Archive for December, 2010

A Note Of Thanks

December 27, 2010

This came my way on Facebook. I have no idea if it is for real, but I like it anyway and see it fit for sharing with those of you who were where I was on December 25. I’ve been told that Thai food is the new Chinese food, at least for the hippest of Jews on Christmas. Accordingly,  I expect the Thai Restaurateur’s Assn. of the United States to follow suit and issue its own note of thanks in due course. (This just in: David Mamet is responsible for this little bit of humor. Of course.)

© 2010 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Friends And Enemies

December 27, 2010

I just came across a documentary film which interests me very much, but which I have not had the opportunity to see yet. “My So-Called Enemy” is a film by Lisa Gossels and Eden Wurmfeld about 22 Palestinian, Israeli and Palestinian Israeli teenage girls who traveled to the U.S. to participate in a women’s leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace in the summer of 2002. Viewers get to know 6 of the girls as they get to know their “enemies” as human beings that summer, and then see how that experience plays out as part of their realties back home in Israel and the Palestinian Territories over the ensuing 7 years.

“My So-Called Enemy”  (the title reminds me of the 1988 memoir, “Mine Enemy” by Israeli journalists Amalia and Aharon Barnea about the latter’s friendship with high-level Palestinian military leader Salah Ta’mari) has been making the rounds of film festivals and has been receiving some awards, as well. I am sorry that I missed its screening at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival last summer, but hope to see it one way or another soon.

Girls and women have a way of reaching over the divide in a way that boys and men don’t. If this conflict is ever to be resolved – or at least managed better or mitigated – I won’t be surprised if it is we women who make it happen.

I’d love to hear comments on the film from those of you out there who have seen it.

© 2010 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

“Where Do You Guys Get Off?”

December 26, 2010

I’ve been critical here on this blog of my hometown’s UJA’s public relations strategy, but today I am only full of praise for its unearthing and and posting on YouTube this amazing piece of Jewish communal fundraising history from 1950. Who knew (unless you were alive 60 years ago and can personally remember) that Hollywood stars, including Edward G. Robinson (né Emanuel Goldenberg), were filmed hitting up Americans for funds to support the resettlement of Jewish WWII refugees in Israel and the U.S.?

If you are like me, you will likely find these pitches a bit overly dramatic for contemporary tastes. But then again, historical events of that era were, indeed, dramatic, and drastic measures were needed to pull the remnants of European Jewry out of the Holocaust’s abyss and help them establish new lives in a new state.

© 2010 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.