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Tom Tugend RSS

is JTA's Los Angeles correspondent. A veteran journalist, he also writes for the Jerusalem Post, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal and the London Jewish Chronicle.

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  • Iconic Einstein ‘tongue’ photo brings $125,000 at auction

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A famous photo of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue at a photographer and signed by the renowned scientist has been sold for $125,000. The Nate D. Sanders auction house in announcing the sale Thursday evening did not reveal the buyer’s identity. The Hebrew University stands to benefit from the latest…

  • Tchaikovsky’s Jewish problem

      LOS ANGELES (JTA) – While researching his latest one-man show, “Our Great Tchaikovsky,” Hershey Felder — a playwright, actor and composer who has brought the loves, torments and soaring music of some of the world’s greatest composers to the stage — faced a moral question. Does towering talent exculpate a composer, or any artist,…

  • This man almost killed Hitler: An incredible true story

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) —What if Adolf Hitler had been assassinated shortly after his armies invaded Poland to start World War II? How would global — and Jewish — history have played out? The question is not answered directly in the German film “13 Minutes.” But the movie, based on an actual, lone-wolf plot to kill…

  • Kirk Douglas: How the 100-year-old found true love

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — When movie star Kirk Douglas married Anne Buydens in Las Vegas, the justice of the peace asked Anne to raise her hand and repeat after him, “I take thee, Kirk, for my lawful husband.” Anne, who had recently arrived in the United States from Europe, raised her hand and proudly proclaimed,…

  • 3 Israeli directors’ films top influential LA Times critic’s picks

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) – Three films directed by Israelis took center stage in the film listings of the Los Angeles Times’ senior critic Kenneth Turan. In Hollywood, few newspaper items are scrutinized more intensely than the film reviews and rankings in the Los Angeles Times, making Friday’s list a boon for the films and their directors. The…

  • Science helped verify this unbelievable Holocaust escape story

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A one-hour TV program airing next week on PBS links brings advanced scientific techniques to bear on an incredible Holocaust escape story. “Holocaust Escape Tunnel,” a “Nova” production to be shown April 19, sheds new light on the attempt by 80 imprisoned men and women — mostly Lithuanian Jews — to…

  • Wallenberg-signed document fetches over $13,000 at auction

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A document signed by the late Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg that saved a Jewish woman from the Nazis sold at auction for more than $13,000. The document was purchased March 30 for $13,310 through the Nate D. Sanders auction house in Los Angeles. In keeping with company policy, Sanders did not divulge the…

  • Leah Adler, mother of Steven Spielberg and popular restaurateur, dies at 97

    LOS ANGELES  (JTA) — Leah Adler, the mother of director Steven Spielberg and a well-known restaurateur, has died. Adler, also a former concert pianist and accomplished painter, died Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 97. Most of America and the world first heard her name when Spielberg kissed her and described her as “my lucky…

  • Campus, civic groups condemn cartoon in UCLA newspaper seen as anti-Semitic

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A cartoon seen as anti-Semitic that was published in the UCLA student newspaper has been strongly condemned by civic and campus organizations, among them a pro-Palestinian student group. The cartoon published Monday in the Daily Bruin shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing in front of two stone tablets inscribed with…

  • ‘La La Land’ ties record with 14 Oscar nominations, including for music by Jewish composer

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — “La La Land” received a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations, including for its music written by a Jewish composer, and Jewish actors including Natalie Portman and Andrew Garfield also were nominated. The Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday morning. “La La Land,” which is up for best picture, director, actor and actress,…