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When Bill and Ina Levine moved from Brooklyn to Arizona in 1960, the Valley had a small, tightknit Jewish community with its locus in central Phoenix. “I thought it was the greatest place I’d ever seen,” said Bill Levine in a 2008 interview with the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.
The new film “Denial” is a thriller of a different sort. Based on the true story of self-proclaimed historian (and Holocaust denier) David Irving’s libel suit against Professor Deborah Lipstadt in British court, the movie recounts the strategic and emotional stakes of the case as well as how it affected all the immediate participants. The film stars Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt, Timothy Spall as Irving, Andrew Scott as Anthony Julius and Tom Wilkerson as Richard Rampton. The Jewish News recently interviewed Lipstadt about her role in the making of the film, seeing the pivotal moments of the trial replicated for the camera, and her thoughts on contemporary advocates of Holocaust denial.
Being the “most hated man in the room” hasn’t gotten easier for Morgan Abraham, but he embraces the challenge of changing people’s minds.
The fundamentals of leadership are very simply stated by Rabbi Avi Weiss. “Leadership is, in fact, the recognition of a need and responding to that need with change,” he says.“The second step is people resist change, and leadership is navigating that resistance and trying to find consensus, a collective whole that comes along with you.”
Last Friday, March 25, retired Israeli basketball star David Blu spoke to more than 400 Jewish young professionals, JNF board members and donors at JNFuture’s second annual “Shabbat in the Desert” event. Blu, a California native, spent over a decade playing professional basketball for the Israeli national team, the European League, for Maccabi Tel Aviv, and a brief stint in the NBA, among other teams. Jewish News caught up with Blu to ask him about JNF, playing basketball in and for Israel, and his views on the state of Judaism today.
Talk-radio host Dennis Prager once said, “I’m just truly interested in everything, and talk radio is the perfect vehicle for someone who’s interested in everything.” (His show airs 10 a.m.-1 p.m. weekdays in the Valley on KKNT, 960 AM.) Prager will be in town Sunday, Feb. 21, to speak at Congregation Beth Tefillah’s fifth annual gala (see details box). Jewish News caught up with Prager via email recently.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer would like you to know that she is not 4’7” because she was badly wounded on her legs during the Israeli War of Independence.
Judith Resnik’s courageous story was the inspiration for my sermon for the Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation’s Sisterhood Shabbat featuring Jewish women of science. She was the first Jewish woman astronaut, but shunned such publicity, saying, “I just want to be an astronaut, period!”
Growing up, Rabbi David Wolpe knew he wanted to be a writer, although he wasn’t sure what he would write about. In college, during a discussion with the rabbi at Camp Ramah, where he was working, the rabbi suggested that Wolpe attend rabbinical school to find inspiration for topics.
For Gary Weiss, being honored with the Irv Shuman Award is a bit overwhelming. “I know what Irv Shuman meant to this community, and I know who has been awarded this before me, and it’s humbling to be on that list. I’m very honored,” he says.
Shabbat in Jerusalem was like no Shabbat I have ever experienced.
Valley residents Esther and Don Schon write about a program that two ex-IDF soldiers developed to help teach disadvantaged teens to surf and in turn to become surfing teachers for wounded warriors.
Valley residents Esther and Don Schon write about the question facing French Jews as anti-Semitism continues to spark violence and fear there.