A New, True Story About Growing Up Hasidic and Leaving

May 6, 2015
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A New, True Story About Growing Up Hasidic and Leaving

Ex-Hasidic narratives — they seemed to be publishing’s hot ticket for a few minutes, with Anouk Markovits’s I Am Forbidden, Leah Vincent’s Cut Me Loose, and others. But Unpious editor Shulem Deen’s new memoir, All Who Go Do Not Return, surprises. Instead of condemning his former life as a Skver Hasid…

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A Bible the Size of a Sugar Granule

May 5, 2015
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A Bible the Size of a Sugar Granule

You’ve never seen the Bible like this before. That is, if you can see it at all. For the 50th anniversary of the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the museum has launched an exhibition on the “Nano Bible” which was created by Israeli scientists…

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Before Nepal, Israelis Turned to Indian Surrogates

May 4, 2015
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Before Nepal, Israeli Surrogacy Turned to India

Before the Nepalese earthquake shed light on the surprisingly intimate connections between gay Israeli men and the Nepalese women carrying their babies, Israel’s South Asian incubator of choice was India. The riveting 2009 HBO documentary Google Baby takes a close look at these global socioeconomics of outsourced baby-making. The film opens with a…

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How Jewish Actress Hedy Lamarr Paved the Way for Wi-Fi

May 1, 2015
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How Jewish Actress Hedy Lamarr Paved the Way for WiFi

When one thinks of the Jewish screen siren Hedy Lamarr, images of wireless technology do not exactly come to mind. More than likely one thinks about her starring roles in Tortilla Flat (1942) and Samson and Delilah (1949). And yet, in 1942, “the most beautiful woman in Hollywood” received a patent with…

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The Jewish Songwriters Behind the Elvis Presley Hit Machine

April 30, 2015
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The Jewish Songwriters Behind Elvis’s Jewish Hit Machine

Like Rodgers and Hammerstein before them, Leiber and Stoller were a songwriting duo to the stars. Jerome Leiber and Mike Stoller, both born in 1933 to Jewish families in Baltimore and Long Island respectively, met in Los Angeles as teenagers and bonded over a mutual love of blues and R&B.…

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The Jewish Reggae King from Washington, D.C.

April 30, 2015
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The Jewish Reggae King from Washington, D.C.

Other than the connections between Judaism and Rastafarianism, and maybe good ol’ Matisyahu, there aren’t too many links between Jews and reggae. That is, if you’re not counting Gary Himelfarb, a.k.a. Doctor Dread—though you should be. Though he was born in Washington, D.C. in the ‘50s and raised Jewish, Himelfarb…

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When Falling in Love Means Leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy Behind

April 28, 2015
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meira

  Meira is young, Hasidic, and miserable. She hides her birth control pills and her doo-wop records from her husband Shulem, roaming the wintry streets of Montreal just to get air. “Why are you trying to humiliate us even further?” asks Shulem. He is devout and confused. Instead of trying…

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Hunting Nazis on Noah’s Ark

April 27, 2015
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Hunting Nazis on Noah’s Ark

In 1992, the video game Wolfenstein 3-D was released. It was one of the first games where the TV screen showed the player’s first-person point of view. When your character moved through rooms, you actually did move through them. It was one of the major evolutions of video games. Oh,…

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Kidnapped, Murdered, and Now Starring in a New French Film

April 27, 2015
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Kidnapped, Murdered, and Now Starring in a New Film

In 2006, Ilan Halimi, a young Parisian Jew of Moroccan descent, died after having been kidnapped and held for three weeks by a group from the city’s outskirts known as the Gang of Barbarians. And on April 24, the movie 24 Days–based on a memoir by Ilan’s mother–arrived in the U.S.…

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Seinfeld’s Back With Another Rap Album About Nothing

April 24, 2015
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Seinfeld’s Back With A Rap Album About Nothing

  Quoting Jerry Seinfeld around the water cooler may be back in style—as long as it involves sampling some of his lyrics from the new Wale rap album, The Album About Nothing. Yes, it’s hard to imagine Seinfeld droppin’ sick beats about the Soup Nazi or finding a new rhyme…

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A Fantastic New Film About Ethiopians in Israel

April 23, 2015
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red-leaves

When Ethiopian Jews started emigrating to Israel in 1984 they made an indelible impact on Israel, and Israel made an indelible impact on them. Ethiopian-Israeli Bazi Gete puts that immigrant dynamic front and center in his stunningly acted new feature film Red Leaves, which sheds light on a segment of Israeli life that…

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The Crazy New Invention for Using Electricity on Shabbat

April 21, 2015
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The Crazy New Invention for Using Electricity on Shabbat

For many observant Jews, not using electricity is one of the most salient aspects of Sabbath observance. But a new invention aims to change that. By changing the way a light switch works, the patented Kosher Switch offers a novel — and, its backers say, kosher — way to turn light switches…

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