Menu JTA Search


  • Daniel Radcliffe: The next Allen Ginsberg or J.K. Rowling?

    Daniel Radcliffe may have been inspired by Harry Potter, big time. The star we’ve watched transform from a first year at Hogwarts to a Broadway-singing, horror-film-acting man wants to write a book. Daniel is playing Allen Ginsberg in an upcoming movie, “Kill Your Darlings,” and says that much like his character, he wants to pursue… More ▸

  • Bono writes a note, draws a dog at a Jerusalem hotel

    Israelis still can’t get over how cool they are for being the tourism and partying destination of Bono, and apparently the U2 frontman and person-who-makes-you-feel-bad-about-yourself-for-not-doing-enough-good-deeds is also a sketch artist. Staffers at Jerusalem’s famed King David Hotel came across this note that Bono left in the hotel guestbook, where he wrote that (and it took… More ▸

  • Maurice Sendak gives an amazingly grumpy interview to Stephen Colbert

    I imagine children’s book authors to conform to particular stereotypes. Dr. Seuss is an old crotchety man, reading to children gathered around him in a warmly lit library. Inexplicably, he is wearing a Santa costume. Mother Goose has her silly hat. In addition to the circle of children around her in the library, there are… More ▸

  • 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 ▸