December 22, 2005

U.S. Studios Court Israeli Programmers

Hollywood exports are a big business, and U.S. studios sometimes rake in more from international licensing than domestic. Even though Israeli acquisitions account for only 2 percent of overseas television exports, Stern thinks Israel gets special attention.

The Best Presents: Ritual and Repetition

I was about to inquire how they could manage to consistently laugh like fiends each time they saw Stu dress up like Latke Man, but stopped short upon realizing that they could easily turn the question back on me. You see, I\’m no stranger to repetition myself, having managed to spend Thanksgiving on Hilton Head Island every year since I was in first grade.

Dybbuks and Heroes Liven Holiday Books

Kibitzers, dreamers, medieval travelers and dybbuks are among the wide array of heroes, heroines and mystical villains in this season\’s crop of Jewish children\’s books, as publishers expand their offerings beyond holiday books and biblical retellings.

‘Tis Never the Season for Chrismukkah

On Dec. 25, Rod Shapiro and Pat Wong will exchange Christmas and Chanukah gifts spread under a seven-foot Christmas tree. They will listen to carols sung by Johnny Mathis and Chanukah songs by the Klezmatics.

The Midnight Clear

When I light the first Chanukah candle this year on Dec. 25, the mid-winter moon will be waning. Every night, as I add candles to the menorah, the night sky will be darker until, on the last night when we put our chanukiah in the living room window with all nine candles burning, there will be the first small sliver of moon to meet us.

Driven Sax Man Puts His Mark on Music

When Steve Berlin gained early admission to a university premed program as an 11th-grader, his mother and father had visions of their little boy becoming a physician. Much to their chagrin, the young Berlin had other ideas. He told them he dreamed of becoming a rocker — not a doctor. They worried about his future.

‘Munich’ Portrays Real World Issues

In recent days, several pundits have criticized \”Munich,\” the new film by director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner, for drawing a \”moral equivalency between the Israeli assassins and their targets — both explicitly … and implicitly.\” Furthermore, they argue that it has inaccurately portrayed the Israeli avengers as morally conflicted about their mission to eliminate the perpetrators of the Munich massacre.

The Married Charedi and Me

I met Oren after watching \”Kol Nidrei,\” a new play by Israeli playwright Yehoshua Sobol. The play is about Charedi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews who lead double lives — as Bnei Brak yeshiva bochers by day and Tel Aviv bar-hoppers by Friday night.

My Gift List

>My wife and I don\’t make a big deal out of Chanukah presents. Our family tradition stops far short of indulging in the orgy of getting and spending that overtakes America every holiday, I mean, Christmas, season.

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Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.