The oldest Ashkenazic synagogue in the English-speaking world, built in Plymouth, England, in 1762, plans to auction its rare collection of religious ornaments. It’s a move that has drawn criticism from a heritage group about the wisdom of selling the family silver.
“New York, I Love You,” which opened October 16, sees Natalie Portman star as a Hasidic bride in director Mira Nair’s (“Monsoon Wedding”) short. Portman’s portrayal of Rifka, an Orthodox 20-something, is a highlight of producer Emmanuel Benbihy’s (“Paris Je T’aime”) patchwork film, made up of eleven New York based romantic vignettes.
This October, Israel’s skies host the annual migration of about half a billion birds. More than 400 known bird species cross Israel en route from Europe to winter homes in Africa, including 85% of the world’s white stork population and many species of birds of prey. According to ornithologists, the region experiences this phenomenon because it is at a “bottleneck” in migratory flyways. International volunteers are assisting the Israeli Society for the Protection of Nature in its yearly survey of the birds’ journey. But it is not only experts and amateur enthusiasts who will be taking note: the survey is partly funded by the Israeli Air Force, which schedules its own flight patterns to avoid the seasonal visitors.
French comedian Dieudonné, who went on trial this week accused of using antisemitic racial insults, claims that the offending section of the performance was only a joke: “l’attentat humouristique” (“humorous attack”). The charge, as previously reported by the Forward, was brought after an incident that took place during Dieudonné’s performance in Le Zenith Theater, Paris, December 22, 2008.