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The Thing About the Other Jonathan Pollard, Producer

By Masha Leon

“Guilty as charged,” replied theater producer Jonathan Pollard when I joked about his being the other Jonathan Pollard during our interview about his latest production, “The Thing About Men,” which opened last week at the Promenade Theatre. Pollard made his producing debut with the off-Broadway, still-running hit “I Love You…Read More


Praise for Theater’s Era of Enlightenment

By Masha Leon

The August 22 cocktail party celebrating the Stella Adler Studio of Acting was held at the Bridgehampton home of Barbara and John (Bunky) Hearst overlooking the Hampton hills, a setting that reminded one guest of Kentucky. At the event, hosted by Adler Studio alum Roy Scheider, its chairman, and his wife, Brenda Seimer, the winners of the 2003…Read More


The Comedian and the Rabbi: A Tête-à-Tête

By Masha Leon

Avi Hoffman, actor and Yiddish advocate, was Rabbi William Berkowitz’s guest at the August 13 American Jewish Historical Society-sponsored “Dialogue Forum” at the Center for Jewish History. Hoffman, whose credits include “The Golden Land” and “The Rise of David Levinsky,” recounted how he came to write his…Read More


From ‘A Stoop on Orchard St.’ to ‘Capitol Steps’

By Masha Leon

Take the F train to East Broadway, walk past the old Forward building — now encased in pre-gentrification scaffolding — and across the street is the Mazer Theater, where the musical “A Stoop on Orchard Street” attempts to re-create New York’s Lower East Side immigrant life circa 1910.Inspired by his grandfather’s stories,Read More


Ignorance Is Far From Bliss for Israeli Education

By Masha Leon

“We have the most profoundly ignorant Jewish population since Sinai,” said Richard Joel, Yeshiva University’s incoming president and the keynote speaker at the July 28 AMIT installation dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel.Lamenting “Jewish illiteracy,” Joel recalled asking a Jewish audience in the South if they could identify the names…Read More


Poland’s Jewish Past; Bob Hope Memories

By Masha Leon

Other than visits to the Polish Consulate in New York, I have not set foot on Polish “soil” since my mother and I fled Nazi-occupied Warsaw in the winter of 1939. Invited to the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, but unable to attend, I asked Michael Berkowicz, vice president of Friends of the Festival, if he would act asRead More


How Terry Sue Became Tovah

By Masha Leon

Trim and elegant in an ecru suit, Tovah Feldshuh mounted the Center for Jewish History’s auditorium stage for the July 14 American Jewish Historical Society-sponsored “dialogue” with Rabbi William Berkowitz. A veteran of more than 500 celebrity interviews over the past 51 years, the rabbi managed a few commentaries during “intermissions”…Read More


Traipsing Down the Red-Carpet Runway at ‘The Holy Land’ Gala

By Masha Leon

At the July 8 gala opening of “The Holy Land” at the Leonard Nimoy Theater at Symphony Space, the crush of photographers went flash ballistic as Danny Aiello emerged from his Jaguar and the film’s stars — Oren Rehany and Tchelet Semel — trod the red carpet.Subtitled “A Yeshiva Student, a Russian Prostitute, a Love Story,” this is…Read More


Once Upon a Time in Iraq; Two Funds Fight Cancer

By Masha Leon

At the July 1 Jewish Community Relations Council of New York presentation “A Walk Through Jewish Iraq,” Alice Hecht, chief administrative officer of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, using slides and film clips, recapped her 1996 through 1998 visits to Baghdad’s old Jewish quarter “betweenRead More


Dance Fever at Sutton Place Synagogue

By Masha Leon

The Sutton Place Synagogue in Manhattan “rocked” as the 220 guests at the June 16 Yiddish Artists & Friends Actors Club & Yiddish Theatrical Alliance Annual Dinner Dance Gala waltzed, cha-cha’d and hora’d to the beat of Mitch Kahn’s Orchestra.Corey Breier, master of ceremonies, club president and recently appointed president of…Read More





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