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  • An all-female Orthodox ambulance corps gets a film of their own

    (JTA) — Like many heavily Orthodox sections of Brooklyn, Borough Park has been served for decades by an all-male volunteer ambulance corps called Hatzalah. The corps caters to a religious Jewish community with particular needs and customs — including one custom that can increase the tension for patients in already stressful emergency situations. The strict boundaries…

  • In ‘The Catcher Was a Spy,’ Paul Rudd is a Jewish baseball player turned Nazi hunter

    (JTA) — It’s rare enough for a Jewish baseball player to make it to the major leagues. A New York Jew named Moe Berg took it even a step further — he added war spy to his extraordinary resume. Berg pulled off the feat over 60 years ago. As a catcher in the majors for…

  • ‘Maktub,’ an Israeli comedy about low-level gangsters, makes it to Netflix

    (JTA) — A deadly terrorist attack might seem like an unlikely starting point for a lighthearted comedy. But “Maktub,” a charming and intelligent film that just debuted on Netflix, is set in Israel, a country where that happens more than most would like to believe. The movie was a box office success in Israel but…

  • Rachel Bloom on Michelle Wolf, her first movie and post-‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ plans

    (JTA) — It should not be surprising that Rachel Bloom is on Team Michelle Wolf — supporting the comedian who may have singlehandedly killed the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with her scathing public roast of the Trump administration. Bloom, 31, has excelled in the shock-comedy genre herself. She’s now best known for creating and starring…

  • Jewish-American soldiers didn’t just fight Nazis in WWII — they endured anti-Semitism

    (JTA) — “GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II” begins as many Holocaust documentaries do, with a history of the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany mixed with what is now standard archival footage of Brownshirts and Kristallnacht. Throw in interviews with some Jewish celebrities — in this case, Carl Reiner and his friend…

  • Zach Braff is happy to be back on TV. ‘Scrubs’ fans should be, too.

    (JTA) — Lightning struck Zach Braff in 2001. The up-and-coming Jewish actor, who had appeared in a few films — perhaps most notably a small role in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan Murder Mystery” — landed the lead role of John “J.D.” Dorian in the hospital-based sitcom “Scrubs.” Along the way to starring in 175 episodes of…

  • The creator of Netflix’s ‘Jessica Jones’ is becoming a feminist icon in the #MeToo era

    (JTA) — For those unfamiliar with the Marvel Comics universe, Jessica Jones is one of its darkest characters. The troubled superhero, also the star of a Netflix show whose second season debuted earlier this month, is a heavy drinking private investigator prone to fits of rage living in New York City. The viewer learns that…

  • A refreshing romantic comedy about an autistic couple who meet at a Jewish community center

    (JTA) — On the surface, the indie comedy “Keep the Change” tells a conventional love story: A snooty rich boy meets a poor girl. They start dating, despite the objections of his parents, who assume that she’s a gold digger. The two argue. They part. Ultimately the snooty rich kid finds his better self. But…

  • Itzhak Perlman’s inspiring musical journey — and his delightful 50-year marriage — captured in a documentary

    (JTA) — Itzhak Perlman, arguably the most famous violinist in the world, has heard plenty of questions in his 50-year career. But when asked if his religious heritage has affected his playing, he sounds stumped. “I’m a violinist. I’m Jewish, so that makes me a Jewish musician,” he tells JTA on the phone recently from…

  • Arthur Miller’s daughter made an intimate HBO documentary about her father

    (JTA) — “Arthur Miller: Writer,” a lovingly crafted documentary about the award-winning playwright set to air on HBO , doesn’t reveal a lot of new information. A good portion of the film involves Miller himself speaking from the audio version of his 1987 memoir, “Timebends: A Life.” And much has already been written elsewhere about…