Fact-Checking The Frisco Kid: A Historian’s Take on a Jewish Classic

Posted on February 11th, 2018
Shari Rabin for Jewish Book Council

While writing my book about Jews in the era of westward expansion, I found myself getting asked (a lot) about the Gene Wilder comedic western The Frisco Kid. Although there are countless cinematic depictions—and historical accounts—of Jewish life on the Lower East Side, apparently the rest of the country has to resign itself to this 1979 box office flop, which tells the story of a Polish rabbi traveling westward to San Francisco in 1850. Recently, some twenty years after I last saw it, I sat down to confront my subject’s most famous treatment.

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You Can’t Always Get What Jew Want

Posted on February 4th, 2018
By Miriam Anzovin for JewishBoston

My quest for fresh Jewish characters on television continues unabated.


When I first heard the buzz about “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Amazon’s new show about a young Jewish housewife struggling to be a stand-up comic in New York during the 1950s, I was pretty amped. The show picked up several Golden Globes, and the hype increased. I’m just a Jewish girl, wandering through the television landscape in search of representation and validation. I was hopeful! Maybe we were finally getting a show that would introduce some dynamic new Jewish characters into the zeitgeist! Sigh. As if. I watched the series and lo! My hopes were dashed.

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Movies for Tu Bishvat

Posted on January 28th, 2018
BY TAMAR FOX for myjewishlearning.com 

Over at New York Magazine’s Vulture blog they have a list of movies to help you celebrate Tu Bishvat. Now, I have some issues with the pretense–of all holidays Tu Bishvat has no narrative, and so seems like it wouldn’t lend itself to cinema, plus the holiday is about trees and nature, so I’m not sure staying inside to watch a movie makes a huge amount of sense. On the other hand, it’s cold outside, and I like movies, so I’ll give it a pass. Number one on the list, of course, is the Giving Tree. But number 5 is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and 2-4 will probably raise some eyebrows, too. Definitely check it out.

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Find some great ideas on JvillageNetwork's Pinterest page. 


New Netflix travel show spotlights the tastes of Israel

Posted on January 21st, 2018
By Rebecca Stadlen Amir for Israel21c

‘Somebody Feed Phil’ highlights a culinary adventure across Israel including stops in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Caesarea and Acre.


A new Netflix show follows host Phil Rosenthal, creator of American TV series “Everybody Loves Raymond,” on a culinary tour of six cities known for their incredible food, including Lisbon, New Orleans, Bangkok, Saigon, Mexico City – and Tel Aviv.
The series, titled “Somebody Feed Phil,” encourages people to travel by depicting mouthwatering local delicacies. “If you want to know what Israel’s really like, you have to come here,” Rosenthal says at one point during the Tel Aviv-focused episode.

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The New ‘Star Wars’ Isn’t Pro-Reform Judaism. It’s Anti-Religious Inflexibility.

Posted on January 14th, 2018
By Jenny Singer for The Forward

I watched “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” this weekend because the group I was with couldn’t decide between “Call Me By Your Name” and “I, Tonya.” I did not intend to write something Jewish about “Star Wars,” just as I have not previously intended to write about Jews and sports or Jews and sex-spaghetti.

Then I saw an article in Tablet by Liel Leibovitz, called “Reform Jediism,” which used the plot of the new “Star Wars” film as an allegory for the lack of seriousness in Reform Judaism, and I was drawn into the fray like Kylo Ren, conflicted villain of “The Last Jedi,” is drawn to the dark side.

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