With This New Hotline, Now You, Too, Can Dial-a-Jew

August 10, 2016
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With This New Hotline, Now You, Too, Can Dial-a-Jew

The modern Jew comes in all flavors. So with such variety, wouldn’t it be great to, every once in a while, pick up the phone and sample a brand new Jew? Introducing The Jewish Number, a new nonprofit based in Los Angeles whose goal is twofold: to connect Jews around…

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A Riveting Gay Family Drama, From Israel to London and Back Again

August 9, 2016
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A Riveting Gay Family Drama, From Israel to London and Back Again

During rehearsal for the London Gay Men’s Chorus, Saar Maoz gets a shoulder massage from the man behind him while giving one to the man in front of him. Their voices sound good, but Maoz looks worried. He’s struggling with a new medication for his HIV, and to make matters…

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Yiddish, Pig Skin, and Other Surprises in Jell-O’s Troubled Jewish Past

August 8, 2016
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Long a staple of the American Jewish desert table, Jell-O has a much more divisive and political origin story than you’d expect from a wobbly gelatinous mass. As told in Roger Horowitz’s new Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food, in the 1910s, Genesee Pure…

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The Jewish Louis Armstrong Died in Obscurity 40 Years Ago Today

August 8, 2016
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Forty years ago today, the world lost a little swing in its step. The swing belonged to a remarkable jazz musician named Adolph “Eddie” Ignatievich Rosner. Rosner was known for playing two trumpets at once and was hailed internationally as “The White (or Polish) Louis Armstrong,” partly because of his…

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The Surprising Nazi Origins of the Olympic Torch Relay

August 4, 2016
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The Surprising Nazi Origins of the Olympic Torch Relay

The Olympics are supposed to be a time when the world unites to celebrate elite athletes, but it has long been a complicated event for Jews. The Munich massacre of Israeli athletes in 1972 is a permanent stain on the games, and that’s not all. It turns out that the…

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Could the E-Mezuzah Have Saved the Internet?

August 4, 2016
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Trump’s Supporters Are Making Us Miss the E-Mezuzah

Given that Deuteronomy tells us, “And you shall inscribe them on the doorposts (mezuzot) of our house and on your gates,” Jews generally affix a mezuzah to the doorway of their homes.  But if some entrepreneurs had their way, they wouldn’t just be for homes anymore. Instead, Jews would be…

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Meet the French Boy Whose Forged Papers Saved 14,000 Jews

August 3, 2016
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Finding out that your parent has a second life isn’t typically a good thing. But for French author Sarah Kaminsky, learning the full story of her father’s past changed her life for the better. And next month, the English translation of her nail-biting book, Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger’s Life (DoppleHouse…

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What Ever Happened to the Jews of Sicily?

August 1, 2016
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What Ever Happened to the Jews of Sicily?

It’s not exactly known when the first Jews arrived in Sicily—some accounts say 1400 years ago, some say 2000; some say as captive slaves after the 1st-century fall of Jerusalem, some say they were there even before—but one’s things for sure: there were Sicilian Jews for centuries, and today there…

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The Ancient Belief in Jewish Bones Tunneling to Jerusalem on Judgment Day

July 29, 2016
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The Ancient Belief in Jewish Bones Tunneling to Jerusalem on Judgment Day

Life in ancient Palestine was rough. The Jews who left for Babylonia tended to have it easier, living under kinder rulers than those in Roman and Byzantine Palestine. But those Palestinian Jews had an advantage: According to the prophet Joel, they would reap the eternal benefits of the last judgment…

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The Jewish Lyricist Behind Brian Wilson And The Beach Boys

July 28, 2016
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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 Me” — a far cry from their reputation for singing carefree tunes about sun, surf and cars. It…

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See “The Merchant of Venice” Go Jewish and Black, in 1870s D.C.

July 28, 2016
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"The Merchant of Venice" Goes Jewish and Black, in 1870s D.C.

Thought you knew The Merchant of Venice? Veteran playwright/director Aaron Posner’s reconstruction (lolz) of Shakespeare’s notorious Jewish play might make you reconsider. District Merchants, Posner’s uneasy comedy, fast-forwards to Reconstruction-era D.C., exploring religious, racial, and gender conflicts still relevant to America today. The play unpacks the religious, racial, and gender…

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Nazi Buried-Treasure Amber Room: Still Buried!

July 27, 2016
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Nazi Buried-Treasure Amber Room: Still Buried!

In the closing hours of World War II, a room of unbridled opulence vanished. Laden with gold and gemstones, the Amber Room was valued at over $500 million, and was once thought of as the eighth wonder of the world. And after some hype earlier this summer, it has recently…

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