• Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich of the Roma Rights Network has joined Hindu groups in requesting a disclaimer on James Cameron’s upcoming 3D sci-fi flick Avatar, as the title is also “a Sanskrit term meaning descent or incarnation,” and “the central theme in Hinduism.” [All Headline News]
• British Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks is more concerned that “neo-Darwinians” are contributing to a decreased birthrate in Europe. “Europe is dying,” he said in a lecture at a theology think tank. “We are undergoing the moral equivalent of climate change and no one is talking about it.” [Telegraph]
• Iran’s new deputy culture minister, in charge of media and communications, is Mohammad-Ali Ramin, who has been called “the brain” behind President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust. Who knew there even was one? [National Post]
• Recession, schmession: Federation of New York raised $43 million at its annual campaign kickoff last week, equal to the 2008 total. [JPost]
• Entirely unsurprisingly, Hezbollah objects to the distribution of the new, Arabic translation of Anne Frank’s diary in Lebanon. [Haaretz]
• Five finalists were announced in Jewish Community Hero Awards. [NYBlueprint]
• And a study of the films of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa got one writer thinking about his own tragedy-laden cultural heritage: “Have we not had enough telling of stories of Jewish history’s disasters? Is there not one director or screenwriter that can chronicle the triumphs of Jewish history?” [JPost]