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  • A brief interview with Nathan Englander

    Nathan Englander today at the President’s Conference JTA’s Israel correspondent Dina Kraft speaks with author Nathan Englander who participated in a panel discussion on Jewish literature today at the President’s Conference in Jerusalem. Audio sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe to JTA’s Behind the News podcast, click here. More ▸

  • Commander of Exodus, Yossi Harel, Dies at 90

    On Monday, a white-haired former shipmate propped a gold-fringed, pale blue flag of the legendary Exodus ship next to the coffin of its commander, Yossi Harel. A short distance away sparkled the azure Mediterranean Sea, whose waters Harel sailed four times on clandestine journeys between 1945 and 1948, bringing a total of 24,000 Holocaust survivors… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A reprint of the famous of Sarajevo Haggadah made its debut at the Bosnian capital’s national theater. The publisher, Rabic book house, reprinted the Sarajevo Haggadah in Bosnian and English and presented it Saturday. The original Sarajevo Haggadah was written by an unknown author in Barcelona, Spain, between 1350 and 1370. The Haggadah was known… More ▸

  • News Brief

    An overflow crowd stood outside a suburban New York synagogue for the funeral service of its prominent rabbi and rebbetzin killed in a fast-moving house fire. Rabbi Jacob Rubenstein, the religious leader of the Young Israel of Scarsdale, and his wife, Deborah, were killed in the middle of the night Saturday. Their service was held… More ▸

  • Trip Flap Has Netanyahu Claiming a Smear Campaign by Foes

    Two years after Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Britain to defend Israel, the opposition leader and former prime minister is defending himself. An Israeli television expose over the weekend revealed that Netanyahu rang up a sizable bill while on a speaking tour of London during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Channel 10 reported that the weeklong… More ▸

  • Leader of Darfur Project Wins a $100,000 Humanitarian Prize

    The simplest innovations sometimes lead to the greatest rewards, as Rachel Andres learned this week when she was named the 2008 recipient of the $100,000 Charles Bronfman Prize. The annual prize is awarded to a person or team of people younger than 50 whose Jewish values spark humanitarian efforts that help improve the world. Andres… More ▸

  • Oscar Buzz Revs Up for Israeli Film

    Joseph Cedar, the Orthodox director of the Oscar-nominated Israeli film “Beaufort,” has resolved a thorny Shabbat dilemma. Traditionally, on the day before the awards ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences holds a high-profile public symposium for the five finalists vying for the Oscar for best foreign-language film. This year the symposium is… More ▸

  • Coen Brothers Set to Bring Chabon’s ‘sitka’ to the Screen

    In some ways, it’s a most natural shidduch. There’s Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose best-selling 2007 book, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” marked a turning point in the author’s growing exploration of Jewish themes in his fiction. And Joel and Ethan Coen, the maverick filmmakers whose Jewish sensibility has been evident in countless of… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen will adapt “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” for the screen. Columbia Pictures has acquired the screen rights for the best-selling novel by acclaimed Jewish novelist Michael Chabon, according to a report in the Hollywood journal Variety. The novel envisions a world in which Israel was destroyed in 1948 and re-established as… More ▸

  • News Brief

    Lucette Lagnado won the top prize in Jewish literature. Lagnado picked up the $100,000 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for “The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World.” It was the inaugural winner of the Rohr Prize for Jewish non-fiction. A fiction prize is awarded… More ▸