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Frederick Douglass was not only one of our greatest activists, he was a great writer, an artist who worked in words. Director Julie Marchesi (P.O.V., American Masters, African-American Lives) and producer Sean Bababola (NOVA, The United Shades of America, Africa Everywhere) explore the growth of his mind and the power of his words in their Emmy-nom…
 
“Nazaré”. To those who follow the world of big wave surfing, the word speaks for itself. A once sleepy fishing village on the coast of Portugal, Nazaré has now become one of the world’s preeminent big wave surfing spots. It’s also the most likely future location for that most elusive of all surfing dreams: the 100-foot wave. As the hunting ground o…
 
George Carlin wasn’t just a comedian, he was one of the great American artists of the later half of the 20th-Century, and he was shaped by and interacted with the great events of his day with intelligence, wit, and an ever-adapting nature. That’s what co-director Michael Bonfiglio (with Judd Apatow) of “George Carlin’s American Dream” explains when…
 
Racking up win after win, Mack Beggs is well on his way to an undefeated season and a second consecutive Texas state high school wrestling crown. But, far from being recognized as the top athlete that he is, Mack finds himself the target of criticism from parents, social media trolls and national commentators. As a young trans man, Mack wants nothi…
 
With 55 million matches to date, Tinder advertises itself as the world’s most popular dating app. But, back in 2019, it was one match in particular — between a Norwegian woman living in London and a charming, self-described “Prince of Diamonds” — that became a viral sensation. It turned out that “Simon Leviev” was no prince, but a convicted con art…
 
The history of the ghetto Is it a form of Kiddush Hashem to go down fighting rather than getting killed passively? Are you allowed to resist when you technically won't win: Is it a form of suicide? Are you causing others to get killed? The controversy surrounding Reb Menachem Zemba’s view Are leaders obligated not to abandon their flock or do thet …
 
It’s more than a song. As Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller (“Ballet Russes”, “The Galapagos Affair”) point out in their new documentary, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is a journey. A journey of artistic and spiritual discovery, a 7-year Odyssey of composition, and, once all but lost, an even longer journey to find its place as one of our most admired s…
 
If your spouse is irreligious, can she trusted to say she went to the Mikvah? Can you allow your son to stay in your house if he insists on staying there with his girlfriend? Can you eat from the food they bring you? Do you have to be afraid they’ll make your oven, microwave, and dishes Treif? If they cook is it Bishul Acu”m? If they touch wine doe…
 
Coined by a Harvard psychologist in the 1980s, the “Martha Mitchell Effect” describes a process in which a person’s beliefs are initially labeled as delusional but later turn out to be true. But who was the real Martha Mitchell? What were her claims about Watergate? And why, until now, has she been largely erased from our collective memory? Opening…
 
What type of cases come before Beis Din These days? How does Beis din differ from an abitration panel? What can you do to avoid Dinei Torah? How are matrimonial cases (including Sholom Bayis) dealt with in Beis Din? The role of lawyers and Toyanim in Beis Din ***Guest Hosted by Rabbi Yehoshua Wolfe *** Menahel of Bais HaVaad Rabbincal Court, Lakewo…
 
Love and Lava, Magma and Matrimony. Sara Dosa’s (“The Last Season”, “The Seer and the Unseen”) “Fire of Love” encourages such puns, and that’s no accident: The film explores the relationship of Katia and Maurice Krafft, married volcanologists as they chart the world's volcanoes from the late 1960s until their untimely deaths in 1993. It’s a film th…
 
Are friends a replacement for a therapist? What’s appropriate to discuss with friends, and what’s not? How should a wife handle when her husband lives a lifestyle she does not approve of? How should the husband handle his wife “being on his case”? Can a non-Jewish book be used for Shalom Bayis? Is there a Torah hashkafa in how to handle Shalom Bayi…
 
When a Yeshiva is compelled by the goverment to take action that is K'Neged HaTorah, are they obligated to shut down in lieu of complying? Does the yeshiva have to split off from the university and re-open as a separate new independent Yeshiva? If the yeshiva follows the goverment's orders, is one permitted to continue teaching there? How should or…
 
Sha’Carri Richardson is fast. Really, really, really fast. At the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials, Sha’Carri, only 21 at the time, ran the 100-meter finals in 10.84 seconds, more than a tenth of a second faster than her closest competitor. In “Sub Eleven Seconds”, his artfully crafted documentary portrait of this superstar athlete at a moment of peak perf…
 
In a small town in India, a cow vigilante group seeks to recruit teenage boys to join its ranks. Who are these so-called cow vigilantes and how are they using the welfare of the cow, which is sacred to India’s majority Hindu population, to fan the flames of nationalist extremism? In Varun Chopra’s fascinating, multifaceted and provocative new short…
 
Like a freshly sculpted work of clay, director Rebeca Huntt’s stunning documentary debut BEBA captures in real-time her family’s fluid interpersonal dynamics; the complicated legacies of inherited national, ethnic and racial identity; and her own brewing caldron of coming-of-age dramatics. To call it a “personal film” is both a wild understatement …
 
Simchas: Chupa, Chasuna, Sheva Brochos Do any of them need a Mechitza? Does a concert need to have a Mechitza or is mixed seating/family seating allowed? Why is a Mechitza not mentioned in Shulchan Aruch with Rabbi Boruch Oberlander – Chief rabbi of Hungary, Av Beis Din of Budapest – 21:33 what the Lubavitcher Rebbe Had to say about Mechitzas by co…
 
A phone call between mother and daughter. A bad dream. Home movies. Seems simple, yet Ash Goh Hua’s short documentary “The Feeling of Being Close to You” expertly navigates physical and emotional space to provide a compelling, affecting story of attempted reconciliation. “The Feeling of Being Close to You” will play at the The Palm Springs Internat…
 
What are the major areas of tension between parents and children regarding religious observance? How should the issues be handled by both parent and child? Are there differences between baalei tshuvah, modern orthodox and yeshivish in this regard? Does Kibud Av Ve’eim mean that the child needs to fulfill the desires of the parents, even when the ch…
 
Hollyn and Colie are range riders. Every day during the summer, these highly skilled hired hands ride their horses across the remote, rugged Idaho mountains, pushing cows across sky-high ridges to their final destination. It’s hard work for low pay, but the rewards are plentiful: the thrill of the open range, the symbiotic relationship with their a…
 
As part of our focus on NextGen filmmakers — up-and-coming talents in the documentary world — “Top Docs” is pleased to be partnering with the 28th Palm Springs International ShortFest (June 21 – 27) to feature several filmmakers with outstanding documentary shorts in this year’s festival. In this episode, Ken talks to Pavel Mozhar, director of the …
 
Dealing with the celebrity status Balancing family life and singing Should young aspiring singers go into singing? What are the red lines for venues not to sing in? with Yaakov Shwekey – International singing star – 16:19 with Lipa Schmeltzer – Jewish Music’s Most Innovative Creator and Performer – 35:27 with Shulem Lemmer – International singing s…
 
What more can be said about Andy Warhol? Campbell’s Soup. Marilyn Monroe. Pop Art. The Factory. Fright wig. 15 minutes. Connect the dots and you feel pretty confident in your short-hand knowledge of who Warhol was and his place in modern art and contemporary culture. But, as much as Andy Warhol is a household name when it comes to 1960’s celebrity …
 
An expat journalist reflects on the recent revolutions that have transformed her native Ukraine. A filmmaker, looking for spiritual advice, goes to a secretive Buddhist monastery in Kyoto. A mother grieves for her young son and seeks answers about why childhood drownings are shockingly common. A young dancer finds her way back to performing after e…
 
Hear a firsthand report how Reb Aharon Leib Steinman ZT"l encouraged concerts Hear how music is keeping our youth from falling away How has Jewish music evolved over the years? What makes a song Jewish? What’s the point of music entertainment or inspiration? The new style of Jewish music – Is it Jewish? Is the Jewish music style these days real or …
 
“If it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going” was a phrase uttered by generations of pilots in reference to the storied Seattle-based company that was virtually synonymous with American engineering know-how. But, in 2018, a practically brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft crashed soon after takeoff in Indonesia, followed five months later by a second 737 MAX …
 
Long before Kanye West became one of the most famous people on the planet, he was a 19-year-old up-and-coming producer of beats trying to make a name for himself in the local Chicago rap scene. Enter comedian Coodie Simmons, host of a local cable access show, who — taking inspiration from the landmark documentary “Hoop Dreams” — decided to turn his…
 
Rabbi Elyada Goldwicht - link to the Shavuos learning program: Bit.ly/SCPchallenge Should a man/Rabbi teach tznius to girls? Is it true that “Tzinus for women is just like Torah learning for men”? What are the consequences of tznius PTSD on the girl, her family and her Avodas HaShem? What’s the impact of social media and frum print media on how gir…
 
History of debates with our adversaries Dr. Rivka Schwartz – Associate Principal, General Studies at SAR High School, Bronx, New York, Ph.D. History from Princeton University - 6:15 Are we preparing our children for marriage - The Sholom Bayis initiative of Reb Zecharia with Rabbi Reuven Epstein – Noted marriage counselor and lecturer –23:42 Reb No…
 
In “Sirens”, Rita Baghdadi (“My Country No More”, “City Rising”) joins to Mike to discuss her portrayal of the all-women Lebanese heavy metal band Slave to Sirens, with a focus on Sherry, the virtuosic lead guitarist, and Lilas, the rhythm guitarist who is the charismatic center of the band. As much a coming of age story as a rock doc, “Sirens” exp…
 
with HaRav Moshe Sternbuch – Ravaad of Yerushalyaim, Mechaber Moadim Uzmanim – 24:20 with Harav Dovid Cohen – Rov of Gvul Yaavetz – 26:24 with Mara Nathan – Spiritual leader Temple Beth El, San Antonio – 42:09 with Rabbi Yonah Reiss – Av Beis Din of CRC, Rosh Yeshiva of RIETS – 1:03:52 Answers to the Pesach Riddles – 1:28:40 מראי מקומות…
 
“He's not a dusty antique from the past; he's the beginning of now” That’s how Marc Shaffer describes the subject of his film, Exposing Muybridge. Mike and Marc explore the strange and varied career of Eadweard Muybridge (just one of the many versions of the name he gave himself over the years). Born in Britain, he moved to New York to sell books, …
 
In 1976, a curator at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnography discovered a long-forgotten item stored away in the museum’s collection: a series of stark but stirring daguerreotypes taken in 1850 that are believed to be the oldest photographs of enslaved Africans in the U.S. While the discovery made headlines across the country, they d…
 
What’s the most important ingredient to have a successful marriage? What are significant issues that are easy to resolve? What are some common mistakes that spouses make? What can boys and girls in Shidduchim – or even earlier – do to prepare for a successful marriage? What should be done when a couple hits turbulents during marriage? How to handle…
 
While over the decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has periodically been front page news in America, for the most part, the issue has not taken center stage in U.S. politics. But what if it turned out that, unbeknownst to the vast majority of Americans, state legislatures throughout the country have been approving bills that not only took a s…
 
If you Daven Maariv after Plag or after Shkiah can you count Sefirah? How to count of you're making early Shabbos? If a Rov forgot to count can he continue to count with a Brocha? And much more? with Rabbi Chaim Jachter - Rov, Shaarei Orah of Teaneck, Beis Din of Elizabeth – 16:42 Was your Chametz really sold? Are your cookies really baked after Pe…
 
Can we bring Korbanos these days: Tumah, Techeilis, Kohanim - Can we rely on the Kohein DNA chromosone? The place of the Mizbeach - can it be proven archaeologically? Bigdei Kehuna, and much more... with Rabbi Shimshon Nadel – Rov of Zichron Yosef in Har Nof, Rosh Kollel Sinai Kollel – 18:57 How to bring a Korban Pesach - A checklist with Rabbi Bin…
 
Do the halachos and secular laws regarding false advertising apply to organizations raising tzedakah? Are promises by the charity a permitted form of advertising? Should a charity require a minimum payment in order to get a beracha? Is it better to daven for yourself, or have someone else daven for you? Do the ends justify the means? Can puffery/ma…
 
***Guest Hosted by Rabbi Pesach Lerner*** The Orthodox community, Security, economics, Issues we are dealing with EREV PESACH from around the globe Eretz Yisroel: with MK Rabbi Yitzchok Pindrus – Chaver Knesset of Degel Hatorah - 8:41 with Eli Paley – Publisher, Mishpacha Magazine, Chairman, The Haredi Institute for Public Affairs, Israel - 20:13 U…
 
UKRAINE Do we Daven for their success or do we remember…. The massacres: The Cossacks ת"ח ות"ט , Massacre of Uman 1768, Odessa Pogrom 1821, 1851, 1871, 1905, Kiev pogrom 1881, 1905, Mass killing of Jews during Russian civil war 1918-1923. Collaboration of Ukrainians with the Nazis killing 900,000 Jews during World War II - Massacres and mass shooti…
 
In this installment of Anatomy of a Scene, “Ailey” director Jamila Wignot describes the creative process behind a key sequence in her remarkable portrait of American dance legend Alvin Ailey. After building his hugely successful dance company from scratch, Ailey felt an ever-increasing amount of pressure and eventually broke down. Jamila and her te…
 
In this powerful Anatomy of a Scene featurette, “Attica” director Stanley Nelson, recently awarded the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, focuses on a climactic sequence near the end of the Oscar-nominated film. Stanley takes us inside the prison yard at Attica after authorities have re-taken control of the yard and p…
 
Why do women get hammered to dress modestly, while some men walk around with tight shorts and tank tops? What about super tight-fitting pants? White shirts vs. blue shirts? No socks? Colorful socks? Tight-fitting bike clothing? How do standards change over time? What about other areas of Tznius? Living above your means? Driving a car you can’t affo…
 
It starts like a modern day fairy tale: from the cotton fields of Mississippi, to three national collegiate championships, to scoring the first basket in Olympic history. But despite all her plaudits, when all that had passed, Lusia Mae (Lucy) Harrison felt she could pursue the game no further. In his Oscar-nominated short, “The Queen of Basketball…
 
Is this war a precursor of Mashiach? The Kabbalah from Kelm with Reb Elya Ber Wachtfogel – Rosh Yeshivah South Fallsburg – 00:47 Can someone stay in Ukraine to help the war effort or are you obligated to run? Are you obligated to give all your money to save the Yidden there ? Does this take precedence over your local Tzedakas, schools, Bikur Cholim…
 
After a series of highly improbable coincidences, filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt (“The Smell of Burning Ants”) finds himself back in his old elementary schoolyard making a film about a bullying incident from 50 years ago. Building on Jay’s own hazy recollections and those of his former 5th grade classmates, “When We Were Bullies” brilliantly pieces toget…
 
Chaim Walder - Shaming public figures while damaging innocent family members, permitted or not? Do we allow collateral death of innocents when killing a terrorist?Families of other עברייניםTrolley problem and the Chazon Ish מראי מקומותBy Halacha Headlines
 
***Guest Hosted by Rabbi Pesach Lerner*** Chairman of Eretz Hakodesh The battles against Yiddishkeit that are going on, and how you can make a difference with Rabbi Dovid Lau – Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisroel – 4:54 The battle against the Kosel with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz - Rov of the Kosel and Mekomos Hakedoshim – 15:45 Chizuk from his life and the …
 
Now that the five Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Feature have been chosen, the final countdown to see who will win the coveted statuette is underway! Variety’s Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis, who’s been following the race closely for months, joins Top Docs to discuss each of the nominee’s’ chances, handicaps the race (as of the taping date!)…
 
The harmony of Torah & science, Saga of the chicken without a heart with Rabbi Kahane – Professor of history, Author of Tarnegolit Bli Lev – 12:26 Clashes of Gemara and science with Rabbi Mendel Shafran – Dayan in Eretz Yisroel – 35:27 with Rabbi Dovid Cohen - Rov of Gvul Yaavetz, Flatbush – 37:47 with Rabbi Moshe Meiselmann - Rosh Yeshiva Toras Mo…
 
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