Danby adds his voice to massacre of Christians

December 31, 2011 by  

Federal Labor MO Michael Danby has added his voice to the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians statement condemning the massacre of Christians in Nigeria on Christmas Day. Read more

Palestine – Bye Bye Oslo, Hello Jordan and Egypt

December 30, 2011 by  

Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk may have been a little premature when he stated on 20 September:
“It’s over: the ‘peace process’, the ‘road map’, the ‘Oslo agreement’; the whole fandango is history”…writes David Singer. Read more

Medals for Sam…and maybe for the Matildas

December 30, 2011 by  

Veteran table tennis player Sam Parasol will bring two bronze medals home from the Maccabi Pan America Games in Sao Paolo…and the women’s football team is still in with medal hopes. Read more

Australian Tennis Team Courting Medals

December 29, 2011 by  

What a day for Team Australia’s tennis team!
The smile was not leaving Noah Ehrlich’s face after he got the day off to a great start. 
12-year-old Noah beat his 16-year-old opponent 6-4 6-1 to earn himself a spot in tomorrow’s quarter-finals. Read more

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows ***

December 29, 2011 by  

It can be argued that few things embolden a filmmaker more than success. When Guy Ritchie re-invented the world’s best-known detective for his 2009 Sherlock Holmes, no one knew how the movie would be received. Ritchie’s vision was validated by a strong world-wide box office. For the sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Ritchie’s more confident style betrays his assurance. No longer as reliant upon visual flourishes and spastic camera movement, the director allows the story to be the primary source of propulsion. A Game of Shadows is a stronger, better realized movie that builds upon the strengths of the original and jettisons some of the weaknesses.

For the nearly 120 years since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the character in the 1893 story, “The Final Problem,” James Moriarty has been a fan obsession. Holmes’ equal-but-opposite, Moriarty is the perfect foil for the consulting detective – a brilliant mathematician whose intelligence matches that of his adversary. Moriarty appeared in only one of Conan Doyle’s 60 Sherlock Holmes stories (the aforementioned “The Final Problem”) but has become a staple of Holmes lore and is frequently employed in the ever-growing non-Conan Doyle library of the detective’s adventures (Reichenbach Falls notwithstanding). It makes sense, therefore, that Ritchie would bring Moriarty to the screen – what better rival for Robert Downey Jr.’s incarnation of the detective than a man who can match him in deduction, gamesmanship, and physicality?

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We Bought a Zoo ***

December 29, 2011 by  

After the twin disappointments of Vanilla Sky (which critics generally liked but the public did not) and Elizabethtown (which was equally dismissed by critics and the general movie-going populace), Cameron Crowe has hunkered down in relative obscurity for six years. He has recently emerged with the documentary Pearl Jam Twenty and a new feature film, We Bought a Zoo. Although the latter does not rank alongside Crowe’s best, it is an improvement over Elizabethtown. Designed as a family film based on the memoirs of Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo is heartfelt but safe. The missing element is the edgy irreverence that elevated Crowe’s best directorial efforts – Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous – above their generic counterparts.Salesforce JW

The tone of We Bought a Zoo veers from feel-good to maudlin. Some of the problem may devolve from the original material, but Crowe’s screenplay was not original – he re-wrote one credited to Aline Brosh McKenna, who claims an uneven body of work (her most recent movie: I Don’t Know How She Does It, but she was also responsible for The Devil Wears Prada). The general sense of blandness and predictability that marks the story’s progression does not damage its emotional strengths. We feel for these characters and, because we care about them, we yearn for the highs the film ultimately delivers.

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Losing the War of Ideas due to Incompetence

December 29, 2011 by  

In the war of ideas, we operate under huge handicaps. Our adversaries attract sympathy as underdogs, yet carry enormous economic and political clout and effectively control international institutions like the UN…writes Isi Leibler. Read more

Israeli schools to twin with Australia

December 28, 2011 by  

The Jewish Agency has launched a new scheme which will see Israeli schools twin with Jewish day schools around the world…including Australia. Read more

First Medals in Brazil

December 28, 2011 by  

Masters swimmer Trevor Wainstein has opened up Australia’s medal account at the Pan America Games, picking up three silvers on the opening day of the swimming meet at the Hebraica club. Read more

New deal for eligible Holocaust survivors

December 28, 2011 by  

Following negotiations between the Claims Conference and the German government, the Hardship Fund has experienced changes rersluting in  thousand of Jewish Holocaust victims around the world becoming eligible to receive one time payments. Read more

Maccabi Pan American Games Opening Ceremony

December 28, 2011 by  

The Pan America Games were officially launched on Monday night when 2,000 athletes from 16 countries marched into the opening ceremony in Sao Paulo. Read more

Moderating the Web

December 28, 2011 by  

Some months ago, Channel Nine’s A Current Affair featured a segment on the bid to erect an eruv in St Ives and the public debate which ensued. Read more

Chanukah – Sydney and Melbourne

December 28, 2011 by  

In Sydney, a giant Menorah is lit in Martin Place…and in Melbourne the Chanukah spirit was shared among other faiths… Read more

Jewish Participation in Short Play Festival

December 27, 2011 by  

Short+Sweet Sydney gets underway this summer with a host of Jewish artists involved. The hugely popular short play festival – which now has seasons in Melbourne and Brisbane as well as other Australian capitals, regional centres and in half a dozen international cities – is in its 11th year in Sydney. Read more

Pan-Am Games: Aussies girls give Brazil a fright

December 27, 2011 by  

Two late goals helped Brazil prevail 3-1 in Monday morning’s match against Australia, but our girls gave them an almight fright – and have put the rest of the competition on notice that they are a team to be reckoned with as they vie for a spot in the medal rounds. Read more

Hobart – Here We Come

December 26, 2011 by  

Sydneysiders Andrew Pryer and Mark Lewkovitz are on-board yachts competing in the iconic Sydney-Hobart sailing classic. Read more

Pig’s Head in Bellevue Hill

December 26, 2011 by  

A pig’s head, a traditional Eastern European sign of anti-Semitism, has been found in a tree outside a small exclusive block of flats in the Sydney suburb of Bellevue Hill. Read more

War Horse ***

Over the last 20 years of his career, Steven Spielberg has often coupled a crowd-pleasing would-be blockbuster with a more serious-minded project. Thus, in 1993, he released Jurassic Park in tandem with Schindler’s List. In 1997, there were The Lost World and Amistad. 2005 brought War of the Worlds and Munich. Now we have The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse (released within weeks of each other, and possibly competing for the same audience). Of the dramatic films Spielberg has released over the years, it can be argued that War Horse is among the least successful. Call it “lesser Spielberg” and put it alongside Always and Hook. War Horse is by no means a bad movie, but it feels less like the epic it strives to be and more like a loosely connected series of World War I-era vignettes. Its emotional punch doesn’t deliver much force; War Horse‘s primary attraction is not the story of how it makes us feel but its impressive re-creation of the Great War’s battlefields and some stunningly beautiful camerawork by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.

War Horse follows the adventures of Joey, a horse born and bred in Devon, who is the lone equine owned by Albert (Jeremy Irvine); his father, Ted (Peter Mullan); and his mother, Rose (Emily Watson). When the landowner (David Thewlis) threatens to foreclose on the farm unless the rent is paid, Ted sells Joey to army major Stewart (Benedict Cumberbatch), who rides the horse into the early battles of World War I. After Stewart is killed in action, Joey is taken by the Germans. Over the next few years, he ends up pulling ambulances and gun wagons, and being the pet of a lonely French peasant girl (Celine Buckens) and her grandfather (Niels Arestrup). Once Albert becomes old enough to join the British army, he never ceases scouring the front lines for Joey, even though the odds of him finding his beloved horse are worse than those of finding a needle in a haystack.

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Chabad NZ’s new South Island HQ

December 25, 2011 by  

Chabad New Zealand will temporarily move its Christchurch operations to Queenstown following the earthquake which struck Christchurch on Friday. Read more

Turkish Ambassador Speaks on Israel and Turkey

December 25, 2011 by  

The Ambassador of Turkey to Australia, His Excellency Oguz Ozge, has addressed The Capital Jewish Forum in Melbourne on “Israel and Turkey”. Read more

The Empty Menorah

December 23, 2011 by  

The festival of Chanukah began Tuesday evening…writes Rabbi Michoel Gourarie. Read more

Ray Ginsburg – Eulogy

December 23, 2011 by  

Victoria Nadel, the President of  The National Council of Jewish Women of Australia NSW Division delivered a eulogy at the funeral of Ray Ginsburg who passed aaway this week at the age of 103. Read more

Chanukiah lights up Brisbane

December 23, 2011 by  

A six metre tall menorah was lit in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall this week. Read more

Palestine – Flag Flies, UNESCO Cries, Legality Dies

December 23, 2011 by  

UNESCO has paid a high price for hoisting the flag of “Palestine” among the 194 other flags flying at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters this week…writes David Singer. Read more

That was the year that was….in Israel

December 23, 2011 by  

It has been a really big year of highs and lows for Israel, so I thought I would take this time to reflect on the year that was in Israel…writes Emily Gian. Read more

A Chanukah Tale

December 22, 2011 by  

We will call her Sarah…but that is not her real name. She is homeless, living in a refuge, Jewish and looking for a way to celebrate Chanukah…

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Confront Unbridled Religious Zealotry Now

December 22, 2011 by  

Once again I feel impelled to express anger, frustration and pain concerning the primitive behavior displayed by our religious zealots and their frenetic efforts to reject modernism…writes Isi Leibler. Read more

Books on the Move

December 22, 2011 by  

The all-new Lamm Jewish Library of Australia will open its doors in Melbourne before the year’s end. Read more

Young Adult Chabad take over Hotel

December 21, 2011 by  

Sydney’s Young Adult Chabad took over the Watson’s Bay Hotel for their Chanukah party…. Read more

The first public Menorah lit in the World

December 21, 2011 by  

Chanukah Down Under…and Westfield Bondi Junction hosts the first Menorah lighting in the world. Read more

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