The United Kingdom’s largest insurance company is changing its English name to a Hebrew one. Sort of.
In a new television movie, Hasidic Brooklyn gets the Hollywood treatment. “Loving Leah,” filmed on location in New York, centers on a young widow whose life is forever changed by an obscure biblical law that requires her to wed her brother-in-law. Ultra-Orthodox Leah (Lauren Ambrose) and her secular brother-in-law, Jake (Adam Kaufman), agree to take part in a halitza, a ceremony that allows couples in their situation to avoid marriage; the halitza is still performed in some observant Jewish circles.
Mickey Rourke had much to look forward to while filming “The Wrestler”: a serious career comeback, Oscar buzz, and getting to do back flips and build a buff physique. But each week, the actor could not wait for an entirely different indulgence — the Sabbath.
On the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, Jewish communal professionals, politicians and a handful of celebrities commemorated the historic transfer of power by talking politics.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert publicly boasted that he left Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “shamed” by getting President Bush to block her at the last moment from voting for a Gaza cease-fire resolution at the United Nations. Administration officials, however, have sharply challenged Olmert’s account.