Shalom, Bollywood: Resurrecting the Jewish heritage of Hindi cinema
Roshni Nair for the HindustanTimes
An Australian professor, Danny Ben-Moshe, is working on a documentary on the forgotten Indian Jews who left their mark on the world’s largest film industry
In February 2006, Florence Ezekiel Nadira died in a Mumbai hospital. That same week, thousands of miles away in Melbourne, Danny Ben-Moshe chanced upon her obituary. The interest it sparked would drive an 11-year search and culminate in a documentary on Hindi cinema’s once-lauded — and since forgotten — Jewish celebrities.
Ben-Moshe, an adjunct professor at Melbourne’s Deakin University, is also a documentary filmmaker and recipient of the Walkley Award, Australia’s top prize for documentaries. For his current baby, Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema, he’s seeking $20,000 through a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.com.
Mazal Tov to the First Female Dr. Who! Your Next Mission: Save British Jews
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine
The iconic TV show was created by a Jew in part as a meditation on the sort of anti-Semitism that now sweeps Britain
Like nerds the world over, I was delighted to learn this weekend that the role of Doctor Who will soon be played, for the first time in the show’s history, by a woman. In case you’ve somehow missed the iconic show’s 36 seasons, you should know that this is a very big deal: the Doctor is a Time Lord, a merciful being who hops across space and time and keeps the universe safe from no-goodniks, occasionally slipping into a new body and a new personality whenever a new actor is ready for the challenge. Twelve have assumed the role so far; all have been men. And now comes, Jodie Whittaker, a fine British actress.
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey,” Whittaker said in a statement. “It’s more than an honor to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
Was Leonard Cohen A Zionist?
Matthew Gindin for The Forward
The short answer is no. He was a mensch, not to say the two things are mutually exclusive.
The long answer follows.
On May 21st, a celebratory concert in Israel for Yom Yerushalayim featured an English-Hebrew rendition of “Hallelujah,” by far Leonard Cohen’s most misused song (if you don’t count the millions of questionable hook-ups spurred by some dude with a guitar singing “Suzanne”).
Some were not happy with this. Mondoweiss said the song was being used as “an anthem of Jewish exclusivists.” The article claimed (probably wrongly) that Cohen would have approved, mostly on the basis of Cohen’s 1973 visit to Israel during the Yom Kippur war, where he toured Israel with the troops cheering them with his presence and his music.
Kirk Douglas: How the 100-year-old found true love
By Tom Tugend for JTA
When movie star Kirk Douglas married Anne Buydens in Las Vegas, the justice of the peace asked Anne to raise her hand and repeat after him, “I take thee, Kirk, for my lawful husband.”
Anne, who had recently arrived in the United States from Europe, raised her hand and proudly proclaimed, “I take thee, Kirk, as my AWFUL husband.”
At the time, the mispronunciation was not too far off the mark. In Hollywood, the handsome, muscular actor was already notorious for his inflated ego and the endless parade of women — from movie queens to casual pickups — whom he bedded at a record pace.
Four years later, in 1958, Kirk was away shooting a movie when he wrote to his wife, “If I live to be 100, there will still be so many things unsaid.”
The Secret Jewish History Of James Bond
Seth Rogovoy for The Forward
It’s hard to imagine anyone less Jewish — or more goyish — than James Bond: He of the shaken-not-stirred-martinis; he who serially beds the blond, buxom “Bond girls”; he who drives the latest, fastest, gadget-equipped sports car. He may be the hero, but he’s no mensch. The United Kingdom newspaper the Daily Mirror recently called the fictional secret agent (and sometimes it’s easy to forget that Bond is an invented character, not a real person) “a British icon as enduring as the Royal Family and the Rolling Stones.”
In fact, Bond was the literary creation of novelist Ian Fleming, a notorious right-winger who, like many Englishmen of his generation, wore his anti-Semitism on his sleeve. Fleming’s books, unlike the much more popular films they spawned, occasionally trade in vulgar and hateful Jewish stereotypes, and whenever a character does seem Jewish, he is always a villain.