Aviva Kempner


The Hank Greenberg Story That '42' Forgot

By Aviva Kempner

The Hank Greenberg Story That '42' Forgot
‘42’ accurately depicts the hostility Jackie Robinson faced from players and fans. But the hit film leaves out a memorable encounter Robinson had with Jewish slugger Hank Greenberg.Read More


How an Actor Died of the Blacklist

By Aviva Kempner

How an Actor Died of the Blacklist
Fifty-five years ago today, union activist and thespian Philip Loeb checked himself into the Taft Hotel in Midtown Manhattan under a false name and took a fatal dose of sleeping pills. Targeted by the insidious blacklist, Loeb could no longer find work in his beloved acting profession and had reached rock bottom.Read More


Vive La Resistance, Encore!

By Aviva Kempner

Vive La Resistance, Encore!
The heroics of the French resistance have long intrigued movie buffs and filmmakers. Perhaps the most famous scene in cinema history is in “Casablanca,” when the tormented Ingrid Bergman bids adieu to Humphrey Bogart and chooses to escape with her resistance leader spouse.Read More


Why Are Female Directors Silent About Roman Polanski's Arrest?

By Aviva Kempner

I have yet to hear my fellow female directors calling for Roman Polanski to return to the United States to face sentencing for his admitted guilt of statutory rape.Read More


Washingtonians Kvell at Baseball Stadium’s Inauguration

By Aviva Kempner

Washingtonians Kvell at Baseball Stadium’s Inauguration
After more than three decades of playing the baseball equivalent of neglected stepchildren, Washingtonians finally have a state-of-the-art ball field to call their own. Nationals Park was inaugurated this past Sunday night with all the fanfare befitting a team headquartered in the nation’s capital.Read More






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  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
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