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  • Joseph Gordon Levitt tells some tiny stories

    Turns out, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s “Indie” itch extends beyond “500 Days of Summer.” He is also involved in an open-collaboration media company called hitRECord, where he is the director as well as a contributor, and goes by the moniker RegularJOE. Since pseudo-intellectualism is all the rage in Hollywood, hitRECord released a volume of short shorts… More ▸

  • Jesse Eisenberg says Judaism made him an awesome actor

    Not trying to take all the credit for Hollywood or anything, but Judaism basically breeds good actors. Jesse Eisenberg’s words, not mine. In an essay in Black Book magazine, Eisenberg extolls the positive impact that a loud, Jewish background had on his acting chops: “In my family, every conversation was a debate complete with philosophical… More ▸

  • When hobbits and ‘Hamlet’ were censored in Israeli prisons

    This week is national Banned Books Week. Books such as "Harry Potter" and "Heather Has Two Mommies" — deemed objectionable for promoting witchcraft and the homosexual agenda, respectively — are subversively given a second wind by select libraries, bookstores (if they still exist) and other paperback-pushers. Proponents of free book access may be dismayed to… More ▸

  • Shvigger me timbers? JTA editor’s Yiddish-speaking pirates

    Seasick from the rough waters ahead at the U.N this week? You’re in good company: Today is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day."  In 1927, longtime JTA Editor Aleph Katz gave swashbucklers a Yiddish makeover: [[READMORE]] Long John Silver, the one-legged pirate and seaman of Treasure Island, now speaks Yiddish in a translation of Robert Louis… More ▸

  • Bialik made Hebrew revival more than pulling teeth

    Today more than ever, I empathize with Hebrew school students. The hopeless saggy-eyed droop on my face mirrors theirs as the nation’s heatwave kicks me in the chest with unconscionable force, instructing me to stay seated and type until the bell rings. It’s not that Hebrew instruction is painful, like having your teeth pulled. It’s… More ▸

  • Authors Aim to Defang Jap, Shiksa Labels

    “So are you a JAP?” I’m sitting at Abigail’s in midtown Manhattan and next to us, an older couple visiting from Ireland is delighted they have unwittingly happened upon a kosher restaurant and some real, live Jewish women. “Excuse me?” I say, almost choking on my gazpacho. “Are you a JAP? I’ve always wanted to… More ▸

  • Jewish Girls’ Magazine Wins $100,000

    – A magazine published by and for Jewish girls won a $100,000 prize. The $100,000 grand prize in the Wells Fargo Bank “Someday Dreams” contest was awarded to Yaldah Magazine founder and publisher, seventeen-year-old Leah Larson, and her mother, Evelyn Krieger, of Sharon, Massachusetts, at a ceremony on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo History Museum… More ▸

  • Yakar Founder Mickey Rosen Dies

    Rabbi Michael “Mickey” Rosen, who founded a network of progressive Orthodox synagogues in Israel, has died. Rosen died Sunday night from injuries sustained three weeks ago in a fall. He was in his late 50s and suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He spent his final… More ▸