Ilana Sichel

Ilana Sichel is the editor of Jewniverse. Follow her occasional tweets @ilanasichel.

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Why Friday the 13th is a Lucky Day for Jews

By On January 12, 2017

On Friday the 13th we typically watch for planes falling out of the sky and elevators crashing and relationships falling apart. Americans are so spooked by the number 13 that some buildings… Read More

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Sicily Gets Its First New Synagogue in 500 Years

By On January 11, 2017

An unlikely thing is happening in Sicily. Over five centuries after the expulsion of the Italian island’s Jewish population, the ancient synagogue in its capital city is re-opening its doors. As of… Read More

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The Nazi Gravesite in the Heart of the Amazon

By On January 5, 2017

Deep inside the Brazilian Amazon there’s a curious site: A swastika-bearing cross marking a Nazi grave, inscribed: “Joseph Greiner died here of fever on Jan. 2, 1936, in the service of German… Read More

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The Curious Hanukkah Tradition of Removing One Candle a Night

By On December 26, 2016

If you’ve been lighting the menorah this Hanukkah, you’ve likely asked wondered: Do we light the candles right to left or left to right? That’s because you, dear reader, follow Hillel’s ancient… Read More

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The Ukrainian Synagogue That Became a Juice Factory

By On November 25, 2016

We recently featured a selection of former shuls across the U.S. now serving as everything from a police supply store to trendy condominiums. While many got a chuckle out of the post,… Read More

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This Yiddish Version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” Will Move You to Tears

By On November 11, 2016

Yesterday, an already shaken world learned that our foundations had shifted even more than we knew. Legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen died at age 82. Before the news even came out, a new,… Read More

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78 Years Ago, Kristallnacht Brought a Country to its Knees

By On November 9, 2016

Seventy-eight years ago, on the night of November 9, millions of citizens of one of the western world’s foremost democracies went to sleep believing that the dark forces of human nature would continue… Read More

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The Jewish Tradition of Circling the Dead

By On October 21, 2016

  On Simchat Torah, Jewish communities across the world will take to the streets and the synagogue social halls to dance circles around the Torah for the holiday. But long before this… Read More

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Inside Israel’s $75,000 Sukkah

By On October 17, 2016

  Visitors to Jerusalem during the holiday of Sukkot are often struck by a unique site: overtaking balconies across the city’s Jewish neighborhoods, little metal and wooden huts topped with branches and… Read More

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Incredible Sukkot Photos From Inside the Lodz Ghetto

By On October 16, 2016

During the Holocaust, Jews found innovative ways to maintain religious observance. From whispering Sabbath prayers at Auschwitz to carving potato menorahs at Bergen-Belsen, stories of risk and resistance have long been told. But… Read More

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The New Cookbook Making Gefilte Fish Cool

By On September 18, 2016

Back in 2011, a few Jewish hipsters in Brooklyn did something to gefilte fish that had never been done before: They made it cool. Five years after launching their gourmet gefilte company,… Read More

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See The Incredible, Humanizing Photographs by the Jewish Navy Man Who Captured WW2

By On September 6, 2016

Late last month, America lost a living legend. Fortunately, that legend left his legacy behind—in the form of 1500 photographic prints and negatives, too. In 1944, a Jewish kid from New Jersey… Read More