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  • Holocaust film creates buzz with seven Oscar nominations

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9 (JTA) — “Life Is Beautiful,” the tragicomic fable of a Jewish father trying to shield his son from the horrors of a concentration camp, has won seven Oscar nominations. Although other films received more nominations, the Italian “Life Is Beautiful” captured much of the Hollywood buzz by becoming the first movie…

  • Six years after ‘Schindler’s List,’ Spielberg still devoted to his quest

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2 (JTA) — It’s been six years since Steven Spielberg directed “Schindler’s List” and established a foundation that has videotaped the testimonies of tens of thousands of survivors worldwide, but his emotional connection to the Holocaust remains as intense as ever. After hearing thousands of testimonies, “each is more compelling than the…

  • Spielberg’s ‘The Last Days’ highlights stories of survival

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2 (JTA) — “There was no magic to our survival. It was sheer, pure, unadulterated luck, for men and women infinitely more worthy perished,” said Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) last week at an advance screening of “The Last Days,” the first feature documentary by Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History…

  • Short Jew’ receives award from friends of Hebrew University

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 (JTA) — “We’re here to honor a short Jew,” said “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander to open a gag-filled evening with a serious purpose. The vertically challenged honoree was Hollywood star Billy Crystal, who, surrounded by fellow Hollywood stars and close to 900 fans, accepted the National Scopus Award of the American…

  • Judge in California rules firm must face Holocaust-era lawsuit

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26 (JTA) — In a precedent-setting decision, a Los Angeles judge has ruled that European companies can be sued in California courts for non-payment of life insurance policies dating back to the Holocaust era. Monday’s ruling stemmed from a $135 million suit against Italy’s largest insurance firm, Assicurazioni Generali. But the decision…

  • Murdoch relishes ‘pro-Israel’ label

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 (JTA) — “I have been accused of being too pro-Israel and too pro-Jewish, to which I plead guilty as charged,” media baron Rupert Murdoch, who is not Jewish, told 400 supporters of the Jerusalem College of Technology at a dinner here Sunday evening. Driving home his point, the controversial chairman of…

  • PBS documentary sheds new light on well-studied Arab-Israeli conflict

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 18 (JTA) — Even for those who have lived through, or closely studied, Israel’s fortunes over the last half century, a five-hour documentary that PBS is scheduled to air next week on the history of the Arab- Israeli conflict will hold some surprises. Perhaps the most startling revelations in “The 50 Years…

  • Roseanne credits Kabbalah for her spiritual transformation

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11 (JTA) — Since she was 3 years old, Roseanne’s been searching for answers. Now in her 40s, the actress and television talk show host says she’s found what she’s been looking for in the Kabbalah. The “fragmentations and divisions of my mind have come together. I have found the answers here,”…

  • The Prince of Egypt’ portrays Moses’ life in film for whole family

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21 (JTA) — After four years of intense preparation and months of drum-beating, “The Prince of Egypt” opened last week at theaters across the United States. Based loosely on the first part of the Book of Exodus, the animated musical film depicts the life of Moses before his 40 years of wandering…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Camp David participants revisit the art of diplomacy

    BEERSHEBA, Israel, Dec. 10 (JTA) — Listen to more than 30 veteran Israeli, Arab and American diplomats discuss their craft for two days, and it is surprising and somehow reassuring to learn that even at the highest summits, success or failure ultimately comes down to plain old human relationships. The diplomats, in this case, were…