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Oscar nominations come out today. This movie, not The Fabelmans, was the greatest Jewish film of 2022:For three generations (going on four), the Laemmle family has owned and operated L.A.’s premier arthouse theaters. But when filmmaker Raphael Sbarge caught up with this cinematic dynasty, streaming had cut into their bottom line and the pandemic had changed the industry forever. Sbarge’s film is an intimate portrait of a family whose immigrant journey, success and reinvention is uniquely American and Jewish. As PJ Grisar writes in his review, “the film delivers a funny, touching, multi-layered portrait that gets at an elemental part of the human experience” — sharing stories with other people. Read the story ➤
Why Bob Dylan’s haunting comeback album sounds just as Jewish as ever:Dylan’s 1997 Grammy-winning album Time Out of Mind got a makeover as part of a new five CD box set. But our Seth Rogovoy says the “reimagined” album still has its many references to Jewish scripture and ritual. “One has to ask the question,” Rogovoy writes. “If you had a friend who was new to the recorded works of Bob Dylan, and you could only recommend one version of Time Out of Mind, which one would you recommend?” Read the story ➤
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, will be promoting his new memoir at a $600-a-plate event today at a kosher steakhouse in lower Manhattan.
LISTEN TO OUR NEW PODCAST
Our special limited series podcast, Playing Anne Frank, launches today. In it, our executive editor Adam Langer – whose most recent novel, Cyclorama, explored the backstage drama at a high school production of The Diary of Anne Frank – reveals the untold true story of how The Diary became a Pulitzer-winning Broadway play in 1955 and an Oscar-winning movie four years later, and how it changed the lives of the people who made it. The series features interviews with members of the original Broadway cast, the film, and the national company that brought the play to more than 100 cities throughout the U.S.
The first two episodes dropped this morning. Listen to Playing Anne Frank wherever you get your podcasts and don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll be alerted when the next episode is released. Listen now ➤
Ezra Law, a Messianic Jew, has repeatedly harassed Congregation Emanu El in Houston. (Houston Police Department/Jewish Herald-Voice)
🕍 A Texas synagogue is shoring up security after a woman who said she was motivated by Messianic beliefs broke in twice, harassed children and poured wine on a Torah scroll. The 33-year-old woman, Ezra Law, said she targeted the synagogue because it had turned her away due to her belief in Jesus. She faces two counts of criminal mischief at a hearing Friday. (Houston Jewish Herald Voice)
🖼️ The heirs of a Jewish family that fled Nazi persecution are demanding the repatriation of a Pablo Picasso painting worth up to $200 million. It is now in possession of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. (NY Post)
😲 Swastikas and racial slurs were scrawled outside a Kansas high school last week. One of its Jewish students says others at the school previously drew numbers on their arms, mocking Holocaust victims and survivors. (Kansas City Star)
🎭 Broadway stars will perform songs written by Jews imprisoned in concentration campsand ghettos at a Carnegie Hall concert on Thursday in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. (NY Jewish Week)
👗 A London museum is seeking David Bowie’s dress and other specific items worn by Mick Jagger and Muhammad Ali for an exhibit on the designers of those clothes – immigrant Jews who worked in the British fashion industry. (JTA)
🎥 The co-creator of Shtisel, the popular Netflix series about a multigenerational Haredi family in Israel, is in the early stages of writing a spin-off that would focus on the character of Nuchem, the brother of Rabbi Shulem Shtisel. (Twitter)
Mazel tov ➤ Daniel Libeskind, the architect behind the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the remodeling of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, is set to receive the Dresden Peace Prize on Feb. 19.
Shiva call ➤Grigory Kanovich, an author who chronicled Lithuanian Jewry in more than 30 plays, a dozen novels and several collections of poems and short stories, died at 93.
ON THE CALENDAR
On this day in history (1941): Neil Diamond was born in Brooklyn. Before writing “Sweet Caroline,” the singer-songwriter sang in a high school choir with Barbra Streisand and saw Pete Seeger perform at a Jewish summer camp. The Forward’s contributingmusic critic Dan Epstein says that while Diamond’s persona is synonymous with “schmaltz, glitz, and hits,” the “lonely little kid” at the heart of his hits makes them timeless.
The many late-night faces of Rep. George Santos:Saturday Night Live is not the only show to parody the Republican congressman who has repeatedly lied about his resume and his Jewish identity. Jon Lovitz appeared as Santos on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Friday. Asked about his appointment to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Lovitz as Santos replied: “Yes, I’ve always been involved in science. You know, not to brag, but it was my idea to have gravity.”
A fake Santos – er, a fake fake Santos – also showed up on Jimmy Kimmel Live in recent days, with a bit (at about the 10-minute mark) that includes jokes about the Jews building the pyramids and something about his bubbe’s kugel.