Deborah Weitzmann

On this day: Neil Simon is born

By Deborah Weitzmann, July 4, 2011

Born Marvin Neil Simon, the esteemed playwright and screenwriter, is now 84-years-old. He was born in the Bronx, New York City, in 1927 - just before the Great Depression hit the United States.

Growing up in Manhattan, Simon was the younger of two sons and his father sold cloth fabric to the dress manufacturers in Manhattan's garment district

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On this day: The Night of the Long Knives

By Deborah Weitzmann, June 30, 2011

The Night of the Long Knives, as it became known, was Adolf Hitler's purge of SA members. The Nazi leader personally led the well-planned rush of arrests, assassinations and execution on an ordinary Saturday, June 30 1934.

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On this day: Mel Brooks is born

By Deborah Weitzmann, June 28, 2011

Hollywood legend Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky to a Russian Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York.

One of the biggest Jewish stars to date, Brooks is a member of the short list of entertainers who have the distinction of having Academy Awards and Emmys to their names.

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Israel's missing in action soldiers

By Deborah Weitzmann, June 24, 2011

Full coverage and news about Gilad Shalit and Israel's MIAs here

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Is Keeping Kosher Cruel?

By Deborah Weitzmann, June 24, 2011

Animal rights activists argue that suffering and pain is much greater for animals in Jewish slaughterhouses as they are not stunned before being slit. There has been a lot of negative publicity about the Jewish community's defense over the religious regulations of kosher production systems, which if banned would quash the civil liberties of Jews.

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On this day: Aaron Spelling dies

By Deborah Weitzmann, June 23, 2011

The legendary television and film producer died at the age of 83 after suffering a stroke.

Born to Jewish parents on 22 April 1923, in Dallas, Texas, Spelling enjoyed more than five decades of career success on both the small and big screens. His world renowned and widely celebrated work launched the careers of many major stars of the 1980s.

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Tributes for Russian human rights activist

By Deborah Weitzmann, June 20, 2011

Human rights activist Yelena Georgievna Bonner has died at the age of 88.

Jewish Agency chairman, and former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky said: "The Jewish world and the state of Israel lost a stalwart and valiant defender today.

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