) — Diane von Furstenberg takes a seat at her long, farm table-inspired desk inside her office on the fifth floor in this city’s Meatpacking District. The studio is so vividly colored, so overly patterned and so decked out in exotic tchotchkes, von Furstenberg is one of the few people who could possibly occupy it.

Seated across from her is Sara Bloomfield, the executive director...

Meet Brian Bendis: the man who killed Spider-Man


NEW YORK (JTA) — Spider-Man heroically dispatched countless foes since he arrived on the scene in 1962. Nearly a half-century later, Brian Michael Bendis managed to kill him.

In 2000, Bendis was hired to write Ultimate Spider-Man, a modern-day retelling of the classic Spider-Man story. More than 10 years, 160 issues and several blockbuster Hollywood adaptations later, Bendis did the unthinkable, killing off the superhero’s famous alter ego,...