Great Seder Films

Marjorie Morningstar, 1958 Crimes & Misdemeanors, 1989 It Runs in the Family, 2003 When Do We Eat?, 2005 Passover works for movies the way Christmas does: Through the lens of the Seder, souls are bared, family secrets revealed, and sometimes, insight is gained. One of the first modern films to include a Seder scene was the 1958 classic Marjorie Morningstar, director Irving Rapper’s exploration of women and love in the 1950s based on the novel by Herman Wouk. The beautiful Marjorie Morgenstern (Natalie Wood) falls for Noel Airman (Gene Kelly), the social director at a summer resort. Talented but tortured, Noel is not suitable husband material for a girl from the Upper West Side. Determined to wed him nevertheless, Marjorie brings him home for Passover. The Seder at the Morgenstern apartment is quintessentially perfect and reflective of the era, down...

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Great Jewish Films

September/October 2009
From Arab to Palestinian Israeli
Dina Kraft

In the first of a Moment series on Israel’s Arab citizens, we meet three generations of one family. Unlike her grandmother and mother, Sham Kalboni, 35, is a political activist. Still, she has no intention of leaving the country she considers home. Read the introduction to Moment’s series on Israel’s Arab Citizens.
Pilgrimage to Uman
Nadine Epstein

Every Rosh Hashanah, tens of thousands of men flock to this Ukrainian town to pray at the grave of Rebbe Nachman, nearly 200 years after his death. Once closed to foreigners by the Soviets, Uman morphs into an international Jewish happening of the first degree.
Great Jewish Films
Maxine Springer

From The Dybbuk to The Producers, Annie Hall , to Waltz with Bashir, Hollywood blockbusters to independent foreign productions, essayist Phillip Lopate, Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum and other top movie critics and scholars pick jewish movies that are not to be missed. Plus, 100 films to add to your must-see list.

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Celebrating the Great Jewish "Jester"

By Maxine Springer This past weekend, Mel Brooks was recognized (along with Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Grace Bumbry and Dave Brubeck) at the Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Here's what President Obama had to say about the hilarious actor/director/comedian: Many believe that Mel Brooks has majorly impacted the concept of Jewish film. In Moment's feature on Great Jewish Films, several of the critics and scholars interviewed include his films in their picks of top five Jewish films.

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Add pomegranate to your Thanksgiving menu

By April N. Baskin I still remember the taste of the fresh cup of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice I bought from old Chasid pushing a tiny wooden cart on a chilly day in Tzfat last winter. I love the tangy flavor of fresh pomegranate and with it being the pomegranate season, there are endless opportunities to indulge. In our September/October issue, cookbook author Joan Nathan explored the rich history of the ever-appealing pomegranate, taking special note of its presence in Persian cuisine as well as her family’s favorite ways of enjoying the treasured fruit: “I remember my children’s delight when a Persian family taught us the technique of drinking the juice straight from the hard shell. They rolled a pomegranate along a countertop until all the crunchy sounds stopped, then pierced it with a skewer, inserted a straw...

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Jewish Justices Brandeis and Frankfurter as Stamps

By Maxine Springer A new series of postage stamps celebrating four U.S. justices includes Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter, two of seven Jewish justices in the history of the High Court. Brandeis, a Zionist who once said, "To be good Americans, we must be better Jews, and to be better Jews, we must become Zionists," was known as the "people's justice" for his defense of civil liberties. He served on the Court from 1916-1939. Read more about Brandeis in Moment's review of Louis D. Brandeis: A Life. Frankfurter, the first naturalized American be to appointed to the Supreme Court, served from 1939-1962. Before joining the Court, he was an adviser to FDR and a friend of Brandeis. Read more about Jewish justices in Moment's cover story about religion and the Supreme Court, where scholars discuss whether the religious beliefs...

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Jewish New Years recipes and inspiration

Have a Sweet Rosh Hashanah with Apple and Honey Challah

By Maxine Springer Here's a great idea (trust us, we've gotten to try it courtesy of our friend Jenna at ModernDomestic) for a delicious treat that's especially wonderful for Rosh Hashanah: A scrumptious apple and honey challah! Although Jenna isn't Jewish, she talks about her appreciation for the interesting connections Judaism has with certain foods. It’s no wonder that there is a plethora of Rosh Hashanah recipes for apple honey cake – in fact, the apple honey Hanukkah cupcakes I made in December would be a perfect (non-kosher) Rosh Hashanah dessert. But I decided to go a different route, and made challah with apples and honey, using a recipe I found on the King Arthur Flour Web site. Challah also plays a symbolic role in the holiday – it is traditional for Jews to eat challah dipped in...

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Bring in Moment Facebook Fans, Get a Free Subscription!

Are you a Facebook fan of Moment Magazine? Now is the time to show your Moment pride! To celebrate the Jewish New Year, Moment is holding a fan appreciation contest. Bring in 10 new fans to our page and get a free digital or print gift subscription for the year! Have your friends message us with your name when they join. Once you get 10, you'll receive a free subscription that you can keep or send to someone as a gift! Bring in 100 fans and we will give you 12 digital subscriptions and 3 print subscriptions for your friends and family! Just think: Without spending a penny, all your holiday shopping can be done...

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Remembering Patrick Swayze in a Jewish Film

By Maxine Springer In Moment's article about great Jewish films, author Lester Friedman picks Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze, as one of his favorite Jewish films. He says, "This is one of the few films set around a Jewish-American woman and centers on her maturation during a summer when she is vacationing with her family at a resort in the Catskills. In a reverse of traditional morality, the non-Jewish male lead is in some ways the moral center of the film."

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A Message from Moment Magazine

Despite the comments of ADL's Abe Foxman, BeliefNet's David Klinghoffer and others, we at Moment stand by our decision to include Rabbi Manis Friedman's response to the question in the Ask the Rabbis section in the May/June 2009 issue: How should Jews treat their Arab neighbors? As we do for every issue, we invited a wide range of rabbis to comment on a question. We do this because it's important to hear what different people think, even when we don't agree with them. Incidentally, all the comments but one were more or less the same;  only one took a different stand.  Surely that very minority opinion deserves to be heard, even if it's offensive to a lot of people. It's crucial to know where people in our community stand. We can't pretend different opinions don't...

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