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.

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The Original ‘Hollyweed’ Prankster was a Jewish Art Student

By On January 10, 2017

  Earlier this week, 30-year-old Zachary Cole Fernandez was arrested for a prank that Los Angelenos woke up to on New Year’s Day: The iconic Hollywood sign that hovers over the city’s… Read More

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Torah Pirates Hijack New York’s Classical Radio Station

By On December 14, 2016

If you live in South Brooklyn and recently tuned in to WQXR (105.9 FM) to hear some soothing classical music, you may have been surprised to hear instead a man preaching the… Read More

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The Strange Case of the Missing Nazi Home Movies

By On December 8, 2016

  Here’s something you don’t read every day: Eva Braun made 16mm home movies of Adolf Hitler and other high-ranking SS soldiers. The films were used as propaganda, showing the Nazi officials goofing… Read More

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The Shema Prayer Just Debuted in the Fighting Ring

By On December 2, 2016

For the first time ever, Mixed Martial Arts, the full-contact sport that consists of people beating the hell out of each other, just held their World Championship in Israel. To mark his win, MMA… Read More

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Leonard Cohen’s Vacation in Castro’s Cuba

By On November 29, 2016

November marked the deaths of two very different public figures: Canadian-Jewish singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. But for two months in 1961, two years after the Castro-led 1959 revolution,… Read More

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The Young Israeli Singer Celebrating Her Moroccan Heritage

By On November 2, 2016

    Mizrahi music is enjoying a resurgence in Israel, with a new wave of musicians celebrating their North African and Middle Eastern roots. Atop that wave is the young singer Neta… Read More

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The Ukrainian Jewess Who Organized L.A.’s Mexican Garment Workers

By On October 27, 2016

  In the early 20th century, seamstresses in the U.S. worked long hours for little pay. Anarchist and feminist labor organizer Rose Pesotta helped shake up the industry. At 16, Pesotta (born… Read More

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The Jew Who Changed the Bagel Game Forever

By On October 20, 2016

When it comes to bagels, it’s a given that an old-school handmade bagel is going to taste way better than a mass-produced one bought at a supermarket. But rolling and shaping the… Read More

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New York’s Yom Kippur Blood Libel of 1928

By On October 10, 2016

  On September 22, 1928, two days before Yom Kippur, four-year-old Barbara Griffiths stepped outside her home in Massena, New York and didn’t return. A search party was formed—which included several Ku… Read More

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Leonard Nimoy’s Totally Campy ‘80s Pop Cameo

By On October 5, 2016

  If you’re a Gen X’er, you may remember Information Society, that crazy-haired ‘80s synthpop band with the No. 1 single “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy).” The 1988 club hit makes… Read More

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Growing Up Jewish With Four Lesbian Moms

By On September 27, 2016

Back before the majority of Americans supported same-sex marriage, having gay parents was seen as more than a little weird. These self-identified “queerspawn” include a girl named Kellen Anne Kaiser, raised by… Read More

How Amy Schumer’s Bat Mitzvah Disaster Inspired Her Career in Comedy
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How Amy Schumer’s Bat Mitzvah Disaster Inspired Her Comedy Career

By On August 29, 2016

How Jewish is Amy Schumer? Well, for starters, the Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress and writer traces her interest in stand-up comedy to her Long Island bat mitzvah. In her new collection of… Read More