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Radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger
said earlier this month that she no
longer practices Orthodox Judaism.
Schlessinger, whose conservative,
syndicated show claims an audience
of 12 million listeners daily,
announced that she no longer keeps
the mitzvot, or commandments, but
still considers herself Jewish, the
Forward newspaper reported.
Schlessinger, who was born to a
Jewish father and Catholic mother,
underwent a Conservative conver-
sion in 1997 and later became
The Forward noted that
Schlessinger began her Aug. 5 pro-
gram advising the audience that
prior to each broadcast, she spends
an hour reading
faxes from fans
"By and large
the faxes from
been very loving,
she said. "From
my own religion,
I have either got-
which is 99 per-
cent of it, or two
of the nastiest letters I have gotten
in a long time. I guess that's my
point — I don't get much back.
Not much warmth coming back."
Schlessinger, according to the
Forward even hinted at a possible
return to Christianity. "I have
envied all my Christian friends who
really, universally, deeply feel loved
by God," she said.
Conservative, nationally syndicat-
ed, radio talk-show host Michael
Medved celebrated Shabbat with
Schlessinger about a year ago,
according to the Forward.
"We had talked about having
Shabbat again," he told the newspa-
per. When he heard of
Schlessinger's defection, "My first
response was to pick up the phone
and try and expedite [the visit].
"I think it's a shame," he told the
Forward "Though, of course, she
was controversial in some eyes, she
is one of the most admired women
in America. Having the most
admired woman in America speak
joyously about Passover, Shabbat
and Jewish lifestyle events — all of
that was quite wonderful."
A mos Gitai, an Israeli filmmak-
er, was one of 11 writers and
directors asked to make a short film
relating to the terrorist attacks of
Sept. 11, 2001. Each director, rep-
resenting a different culture, could
take any creative direction so long
as the film lasted nine minutes and
11 seconds plus one frame.
Alain Brigand, at the center of
the project with Jacaues Perrin
(Winged Migration), put the seg-
ments together and came up with
1.1'09'01 (September 1), which will
be shown Friday-Saturday, Sept. 5-
7, at the Detroit Film Theatre.
"I found the challenge I f making
the film] fa,scinating, and I like hard
challenges," says Gitai, 53, who was
in Paris when the terrorists struck. "I
think that it is a good procedure to
establish the general thernatics and
then to impose a formal length."
Gitai's short relates the attacks of
Sept. 11 to a terrorist attack in
Israel. Fle follows a TV news
reporter as she covers the tragedy.
Indian filmtnaker Mira Nair also
bases her segment on actual events. A
Muslim mother, living in New York,
faces accusations that her missing son
was part of the terrorist movement
when he actually died trying to rescue
victims at the World Trade Center,
Iranian filmmaker Sarnira
Makkinalbaf shows a very different
environment as she dramatizes possible
responses of Afghan children living as
refugees in her country. In the seg-
ment, a teacher tries to explain what
happened on Sept. 11 to a group
whose schooling breaks up their work-
day of making bricks our of mud.
The film gathers together diverse
sensibilities and commitments," says
13rigand, who also included a seg-
ment developed by Sean Penn as the
Other filmmakers include Claude
Lelouch (France), Youssef Chahine
(Egypt), Danis Tanovic (Bosnia),
Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso),
Ken Loach (UK), Alejandro
Gonzalez Inarritu (Mexico) and
Shohei Inaamura (Japan).
— Suzanne Chessier
11'09'01 (September 11) will be
shown 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday
and Saturday and 4 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 5-7, at the Detroit
Film Theatre in the DIA. $5.50-
$6.50. (313) 833-3237.
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