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March 3, 2014 10:19 pm

Oscars 2014: Jewish Winners and Performers

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A screenshot from American Hustle. Photo: Sony Pictures. At the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday, several Oscars were handed out to Jewish and Israeli filmmakers, actors, and producers. Israeli soundman Niv Adiri and his teammates won an Oscar for sound mixing on the movie “Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock.

Israeli-American producer Arnon Milchan served as a producer for “12 Years a Slave,” which won Best Picture. He joined actors Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, director Steve McQueen, actor Brad Pitt, and others on stage to accept the award. Milchan is also the producer who admitted last year on Israel’s Channel 2 that he used to moonlight as a spy for the Jewish state during his early years in Hollywood.

In addition, the documentary about 110-year old concert pianist and Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer, “The Lady in No. 6: Music Saved My Life,” won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short just a week after Herz-Sommer’s death. Spike Jonze (Adam Spiegel), whose father is Jewish, won an Oscar for best original screenplay for “Her,” the movie starring Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson.

Two Jewish singers also performed at the Oscars. Idina Menzel sang “Let it Go,” the theme song for the film “Frozen,” which won the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Bette Midler sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” after the In Memorium part of the program commemorating members of show business who have died this year, including Paul Walker,  Shirley Temple, James Gandolfini, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

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