The Austrian Jewish Refugee With Over 650 Patents to His Name

April 18, 2016
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You Benefit From This Austrian Refugee's Inventions; Now Learn His Name

The prodigy is an almost mythical character: a person who, from an impossibly young age, shows mastery in areas that would take others a lifetime to achieve. The Inventor’s Dilemma: The Remarkable Life of H. Joseph Gerber (Yale University Press) chronicles the extraordinary life of such a person, who also…

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

April 14, 2016
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Love, Marriage and Toilet Paper: Israel’s Wedding Doll

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 toilet paper factory. An aspiring fashion designer, she spends her evenings making sketches and crafting tiny dolls with…

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An Israeli Band’s Dreamy New Music Video Goes Viral

April 13, 2016
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Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 8.50.28 PM

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 small wooden doll in an antique penny arcade machine. She’s stuck on a fixed track and, as the…

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Two Jews in Love (in Yiddish) in Havana

April 12, 2016
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Two Jews in Love--in Yiddish--in Havana

Today Cuba is in the news for resuming diplomatic relations with the United States after a four-decade Cold War freeze. But it was a very different place in 1942, when Reuben and Isabel Schiller first fell in love. “She didn’t understand English and I couldn’t speak Spanish. So we conversed…

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That Episode Where Mary Tyler Moore Defended the Jews

April 11, 2016
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A current exhibit at New York City’s Jewish Museum exploring anti-Semitism through pop culture, entitled The Television Project: Some of My Best Friends, borrows its name from that classic lead-up to inevitable prejudice: “Some of my best friends are ___, but…” It’s also an allusion to season 2, episode 23…

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A Candy Bar With a Jewish Identity Crisis

April 8, 2016
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A Candy Bar Identity Crisis With a Jewish Immigrant Backstory

Other than Hanukah gelt, there isn’t too much candy renowned for being Jewish. But Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews are one. Introduced in 1917 by the Goldenberg Candy Company as a protein-rich ration for WWI troops, they later became a popular snack for civilians. Starting with 19th-century Romanian immigrant David, the company…

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An 11-Year Old Orthodox Superhero Named Mirka

April 7, 2016
By
hereville

Meet Mirka. Sure, she wears a uniform from her Bais Yaakov (that is, her Orthodox girls’ school) and long braids, but this 11-year-old Hasidic girl is also a superhero who fights trolls, bargains with witches, gets pulled into outer space, and still manages to be home in time to light…

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The Anti-Semitic, Racist Tweetbot That Shows The World Sucks

April 6, 2016
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The Anti-Semitic, Racist Tweetbot That Shows The World Sucks

Did you hear about the time Microsoft created an artificially-intelligent chat robot, released it onto Twitter, and incidentally learned that the world was a cruel and hateful place? The bot, named Tay, was created to speak like a “teen girl,” learning, like a good robot, from its experiences with users…

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Meet Shalo-um Chan, Japan’s Curiously Israeli Anime Web Series

April 5, 2016
By
Shalom Chan

When you think Anime, you probably don’t think of Israel. Anime movies and TV shows are traditionally made in Japan, or at least in a Japanese style. But, as part of a push for more Japanese tourists, the Israeli Embassy in Japan has gotten in on the anime game, by…

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A Jewish Mother-Daughter Relationship Like No Other

April 4, 2016
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In a telling scene midway through Emmy award-winning filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum’s new documentary Look At Us Now, Mother!, Gayle’s mother explains to the camera, “One of the reasons that I might not have been nice to her as a child was that she was a bitchy little girl growing up.”…

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Yiddish, With Jewish Slaves

April 1, 2016
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Uncle Tom's Cabin in Yiddish, With Jewish Slaves

Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Yiddish: sounds crazy, no? But across 19th-century Russia and eastern Europe, Jews eagerly devoured Russian Jewish writer Isaac Meir Dik’s (1807-1893) Yiddish version of the antislavery classic. Dik’s 1868 translation, renamed Slavery or Serfdom, presents an antebellum South like something from an alternate universe: now the…

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Have Yourself a Shabop Shalom With This Goofy Pop Love Song

March 31, 2016
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DUKOFF_BANHART

“Our story begins on a Sunday afternoon, just between Halfway Tree and Spanish Town.” So begins Devendra Banhart’s wonderfully goofy love song “Shabop Shalom”: Our hero is a Jamaican boy who falls in love with a rabbi’s daughter, and who comes up with romantic lines that would make any Jewess…

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