December 7, 2007

MorningStar Presents a Panel of Top TV Writers and Producers

The MorningStar Commission hosted a panel comprised of some of Hollywood's top writers, producers and actors. The theme of the panel was : "They'd Love Us If They Knew Us: Jewish Characters on TV." Professionals included MorningStar board member and well known actress, Caroline Aaron, writer/producer of "Brothers and Sisters" Greg Berlanti, writer of Showtime's hit series "Weeds" Jenji Kohan, writer/producer of Fox's "The War at Home" Bob Lotterstein and Doub Lieblein, a writer of the hit TV series "Hannah Montana."

MorningStar board member, entertainment attorney, Patti Felker introduced the panel. MorningStar board member, actress and rabbi, Debra Orenstein spoke about the panel in the context of Hanukah. MorningStar board member, Lara Berman, moderated the panel. Ms. Berman is a talk show host on the college TV show CU@USC. The panel members spoke of the responsibilities imperative on TV writers of avoiding stereotyping the characters they write and create. The panelists concluded with a message that stereotyping Jews remains as an image and we need to continue to work to include Jews in programming in order to educate America and the world of our diversity.

December 5, 2007

Greater Philadelphia Education Day

MorningStar chair, Olivia Cohen-Cutler, who is the Senior Vice President of broadcast Standards and Practices at ABC, participated in the opening segment of the Great Philadelphia Education day. The program was entitled, "Body Image: Feeling Good At Any Age." Ms. Cohen-Cutler set the tone and spoke from a sociological view point on the topic and related the aspects of what we see and hear on TV and how this affects our views on body images.

July 28, 2007

MorningStar Havdalah

The MorningStar Commission hosted a Havdalah at the home of board member Patti Felker. Ms. Felker, an entertainment attorney, and recipient of the 2008 Beverly Hills Bar Association Entertainment Lawyer of the Year, spoke to a group of television and film professionals. Many new and younger board members of MSC were inspired to promote MSC's mission after she spoke. Also discussed was the growing relationship between the Israeli and Hollywood film communities and the programs and individuals who have contributed to this developing bond. MSC board members Lynn Roth and Joan Hyler have both participated in these programs.

June 14, 2007

The Young Women/Young Leaders of Brooklyn Present "Princesses and Yentas"

MorningStar board member Linda Shayne organized and moderated a panel on image-making in film and TV for the Young Women/Young Leaders of the Brooklyn Chapter. The women of Brooklyn brought together a room of dynamic women to listen to a fascinating panel. The panel discussed the Jewish images of women in the media from the perspectives of the actor, writer, director and casting director. Ellen Lewis, who recently cast "The Devil Wears Prada," began her career assisting Juliet Taylor, casting for Woody Allen films. Ms. Lewis spoke of how Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese prefer to cast real people (non-actors) for the smaller roles to provide neighborhood authenticity. Ms. Lewis has searched all over, and even to Jewish homes for the aging to find the right people for neighborhood authenticity. Ms. Lewis finds actor for the more substantial role in the traditional way, through agents and managers.

Writer, director Debra Krischner, cast Tovah Feldshuh, Marla Sokoloff and Tony winner Idina Menzel for her first feature, "The Tollbooth." Ms. Krischner took great care to create three dimensional non-stereotypical characterizations for the Jewish family members the film focused on. Actress Rebecca Louis Miller and performing artist/writer Tracey Erin Smith spoke about embracing the diversity of the Jewish culture in some of their acting roles that portrayed Jewish women. It was a scintillating evening and many in the audience were inspired to sign up to become new Hadassah members.

June 6, 2007

Santa Barbara Hosts Morningstar's Casting Executive

MorningStar board member, Marcia Ross, a top movie casting director and executive overseeing the casting of dozens feature films, spoke at a Santa Barbara Hadassah Chapter fundraising event. Ms. Ross spoke on the theme "generation to generation" and recalled her own mother's role in Hadassah. Ms. Ross also spoke about her role as a casting director and how the MorningStar Commission allows her to give back to the community and make a difference.

May 9, 2007

Houston Makes A Difference

MorningStar board member, Linda Shayne, spoke at the Houston Installation Dinner. The room was filled with hundreds of energetic Texas women, all Hadassah members. Filmmaker Shayne spoke to the group and presented a MorningStar video that was a call to action. Shayne distributed a list of TV contacts, so that the Hadassah women of Houston could write letters to TV executives and producers, to voice their support or dismay at the Jewish characters presented on TV shows. The Hadassah members were inspired to plan programs to discuss the issue of imagee making of Jewish women in the media and to write letters expressing their positive or negative thoughts on specific programs and how they portray Jewish women, men and families.

May 6, 2007

Seattle Hosts MorningStar

MorningStar board member, writer Stephanie Liss, was the featured speaker at the Seattle Overlake Country club Life membership event. Liss spoke about her experiences writing plays and movies that had Jewish themes and several roles for Jewish women.

May 6, 2007

Western New England Education/Installation Day in Massachusetts

MorningStar board members Linda Shayne and Paula Silver spoke to Hadassah members at the Conference Center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Celebrating Hadassah's 95th birthday and Installation Day, a crowd of over 200 first were enamored by MorningStar board members Paula Silver and Linda Shayne, who spoke about the changing images of Jewish women in the media. Shayne is a screenwriter and director, while Silver is a publicist and producer.

April 29, 2007

MorningStar Speaks in Albany, New York

MorningStar board member Paula Silver was the speaker at the Albany New York Capital District Chapter Donor event. Paula, a Hollywood-based film publicist, spoke about the portrayals of Jewish women in film and TV. The newest MorningStar video was integrated into the presentation.

April 21, 2007

MorningStar Woman of Inspiration Award at L.A. Jewish Film Festival

Joan Hyler, prominent manager, producer and founding chair of the MorningStar Commission was honored with the Marlene Adler Marks MorningStar Woman of Inspiration Award at the opening night of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival held at the Writers Guild of America. Actress Laraine Newman presented Ms. Hyler with the award honoring her for her dedication and commitment to the Jewish community. Ms. Hyler's professional and volunteer work, as well as her love of Torah make her an inspiring recipient of this prestigious award. After the award presentation, LA JFF festival director and MorningStar board member, Hilary Helstein presented her holocaust themed documentary "As Seen Through These Eyes."

March 25, 2007

Boston Chapter Makes News

MorningStar chair, Olivia Cohen-Cutler spoke and presented a new MorningStar video that sparked much discussion among the membership that evening as well as the week to follow. The local newspaper covered the Boston Chapter's event and over 4,000 women read about the program.

March 18, 2007

MorningStar Comes to Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies

MorningStar chair, Olivia Cohen-Cutler and founding chair, Joan Hyler were honored speakers at the Spertus College of Chicago. They spoke about the ways negative stereotyping in the media impacts the viewers' perceptions of Jewish women and how MorningStar is working to promote positive image making of Jewish women in film and TV. The audience was impressed by the two accomplished professional women and their passion for bringing about change. The program, "Lights, camera, Action" was presented at the college's annual Tulsky Symposium on the Jewish future.

March 10, 2007

Jewlicious Festival Hosts Hundreds of College Students

MorningStar board member Julia Nickerson represented MorningStar on a Hollywood themed panel, also including young Israeli actor Shahr Sorek and Doug Miro a screenwriter currently writing for Dreamworks. The Jewlicious Festival was held in Long Beach and hundreds of Jewish college students attended, enjoying panel discussions, music, Shabbat and much more.

January 7, 2007

Phoenix Invites MSC To "Women In the Arts" Program

MorningStar board member Arlene Sarner participated in Phoenix's annual Desert Mountain regional arts program. Morningstar's role is to represent writers, actors and filmmakers who create images in the medium of film.