Shorts: u.s.

Gibson plans movie on Maccabee revolt

los angeles (ap) | Hollywood star Mel Gibson is already planning his next foray into the weighty world of religious filmmaking: He wants to make a movie about the origins of Chanukah.

According to a report on the Internet Movie Database Web site, Gibson — who was criticized by many Jewish leaders worldwide for propagating anti-Semitism in his epic “The Passion of the Christ” — has hinted he may make a filmed account of the revolt of the Maccabees.

The 46-year-old actor-director says, “The Maccabees family stood up, and they made war. They stuck by their guns and they came out winning. It’s like a Western.”

USA Today reporter lied about Israel, too

washington (jta) | Among the stories former USA Today reporter Jack Kelley lied about were several concerning Israel.

An investigation by the newspaper, which announced recently that it had discovered that the veteran correspondent had fabricated large parts of his work, found that Kelley’s eyewitness account of a suicide bombing in Israel was false. That story helped make Kelley a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Kelley also lied about meeting a vigilante Jewish settler named Avi Shapiro in 2001, falsely portrayed a Jerusalem businessman as an undercover Israeli agent, and was not in Israel when he said he was there reporting stories, the paper said.

Kelley denied any wrongdoing, saying he felt like he was “set up,” USA Today reported.

Shooting victim becomes rabbi

new york (jta) | Nachum Sasonkin, shot in an attack by an Arab terrorist 10 years ago on the Brooklyn Bridge, was ordained as a rabbi.

Sasonkin was critically injured when he was 18 in the attack on a van full of Chassidic Jews in New York on March 1, 1994, which killed Ari Halberstam, 16.

Doctors had not expected Sasonkin, who was declared brain dead and had extensive physical injuries, to survive. But Sasonkin gradually recovered his physical functions and his ability to speak, and the young Lubavitcher Chassid eventually resumed his yeshiva studies.

Now a father, Sasonkin received his rabbinical ordination Sunday, March 21, from the Rabbinical College of America, in New Jersey.