Jewish Hollywood Bigwigs to Suspend Deal-Making for Rosh Hashanah Holiday

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The Hollywood sign. Photo: Wikipedia.

The Hollywood sign. Photo: Wikipedia.

Jewish film industry executives in Toronto said they will pause their business deals until after Rosh Hashanah, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Though the holiday lasts two full days, Joseph N. Cohen, president of American Entertainment Investors, said he will be “out of pocket for business” starting sundown on Sunday through sundown on Monday. He told the publication he cannot image any business he might do over the holiday that cannot be “postponed for 24 hours.”

He added, “After all, it’s not like I have to pitch the opening game of the World Series — and Sandy Koufax didn’t do that either.”

Paul Bronfman, chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios, told the publication that even though he does not go to synagogue and is not religious, he observes Rosh Hashanah. He explained, “It’s just a tradition of mine.”

“I’m traditional and I like to commemorate the holidays,” said Bronfman, who is also chairman and CEO of production equipment supplier William F. White International. “Maybe it’s my Jewish guilt. Maybe it’s my upbringing. I don’t just feel right working on the days of Rosh Hashana.”

Bronfman said his business will resume on Tuesday at 5 p.m. with his annual party for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The 10-day festival overlaps this year with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — an overlap that occurred in 2010 and 2013.

Many Jewish industry players leading the Toronto film-making scene said they will observe Rosh Hashanah, but did not want to be named in the media so as not to give their competitors an edge, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Others said they will try their best to honor the holiday while still tending to business.

Jeffrey Greenstein, president of international sales and distribution for Nu Image, said TIFF conflicting with the Jewish holidays results in some Jewish buyers not attending the film festival. However, he said, he does not have that option. Instead, he tries to manage the best way he can.

“One year 
I had to fly on Yom Kippur, and so I fasted on the plane and downloaded a siddur on my iPad to say my prayers while I had to travel,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “This year, I tried to keep my dinner open on Rosh Hashanah to celebrate, but when Lionsgate U.K. couldn’t make our earlier time, naturally I agreed. I won’t stop doing business these days, but I will find a way to honor the holiday.”

DDA partner and president Dana Archer admitted that she cannot afford to halt business because of Rosh Hashanah. Her company will screen four films on Sunday, making it their “busiest day,” she said.

“I can’t really slow down,” she said. “I will just have a lot of repenting to do post-TIFF, pre-Kippur.”

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Source:: The Algemeiner

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