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United Pianos For Peace: “If music be the food of love, play on”

by Laura Goldstein -

“Music is a global language, United Pianos has the power to unite us together, by bridging cultural and political gaps,” says Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.  Amid the usual hotbed of controversy that the United Nations ignites, the Israeli Mission to the UN has sought to soothe the soul through a Social Media campaign entitled United Pianos.  It’s the …

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My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes Of The Holocaust

by Laura Goldstein -

In our current turbulent world in which anti-Semitism and the refugee crisis make headlines everyday, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, Oren Jacoby ponders in My Italian Secret: “Would you risk your life to save a stranger?” “It’s a question, sadly, very relevant again today,” Jacoby tells me by phone from a stopover in Chicago on the way to New York. “Not many …

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Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict – A provocative glimpse into one of Modern Art’s most eccentric and overlooked visionaries

by Laura Goldstein -

If Peggy Guggenheim had lived during the Italian Renaissance, she might have rivaled the Medicis in procurement of art. The 20th Century American art patron and avowed bohemian, Peggy Guggenheim, was overshadowed by her libidinous lifestyle, eccentricities and the artists (mostly men,) who benefited from her fortune and acumen. “People just didn’t realize her pivotal role in the Modern Art …

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Photographer, Asher Svidensky Captures the Eagle Huntress Through A Passionate Lens

by Laura Goldstein -

Can you imagine Indiana Jones wielding a camera instead of a bullwhip? Photographer, intrepid adventurer, documentary storyteller, Asher Svidensky, travelled to West Mongolia walking in the footsteps of Genghis Khan to capture the all-male preserve of eagle hunting.  Or so he thought. What he discovered to his astonishment, was the first female eagle huntress, 13-year-old Ashol Pan. “Most people love …

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Cirque du Soleil: KOOZA Is A Pandora’s Box of Hilarity and Sheer Death – Defying Acrobatics

by Laura Goldstein -

You’ll never look at a hamster running inside a wheel the same way again. Two horned daredevils propel a suspended 1,600-lb double- caged apparatus, Wheel of Death, by running and leaping inside, outside and backwards across their respective steel purgatories. The audience collectively gasps. Some cover their eyes. That’s when KOOZA’s writer and director, David Shiner sends in the clowns …

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Leah Goldstein Lives Life With “No Limits” – World Kickboxing Champion, Israeli Undercover Agent, Champion Cyclist

by Laura Goldstein -

Leah Goldstein laughs when I suggest that she is the real Bionic Woman and even Lindsay Wagner who starred in the popular 70s TV show would probably agree. “I’ve had almost every bone in my body broken – I should be dead – several times in fact!” she chuckles. Like a cat with nine lives, the former World Kickboxing Champion, Undercover Israeli Police Officer …

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Painter, Joyce Ozier Finds Refuge In Chefchaouen, the Blue Pearl of Morocco – A Jewish Refugee Story in Narrative Abstraction

by Laura Goldstein -

Like the mystical artists’ colony of Safed in Northern Israel where ancient doors and walls have been painted blue since the 1600s – a spiritual reminder of God in heaven, Morocco’s medina of Chefchaouen is awash in turquoise and lapis lazuli. It’s here, amid twisted cobblestone streets and mountain air, now a heady mixture of spices and kef, that Jews and …

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Israeli Political Thriller, “Fauda” Puts A Face To The Families Of The Israeli – Palestinian Conflict

by Laura Goldstein -

Like the Nordic countries, Israel is on a roll producing series for the small screen that have captured global audiences with their compelling scripts and finely- honed, realistic characters. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery as Israeli series like Hatufim (Prisoners of War,) BeTipul (In Treatment) and Bnei Aruba (Hostages) have already morphed into American adaptations, …

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Russian Scientist, Inventor of the Theremin & Spy!

by Laura Goldstein -

 Author, Sean Michaels, Electrifies With Novel “Us Conductors” Chances are, you may have unwittingly listened to a theremin but never heard of its inventor – the enigmatic Leon (Lev) Sergeyvich Termen: 20th century Russian scientist, hopeless romantic and spy. His life is the fascinating inspiration for the novel, Us Conductors by Sean Michaels. The 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author and …

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Sarah Dunant, Doyenne of Historical Fiction, Captures Life In 16th Century Jewish Ghetto of Venice

by Laura Goldstein -

Sarah Dunant is intoxicated with the past – the Renaissance specifically. The British writer who began her career in broadcasting at the BBC and writing crime thrillers, is so beguiling that anyone who thinks history is boring,  must go and hear her speak at the 2015 Vancouver Writers Fest. You’ll never look at 16th century history and art in the …