Category Archives: Judaism

Films added in January 2016 to JewishFilmFestivals.org

And Then, ViolenceIn the month of January I added 116 films to Jewish Film Festivals. Some of them are old, others are new. There are shorts, feature films, documentaries and TV series among them. In the list below I used the English title for all them, but many of them are from other countries. The only thing common in them is that they were all shown at one more Jewish Film Festival. I hope you will find some interesting one films here:

  1. Our Big Time – Blutsbrüder teilen alles (2012, 88 min.)
  2. That Bubble of Being – Chava Rosenfarb: Dos blesele wor (2015, 75 min.)
  3. What a Wonderful Place – Eize Makom Nifla (2005, 104 min.)
  4. Third Person – Guf Shlishi (2015, 57 min.)
  5. Mountain – Ha’har (2015, 83 min.)
  6. Goodbye Theresienstadt – Jødernes flugt (2013, 59 min.)
  7. ALife for Football – Landauer – Der Präsident (2014, 89 min.)
  8. Naked Among Wolves – Nackt unter Wölfen (2015, 105 min.)
  9. Eagles – Nevelot (2012, 99 min.)
  10. The Last Cyclist – Poslední cyklista (2014, 83 min.)
  11. They Were Promised the Sea – Pour Une Nouvelle Seville (2013, 74 min.)
  12. Time to Say Goodbye – Simon sagt ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ zu seiner Vorhaut (2015, 82 min.)
  13. The Cremator – Spalovac mrtvol (1969, 95 min.) Buy/watch
  14. Persona Non Grata – Sugihara Chiune (2015, 139 min.)
  15. On Tour with Pina Bausch / One Day Pina Asked Me – Un jour Pina a demandé… (1983, 57 min.)
  16. 800 Jews from Our Town (2015, 28 min.)
  17. All These Voices (2015, 15 min.)
  18. And Then, Violence (2016, 15 min.)
  19. Any Day Now (2012, 98 min.) Buy/watch
  20. The Baby (2012, 85 min.)
  21. Backgammon (2014, 68 min.)
  22. Bacon & God’s Wrath (2015, 8 min.)
  23. Barash (2015, 81 min.)
  24. Black Jews: The roots of the Olive Tree (2015, 56 min.)
  25. Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin (2015, 28 min.)
  26. Born Allies (2014, 17 min.)
  27. The Caborca Jew: A Mexican Story (2014, 58 min.)
  28. Camp Story (2013, 26 min.)
  29. Cheftzi On Air (2006, 22 min.)
  30. Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank (2014, 87 min.) Buy/watch
  31. The Consul of Bordeaux (2011, 90 min.) Buy/watch
  32. Dancing in the Ashes (2012, 18 min.)
  33. Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary (2014, 95 min.)
  34. Enter the Faun (2015, 68 min.)
  35. Estamos Aqui: Here We Are (2013, 84 min.)
  36. Etoile (2014, 9 min.)
  37. Every Tuesday: A Portrait of the New Yorker Cartoonists (2011, 22 min.)
  38. Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (2012, 98 min.) Buy/watch
  39. Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer (2015, 86 min.)
  40. Fluchkes (2011, 54 min.) Buy/watch
  41. Forgiven Is Not Forgotten (2012, 10 min.)
  42. Generations of the Shoah: The Sigmund A. Rolat Story (2013, 14 min.)
  43. The Girl on the Train (2013, 80 min.) Buy/watch
  44. The Green Park (2015, 65 min.)
  45. Halabudka (2016, 11 min.)
  46. Holy City (2015, 3 min.)
  47. The House on the Water (2012, 25 min.)
  48. How Not to Say I Love You?… (2014, 20 min.)
  49. The Hulk (2015, 12 min.)
  50. In Our Eyes (2015, 3 min.)
  51. Jonah (2013, 17 min.)
  52. Kids of the Rocket Siren (2013, 18 min.)
  53. Layla (2013, 7 min.)
  54. Let’s Dance! (2012, 103 min.)
  55. The Light Ahead (1939, 94 min.)
  56. Lo Bashamayim Hi (G-dcast) (2012, 5 min.)
  57. Lonely at the Top: A Bromance (G-dcast) (2012, 4 min.)
  58. The Mamboniks (2015, 84 min.)
  59. The Man Who Buried His Own Leg (2013, 4 min.)
  60. Man Who Made Anglels Fly (2013, 64 min.)
  61. Marathon Man (1976, 125 min.) Buy/watch
  62. Master of the Good Name (2014, 80 min.)
  63. Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (2013, 90 min.) Buy/watch
  64. Miriam Beerman: Expressing the Chaos (2015, 53 min.)
  65. Morgenthau (2015, 107 min.)
  66. The Mystery of San Nicandro (2012, 67 min.)
  67. Nazi Boots (2015, 6 min.)
  68. The New Woman: Annie Londonderry Kopchovsky (2013, 27 min.)
  69. No Home Movie (2015, 115 min.)
  70. Noye’s Fludde – Unogumbe (2013, 35 min.)
  71. The Old Jewish Cemetery (2015, 20 min.)
  72. Our People (2015, 7 min.)
  73. Paddleball (2012, 6 min.)
  74. Parshat Shemini: The Kosher Animal Song (G-dcast) (2010, 5 min.)
  75. Parshat Vayakhel: A Song About Wise Hearted People (G-dcast) (2010, 5 min.)
  76. Parshat Vezot Habracha: Saying Goodbye to Moses (G-dcast) (2009, 4 min.)
  77. Potsdam Revisited: Overture to the Cold War / The Rifleman’s Violin (2014, 15 min.)
  78. Psalm 1 (G-dcast) (2013, 3 min.)
  79. Psalm 23 – The Valley (G-dcast) (2013, 3 min.)
  80. Psalm 42 – Where Is Your God? (G-dcast) (2013, 3 min.)
  81. Psalm 90 – Before I Lost My Hair (G-dcast) (2013, 2 min.)
  82. The Rabbi’s Daughter (2012, 33 min.)
  83. The Record Man (2015, 107 min.)
  84. Revival (2013, 25 min.)
  85. Righteous Rebel: Rabbi Avi Weiss (2014, 49 min.)
  86. Rolling Romance (2013, 29 min.)
  87. Sara Levy Cohen (2014, 14 min.)
  88. The Setup (2016, 16 min.)
  89. Shouk (2014, 19 min.)
  90. Showfolk (2014, 23 min.)
  91. Si Minor (2015, 22 min.)
  92. Sukkot at the Ranch (2013, 13 min.)
  93. Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971, 110 min.) Buy/watch
  94. Surviving Skokie (2015, 66 min.)
  95. Take a Bow and Confess (2013, 60 min.)
  96. Tal R: The Virgin (2013, 29 min.)
  97. A Tale of Slander (2015, 7 min.)
  98. Tamagotchi (2015, 15 min.)
  99. Tesefa (2014, 10 min.)
  100. That Daughter’s Crazy (2015, 59 min.)
  101. The Mature (2013, 4 min.)
  102. The Three Hikers (2015, 96 min.)
  103. To Step Forward Myself (2015, 28 min.)
  104. A trip to the Other Planet (2014, 15 min.)
  105. The Trouble with Being Human These Days (2013, 51 min.)
  106. Two Who Dared: The Sharps’ War (2013, 76 min.) Buy/watch
  107. Two-Sided Story (2012, 75 min.)
  108. Wagner & Me (2010, 89 min.) Buy/watch
  109. Walking with the Enemy (2013, 124 min.)
  110. WALL·E (2008, 98 min.) Buy/watch
  111. Warm Snow (2015, 5 min.)
  112. Wiener Blut (2014, 8 min.)
  113. The Window (2014, 30 min.)
  114. Within the Eye of the Storm (2012, 74 min.)
  115. Within Thy Walls (2015, 7 min.)
  116. Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012, 113 min.) Buy/watch

Books posted on my Jewish Books blog in January 2016

The Zohar Pritzker Edition, Volume Nine by Daniel C. MattI have a blog about Jewish books. Most of the time I post about new books, sometimes about events, book sales or older books. Here is the list of books that made it there during the month of January 2016:

  1. Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
  2. The Atoning Dyad: The Two Goats of Yom Kippur in the Apocalypse of Abraham by Andrei Orlov
  3. Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories by Megan Hart, KK Hendin, Stacey Agdern, Jennifer Gracen
  4. But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens
  5. Creating a Collection: a Basic Book List for Judaic Libraries by Marlene Schiffman, Leslie Monchar
  6. Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism by Andrei A. Orlov
  7. From Silt and Ashes: Sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
  8. Ghost Runners: An Olympic Dream Betrayed by Robert Rubenstein
  9. Gittle, A Girl of the Steppes by Estelle Rubin Brager
  10. God and Politics in Esther by Yoram Hazony
  11. Good on Paper by Rachel Cantor
  12. Joyfully Jewish: Family and Adult Coloring Book for Relaxation and Meditation by Rae Shagalov
  13. Lilith’s Demons by Julie R Enszer
  14. The Manasseh Hill Country Survey: Volume 3: From Nahal Iron to Nahal Shechem by Adam Zertal, Nivi Mirkam, Shay Bar
  15. My Dear Otto by Saul Stier
  16. My Train to Freedom by Ivan A. Backer
  17. On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War by Bernard Wasserstein
  18. The Parting of the Ways: How Esoteric Judaism and Christianity Influenced the Psychoanalytic Theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung by Richard Kradin
  19. Primo Levi’s Resistance: Rebels and Collaborators in Occupied Italy by Sergio Luzzatto
  20. Repercussions by Anthony Schneider
  21. Rise of an Oligarch by Carlito Sofer and Nik Krasno
  22. Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author by Herman Wouk
  23. Shmulik Paints the Town by Lisa Rose
  24. The Song of Hartgrove Hall by Natasha Solomons
  25. Surviving Hitler: The Unlikely True Story of an SS Soldier and a Jewish Woman by O. Hakan Palm
  26. Sweet Burdens: Welfare and Communality Among Russian Jews in Germany by Sveta Roberman
  27. Two Arabs, a Berber, and a Jew: Entangled Lives in Morocco by Lawrence Rosen
  28. Under the Chuppah: A Jewish Couple’s Guide to Weddings and Meaningful Marriage by Bruce Forman
  29. An Undisturbed Peace by Mary Glickman
  30. Unspeakable Things by Kathleen Spivack
  31. The White Piano by Uvi Poznansky
  32. White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess In Between by Judy Batalion
  33. Why is Great Grandma So Sad? Discovering the Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child by Susan Heagy
  34. The Zohar Pritzker Edition, Volume Nine by Daniel C. Matt

Films added in December 2015 to JewishFilmFestivals.org

Oliver TwistIn December 2015 I managed to add 110 films to Jewish Film Festivals. Some of them are old, others are new. There are shorts, feature films, documentaries and TV series among them. In the list below I used the English title for all them, but many of them are from other countries. the only thing common in them is that they were all shown at one more Jewish Film Festival this year. I hope you will find some interesting one films here:

  1. 13 Minutes / Elser (2015)
  2. Aliyah DaDa (2015)
  3. Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (2015)
  4. Aron Aronof & the Bukharian Museum (2012)
  5. Art and Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer (2016)
  6. ASNI: the Life of Asnaketch Worku – Courage, Passion & Glamor in Ethiopia (2013)
  7. Babak & Friends: A First Norooz (2005) Buy/watch
  8. Be with Me (The Notebook) (2014)
  9. Bennie the Howl / Benya Krik (1926)
  10. Bit of Luck / (1994)
  11. Born in Jerusalem and Still Alive (2015)
  12. The Brother Mike Tapes: 1985 (2015)
  13. Brutus / Brut (2014)
  14. Bukharian Lens: The Untold Story of Bukharian Jews (2015)
  15. The Castle / Das Schloß (1997) Buy/watch
  16. Children of Giant (2015)
  17. Cinema: A Public Affair (2015)
  18. Cornerstone (2013)
  19. Curt Lowens: A Life of Changes (2015)
  20. Death and the Maiden (2014)
  21. Demon (2015)
  22. Dirty Wolves / Lobos sucios (2015)
  23. The Dybbuk. A Tale of Wandering Souls / Dybuk. Rzecz o wędrówce dusz (2015)
  24. East LA Interchange (2015)
  25. Ellis (2015)
  26. Fever at Dawn / Hajnali láz (2015)
  27. Flory’s Flame (2014)
  28. The Flying Matchmaker / Shnei Kuni Leml (1970)
  29. Foto (2015)
  30. Gezoindelach (2015)
  31. Glories of Tango / Fermín glorias del tango (2014)
  32. A Grain of Truth / Ziarno prawdy (2015)
  33. Ground Floor (2015)
  34. Happy Purim (2015)
  35. Holy Week / Wielki tydzien (1995)
  36. Hummus the Movie (2015)
  37. I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman (2016)
  38. If the Trees Could Talk (2014)
  39. In Line for Anne Frank / In de Rij voor Anne Frank (2014)
  40. Insight (2015)
  41. Intimate Stranger (1991)
  42. The Iranian Americans (2012) Buy/watch
  43. It Never Rained on Rhodes (2014)
  44. Je suis Charlie (2015)
  45. The Jewish Journey: America (2015)
  46. The Jews Are Coming / HaYehudim Baim (2014)
  47. Jews In Rome / Ebrei A Roma (2012) Buy/watch
  48. Jonah the Wet Nurse (2015)
  49. Kapo in Jerusalem / Kapo Be’Yerushalaim (2014)
  50. KHOYA: Jewish Morocco Sound Archive (2015)
  51. Klezmer (2015)
  52. The Kosher Kibbutz (2015)
  53. Lamb (2015)
  54. The Last Battle of the Tehran Children (2015)
  55. Laugh Lines (2015)
  56. The Liberators – Why We Fought (2015)
  57. Life & Hummus (2014)
  58. Line of Separation / Tannbach (2015)
  59. The Little Dictator / HaDiktator HaKatan (2015)
  60. Lives in Focus (2014)
  61. Macropolis (2012)
  62. Making Bakhsh in Rego Park (2015)
  63. The Man Who Shot Hollywood (2016)
  64. Masks (2015)
  65. Matices (2014)
  66. The Memory of Justice (1976)
  67. The Midnight Orchestra / L’orchestre de minuit (2015)
  68. Mirrors (2015)
  69. Moroccan Jews: Destinies Undone (2015)
  70. My Father’s Son / Ben Avi (2012)
  71. News from Home/News from House (2006)
  72. No Asylum: The Untold Chapter of Anne Frank’s Story (2015)
  73. Nobody Home (2015)
  74. Nobody’s Business (1996) Buy/watch
  75. Oliver Twist (2015) Buy/watch
  76. One Rock Three Religions (2015)
  77. Our Boys (2015)
  78. The Passages of Walter Benjamin (2014)
  79. Perhaps Only Migrating Birds (2015)
  80. Period. New Paragraph (2015)
  81. The Pianist (2002) Buy/watch
  82. Pizza Bagel (2012)
  83. Puzzle (2015)
  84. Rabin, The Last Day (2015)
  85. Recognition / Hakara (2015)
  86. The Rifleman’s Violin (2015)
  87. Roadmap Genesis (2015)
  88. samuel-613 (2015)
  89. The Search for Israeli Cuisine (2016)
  90. A Shabbos Mother (2005)
  91. Shalom Sesame: Be Happy, it’s Purim (2011)
  92. Silversmith / Hazoref (2015)
  93. Sisters of Mine (2011)
  94. So Many Miracles (1987) Buy/watch
  95. Song of Songs / Pesn pesney (2015)
  96. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days / Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage (2005) Buy/watch
  97. Spaceballs (1987) Buy/watch
  98. Spell Your Name (2006) Buy/watch
  99. Starting Over Again; A Jewish-Egyptian Story (2015)
  100. That Lovely Girl / Harcheck mi headro (2014)
  101. This Is Where I Leave You (2014) Buy/watch
  102. Tomorrow We Move / Demain on déménage (2004) Buy/watch
  103. Treblinka’s Last Witness (2014)
  104. A Trip to the Other Planet (2014)
  105. The Unbelievers (2013) Buy/watch
  106. Unorthodox (2013)
  107. Wedding Doll / Hatuna MeNiyar (2015)
  108. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) Buy/watch
  109. A Woman Called Golda (1982) Buy/watch
  110. Yellow Stars of Tolerance (2015)

Books posted on my Jewish Books blog in December 2015

Renewing the Process of Creation by Bradley Shavit ArtsonI have a blog about Jewish books. Most of the time I post about new books, sometimes about events, book sales or older books. Here is the list of books that made it there during the month of December 2015:

  1. Anne Frank and the Remembering Tree by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and Erika Steiskal
  2. The Archaeology and Material Culture of the Babylonian Talmud by Markham J. Geller
  3. Arthur Green: Hasidism for Tomorrow by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes
  4. The Big Jewish Songbook by Velvel Pasternak
  5. Bovo d’Antona by Elye Bokher. A Yiddish Romance by Claudia Rosenzweig
  6. The Complete Works of Primo Levi by Primo Levi
  7. The Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance, Volume 2 by Martin G. Abegg, Jr. , James E. Bowley and Edward M. Cook
  8. Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer
  9. The Death of Jacob by Kerry D. Lee, Jr.
  10. Encounters: My Life in Publishing by George Braziller
  11. Etched in My Memory: Reflections of a Holocaust Survivor by Miriam M. Brysk
  12. Exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls; Archaeology and Literature of the Qumran Caves by Hanan Eshel
  13. Farmer Kobi’s Hanukkah Match by Rabbi Ron Isaacs and Karen Rostoker-Gruber
  14. Fever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos
  15. The Girl from Human Street: A Jewish Family Odyssey by Roger Cohen
  16. The Greatest Need: The Creative Life and Troubled Times of Lily Tobias, a Welsh Jew in Palestine by Jasmine Donahaye
  17. Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish by Barry Deutsch
  18. History of the Jews in the Bohemian Lands by Martin Wein
  19. History, Memory, and Jewish Identity by Ira Robinson, Naftali S. Cohn and Lorenzo DiTommaso
  20. In the Shadow of God: Poems of Memory & Healing by Chaya Rosen
  21. Jewish Studies in the 21st Century: Prague – Europe – World by Marcela Zoufala
  22. Jews and Muslims in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union by Franziska Davies, Michael Brenner and Martin Schulze Wessel
  23. Journey of Strangers by Elizabeth Zelvin
  24. Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman
  25. King of the Road: From Bergen-Belsen to the Olympic Games by Shaul Ladany
  26. Lashon HaKodesh: History, Holiness, & Hebrew by Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein
  27. The Latke in the Library & Other Mystery Stories for Chanukah by Libi Astaire
  28. Lavi: The United States, Israel and a Controversial Fighter Jet by John Golan
  29. The Long Night: A True Story by Ernst Israel Bornstein
  30. Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel by Joshua Muravchik
  31. Miriam’s Song by Smadar Shir
  32. The Mizrahi Era of Rebellion by Bryan K. Roby
  33. The Mountain Jews and the Mirror by Ruchama King Feuerman
  34. My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner; A Famly Memoir by Meir Shalev
  35. One God, Many Worlds: Teachings of a Renewed Hasidism: A Festschrift in Honor of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z”l by Netanel Miles-Yepez
  36. Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon
  37. Our Holocaust by Amir Gutfreund
  38. Patterns of Sin in the Hebrew Bible: Metaphor, Culture, and the Making of a Religious Conceptby Joseph Lam
  39. A Perfect storm: Antisemitism in South Africa 1930 – 1948by Milton Shain
  40. Performances of Ancient Jewish Lettersby Marvin Miller
  41. The Perspective from Mt. Sinai; The Book of Jubilees and Exodusby Betsy Halpern-Amaru
  42. The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, editedby Robert Alter
  43. Preservation, Intrigue and Property: Dissolving Boston’s Vilna Shul Congregation 1985-2001by Michael Weingarten
  44. Reign and Religion in Palestineby Anne Lykke
  45. The Religious Genius in Rabbi Kook’s Thought National ‘Saint’?by Dov Schwartz
  46. Renewing the Process of Creationby Bradley Shavit Artson
  47. Royal Challengeby Yitzhak Salomon
  48. The Safest Lieby Angela Cerrito
  49. Seed of Avraham – The 4000 Year History of the Jewish Familyby Othniel J Seiden
  50. Sephardic Baking from Nona and More Favorites: A Collection of Recipes For Baking Desayuno And Moreby Linda Sendowski
  51. Shadal on Exodus: Samuel David Luzzatto’s Interpretation of the Book of Shemotby Daniel A. Klein
  52. Shoa and Experience: A Journey in Timeby Dan Soen & Nitza Davidovitch
  53. Society of Terror: Inside the Dachau and Buchenwald Concentration Campsby Paul Martin Neurath
  54. Studies in the History of Istanbul Jewry, 1453-1923by Minna Rozen
  55. Take Your Soul to Work: 365 Meditations on Every Day Leadershipby Erica Brown
  56. Tales of Three Cities: Urban Jewish Cultures in London, Berlin, and Paris (c. 1880-1940)by Tobias Metzler
  57. Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMAby Roberta Kaplan and Lisa Dickey
  58. Tiptoe Through Genesis: A Unique Adaptationby Nancy Reuben Greenfield
  59. Translating Holocaust Literatureby Peter Arnds
  60. The Tzaddik’s Accomplishmentby Mohorosh of Heichal Hakodesh Breslov
  61. Values and Ethics – Through a Jewish Lensby Fred and Joyce Claar
  62. We’re Almost There; Living with Patience, Perseverance and Purposeby Rabbi Dovid Cohen
  63. When G-d Asks Meby Devorah Kalani
  64. When We Danced on Waterby Evan Fallenberg
  65. Why Dogs Have Wet Nosesby Kenneth Steven
  66. Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: 1929by Hillel Cohen

Review: Alouette’s Song by Andrew Jonathan Fine #Readukkah

Alouette's Song by Andrew Jonathan FineMajority of the book I read fall into one of three categories: sci-fi, Jewish/Judaism related books or Hungarian novels. I am always thrilled when I learn about books that combine my favorite genres. (I am still looking or one that combines all three.) I picked up Andrew Jonathan Fine‘s Alouette’s Song * because it promised to be a Jewish romance AND being a sci-fi. It delivered on its promise in satisfying enough ways.

What I ended up liking the most about the book was neither of these aspects but its realistic description of “multicultural society.” If you find a better expression of how people of different aptitudes, interests, intelligences and yes backgrounds can end up forming a close team to save the world, nothing less let me know. That’s what I found the most exciting and the most novel to me was the experiences of Marge, who is on the autism spectrum. I feel I gained a bit of familiarity if not insight of how it may feel to be on the spectrum.

Two of the major characters are Jewish to various degree. Dorothy is a real Texan girl with all of its strength and peculiarities AND she is an observant Jew: another great example of how people cannot be defined a by a single category, which is part of the multicultural aspect I enjoyed so much in this book. This is what she says at one point about her besheret, Richard:

“I really think the absolute worst thing his parents ever did to him was to teach our commandments as duties to be obeyed and burdens to be shouldered. They were actually more like an interlinking system of principles which if observed sufficiently closely practically guaranteed a joyful and fulfilling life. Take for instance the Bar-Mitzvah. There’s a huge misconception that a boy becomes a man only by undergoing the ceremony. It’s actually supposed to be a celebration that a boy reaches the age of responsibility. The celebration is not actually necessary for the boy to become responsible, he already is. “

I read some novels where Jewish themes were interwoven so badly that they felt like windowdressing to make the book more diverse. Not here: it shows that the author is familiar with/of the tradition, because not just the words, but the actions and patterns of thinking of Dorothy reflects a deep Jewish identity. E.g. the above paragraph takes some maturity and immersion to Judaism to come up with and accept.

Alouette’s Song by Andrew Jonathan Fine I recommend this book because it teaches about people and diversity, is fun to read and has the right proportions of science fiction, romance, and drama. It is not a perfect book though  I had “almost” three issues with it.  First, the book needs an editor. Not just because of the 4-5 typos that I noticed, but also the dialogues can be too long and pedantic. Second, as the main characters are all teenagers I suspect that it is intended to be read by teenagers. Having rather explicit sex scenes may offend some teens or their parents. The “almost” third issue is about the cover. I saw four different covers for the book, including its first (see above), second and Kindle edition. Three of them seemed childish and not professional enough. But the third one, invoking Chagall, is great, see right.

This review is part the  #Readukkah challenge.

** Cross-posted on JewishBookWorld

Films added in November 2015 to JewishFilmFestivals.org

KinderlekhIn November I managed to add 123 films to Jewish Film Festivals. Some of them are old, others are new. There are shorts, feature films, documentaries and TV series among them. In the list below I used the English title for all them, but many of them are from other countries. the only thing common in them is that they were all shown at one more Jewish Film Festival this year. I hope you will find some interesting one films here:

  1. The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014)
  2. As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM (2015)
  3. Autism in Love (2015)
  4. Autobiography of a Jeep (1943)
  5. Ave Maria (2015)
  6. Baba Joon (2015)
  7. The Bentwich Syndrome (2015)
  8. Birthday Present (2014)
  9. Blue Vinyl (2002)
  10. The Boy In the Whale Suit (2014)
  11. Buchenwald Ball (2006)
  12. Camps in Paris – Des camps dans Paris (2005)
  13. Carvalho’s Journey (2015)
  14. The Chop (2015)
  15. Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah (2015)
  16. A Correspondence (2014)
  17. Danny Says (2015)
  18. The Day Hitler Died (2015)
  19. Dealing with the Devil (2015)
  20. The Divorce (2014)
  21. Drops (2012)
  22. The Duchess of Warsaw – La duchesse de Varsovie (2015)
  23. Ed & Pauline (2014)
  24. Ella (2013)
  25. Escaping Riga (2014)
  26. Faces – Adonim (2011)
  27. Fightophobia (2011)
  28. Finsterworld (2013)
  29. Fire Birds (2015)
  30. The Forgers of Histor – Les Faussaires De L’Histoire (2015)
  31. The Free Voice Of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists (1980)
  32. Gemini – Ikrek hava (2015)
  33. Goldman (2011)
  34. Grandma Stories with Noodle Soup (2015)
  35. Greenland (2014)
  36. The Guitar (2015)
  37. Hanussen (1988)
  38. Hatred: Into the Heart of Antisemitism (2014)
  39. Holy Night – Szent Este (2015)
  40. Hot Sugar’s Cold World (2015)
  41. I Accuse! (1958)
  42. I Declare Allegiance (2013)
  43. I Don’t Know – Nem Tudhatom (2015)
  44. I Only Wanted to Live – Volevo solo vivere (2006)
  45. I Smile Back (2015)
  46. I survived the Holocaust – Sobrevivi ao Holocausto (2014)
  47. Il faudra raconter (2005)
  48. The Incident (2014)
  49. Jerry-atric: One Comic’s 77-Year Climb to the Top of the Bottom (2015)
  50. Jevel Katz and his Countrymen – Jevel Katz y sus paisanos (2005)
  51. Jewish Identity in France: Between Past & Future (2014)
  52. Jewish Merchants of Downtown Hendersonville (2015)
  53. Jews of the Spanish Homeland – Los judíos de patria española (1931)
  54. Johanna Learns To Swim (2013)
  55. Kadish in Montmartre – Kadish en Montmartre (2014)
  56. Kapunka (2015)
  57. Kinderlekh (2012)
  58. The Last Five Years (2014)
  59. The Last Marranos – Les derniers Marranes (1991)
  60. The Lavatory (2014)
  61. The Liberation of Auschwitz – Die Befreiung von Auschwitz (1986)
  62. Load (2014)
  63. Love & Taxes (2015)
  64. A Love in Germany – Eine Liebe in Deutschland (1983)
  65. Malka, a girl of the Zwi Migdal – Malka, una chica de la Zwi Migdal (2014)
  66. Memories of an old child – Souvenirs d’un vieil enfant (2010)
  67. Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw (2015)
  68. Morituri (1948)
  69. Mrs. Moskowitz and the Cats – Bederech el ha-hatulim (2009)
  70. Mussa (2015)
  71. My Mayim (2015)
  72. Nah’che (2015)
  73. Open Bethlehem / Operation Bethlehem (2015)
  74. Oriented (2015)
  75. Orthodox (2015)
  76. Our 1/4 Life Crisis (2014)
  77. P.S. Jerusalem (2015)
  78. Patience that Blossoms into Death – Halált Virágzó Türelem (2015)
  79. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (2015)
  80. Perkal, Memory of a Name – Perkal, la memoria de un nombre (2016)
  81. Peter the 3rd (2015)
  82. The Pink Triangle and the Nazi Cure for Homosexuality – El Triángulo Rosa y la Cura Nazi para la Homosexualidad (2014)
  83. Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish (2014)
  84. The Plot to Assassinate Hitler – Der 20. Juli (1955)
  85. Portrait of a Serial Monogamist (2015)
  86. The Pracht Inn (2014)
  87. Semicolon; The Adventures of Ostomy Girl (2015)
  88. Septembers of Shiraz (2015)
  89. Sha Shtil: Inside Canada’s Jewish Establishment (2012)
  90. Shadows from My Past (2013)
  91. She’s Funny That Way (2014)
  92. Short on Cash – Katsar Be Kessef (2014)
  93. The Singing Abortionist (2015)
  94. Slaves – Esclavas (2015)
  95. The Stigma – L’estigma? (2012)
  96. AStorm in Summer (1970)
  97. Story About Rain – Sipur Al Geshem (2012)
  98. Suffragette (2015)
  99. Summer Solstice – Letnie przesilenie (2015)
  100. Sun in My Eyes (1960)
  101. Superman is not Jewish… But I am, a little bit – Superman n’est pas juif (…et moi un peu) (2014)
  102. Teaching Ignorance / This Is My Land (2014)
  103. Tehila (2015)
  104. Tell Me a Riddle (1980)
  105. AThing So Small (2014)
  106. Tikkun (2015)
  107. Tito’s Glasses – Titos Brille (2014)
  108. Torah Treasures & Curious Trash / Torah and Trash: The Art of Jo Milgrom (2015)
  109. ATown Called Brzostek (2014)
  110. Truce – La tregua (1997)
  111. The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance (1959)
  112. Valley – Emek (2014)
  113. The Venice Ghetto, 500 Years of Life (2015)
  114. A Walled Garden (2014)
  115. The Wanted 18 (2014)
  116. Water (2012)
  117. The Way of Man – a Film about Martin Buber (2015)
  118. Welcome to Leith (2015)
  119. What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy (2015)
  120. When I Live My Life Over Again – One More Time (2015)
  121. The Winnings Of Frankie Walls (1979)
  122. Zement (2014)
  123. Zone A – Ezor Alef (2014)

Books posted on my Jewish Books blog in November 2015

Angels at the Gate by T.K. ThorneI have a blog about Jewish books. Most of the time I post about new books, sometimes about events, book sales or older books. Here is the list of books that made it there during the month of November 2015:

  1. The 613 by Archie Rand
  2. Abraham: The World’s First (But Certainly Not Last) Jewish Lawyer by Alan Dershowitz
  3. Angels at the Gate by T.K. Thorne
  4. The Bible Retold byJewish Artists, Writers, Composers and Filmmakers by Helen Leneman and Barry Dov Walfish
  5. The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich
  6. The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France by Ethan B. Katz
  7. Captivity by György Spiró
  8. Crossing the Boundary: Stories of Jewish Leaders of Other Spiritual Paths by Alan Levin
  9. Dead Jew Walking: A Jewish Man’s Journey from Death to Life by Hugh Nemets
  10. The Debt of Tamar by Nicole Dweck
  11. The Deuteronomist’s History by Hans Ausloos
  12. Divinity School by Alicia Jo Rabins
  13. Emek Kosher Comics: A Jewish Comic Book
  14. Esther by Rebecca Kanner
  15. Evanescent Happiness: Ottoman Jews Encounter Modernity, the Case of Lea Mitrani and Joseph Niego (1863–1923) by Amalia Skarlatou
  16. Falafel Nation: Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel by Yael Raviv
  17. Hanukkah Fun Book For Children by Rachel Mintz
  18. Happiness the Jewish Way: A Practical Guide to Happiness through the Lens of Jewish Wisdom by Olga Gilburd
  19. Holocaust Icons: Symbolizing the Shoah in History and Memory by Oren Baruch Stier
  20. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
  21. The Illuminated Torah: Paintings and Essays on the Weekly Portions by Avner Moriah
  22. Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron
  23. Losing Leah by Chaya T. Hirsch
  24. The Muralist by B. A. Shapiro
  25. My Four Years in Soviet Russia (Jews of Poland) by Yitzhak Erlichson
  26. The Pater: My father, My judaism, My childlessness by Elliot Jager
  27. The Pawnbroker by Edward Lewis Wallant
  28. Plus One by Christopher Noxon
  29. The Price of a Passport by Sara Ronen
  30. Proust: The Search by Benjamin Taylor
  31. The Rachel’s Hope by Shelly Sanders
  32. Return to Casablanca: Jews, Muslims, and an Israeli Anthropologist by André Levy
  33. Return to Zion: The History of Modern Israel by Eric Gartman
  34. The Rise of Reform Judaism A Sourcebook of Its European Origins by W. Gunther Plaut
  35. Schmuck by Seth Kushner
  36. The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
  37. Shalom Coloring: Adult Coloring Book by Freddie Levin and Judy Dick
  38. The Stone of the Tenth Realm by Eva Gordon
  39. Survivor: Aron’s Story by Alex Teplish
  40. Talks on the Parasha by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz
  41. Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film by Glenn Kurtz
  42. When Their Memories Became Mine: Moving Beyond My Parents’ Past by Pearl Goodman
  43. Wherever There Is Light by Peter Golden
  44. Woody: The Biography by David Evanier

Films added in October 2015 to JewishFilmFestivals.org

My Beloved UnclesIn October I managed to add 100 films to Jewish Film Festivals. Some of them are old, others are new. There are shorts, feature films, documentaries and TV series among them. In the list below I used the English title for all them, but many of them are from other countries. the only thing common in them is that they were all shown at one more Jewish Film Festival this year. I hope you will find some interesting one films here:

    1. 10% My Child (2014)
    2. 77:78 On The Map (2015)
    3. Afterthought (2015)
    4. The Age of Love (2014)
    5. Arab Movie (2015)
    6. The Armor of Light (2015)
    7. The Arrest (2014)
    8. Atalle (2012)
    9. Atomic Falafel (2015)
    10. Band of Bowlers (2015)
    11. Beyond the Fear (2015)
    12. The Blaumlich Canal (1969)
    13. The Boys from Porcelain Alley (Die Porzellangassenbuben) (2012)
    14. The Boys of Nitzana (2015)
    15. Breakfast at Ina’s (2015)
    16. By Sidney Lumet (2015)
    17. Crossing The Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus (2014)
    18. Day 40 (2014)
    19. Dégradé (2015)
    20. Dirty Business (2015)
    21. The Disobedient Consul (2015)
    22. Drawing Against Oblivion (Zeichnen gegen das Vergessen) (2014)
    23. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
    24. Einstein in the Holy Land (2015)
    25. Etched in My Body (2015)
    26. Eva Hesse (2015)
    27. Experimenter (2015)
    28. Freak Out (2015)
    29. Gitel (2014)
    30. Grand Hotel (1932)
    31. Guardians of Remembrance (2014)
    32. Hagiga — the Story of Israeli Cinema (2015)
    33. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
    34. His Wife’s Lover (1931)
    35. Holocaust Survivor Band (2014)
    36. How to Win Enemies (2014)
    37. Imaginary Feasts (2015)
    38. In the Footsteps of Regina Jonas (2014)
    39. Jerusalem Boxing Club (2015)
    40. JeruZalem (2015)
    41. The Kind Words (2015)
    42. A Kiss to This Land (1995)
    43. Kisses to the Children/Children in Hiding (2012)
    44. The Kozalchik Affair (2015)
    45. Ladies First (2013)
    46. The Lady With a Movie Camera (2009)
    47. The Last Chance (1945)
    48. The Last Train (1973)
    49. The Law (2014)
    50. Line of Grace (2014)
    51. The Man in the Funny Suit (1960)
    52. The Man in the Wall (2015)
    53. Manhattan (1979)
    54. Meet the Hitlers (2014)
    55. My Beloved Uncles (2015)
    56. My Shortest Love Affair / Ma Plus Courte Histoire d’Amour (2015)
    57. Nan Goldin: I Remember Your Face (2013)
    58. Natasha (2015)
    59. Nichols and May: Take Two (1996)
    60. The Nobelists (2015)
    61. Note (2015)
    62. On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (2015)
    63. The Other Dreamers (2013)
    64. The Other War (2008)
    65. Papa Was Not a Rolling Stone (2014)
    66. Paris On The Water (2014)
    67. Peacecamp 2015 (2015)
    68. People of the Graphic Novel (2012)
    69. The People vs. Fritz Bauer (2015)
    70. Phantom of Memory (Das Phantom der Erinnerung) (2012)
    71. The Plan of Time (Der Riss der Zeit) (2015)
    72. Pockets of Hope (2015)
    73. The Price of Sugar (2013)
    74. Projections of America (2014)
    75. Rabin in His Own Words (2015)
    76. Red Leaves (2014)
    77. Religions of the World (2008)
    78. Remember (2015)
    79. Requiem for a Heavyweight (1956)
    80. Sabena Hijacking: My Version (2015)
    81. Seed of Life (2014)
    82. Shoah, The Forgotten Souls of History (2015)
    83. Spadina (1984)
    84. Stardust Memories (1980)
    85. A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015)
    86. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
    87. This Night (2008)
    88. Those People (2015)
    89. Till Day’s End (2014)
    90. To Life! (Auf das Leben!) (2014)
    91. Tormus (2013)
    92. Twilight of a Life (2015)
    93. Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt (2015)
    94. Wandering Rabbi (2014)
    95. What Cheer? (2014)
    96. What Doesn’t Kill You (2015)
    97. Where is Elle Kari and What Happened to Noriko-san? (2014)
    98. The Window Doctor (2015)
    99. Yitzhak Rabin: a Soldier Devoted To Peace (2015)
    100. Zelig (1983)

Books posted on my Jewish Books blog in October 2015

Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community by Ron WolfsonI have a blog about Jewish books. Most of the time I post about new books, sometimes about events, book sales or older books. Here is the list of books that made it there during the month of October 2015:

  1. 94 Maidens by Rhonda Fink-Whitman
  2. Akiva: Life, Legend, Legacy by Reuven Hammer
  3. Auschwitz #34207: The Joe Rubinstein Story by Nancy Sprowell Geise
  4. A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka by Lev Golinkin
  5. Between Gods: A Memoir by Alison Pick
  6. The Columbus Code by Mike Evans
  7. The Crime and the Silence by Anna Bikont
  8. A Damaged Mirror: A story of memory and redemption by Yael Shahar and Ovadya ben Malka
  9. The Devil in Jerusalem by Naomi Ragen
  10. Everyone Has Their Reasons by Joseph Matthews
  11. The Feet of the Messenger by Yehoash (Solomon Blumgarten)
  12. From the Banks of the Rhine to the Banks of the Mississippi: The History of Jewish Immigrants and their Individual Stories by Anny Bloch-Raymond
  13. Hebrew of the Late Second Temple Period by Eibert Tigchelaar, Pierre Van Hecke
  14. Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family by Chaya Deitsch
  15. Hidden Inheritance: Family Secrets, Memory, and Faith by Heidi B. Neumark
  16. The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
  17. The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor
  18. In the Shadow of Hitler: Alabama’s Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust by Dan J. Puckett
  19. Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds by Kenneth Wishnia
  20. Jewish Responses to Persecution by Leah Wolfson
  21. Jews and Christians in Denmark From the Middle Ages to Recent Times, ca. 1100-1948 by Martin Schwarz Lausten
  22. Judaism as Philosophy: Studies in Maimonides and the Medieval Jewish Philosophers of Provence by Howard Kreisel
  23. Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist by Niall Ferguson
  24. Kvetching and Shpritzing: Jewish Humor in American Popular Culture by Joseph Dorinson
  25. Michael Fishbane: Jewish Hermeneutical Theology by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Aaron W. Hughes
  26. Musical Exodus: Al-Andalus and Its Jewish Diasporas by Ruth F. Davis
  27. My Father’s Guitar & Other Imaginary Things: True Stories by Joseph Skibell
  28. The Mystics of Mile End by Sigal Samuel
  29. The Name of God in Jewish Thought: A Philosophical Analysis of Mystical Traditions from Apocalyptic to Kabbalah by Michael T Miller
  30. Nine Dancers of Light by Shannon Silverstein
  31. No Mission is Impossible by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal
  32. Okay, So Look: A Humorous Retelling of the Book of Genesis by Micah Edwards
  33. Paleo Kosher: 18 Easy Diet Cooking Recipes for Fast Weight Loss, Energy Boosting, and Better Health by Alf Forrman
  34. Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli by Ted Merwin
  35. The Peace Process: A Novella and Stories by Bruce Jay Friedman
  36. Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern by Francine Prose
  37. A Poet of the Invisible World by Michael Golding
  38. Politics, Faith, and the Making of American Judaism by Peter Adams
  39. Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community by Ron Wolfson
  40. Roman Vishniac Rediscovered by Maya Benton
  41. The Sea Beach Line by Ben Nadler
  42. Searching for Bubbe Fischer: The Path to Mah Jongg Wisdom by Karen Gooen
  43. Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  44. Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18 Berlin by Dina Gold
  45. The Strangers We Became by Cynthia Kaplan Shamash
  46. Those Secrets We Keep by Emily Liebert
  47. TheUnfinished Diary: A Chronicle of Tears by Rabbi Chaim Yitzchok Wolgelernter
  48. The War Scroll, Violence, War and Peace in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature by Kipp Davis, Kyung S. Baek, Peter W. Flint, and Dorothy M. Peters
  49. The Wayward Moon by Janice Weizman
  50. Where You Go, I Go: The Astonishing Life of Dr. Jacob Eisenbach, Holocaust Survivor and 92-year-old Full-Time Dentist by Karen McCartney
  51. Winegarden by Anthony Ferner
  52. Winning the War of Words: Essays on Zionism and Israel by Einat Wilf
  53. Woody on Rye: Jewishness in the Films and Plays of Woody Allen by Vincent Brook, Marat Grinberg

Films added in September 2015 to JewishFilmFestivals.org

Cartoonists: Footsoldiers of Democracy?In September I managed to add 43 films to Jewish Film Festivals. Some of them are old, others are new. There are shorts, feature films, documentaries and TV series among them. In the list below I used the English title for all them, but many of them are from other countries. the only thing common in them is that they were all shown at one more Jewish Film Festival this year. I hope you will find some interesting one films here:

  1. The Accidental Activist: Whoever Saves a Life… (2015)
  2. The Anarchist Rabbi (2014)
  3. Atlit (2014)
  4. Bess Myerson: Portrait of an Activist (1994)
  5. Cartoonists: Footsoldiers of Democracy? (2014)
  6. Casablanca (1942)
  7. TheCelluloid Closet (1995)
  8. Censored Voices (2015)
  9. The Chaos Within (2014)
  10. The Dowry (1969)
  11. Encirclements (2014)
  12. Every Face Has a Name (2015)
  13. Famous Nathan (2014)
  14. Five Broken Cameras (2011)
  15. Free to Be… You & Me (1974)
  16. A Fuller Life (2013)
  17. Good Luck/East and West (1923)
  18. Hebrew Superheroes (2015)
  19. Hefts Gets Screwed (2014)
  20. Here One Day (2013)
  21. TheHidden Spring (2012)
  22. Hirsch (2010)
  23. Imagine… Philip Roth Unleashed (2014)
  24. In The Presence of Mine Enemies (1960)
  25. Irwin & Fran (2013)
  26. It Takes a Shtetl: Leonard Nimoy’s Boston (2014)
  27. Josef et Aimée (2014)
  28. King Of Kensington (1975)
  29. The Last American Virgin (1982)
  30. Laura Adler’s Last Love Affair (1990)
  31. Lemon Popsicle (1978)
  32. The Loner: The Homecoming of Lemuel Stove (1965)
  33. Look at Us Now, Mother! (2015)
  34. Lookout (2014)
  35. Make Me a Match (2013)
  36. Mom and Dad, I Have Something to Tell You (2010)
  37. Phoenix (2014)
  38. There and Here (2014)
  39. Tightrope (2014)
  40. The Train (2015)
  41. Transport XX to Auschwitz (2012)
  42. Very Semi-Serious (2015)
  43. Women in Sink (2015)