Archive for April, 2014

Katy Perry the Yiddishe Papa

April 24, 2014

This post first appeared in The Times of Israel.


It’s time yet again for another Katy Perry video of questionable taste

In February, more than a few Muslims were offended by the pop singer’s “Dark Horse” music video, which featured her (dressed as Cleopatra) incinerating a character wearing an “Allah” pendant.

Now, with her imitation of a bar mitzvah MC in a promotional video for her new “Birthday” single, it’s the Jews’ turn to complain… maybe.

Click here to read more and watch videos.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


New Spielberg Film About Jewish Boy Seized By Church

April 23, 2014

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


Director Steven Spielberg has several new projects in the works, including a film about the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.

The movie will recount the true story of how in 1858 a young Italian Jewish boy was taken from his parents by authorities of the Papal States after a housemaid claimed to have given him an emergency baptism. The incident led to international attention and controversy. Many believe that the kidnapping was instrumental in convincing the public that the Papal States should be conquered, and thus ultimately helped bring about the modern Italian state.

Tony Kushner will write the screenplay as an adaption of the 1998 book, “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” by David I. Kertzer. In the past, Kushner collaborated with Spielberg on “Munich” and “Lincoln” — both of which received Oscar nominations.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


Holocaust Whistleblower Jan Karski Honored By Georgetown

April 23, 2014

This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.

Jan Karski (photo credit: © Carol Harrison)

Jan Karski (photo credit: © Carol Harrison)

Jan Karski, a World War II Polish resistance fighter who risked his life to bring firsthand reports of the Holocaust to the Allies, is being remembered and celebrated at Georgetown University in Washington, DC this year, the 100th anniversary of his birth.

The university, where Karski, who died in 2000, was a professor for four decades, has scheduled a number of special events in his honor, including a full-day centenary tribute on April 24. Karski was previously recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations and awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

The commemoration will include a staged reading of “Remember This: Walking With Jan Karski” featuring an ensemble of Georgetown students and Academy Award nominee David Strathairn as Karski on April 24.

Click here to read more and watch a video.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.