Archive for January, 2014

Yeshiva University Nixes Edgy Photography Project

January 31, 2014

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

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Yeshiva University is reportedly not interested in having its students wear their hearts on their sleeves—or faces, for that matter.

According to an article written by Debra Nussbaum Cohen for Haaretz, YU administrators put the kibosh on plans by YU and Stern College students to bring Sacramento,California-based photographic artist Steve Rosenfield to campus for his “What I Be” Project. Rosenfield, 38, has visited half a dozen other universities for the project, in which he photographs young adults after they have written a word or phrase expressing their greatest vulnerability on either their face, arm or hand (in some cases, all three).

Rosenfield’s portrait of Ben Faulding, a 30-year-old member of Crown Heights, Brooklyn’s Chabad community, has recently been shared widely on social media. Faulding, who has a black father and white mother, chose to have “SHVARTZE” (Yiddish for black, and used in a derogatory way) written on his forehead. He wrote a post about the experience and gave it the title, “I Hate This Word And So I Let A Man Write It On My Face.”

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

$100 M. Real Estate Deal for Is-US Duo

January 31, 2014

This post first appeared in The Times of Israel.

Tal (left) and Oren Alexander just brokered a record $100-million real estate deal, a Manhattan townhouse bought by their clients, the state of Qatar. (photo credit: Courtesy Oren Alexander website)

Tal (left) and Oren Alexander just brokered a record $100-million real estate deal, a Manhattan townhouse bought by their clients, the state of Qatar. (photo credit: Courtesy Oren Alexander website)

Israel and Qatar may — or may not — have diplomatic relations, but some Israelis and Qataris are working together to their mutual benefit. Case in point: Oren and Tal Alexander, young realtors to the über-rich (and sometimes famous), are representing the Qatari government in a record-breaking New York real estate transaction.

The New York Post reported on January 30 that Qatar is in contract to buy an Upper East Side property for $100 million, the highest price ever paid for a commercial-use townhouse in Manhattan. (The highest price forked over for a residential townhouse is $53 million.) The Alexanders’ client plans on converting the townhouse, currently used as an art gallery, into a consulate. The deal is set to close in April.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Sneak Peek at Epic ‘Noah’ Film to Air During Super Bowl

January 30, 2014

This post first appeared in The Times of Israel.

Russell Crowe in "Noah." (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

Russell Crowe in “Noah.” (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

Do you have ScarJo-SodaStream fatigue? Has all the controversial discourse about setting the bubbles free left you feeling a little flat? Then maybe its time to plunge in to the rest of the Super Bowl pre-game ad hype.

Next on the must-see list for Jewish football fans is the Big Game spot for Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming biblical epic, “Noah.” Paramount hopes moviegoers will flood in to theaters beginning March 28 to see its big release starring Russell Crowe. Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, and Jennifer Connelly co-star.

This is Noah like you’ve never seen him… at least not in Hebrew school. Get ready to be swept away as the hero of the second portion of the weekly Torah reading cycle protects his family and saves the innocent as a spectacular amount of CGI-generated water bears down on the world.

Click here to read more and watch the video.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.