Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has praised a young Jewish filmmaker who took part in his Faith Shorts film competition, and said his Faith Foundation was working to make sure more Jews participated at the next competition.
Mr Blair praised the work of ex-JFS pupil Lara Smallman and her colleagues for the four-minute film The Laugh Judgment. She was the only Jewish filmmaker shortlisted. Judges for the inaugural competition included Natalie Portman, Rabbi David Rosen, June Sarpong, and Hugh Jackman.
Natalie Portman has said she tries to “stay away from playing Jews” after her latest role as a Chasidic wife.
The 28-year-old actress told Elle magazine: “I get like 20 Holocaust scripts a month but I hate the genre”.
In her new film New York, I Love You, out later this year, she plays strictly Orthodox diamond buyer, Rifka Malone.
The film has already caused some controversy after Abe Karpen, a Chassidic actor from Brooklyn who was to partner Ms Portman in the film, dropped out of shooting after being pressured by an outraged response from the New York community.