Related Blog Posts on Film, Israeli Arts and Culture, Arts and Culture, and Experiencing Israel

Holy Sparks: Celebrating 50 Years of Women in the Rabbinate

Jean Bloch Rosensaft
April 28, 2022
On June 3, 1972, Rabbi Sally Priesand was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as the first woman rabbi in North America. To celebrate this milestone in Jewish and American history, HUC's Dr. Bernard Heller Museum in New York partnered with The Braid's Story Archive of Women Rabbis in Los Angeles to create the exhibition "Holy Sparks," presenting 24 ground-breaking women rabbis who were "firsts" in their time.

Film Review: Babi Yar. Context Examines Ukraine’s Past as It Fights for Its Future

Wes Hopper
March 30, 2022
In Sergie Loznitsa’s new documentary film, Babi Yar. Context, the decade spanning the Nazi invasion of Ukraine through the ensuing war crimes trial is explored using only archival footage and the occasional title card. Babi Yar (Babyn Yar) is a ravine outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv where on September 29-30, 1941, the Nazi Regime massacred an estimated 33,771 Jewish people. The result is a stark, uncompromising exploration of war and genocide that enlists the viewer in bearing witness to one of history’s most notorious atrocities. 

Prayer for the French Republic

Wes Hopper
February 28, 2022
On the face of things, Prayer for the French Republic, a new play by Joshua Harmon, is about several generations of a French-Jewish family living in Paris and contemplating whether they're still safe in the country they call home. In actuality, it is a discomfiting examination of the state of the Jewish diaspora.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Returns Sharper and Funnier Than Ever

Wes Hopper
February 16, 2022
The first episode of the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel starts out with a single word, "Revenge!" As the show slowly makes clear, this isn't just revenge against Shy Baldwin, the singer and entertainer who left Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) stranded on the tarmac as he took flight to Europe without her.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

Wes Hopper
February 4, 2022
First published as a novel in 1962 and adapted into a film by the same name released in 1970, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis has had remarkable staying power. Its author, the late Giorgio Bassani, has two archives and study centers dedicated to him in Italy and major new English translations of his work have come out in recent years.

I’d Rather Be Me: An Interview with Jewish Performer Shayna Goldberg

Cantor Rosalie Will
January 31, 2022
Twenty-year-old Shayna Goldberg is young adult songleader and performer with EPIC Players, a New York-based nonprofit theatre company that opens the stage to all types of artists and seeks to shine a light on neurodiverse talent. Along with her family, she is a part of the Adath Emanu-El community in Mount Laurel, N.J.

Film Review: Breaking Bread

Wes Hopper
January 25, 2022
It's rare to find a documentary set in the Middle East that isn't mired in politics and discord. Rarer still is one bathed in the kind of optimism and goodwill found in Beth Elise Hawk's new film, Breaking Bread. An inside look at a three-day food festival in Haifa, Israel, pairing Israeli and Muslim Arab chefs, Breaking Bread pursues peace through the power of creating top-notch cuisine.