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Jew of the Week: Menachem Golan

Menachem Golan

Menachem Golan

Menachem Globus (1929-2014) was born in Tiberias, Israel to Polish-Jewish parents. He served as an air force pilot and bombardier during Israel’s War of Independence (when he changed his last name to Golan). After this, he studied theatre and drama in England, followed by film-making in New York University. Together with his cousin Yoram Globus, Golan began making Israeli movies in the 1960s. They would go on to produce some of Israel’s most famous classics, such as Operation Thunderbolt about the IDF Entebbe raid that saved Israeli hostages in Uganda, and the comedy series Eskimo Limon, which left a permanent mark on Israeli culture. In 1979, Golan purchased the Cannon Group and expanded into Hollywood. Throughout the 1980s he produced some of the biggest action hits of the time, including Sylvester Stallone’s Over the Top, Chuck Norris’ The Delta Force, and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport and Kickboxer. He was also one of the first to see the allure of adapting toys and comic books to film, producing Masters of the UniverseSuperman IV, and trying to bring Spider-Man to the big screen (it did only after Sony bought out the film rights). In all, Golan produced over 200 films, and directed 44 of them himself, earning three Academy Award nominations, and the Israel Prize. Sadly, Golan passed away last Friday. Paying tribute to the filmmaker, Chuck Norris said that it was Golan who turned him into a superstar, and Van Damme tweeted: “I love you, and will always do.”

Words of the Week

…splitting Judaism into ‘orthodox, conservative, and reform’ is a purely artificial division, for all Jews share one and the same Torah given by the One and same God. While there are more observant Jews and less observant ones, to tack on a label does not change the reality that we are all one.
– Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe