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Maestro Film Still

Beyond "Maestro's" Prosthetics and Into Bernstein's World

Sarah Jae Leiber

Bradley Cooper’s Maestro nose, in context, reads less to me like internalized antisemitism and more like Cooper’s deep, spiritual obsession with getting it right.

Topics: Film, Music

Episode 97: Golda Reconsidered

Golda Meir is known as Israel's "Iron Lady": gruff, chain-smoking, and fiercely ambitious. In the eyes of many, she was also responsible for the Yom Kippur War, which cost thousands of lives. But Golda's story is far more complex.

In this episode of Can We Talk?, as we approach 50 years since the Yom Kippur War, we go beyond the caricatures and talk about aspects of Golda's career that are often overlooked: the ways she helped build the fledgling state of Israel, her relationship with Israel’s Mizrahim, and her complicated attitude toward feminism. We speak with Guy Nattiv, director of the new film Golda, starring Helen Mirren, and with author Francine Klagsbrun, whose biography of Golda, Lioness, came out in 2017. 

Film Poster of two teenage girls with faces close together

Q & A with Sarah Meital Benjamin about Her New Film, 'Arava'

Jen Richler

JWA chats with Sarah Meital Benjamin about her new short film Arava, which tells the story of two teenage best friends traveling through small-town Israel in search of redemption.

Topics: Film, Israel
Collage of Jewish queer movie characters on pink background of movie tickets

The Future of Jewish Queer Cinema

Judy Ruden

Like all kinds of media that seek to portray underrepresented perspectives, there is good representation and bad representation.

Topics: Film, LGBTQIA Rights
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret film still: girl with hands clasped in prayer,

A Coming-Of-Age Story for Every Generation

Sarah Jae Leiber

The film, like the book on which it’s based, acknowledges that sixth-grade feelings are among the realest we ever feel.

Topics: Film, Fiction, Children
Judith and Ma'ayan Rosenbaum sitting on a stage with microphones, red curtain behind them

Celebrating and Challenging Margaret in Book and Film

Judith Rosenbaum

JWA's CEO Judith Rosenbaum reflects on a recent screening of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, the film adaptation of Judy Blume's groundbreaking novel. 

Topics: Feminism, Film, Fiction
Actresses from early 2000s films on blue patterned background

The Makeover of the Media

Leila Nuri

These fun movies from the early 2000s are still watched frequently as they are thought to be timeless classics, but the awkward and problematic comments have yet to be addressed.

Topics: Film, Comedy, Media

Ellida Geyra

Ellida Geyra was Israel’s first woman film director. She was a choreographer, dancer, and cultural figure best known for the groundbreaking feature Before Tomorrow (1969). Geyra challenged the hegemonic view in Israeli cinema and depicted woman’s passion as a political event

Collage of Lily James in The Exception on purple patterned background

The Exception's Antisemitism Is, Unfortunately, Not An Exception

Olivia Gnad

Between using atrocities as a way to create romantic drama and its rush to excuse antisemitism, The Exception is a movie that never should have left the writer's room.

Collage of Milla Jovavitch in The Fifth Element on a blue sparkling background

Finding Tzniut in The Fifth Element's Futurist Costumes

Noa Karidi

The film The Fifth Element creates an aspirational society in which a woman does not feel exposed or sexualized because of what she wears. I want that for all of us. 

Cartoon roll of film with a menorah on light pink background

Spiritual Jewish Representation on Film: Next Year’s Hanukkah Gift?

Samantha Berk

Watching the Hallmark movie Eight Gifts of Hanukkah, I felt like I could relate spiritually to a Jewish character portrayed in mainstream media for the first time. 

Black line drawing of cursor clicking YouTube logo on a white background

I Love LeftTube. But Where Are The Jews?

Miriam Stodolsky

Leftist videos on YouTube were key ingredients in developing my political outlook, but there is a palpable lack of any Jewish voices.

Topics: Socialism, Film, Activism
 Woman and man serving themselves at a buffet, Jewish stars in background

A Better Hanukkah Movie, With Plenty of Room for Improvement

Rebecca Brenner Graham

After several attempts, the Hallmark Channel finally carves out a respectable place for Hanukkah . But is this the best we can hope for?

Topics: Hanukkah, Film

Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari Wins Ophir Award for Best Actress for Leading Role in "Nadia "

September 20, 1987

Israeli writer, actor, director, and producer Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari consistently advocates for Mizrahi voices in her artistic pursuits. Through films and plays that often foreground Mizrahi women’s stories in Israel, she integrates her passions for art and advocacy to produce internationally acclaimed works about stories personal to her life.  

Birth of Actress Roxy Sternberg

April 20, 1989

British actress Roxy Sternberg is deeply connected to her Jewish roots. She began working as an actress in her youth, gaining traction and going on to star in major roles on screen. Her love for her Jewish community flourished at West London Synagogue, where she continues to teach when she is not filming for television, but she has faced some discrimination as a Jew of Color.  

Shulamit Izen

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Shulamit Izen on January 14, 2002, in Waltham, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Shulamit shares her journey of self-discovery as a lesbian, her exploration of different Jewish practices, her experiences in starting a GSA at her Jewish high school, and her activism in creating a supportive community for GLBTQ Jewish youth.

Susan Levitas

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Stuart Rockoff interviewed Susan Levitas on August 31, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Levitas recounts her childhood, career as a folklorist, marriage, experience during Hurricane Katrina, loss of her work, support from the Atlanta Jewish community, and her involvement in a women's shelter.

Margaret Lazarus

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Margaret Lazarus on July 11, 2001, in Belmont, Massachusetts, for the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Lazarus speaks about her upbringing in Queens, her activist parents, her perception of Judaism as a platform for questioning and civil rights, her career in documentary filmmaking, and her advocacy for women's issues and social justice.

Film still with two women dancing with each other while a man, seated, watches

At 35, Dirty Dancing is More Than a Sexual Coming-of-Age Story

Sarah Jae Leiber

In a post-Roe world, what stands out is the story of a young woman’s moral transformation.

Vivienne Shub

Weaving Women's Words

Elaine Eff interviewed Vivienne Shub on September 4, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Shub talks about her family background, her parents' activism, her journey as an actress, founding Center Stage in Baltimore, her involvement in cultural and political movements, her love for Jewish and Yiddish culture, and reflections on various aspects of her life and career.

Aviva Kempner

Washington D.C. Stories

Deborah Ross interviewed Aviva Kempner on February 13, 2001, in Washington, DC, as part of the Washington D.C. Stories Oral History Project. Kempner recounts how she came to be a filmmaker, and her connection to Judaism, to Israel, and to the greater Washington D.C. Jewish community.

Shira Haas becomes the first Israeli nominated for an Emmy Award for her lead role in “Unorthodox”

July 28, 2020

Israeli actress Shira Haas rose to international fame for her role as Esty in Unorthodox, a Netflix miniseries. On July 28, 2020, she became the first Israeli to be nominated for an Emmy Award for this role.

Meskie Shibru, the First Professional Ethiopian Actress in Israel, is Born

September 29, 1967

On September 29, 1967, Meskie Shibru was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After immigrating to Israel at eighteen to escape persecution, she became the country’s first professional Ethiopian actress.

Cha Cha Real Smooth Film Still - young man and woman looking at each other

'Cha Cha Real Smooth' Has a Toxically Passive Leading Man

Sarah Jae Leiber

The film could have been a powerful story about self-actualization. Instead, it’s a flawed portrait of a nearly flawless main character.

Topics: Film

Ruby Myers Wins Dada Saheb Phalke Award

October 25, 1974

Ruby Myers, later known as Sulochana, was an Indian actress from the Baghdadi Jewish community. On October 25, 1974, she won the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema’s most prestigious lifetime achievement award, for her impact on the history of Indian cinema.


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