Winning Shot

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LOS ANGELES — In 1981, David Blatt moved to Israel in pursuit of a path of lifelong worship — to play professional basketball. Now, more than 30 years later, Blatt is leaving Israel to make a different, and totally unprecedented, form of aliyah — to leave the ranks of Israeli basketball to coach in the… Read More

Evil, Even in Argentina

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Seven decades after the Holocaust, Josef Mengele is still a difficult name to stomach, as the repercussions of his medical experiments echo throughout history. So when I first heard about “The German Doctor” (“Wakolda” in German), a historical drama set in early 1960s Argentina and focused on part of Mengele’s life on the run from… Read More

Boisterous Yet Heartfelt

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Going back at least as far as Moses, Jews have taken public positions at personal risk. Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre’s inspiration comes from more recent role models: Larry Fine, Lenny Bruce, Mel Brooks and Woody Allen. The star and writer-director of the bracingly honest indie comedy “Obvious Child” embrace their Jewish comic influences and… Read More

Culinary Delights

The HardLox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival in Asheville, N.C., is a popular fundraiser that features everything from hot dogs to noodle kugel. (Courtesy Marty Gillen)

Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark. Not exactly the Jewish capitals of America, but they are both home to major Jewish food festivals. From street vendors to strolling klezmer musicians, food festivals bring people together with traditional favorites, uniting history and culture. According to Marty Gillen, chairman of Asheville’s HardLox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival,… Read More

Have You Heard?

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With so much talk of inclusion, it’s easy to conclude it’s just a buzzword, the issue of the moment. Inclusion can be hard to define, and what feels inclusive to one person may not feel that way to another. Yet, some institutions are taking meaningful steps toward including individuals with disabilities in their programming. Baltimore’s… Read More

Make It Memorable

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Poor Dad! For Mother’s Day almost 114 million greeting cards are purchased annually; for Dad’s big day, 90 million. And while many restaurants are bombarded for reservations on Mother’s Day, the same ones often are less than full on Dad’s special day. The most hallowed tradition on Father’s Day is for everyone to gather around… Read More

Diamond minds

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Standing on a hill on a glorious Sunday morning, Mark and Ron Shapiro are kvelling as they watch Caden Shapiro — son of Mark and grandson of Ron — pitching — in a baseball tournament in Aberdeen, Md., after having been shelved for nearly two months by a broken ankle. Mark Shapiro, the president of… Read More

A ‘Rocky’ Road to Stardom

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Margo Seibert was babysitting when she learned she had been chosen to play the role of Adrian in the first Broadway production of “Rocky,” a musical version of the 1976 Academy Award-winning film starring Sylvester Stallone, who co-authored the show’s libretto. “The director, Alex Timber, called and said, ‘We want you to have the role… Read More

For the People

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Jews have held many U.S. leaders in high esteem over the course of American history, but they maintain a particularly emotional bond with Abraham Lincoln. Gary Zola’s recently released book, “We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, a Documentary History,” sheds new light on that storied 19th-century relationship. From the time of Lincoln’s… Read More

A Nice Guy Who Finished First

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A half-hour doesn’t go by any faster than listening to longtime rock ‘n’ roll manager Shep Gordon’s anecdotes. In an interview coinciding with the recent San Francisco International Film Festival screening of Mike Myers’ briskly entertaining documentary, “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon,” Gordon offered firsthand memories of Groucho Marx and Barbra Streisand, Bill Graham… Read More