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April 5, 2013

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 5, 2013 By Diana Alallah use the curriculum issued by are presently around 120 He- Palestinian Ma'an satellite of Israel, and therefore, "the has been studying Hebrew The Media Line the Israeli Ministry of Educa- brew students in the school, television channel presents a demand for this language is for six months, claiming that tion." including eighth-grader Lana weekly show that translates not high. Students who want whileit'soutofnecessity, heen- Listening to Hebrew songs Interaction between Pal- [her name is changed for her reports from Israeli media; to study abroad seek German, joysit."Ineedtoknow Hebrew is officially frowned upon by estinians and Israelis is often safety], who is in her second and three daily newspapers French or Russian language to read the Israeli standards, many West Bank residents, limited to conflict-related yearofstudy. Her mother told printedintheWestBankcarry because it will help them," and I also like to learn about but interest in learning the situations, such as Palestin- The Media Line that, "This is aregularsectionofarticlesand according to Zakarneh.Israel,'hetoldTheMediaLine. language ofth e "other society ians passing through Israeli thelanguageoftheenemy, and op-eds translated into Arabic ForthosewhowanttolearnThe P.A.'s Zakarneh add- that is very close but still far checkpoints intheWestBank; it'simportantforustolearnit." after having been published Hebrew, there are options, ed that the decision by the away" is clearly picking up orPalestinianlaborerswhoare Nevertheless, Lana herself in the Israeli press. There are some 200 language Hamas-controlled education among Palestinians wishing permitted to work inside of Is- offers a more optimistic out- Maher Sail, a private sector and translation centers oper- ministry in the Gaza Strip to to understand Israelis. One raelfindingthemselvesinneed come from her Hebrew study, employee, notonlyagreeswith ating in the West Bank and offerHebrewtoitsstudentswas example is the Mohammed of a rudimentary knowledge Shesaid,"IvisitIsraeliwebsites this approach, butwantspublic the P.A.'s Education Ministry justifiedbyneed."Gazansneed bin Rashid Bin AI-Maktoum of Hebrew. andtry to read.Also, on school schools to follow suit as well. grants them permits to teach Hebrew as their only outlet to School in A1-Bireh, a town For these reasons, the ad- trips, we try to speak with He told The Media Line that, Hebrew. "Hebrew is not a for- the outer world. Our students adjacent to Ramallah, where ministration of the 600-pupil Israelis in Hebrew." "There is a saying that 'One bidden language, but most of in the West Bank don't need many students in grades 7 school, considered to be con- Although Hebrew is mostly who wants to avoid the other those who wish to learn it are Hebrew." through l0 are opting to study servative with boys and girls viewedasapracticallanguage, nation's harm should know workers in the private sector The P.A.'s Education Min- the Hebrew language, separated, made the decision many Palestinians apparently their language.' I think the who have to deal with Israelis istry has no estimate of the Asomewhatstrategicexpla- to offer Hebrew as the third agree with Lana's mother, and Palestinian Authority should in their work." number of private schools nationforthislittle-knownfact language, after Arabic and are interested in following teach Hebrew as part of its He explained that,"there is teaching Hebrew on the West was offered by Samer Nimer, a English. "We found support Israeli affairs in order to gain curriculum." a demand for Hebrew among Bank because such programs director of the private school, from the parents who thanked an insight of what is going on Jihad Zakarneh, the Direc- thosewhoworkinimportsand are not supervised. But they who toldThe Media Line that, us," Nimer explained. "Some in Israel. tor General of Curriculums exports, finance, insurance make the point that "a con- "Wewanttoknowwhatisgoing parents said they preferred The language courses are in the PalestiniarLMinistry and customs, siderablenumberofthosewho oninIsraelfirsthand, notwhat their children to learn French, not the only indication of the of Education, explained that Shorouq Mraqatan, a 30- know or teach Hebrew have othersaresayingaboutIsraei." butwe thinkthe use of French Palestinians' interest in want- the P.A. schools do not teach year old public employee from learned the language during Perhaps even more surprising is limited here." ing to know first-hand what is Hebrew because Hebrew is not Hebron who works for the Pal- the time theywere imprisoned is Nimer's revelation that"we According to Nimer, there going on inside of Israel. The a language that is usedoutside estinian Standards Institute, by Israel. By Naomi Pfefferman Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles Itwas the first day of spring, and Jeffrey Tambor was sit- ring in his car in the snow near his New York home, con- ductingan interviewwhile his 6-year-old daughter--one of his four children, ages 3 to 8, including twin toddlers-- was taking her piano lesson. "Daddy is tired, but I'm Mucky guy," he said in his signature baritone. Life isgoodfor the 68-year- old actor, not only in terms of his family but also in the realm of his career:. In May, Tamhor will reprise his role as George Bluth Sr., the Ma- chiavellian patriarch of a dys- functional Jewish clan when Arrested Development" makes its much-anticipated return with 14 new episodes on Netflix. And, on HBOthroughApril 27, he's appearing in the TV biopic Phil Spector," playing the flamboyant lead defense attorney in the legendary music producer's murder trial, a project written and directed by Tambor's hero, David Mamet, and starring AI Pacino and Helen Mitten. The film opens in 2003, when a past-her-prime B- movie actress named Lana Clarkson is discovered dead in Spector's gothicAlhambra mansion. Spector (Paino) insists she put one of his many guns in her mouth and pulled the trigger, but the police suspect murder. Enter attorney Bruce Cutler (Tambor)--who is as known for his dapper two-tone shirts as he is for having defended Mafioso John Gotti. Cutler insists that Clark- son, a depressed celebrity wannabe, committed suicide, but he's stumped as to how to shape Spector's defense, fearing the jury may convict the eccentric, wig-coiffed producer because he had previously thm .atened wornen with guns--and simply for bein in their eyes, f ak." And so Cutler brings in another star attorney to help--Linda Kenney Baden (MirnmLwho initially thinks Spcctor om Red the mur- der lint after a time comes to believe that he is innocent, Ronald Woan/Wikipedia Jeffrey Tambor at the San Diego 2010 International Comic Con. Even so, their best efforts result in a mistrial, and after a second trial, in 2009, Spec- tor was convicted of second- degree murder and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison, where he now resides. Mamet has described his movie as a "mythological" version of the events, and the film opens with a disclaimer stating that the film is "a work of fiction ... not based on a true story'--which is startling given that the script uses real names as well as some dialogue from real court transcripts. A media backlash has ensued, critiquing what one reporter called a "mealy mouthed" approach to the truth and the wisdom of fictionalizing a notorious court case--especially since the film insinuates that Spec- tor was convicted despite Mamet's suggestion there was a generous amount of reasonable doubt. Tambor strongly disagrees with the media criticism: "There's the disclaimer," he said, "and I think David has been acutely truthful about what he is trying to do. We're not trying to pull the wool over anybody's eyes. But then again, I'm an actor, not a politician, and I'm so proud of the movie and the questions it raises. I'm not saying whether Spector is guilty or not guilty, but I'm wildly against prejudice of any kind, and I believe that Spector experienced preju- dice [in his trials] for being, essentially, a Weirdo." Tambor didn't always feel that way. Back at the time of the trial, he said, "I assumed Spector was guilty because I saw all his freakishness." But participating in the movie, he added, has opened his eyes to the possibility that jurors were so turned off by Spector that they may have ignored any reasonable doubt raised in the courtroom. "I know the prejudice that was in me at the time of the trial, and if was in me, it was in other people," he said. Tambor traces his feelings about prejudice to an incident when he was a boy in San Francisco; he was driving in a car with his mother when another driver shouted out that she was a"kike." "I didn't know what that meant, and she told me and I was horri- fied," he recalled. Then there was his trip to Auschwitz some years ago, when Tambor was so overwhelmed, he said, "every nerve was just deadened and I felt numb. Much later when I was actually therapizing over this, I really hit a grief point. I'm getting emotional just thinking about it," he added. Tambor grew up with Orthodox, Yiddish-speaking grandparents from Kiev and a Hungarian-Jewish father who, according to fam- ily legend, was a boxer who once sparred with Joe Louis, "which is why he could only breathe out of one nostril," the actor said. As a boy, however, Tambor was ambivalent about his Ju- daism: "I was bar mitzvahed at gun point," he joked. "My cantor was great except he chewed cottage cheese sand- wiches for his snack while he was teaching me my Torah portion, and every time he made a 'chuch' or a 'chech' sound, curds would go flying and I would walk out looking like one of those speckled ceil- ings in a new house." Even so, he said, "I've always been Jewish, and I always feel my roots." He's played a number of Jewish characters in a career that has spanned half a cen- tury-ever since Tamborwas first drawn to the stage while watching theater rehearsals in the drama department of San Francisco State Univer- sity when he was a boy. One of his iconic char- acters is Hank Kingsley, Garry Shandling's buffoonish sidekick on HBO's acclaimed scheme,"Tambor explained, search Cutler, sticking to "The Larry Sanders Show," "I wouldn't call him spiritual whatever nuances he found from the 1990s. But Tambor unless he has to be; I would in the script to create his is even better known for call him a Darwinist." character. "David told me, another character, who be- Bruce Cutler, the real de- in a text message, that if he comes observant for dubious fense attorney Tambor plays had wanted the real Bruce reasons: George Bluth Sr. on in"PhilSpector,"alsohappens Cutler, he would have hired "ArrestedDevelopment,"who to be Jewish. ("If I played the Bruce Cutler," Tambor said. finds religion for a time after pope, he would be Jewish, For encore episodes of he is sent to prison for secu- Tambor quips--and in fact "Phil Spector," which pre- rity fraud during the show's an Internet piece comparing mieredMarch 24, checkHBO previous three seasons on him as a doppelganger for the listings. the Fox network from 2003 new Pope Francis recently Naomi Pfefferman is arts to 2006--he even crafted a went viral.) and entertainment editor at yarmulke from his shoe. "Ev- But per Mamet's instruc- TheJewishJournalofGreater ery day George has a different tions, Tambor did not re- Los Angeles. AT LAKE MARY The Wait Is Over... 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