Ma’aleh hosts Hollywood workshop

The Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts in Jerusalem, which gears itself toward religiously observant studentswill host a workshop on June 13 taught by Dan Gordon and David N. Weiss, two top Hollywood screenwriters.

Gordon, who lived in Israel for many years, has written many screenplays, including The Hurricane starring Denzel Washington, Passenger 57 with Wesley Snipes and Murder in the First with Kevin Bacon. His most recent film, A Little War of Our Own, is currently in production and stars and is being directed by Kevin Costner. Gordon has taught screenwriting in Tel Aviv and currently runs his own film school, the Zaki Gordon Institute in Sedona, Arizona. The school is named after his late son. Gordon, who visits Israel frequently, is a captain in the IDF reserves and served as an escort officer in the Military Spokesperson’s Unit during the 2006 Lebanon War.

In response to British director Mike Leigh’s decision to join the boycott of Israel and not honor a commitment he made to teach at the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem in 2010, Gordon established a Mike Leigh Scholarship at Ma’aleh. Gordon also wrote a critical open letter to Leigh.

Weiss, who recently wrote the screenplay for the animated comedy, The Smurfs (which features the voice of singing star Katy Perry), has specialized in films for children. He cowrote the screenplays for Shrek 2 and Daddy Day Camp.

Weiss, who is Orthodox, has visited Ma’aleh and taught there in the past. 

Hannah Brown

ROI Summit highlights the arts

The annual ROI Global Summit of Young Jewish Innovators taking place from June 12-16 in Jerusalem will present a varied lineup of artistic talent this year. The ROI Community, founded by American Jewish philanthropist Lynn Schusterman in 2005 to bring together 150 young social entrepreneurs from Israel and the Jewish world, will be the first to see “Thru Jerusalem,” an original collage of sound and music created by YouTube star Kutiman.

Its world premiere in conjunction with Jerusalem Season of Culture takes place on Monday at 8:15 p.m. at the JVP Media Quarter.

On Wednesday, the ROI Film Festival and Variety Showcase will take place at the Dan Jerusalem Hotel featuring Jewish soul singer Neshama Carlebach, Nili Ohayon (Onili), an Israeli-born French singer/songwriter, Jewish rocker Sheldon Low, and stand-up comedian Shmuel Beru, who walked across the Sudanese desert to immigrate to Israel at the age of eight.

David Brinn


Crowe snips circumcision tweets

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe railed against circumcision in a string of Twitter posts, denouncing it as “barbaric,” before apologizing the next day.

The stream of tweets began Thursday night, in response to a query from an Australian follower.

Though the tweets in question have since been deleted, news outlets reported that the actor wrote, “Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect.” Crowe then went on to address Jews directly.

“Many Jewish friends, I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies,” Crowe tweeted.

On Friday morning, after newspapers and celebrity news sites around the world reported on his posts, Crowe apologized over Twitter.

“I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities, I’m very sorry that I have said things on here that have caused distress,” tweeted Crowe, who won an Academy Award for his role in the 2000 film Gladiator.

JTA

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