The Weekly Schmooze: Oh My Godard

By
November 11, 2010 15:31

A 'Jpost' column wrapping up the hottest Jewish culture news worldwide: Jews and Baseball; hip-hop goes haredi.

4 minute read.



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With the World Series behind us, baseball fans will have to find another way to get their fix of America's pastime. "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story," will help you do just that. The documentary, which has been screened in Jewish communities across America, tells the story of Jewish Americans and baseball. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, the film highlights outstanding Jewish ballplayers in every generation, and includes a rare interview with Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax.



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Speaking of film, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that selects the Oscar winners and nominees each year, has decided to give an honorary Oscar to French New Wave auteur Jean-Luc Godard. The award has raised much controversy, as the director is widely considered an anti-Semite. Godard himself has said that his family rooted for a German victory in World War II, but that his while his grandfather was an anti-Semite, he is an anti-Zionist. In 1970, Godard filmed Until Victory, which was partially funded by the Arab League and depicts the "Palestinian struggle for independence." When the project failed, he used the footage in a documentary called "Ici et ailleurs" (Here and Elsewhere) which contrasted the life of a French family with a Palestinian one. In the film, he referred to the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, saying that "before every Olymipic finale, an image of a Palestinian [refugee] camp should be broadcast." His biographers have quoted him calling Pierre Braunberger, who produced early New Wave films, a "sale Juif" (dirty Jew) and making a comment that "Jews call you when they hear a cash register opening." Godard has also attacked Steven Spielberg many times for helming Schindler's List.

In response, the Academy said it is "aware that Jean-Luc Godard has made statements in the past that some have construed as anti-Semitic. We are also aware of detailed rebuttals to that charge. Anti-Semitism is of course deplorable, but the Academy has not found the accusations against M. Godard persuasive."

What are you doing this Saturday night? If you like Bette Midler and Jerry Seinfeld, the Schmooze recommends that you head to Philadelphia for the gala opening of the renovated National Museum of American Jewish History. The new facility is over ten times the size of the original structure, which opened in the mid-1970s, and hopes to attract 250,000 visitors per year. The museum traces the history of American Jewry from the arrival of Jews from Brazil in New Amsterdam in 1654 until today, and allows visitors to videotape an interview about their own Jewish history. The museum is also now affiliated with the Smithsonian institute.

Back in Israel, it looks like the hip-hop scene is about to get re-energized by some talent in from America. Rapper Shyne, whose mother is an Ethiopian Jew, changed his name to Moshe Levy Ben-David, and has been hanging out in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem for the past few months. Shyne, who is best known for being sentenced to ten years in jail for a 1998 club shooting, in which both Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were involved, released a video where he is freestyling by the Kotel, and another video explaining his connection to Judaism.



The Schmooze thinks there should be an epic Jewish rap battle, a la 8 Mile, between Shyne, Matisyahu, and Drake. Yes, if you haven't heard, recent rap phenom Drake is, in fact Jewish, and went to day school in Toronto before he was cast in the popular Canadian teen drama Degrassi. Years later, he teamed up with rapper Lil Wayne, and has been cranking out hits ever since. In a summer interview with Heeb magazine, he discussed being called a "schvartze" in school, and on the cover of hip-hop magazine Vibe, he wore a diamond-studded Chai.

The Weekly Schmooze collects the hottest Jewish culture news from around the world. Ranging from celebrities to philanthropy to quirky communities, we're here to schmooze about Jews.

If you have any news to share with The Weekly Schmooze, write to: weeklyschoomze@gmail.com


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