Avishay Artsy

Avishay Artsy is a news reporter and producer at Southern California public radio station KCRW, and a contributing writer for the Jewish Journal, where he writes about arts and culture through a Jewish lens. He formerly worked as a producer on the business show Marketplace and on New Hampshire Public Radio's Word of Mouth. He lives in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Follow him at @heyavishay.


The Jewish Con Man Who Swindled Hitler and Tried to Fleece Mae West

By On August 16, 2016

In 1936 a New York Jewish hustler named Freeman Bernstein swindled the Third Reich by selling the Nazis 35 tons of valuable Canadian nickel but instead delivering scrap metal and tin. This… Read More


The Jewish Lyricist Behind Brian Wilson And The Beach Boys

By On July 28, 2016

It’s been fifty years since the Beach Boys released the pop masterpiece Pet Sounds. The album contained brooding, intensely romantic ballads like “God Only Knows,” “Caroline, No” and “You Still Believe In… Read More

When Egyptian Movies Ruled Israeli Airwaves

When Egyptian Movies Ruled Israeli Airwaves

By On July 20, 2016

In the three decades between Israel’s founding and the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, the relationship between the two neighbors was tense. And yet, Israelis eagerly turned on their TVs every Friday… Read More


A New Book Remembers The Italian Orchestra Conductor Who Fought Nazism

By On July 13, 2016

In 1936, famed conductor Arturo Toscanini was distressed by the rise of Nazism and fascism. Though not Jewish himself, he wanted to help Jews avoid persecution. That year he met with the… Read More

The 81-Year-Old Jewish Kid From L.A. Whose Mariachi Band Topped the Charts

The 81-Year-Old Jewish Kid From L.A. Whose Mariachi Band Once Topped the Charts

By On June 30, 2016

In the 1960s, there was no escaping the mellifluous sounds of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The band’s Whipped Cream & Other Delights (and its infamous image of a cream-covered model)… Read More


The Israelis Behind Coldplay’s Stunning New Video

By On May 20, 2016

The video for Coldplay’s “Up&Up” has already garnered 12 million YouTube views this week, and that number just keeps going up and up. And for good reason: it’s simply breathtaking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPNTC7uZYrI Vania… Read More


A Tel Aviv Artist Explores Her Tehran Roots

By On May 13, 2016

Tel Aviv-based visual artist Elham Rokni was born in Tehran and has lived in Israel since she was 9. Her work reflects on displacement and memory, and in media ranging from drawings… Read More


Just in Time For International Hummus Day, Survey Finds Israelis are Really, Really Into Hummus

By On May 12, 2016

Forget religion: The biggest point of contention among Israelis is where to get the best hummus. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the primo hummus spot. Starting at breakfast, lines form… Read More

Bernie Finally Joins the Cast of Seinfeld

Bernie Finally Joins the Cast of Seinfeld

By On May 9, 2016

Bernie Sanders may not be leading in the polls, but he’s become an Internet phenomenon no other candidate can match. The 74-year-old Jew from Brooklyn has inspired tens of thousands of so-called… Read More

The Surprising WWI History of Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day Air-Raid Siren

The Surprising WWI History of Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day Air-Raid Siren

By On May 4, 2016

You probably know about the striking way Israelis mark Holocaust Remembrance Day and Memorial Day: The country comes to a standstill while air-raid sirens blare overhead. But how did this custom begin?… Read More

Love, Marriage and Toilet Paper: Israel’s Wedding Doll

Love, Marriage, and Toilet Paper: Israel’s “Wedding Doll”

By On April 14, 2016

The film Wedding Doll is set in an isolated town in Israel’s Negev Desert. Hagit (Moran Rosenblatt) is a peppy young woman with a mild mental disability who works at a local… Read More


An Israeli Band’s Dreamy New Music Video Goes Viral

By On April 13, 2016

The video for Tel Aviv-based Jane Bordeaux Band’s pretty, wistful acoustic song “Ma’agalim” has been making the rounds on the Internet, and for good reason—it’s gorgeous: The animated music video features a… Read More

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