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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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  • Kirk Douglas to celebrate his 100th birthday in star-studded Beverly Hills bash

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) – Kirk Douglas — actor, director, producer, author, philanthropist and Torah student — is celebrating his 100th birthday on Friday, and there is a special treat in store for the centenarian. Douglas has been under strict medical orders to abstain from alcohol, but his cardiologist, Dr. P.K. Shah, promised the actor that if…

  • Israeli student documentary named to shortlist for Academy Awards

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Israel’s Oscar quest for 2017 got off to a hopeful start by placing on the first shortlist of documentary contenders released for the 89th Academy Awards. “The Mute’s House,” entered by the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem, made the list of 10 documentary short subjects, winnowed from 61…

  • Gordon Davidson, the ‘Moses’ of LA’s theater scene, is dead at 83

    LOS ANGELES (JTA)– Gordon Davidson, a Brooklyn-born director and producer who played a key role in transforming Los Angeles from a perceived theatrical backwater into a creative center for innovative and controversial plays, has died. Davidson died Sunday after collapsing at dinner in his Santa Monica, California, home. He was 83. As the founder of the Mark…

  • Israel’s Bedouin get their close-up in Oscar entry ‘Sand Storm’

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) – The movie “Sand Storm,” Israel’s entry for Academy Award consideration, has won prestigious awards and glowing reviews in its limited release by defying almost every rule of Hollywood success. There are no stunts, no good guys vs. bad guys shootouts and the erotic highlight consists of a young woman taking off the…

  • Jill Soloway of ‘Transparent’ wins Emmy for directing, compares Trump to Hitler

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) – “Transparent,” the comedy series about a Jewish family whose father comes out as transgender, won Emmy Awards for director Jill Soloway and lead actor Jeffrey Tambor. The Emmys took a shine to Jewish talent on Sunday in Los Angeles on a night that Soloway compared Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to…

  • Stanley Sheinbaum, liberal activist for nearly 70 years who met with Arafat, dies

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Stanley Sheinbaum, who dedicated his life to the promotion and defense of liberal causes in the United States and the world, has died. Sheinbaum, an activist for nearly 70 years who was slammed for meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Stockholm in 1988, died Monday at his Los Angeles home. He…

  • Israeli student filmmaker’s documentary to be entered in Oscar race

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A Tel Aviv University graduate has won a top Student Academy Award and her documentary will be automatically entered in the Academy Awards competition. Maya Sarfaty will also receive a gold medal for her film, “The Most Beautiful Woman,” it was announced Monday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Beneath…

  • A one-man tribute to Leonard Bernstein comes to the stage

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) – There is a remarkable moment in “Maestro,” Hershey Felder’s one-man show about Leonard Bernstein, when the late famed conductor-composer is shown in an old film clip on a giant screen and the two perform a seamless piano duet from Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde.” The tour de force characterizes the fusion between Bernstein,…

  • USC Chabad center robbed of electronics, 3 sets of tefillin

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A burglar stole electronics, three sets of tefillin and other valuables from the Chabad house at the University of Southern California. The burglar, whose image was caught on a security camera, entered the Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center near the central Los Angeles campus shortly after midnight on July 13, according to police….

  • Aerospace pioneer Simon Ramo dies at 103

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Aerospace pioneer Simon Ramo, father of America’s intercontinental ballistic missile system and son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, has died at 103. Ramo died June 27 of natural causes at his home in Santa Monica, California. Ramo was a key player in the development of America’s military technology over the…