Dr. Michael Taub received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native of Romania, he lived in Israel in the 1960s and briefly in the 1980s. He is currently an adjunct professor of Liberal Studies at Purchase College. He has taught at Binghamton University, Vassar College, Cornell University, New York University and Rutgers University. Dr. Taub is the author of Modern Israeli Drama (Heinemann, 1993) and Israeli Holocaust Drama (Syracuse, 1996) as well as the co-author with Joel Shatzky of Contemporary Jewish-American Novelists (Greenwood, 1997) and Contemporary Jewish-American Dramatists and Poets (Greenwood, 1999).2004 0-7734-6307-0
This book is a collection of Israeli plays translated into English and published for the first time. These new works covers the period of the 1990s, which is where the plays in the author’s previous collections left off. These plays have now become classics. They have not only been chosen for their popularity, but for how they touch on burning issues of the day including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, religious fanaticism and the post-Zionist ideology of current Israeli society.2005 0-7734-6121-3
This collection of essays focuses on films dealing with important issues in the Jewish world.
Films selected are only those who make a significant contribution to our understanding of a particular theme under discussion. The themes are: immigration, antisemitism, Israel and Zionism, life in the East-European shtetls (small villages), intermarriage and assimilation, religion, and the Holocaust. The majority of the works analyzed are American-made.
Among the findings of this study is that antisemitism has been touched upon rarely; the 1947 classic, Gentleman’s Agreement
, is still the yardstick by which such works as School Ties (1992), and Quiz Show (1994) are being judged. And the truth is that, while the older classic manages to penetrate deeply into this sensitive question, the later works only skim the surface. Also, it is clear that Hollywood steered away from Israel; while in the 1960's and 1970's Israel presented the world a picture of courage and moral justice, the prolonged occupation and treatment of the Palestinians, have created controversies that film producers were averse to engage in. On the other hand, Hollywood has been rather receptive, and generally positive, in its treatment of orthodoxy and Hasidism, as evidenced in The Chosen
(1983), and A Stranger Among Us
(1992). One area where Hollywood has disappointed is the Holocaust. While it is true that it has produced Judgement at Nurenberg
(1961), The Diary of Anne Frank
(1959),and Schindler’s List
, (1993), all very influential films, the rest of the field is a collection of works dealing with marginal issues, and , regretfully, in some cases, turning the subject matter into pure sensationalism.
As this study concluded, many new works dealing with the Jewish experience-antisemitism, Holocaust, and post-holocaust issues, assimilation, exile and life in Israel, were coming out. This is a clear indication that this is a subject of great interest to film makers, and it seems, to viewers all over the world.