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“Marshall” — Civil Rights and Old-Fashioned Shul Jews

by Elliot B. Gertel Discussed in this essay: Marshall, a film directed by directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Michael and Jacob Koskoff. THE WELL-WRITTEN and finely-acted movie Marshall may have taken some liberties in depicting Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) and Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad), the Bridgeport, Connecticut Jewish attorney who helped out with a noted […]

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The Uncivil Servant: “Thy Father’s Chair”

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FILM’S CO-DIRECTOR, ANTONIO TIBALDI by Mitchell Abidor   THY FATHER’S CHAIR is the day-by-day account of the cleaning of the Borough Park apartment of Shraga and Avraham, twin Orthodox brothers who are, as I wrote here a year ago, “kosher Collyer brothers,” hoarders who haven’t cleaned their flat since their parents’ death […]

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Diary of a Mad Housewife

Sue Kaufman, author of The Diary of a Mad Housewife (1967) and six other works of fiction before committing suicide after a long depression at age 50, was born on Long Island on this date in 1926. She was a graduate of Vassar, achieved early success as a freelance writer, and published her first novel, The Happy Summer Days, in 1959. Kaufman had […]

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“Different from the Others”

“Different from the Others” (Anders als die Andern), a silent film offering a sympathetic portrait of homosexuality, was released in Germany on this date in 1919. Written by Magnus Hirschfeld, founder of the Institute for Sexual Science in the Weimar Republic, and Richard Oswald (Ornstein), who also directed the film, “Different from the Others” portrayed the downfall […]

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Abie’s Irish Rose

Abie’s Irish Rose, a play about a young Irish woman and a young Jewish man who marry despite the objections of their families, premiered at Broadway’s Fulton Theater on this date in 1922. It would run for  2,327 performances until October 1, 1927, a record that would not be broken until Hello, Dolly! came to the stage in […]

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Harvey Keitel

Actor Harvey Keitel was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1938 to immigrant parents who ran a luncheonette. After a stint in the Marines, Keitel studied acting with both Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler; today he is a co-president of the Actors Studio. He has appeared in films ranging from Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, […]

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“Norman” — Why Trash the Jewish Community?

by Rabbi Elliot B. Gertel ALTHOUGH WELL-ACTED and creatively shot, Joseph Cedar’s Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, is a cynical and nihilistic assault on Jewish community. The title character, Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere), is a lonely New York Jewish man of limited means who seeks the attention of […]

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