Moment Zoominar: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East with Journalists Gershom Gorenberg and Dan Raviv

In 1942 the Nazis came close to conquering the Middle East during World War II. Gershom Gorenberg , an award-winning journalist and author, spent years researching and piecing together the truth about Rommel’s army and just how close it was to Cairo and Tel Aviv. He will discuss his new book, War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East, and share the journey that took him around the world to learn more about this fascinating story of espionage and intrigue. Gershom will be in conversation with former CBS News correspondent and Moment contributor Dan Raviv.

Continue reading

Moment Zoominar: The Making of Midnight Cowboy with Journalist Glenn Frankel and Film Historian Rebecca Prime

In an era when a new wave of movies pushed the boundaries of mainstream filmmaking, Midnight Cowboy stands out as the riskiest, most unconventional, and most successful of them all. Glenn Frankel’s new book, Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic, explores the making of the only X-rated film to win a Best Picture Oscar and offers a window onto the creative ferment and social unrest that gripped New York and America in the 1960s: the rise of gay liberation, the treatment of sexual themes in popular culture, and the role of Jewish artists such as director John Schlesinger and star Dustin Hoffman. Glenn, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, in conversation with film historian and scholar Rebecca Prime, managing editor of Film Quarterly.

Continue reading

Adapting Jewish Literature: Yentl and A Tale of Love and Darkness with Fania Oz-Salzberger, Ruby Namdar and Rokhl Kafrissen

Moment Zoominar: Adapting Jewish Literature: Yentl and A Tale of Love and Darkness with Fania Oz-Salzberger, Ruby Namdar and Rokhl Kafrissen

Fania Oz-Salzberger, Ruby Namdar and Rokhl Kafrissen join in conversation about what it means to adapt Jewish literature for the big screen.

While many Jewish filmmakers choose to write their own material and draft their own stories, others turn to interpretation. This program compares two films that share biographical features, Yentl and A Tale of Love and Darkness. Though released decades apart, both were directed by acclaimed actresses making their directorial debuts, Barbara Streisand and Natalie Portman respectively. These women notably adapted literary works written by men and their star power was critical to getting these films made.

Historian Fania Oz-Salzberger shares personal insights about her father, acclaimed Israeli writer Amos Oz, and his autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness and author and educator Ruby Namdar considers the film and the legacy of the memoir. Critic and playwright Rokhl Kafrissen explores Yentl, based on a play and short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

This program is a collaboration between Moment Magazine and REWIND: The Shenson Retrospective Film Series, a project of Stanford’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies. Both movies can be watched on Amazon Prime.

Continue reading

Moment Zoominar: Can Robots be Jewish? And Other Pressing Questions of Modern Life

Amy E. Schwartz, in conversation with New York Times best-selling author Laura Blumenfeld, discusses whether robots can be Jewish and other perennial questions, such as what Judaism has to say about love, miracles, the afterlife and so much more from Amy’s new book, Can Robots Be Jewish? And Other Pressing Questions of Modern Life , a selection of questions and answers drawn from Moment’s ever-popular Ask the Rabbis column. This smart and provocative talk is perfect for anyone interested in the rich diversity of Jewish thought on contemporary questions.

Continue reading

When Spring Turned to Winter in the Middle East

Harvard law professor Noah Feldman’s book about Arab political self-determination and self-destruction is called The Arab Winter: A Tragedy. And he really means it. Grief emanates from every line of this reevaluation of the Arab Spring, which revisits the hope followed by disaster in Egypt and Syria; the utopian Islamism that produced the hellish dystopia of ISIS; and, perhaps most painful, the success in Tunisia that showed the other tragedies were not inevitable. 

Continue reading