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The Secret Jewish History of Bon Jovi

Posted on February 27th, 2017
Seth Rogovoy for The Forward

Coming off a banner year in which the 34-year-old pop-metal band released its sixth No. 1 album, Bon Jovi is ready to rock its way through 2017, kicking off a major tour of U.S. arenas in Greenville, South Carolina, on February 8, with shows scheduled well into April. Why, at the age of 55, does Jon Bon Jovi want to prance around onstage like he’s still in his 20s? Well, for one thing, in an age when rockers are still going strong into their 70s — witness last year’s “Desert Trip” festival in Indio, California, which featured a half-dozen rockers in their eighth decade, including Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Neil Young — he isn’t even a senior citizen. Besides which, last time out, in 2013, he earned more than $200 million on tour. So don’t ask such silly questions. Boy’s gotta earn a livin’.

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Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Is One of the Greatest Jewish Films Ever Made

Posted on February 20th, 2017
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine

Sure, it’s about Portuguese Jesuits in Japan, but the movie’s theological message is one we should all embrace

Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which tells the story of two 17th-century Portuguese Jesuits who travel to Japan to find their missing mentor and spread their imperiled faith in a land that bans it, may very well be among the greatest Jewish movies ever made.

Ignored, foolishly, by the Academy in this year’s Oscars race, and celebrated, rightly, by Catholic commentators for being a pure and profound meditation on faith, the film is not only a masterwork but also one we Jews would do well to take seriously. That’s because the idea at the core of the film is the thick theological trunk both Jews and Catholics share, and with which both have wrestled for millennia: the problem of doubt.

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In 'La La Land,' Mia asks if jazz still matters. Here's 4 reasons why it does

Posted on February 13th, 2017
by Ilana Strauss for FromtheGrapevine

A renowned jazz guitarist explains how the genre brings cultures together in real time.

"La la Land," the critically acclaimed musical that set records for Golden Globes and Academy Award nominations, centers around Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who wants to open a jazz club. In the movie, he tries to teach his love interest Mia (Emma Stone) what's so amazing about jazz, even though the genre continues to wane.

But Israeli jazz musician Nadav Remez says that jazz is alive and well. Remez, who currently lives in New York and grew up in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, has performed in jazz festivals around the world. We sat down with the accomplished musician to find out how this historical music genre is adapting to modernity.

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12 Top American Comics With Nazis

Posted on February 6th, 2017
By Darren Garnick for Tablet Magazine

Nazi Gorillas, ‘Swastika Sharks,’ booby-trapped Hitler-assassinating paintings, and a hot Third Reich vixen

I had no idea who the Nazis were until the 1978 NBC miniseries Holocaust, which chronicled the fate of the German-Jewish Weiss family during World War II. I was in fourth grade, and I remember being proud of teenage son Rudy Weiss, who fought with the partisans in the forest. At the same time, my other primary education about the Nazis came from Lynda Carter, star of TV’s Wonder Woman.

Lynda Carter didn’t need tanks or B-29 bombers to defeat the Nazis. She just twirled around in different outfits and brought them to justice—every single week. Like every other 10-year-old boy, I thought Wonder Woman was hot—but kicking ass against the Nazis made her even hotter.

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‘Jewish Americana’ music gets its moment in the spotlight

Posted on January 30th, 2017
By Gabe Friedman for JTA

Saul Kaye never wanted to be a “Jewish blues” player.

In his opinion, the Jewish music he had heard growing up in Northern California’s Bay Area ranged from “really bad to horrible.”

In 2009, he was touring as a rock musician, playing hundreds of shows a year with various bands at bars and clubs. And though he had never been very religious, he experienced a bad breakup and felt the need to do something spiritually “radical.”

So Kaye decided to take a Talmud course at the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies in Israel. One morning, a fellow student approached him and left him with an intriguing prophecy.

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