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David Corenswet, the next Superman, has deep Jewish roots in New Orleans — where he was married by a rabbi

(JTA) — When David Corenswet was announced as the next Marvel Superman last month, Jewish movie and comic fans rejoiced: He will be the first Jewish actor to portray the hero in a blockbuster.

But one Jewish community in New Orleans has been particularly excited.

“The Corenswet family is well known and loved” in New Orleans, said Daniel Sherman, rabbi of the city’s historic Temple Sinai synagogue. “I have also heard a few groups talking about having some screening events to support David and are thrilled with the prospect of having not only a ‘Jewish Superman,’ but one with local roots.”

The Corenswet clan has long ties to Temple Sinai, Louisiana’s oldest Reform synagogue, founded in 1870. Although David Corenswet grew up in Philadelphia, many members of his family still attend Temple Sinai, including his uncle Jay, a past president of the congregation.

“It’s not the biggest issue in anyone’s life, but we’re very gratified that we’re going to have a Jewish Superman,” said Edward Cohn, a rabbi emeritus at Temple Sinai who is close to the Corenswets.

Corenswet also tapped Cohn when he got married in March. The ceremony took place at the Immaculate Conception church — one of the city’s historic Jesuit houses of worship, first opened in the 1850s — because Corenswet’s wife is Catholic. 

Cohn co-officiated the ceremony with a priest — and according to Julie Vanderbrook, Immaculate Conception’s longtime wedding coordinator, “the rabbi kind of ran the show.” 

It was the first time in at least two decades (possibly ever, according to Vanderbrook) that the church hosted a ceremony that included a chuppah, or Jewish wedding canopy. Other Jewish rituals, including the breaking of the glass, were combined with Catholic ones. Cohn said that Corenswet had a specific vision for how the day would go, and church staffers were delighted with how he carried it out.

“The bride and groom were just so determined to intersperse the Jewish traditions with the Catholic traditions, which to me just enhanced the beauty and the strength of both faiths,” Vanderbrook said. “I felt I got to know [the Corenswet family] pretty well, because they were delightful people.”

Multiple members of the New Orleans community who know David described him as quietly intense and intellectual, and he has successfully kept most of his personal life — including the details of his Jewish identity, and the very fact that he is married — private, even as the Hollywood spotlight has begun to shine brightly on him. (His publicists did not respond to multiple requests for an interview.)

Corenswet poses with Rabbi Edward Cohn at his wedding rehearsal dinner at Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans. (Courtesy of Cohn)

But Cohn said Jewishness is an important part of David’s private life, even if he doesn’t regularly go to a synagogue. David and his new wife, who is also an actor, have been living in Philadelphia, and Cohn said they are “definitely intending to affiliate with a congregation,” even though they regularly travel to Los Angeles and other filming locations.

In 2020, David spoke at a Zoom event organized by Jewish Pride New Orleans, a group under the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans umbrella.

“He was so generous with his time,” said Marc Behar, who founded JP NOLA. “A thoughtful, kind person.”

Cohn also knew David’s grandfather, Sam Corenswet, Jr., who Cohn described as a “bright, worldly, well-educated southern gentleman.” Like his own father, Sam Jr. was involved with the Temple Sinai board — and the New Orleans Mid Winter Sports Association, which runs the college football Sugar Bowl (previously an end-of-year championship game, now part of the annual NCAA football Playoff). The family ran a wholesale appliance distributor business.

An article on the Sugar Bowl website explains the many famous college football figures Sam Corenswet, Jr. met over the course of a 50-year tenure as president of the association: “He’s met many of the legendary college coaches, Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, Bud Wilkinson, Bob Devaney, Bobby Bowden and Nick Saban, through the years. He’s witnessed numerous Heisman Trophy winners and national championship squads.”

David Corenswet’s father John, who died of cancer in 2019 at 64, was an actor-turned-lawyer. The family did not have cable TV while David grew up, and they instead watched classic movies together. David caught the acting bug early and made his debut at age 9 in a local production of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons.” He would go on to Juillard; in auditions, he kept an old New York City subway token in his pocket, a gift and good luck charm from his father.

Corenswet, 30, is still far from a household name. He has starred in multiple Netflix series developed by prolific producer Ryan Murphy, including “The Politician” and “Hollywood,” but a turn as Superman will exponentially raise his profile. “Superman: Legacy” is slated for release in 2025 and co-stars Rachel Brosnahan, of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fame, as Lois Lane.

It’s unclear whether David will bake anything Jewish into his performance — Superman was originally created by two Jews and the character’s real name, Kal-El, is thought to be a nod to Hebrew — but the rabbi who stood under the chuppah with him said he’s sure the actor will make the role his own.

“For a guy who is an actor, he’s not looking to be on stage all the time,” Cohn said. “He can laugh at himself. He’s got a great sense of humor, which I think will be really important in this role that he’s going to play.”


The post David Corenswet, the next Superman, has deep Jewish roots in New Orleans — where he was married by a rabbi appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle

In this pamphlet, the country of Jordan is billed as the “The Holy Land”. This material introduced visitors to the Kingdom of Jordan pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Ironically, the motto of the fair was “Peace Through Understanding”.  It describes a pavilion that includes a “photographic survey of the Holy […]

The post Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police

Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School, located near the Finch and Dufferin intersection in Toronto, had shots fired in its direction Saturday at 4:52 a.m. The incident was captured on a security video. The suspects can be seen getting out of a dark-coloured vehicle and opening fire on the school, which serves the Hasidic community with […]

The post A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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At Cannes, Iranian Director Rasoulof Recalls Difficult Exile Decision

FILE PHOTO: Cast member Setareh Maleki and director Mohammad Rasoulof attend a press conference for “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” (Les Graines du figuier sauvage) in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 25, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof recalled how he had to decide within hours whether to go into exile or serve a prison sentence, saying it was still difficult to talk about it during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Rasoulof was in the French Riviera town for the premiere of his new drama “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” almost two weeks after announcing he had fled Iran and entered into exile in the wake of his sentencing to eight years in jail and flogging.

After he learned that he had a week left before his sentence would be implemented, things moved quickly, he said, especially as authorities had caught wind of the existence of his new film.

“I had to say to myself, well, do I want to be in prison, or should I leave Iran, geographic Iran, and join the cultural Iran that exists beyond its borders?” recalled the director.

“It took me two hours to make the decision. I walked around, I paced around my house. I said goodbye to my plants that I love, and I have many, many plants in my house,” he added.

Then, Rasoulof left all his belongings and walked out of the house. “It’s not an easy decision to take. It still isn’t easy even to talk about it today with you,” he told journalists.

Iran‘s culture minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili told state media this month that Rasoulof’s film had been made illegally and there would be a crackdown on movies without permits.

“The Seed of the Sacred Fig” is about a court official who grows increasingly controlling of his family during the 2022 protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman arrested by the morality police for allegedly flouting dress codes.

The film drew the longest standing ovation at the festival after its premiere on Friday night and was well received by critics who called it “mesmerizingly gripping” and “shattering.”

The director, who has been arrested and detained several times for charges ranging from filming without a permit to “collusion against national security,” said that the idea for the film came from years of confrontation with secret services.

“All these characters were inspired by real people, all the scenes come from real situations,” he said, adding that experience has also made him adept at avoiding secret services.

“Our life is fairly similar to that of gangsters, except we are gangsters of the cinema,” he joked at the news conference.

The post At Cannes, Iranian Director Rasoulof Recalls Difficult Exile Decision first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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