Eye on People
Many guests, mostly Israelis, came to the Israeli annual official Independence Day Celebration which took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan. Only a few gentiles or foreign diplomats came to the party. The Russian Ambassador attended. It was a nice party. Alon Pinkas, consul general, was the host. His counterpart, Dr. Yehuda Lancry, was absent because he attended his niece's funeral. She was killed by a Palestinian murderer on Bus 960, Z'l! The Israeli government was represented by Rabbi Melchior, its Foreign Minister Deputy. Because of the low profile of Israel's own celebrations, this event was almost cancelled. Among the guests were: Ed Koch, Judge Hornblass, Rabbi Arthur Schnier, Morton Klein, Mel Parnes, Leon Charney, Kanan Abramson, Jaacob Baal-Teshuva, Benny Levy, Dafna Barak, Shimon Peer, Zamira Chen, Ezra Zahavy-'Tours', Rivka Fuchs, Dr. Efraim Yitzhak, Sam Noreich, Zohar Pery, Iqal Tsarfati, Gloria Kins, John Emerson and Rami Levy.
Magnolia Pictures presents, for screening all over America, the touching Israeli film Late Marriage. It is the creation of the great writer-director Dover Kosashvili with the producer Marek Rozenbaum, editor Yael Perlov and others. The film's major stars are Lior Ashkenazi, Ronit Elkabetz, Moni Moshonov and Lili Kosashvili. Late Marriage is Dover Kosashvili's first feature film. He received critical acclaim for his 35-minute short With Rules (1999). A graduation project, With Rules received several international prizes, including Best Short Film at the 1999 Jerusalem Film Festival and a CineFoundation prize at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. Kosashvili studied philosophy and cinema at Tel Aviv University. Born in 1966 in George, Kosashvili has lived in Israel since 1972. He is currently working on the screenplay for his next feature, A Gift From the Sky. Susan Norget, P.R. tells us that this Israeli French film received the following awards and nominations as well:
2001 Thessaloniki International Film Festival: Best Screenplay, Actress and Special Jury Award
Israel's official entry to the 2002 Academy Awards
9 Israeli Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editor and Best Sound
Best First film and Best Director, Jerusalem Film Festival 2001
Highest Grossing Israeli Film in Israel since 1984 Late Marriage essentially is a biting comedy of manners, sex, family conflicts, and the life of Israeli olim.
Discovery, the non-profit Jewish organization whose programs have been experienced by over 150,000 American Jews across the United States, is embarking on a New York City tour next month. The psychodrama, Discovery, follows the quest of a man who is trying to become the first ever American Mossad (Israeli Intelligence Agency) agent. On his thrilling journey, the audience is drawn into a fascinating and interactive means of revealing the true identity of the author of the bible. "In continuing with the Discovery tradition, my goal is for audiences to leave the theater saying 'I had loads of fun and I have loads of questions'," said Yaakov Salomon, creative director of Discovery.
Discovery events, previously hosted by Jason Alexander, Kirk Douglas and Elliot Gould, utilize computer science, philosophy, psychology and Jewish history. For many American Jews, Discovery is a life changing experience. It was established in 1986. Its mission to explore the greatness of the Jewish heritage. Edward Esner defined it as a Jewish science. Others such as Elliot Gould praised Discovery's links to the 21st century as an educational organization. It used performing arts, it used the theater. For more information and update of performances of Discovery call 212-921-9090 or www.discoveryproduction.com.
Continuing a fifty year tradition of presenting the work of artists whose contributions to the history of the visual arts in America has been largely overlooked by recent generations, Hirschel & Adler Galleries was proud to present Ruth Light Braun: New York and Palestine, 1926-1933, which ran from March 21 through April 27, 2002. Although the seventy pictures by Brooklyn-born artist Ruth Light Braun (b. 1906) in this exhibition span only a few years, they are remarkable for their documentation of contemporary Jewish life, both in the United States and Palestine. Braun, now ninety-six years old, consciously followed a program to record for posterity the styles and customs of Jews in both America and the Holy Land. Since Braun's period of activity was concurrent with a rise in cultural awareness among Jews around the world, her work provides a fascinating and nearly unique record of the appearances and aspirations of Jews in American and Palestine.
Poland is putting forth many efforts to improve its relations with the Jewish world. It is defined as dialogue. Three million Jews lived in Poland in 1939. Recently, Poland established a museum of the history of the Polish Jews (800 years) in Warsaw, but the government and many organizations which support this project must raise 55 million dollars to accomplish this mission. Recently, the Polish consulate in New York hosted a special event. Ewa Jurczyk-Ziomecka, project director, presented a multi-media presentation of this museum and professor Wladyslaw. Bartoszewski, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, lectured about the enormous contribution of the Polish Jewry to Poland's life and civilization. He himself went to school with the novelist Bashevis Singer, the Yiddish Nobel Prize winner.
The Center for Jewish History (15 W. 16th Street) sponsors many events of film screening and musical shows: Yal Strom (Klezmer Music), Shaldon Hernick, an evening with a musical legend and an evening for children, with the great star Mike Burstyn: Treat your children to a concert and sing-along hosted by award-winning and internationally acclaimed actor and singer Mike Burstyn. Born in New York to a famed family of Yiddish actors, Burstyn first appeared on stage at the age of three. He has gone on to build his own career as one of Israel's top stars and as a well-known performer both on and off Broadway. Recipient of a special salute by the Israel Cinematheque in 1997, Burstyn is best known to Broadway audiences for his starring roles in Barnum and Ain't Broadway Grand, and most recently for his rave reviews as Al Jolson in the national tour of Jolson. For more information call 1-917-606-8200.
Henry Sapoznik and David Isay try to revive Yiddish broadcasting so they run The Yiddish Radio Project together with the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. The project included a few shows with Yiddish Radio All Star Band, Peter Sokolou, Ray Musiker, Hasidic New Wave Yakar Rhythms and others.
Many guests came to the Folksbeine's new project of A Staged Reading. The first event, recently, was dedicated to Der Yidisher Kenig Lear by Jacob Gordin. The artistic director of the Folksbeine is Eleanor Reissa who introduced the director of this project Mark Altman. The Folksbeine's, the Yiddish Theater in America, also showed Rare Words (I.L. Peretz, Peretz Hirschlein and Chavez Faver), The Best of Goldfaden (a musical event directed by Zalman Mlotek. For more information, call 212-213-2120. Ms. Reissa revealed a secret to the Patreyoten (admirers of Yiddish Theater) that the Folksbeine will produce Yentl (Bashivis - Singer) and that the star will be Reissa and not Barbara Streisand, for a change... Among the participants of A Jewish King Lear were: David Rogow, Shifra Lerer, Yelena Shmuelnson, and others. "Play readings are technically demanding. The actors have to pitch their performance between a story-teller's level of intensity and full out characterizations," wrote expert Nahma Sandrow.
Professor Judy Salwen shared the following information with us: There's an exciting new Jewish kid on the block: DAYTIME @ THE STEINHARDT BUILDING, 35 West 67th Street, Manhattan, focusing on the new generation of "Boomer" retirees with a variety of offerings. Programs include fitness, gardening, kosher cooking, the arts, Jewish studies and humanities, lunchtime lectures, film, walking tours and day trips. The parent organization, the 92nd Street Y, emphasizes that the facility is directing its programs not only to boomers, but to others free during the day such as empty nesters, freelancers, stay-at-home parents, and those in-between jobs. For more information call 212-415-5500. Professor Judy Salwen has been a guest on Bloomberg Radio's Money Show several times discussing the interrelationship between lifestyles and money.
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