Jews, Brits, and Other Filthy Races

July 14, 2015
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Jews, Brits, and Turkey's Other Filthy Races

In the early fall of 1871, a deadly cholera epidemic struck the town of Arnavutköy, a suburb of Istanbul along the shores of the Bosphorus. Still, the English physician and Constantinople Board of Health member Dr. Edward Dickson wasn’t worried. “Considering that this large village is inhabited almost exclusively by…

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The Sordid Nazi History Behind This Famous Klimt Painting

July 14, 2015
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Painted by Klimt, Stolen by the Nazis, and Finally Recovered

Maria Altmann’s story has all the hallmarks of a great thriller: stolen famous art, tight-fisted government officials, Nazis. It’s no wonder, then, that the late Altmann (née Bloch-Bauer) has been the subject of three documentaries, a memoir, and, most recently, a feature film starring Helen Mirren by veteran British director…

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Israel’s Favorite Writer Looks Inward

July 10, 2015
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etgar-keret

Etgar Keret—Israel’s favorite magic realist—is back, and this time with a memoir: The Seven Good Years, his first foray into nonfiction. The memoir spans the seven years between the birth of Keret’s son and the death of his father. What falls in between are meditations on air-travel, taxi-rides, the amorality…

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That Nasty Ol’ Rumor About Jews Eating Jesus

July 9, 2015
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That Nasty Ol' Rumor About Jews Eating Jesus

From the bowels of the Middle Ages comes yet another terrible mythology: that of the Jews’ desecration of the host—the Eucharistic representation of the body of Christ in bread form. After Pope Innocent III recognized transubstantiation in 1215, the Jews found themselves in a familiar role: that of scapegoat. Accusations…

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The Amy Winehouse Tracks No One Will Ever Hear

July 8, 2015
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The Amy Winehouse Tracks No One Will Ever Hear

The new documentary Amy offers a heartbreaking look at the rise and fall of an extraordinarily gifted young singer. Amy Winehouse was a “Jewish girl from North London” (as she put it) who wanted nothing to do with fame. But life spiraled out of control as she battled drug addiction,…

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L.A.’s Fabulous Jewish Refugee Soccer Team

July 7, 2015
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L.A.'s Jewish Refugee Soccer Stars

In the 1960s, a group of Israeli expats and European concentration camp survivors formed Maccabi Los Angeles, part of the largely ethnic Greater Los Angeles Soccer League. As a recent article in Vice recounts, over the course of a decade Maccabi became one of the top U.S. soccer teams, and…

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Bawdy and Blonde, the Outrageous Sophie Tucker

July 6, 2015
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Bawdy and Blonde, the Outrageous Sophie Tucker

Long before Lady Gaga was pulling down her knickers on London stages, there was a bawdy blonde breaking boundaries named Sophie Tucker. Tucker was born Sonya Kalish in 1887. Her family soon fled Tsarist Russia and set up a new life in Hartford, CT, where Tucker started out singing for…

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A Jewish Mystery of Dominican Proportions

July 3, 2015
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A Jewish Mystery of Dominican Proportions

Like many juicy mysteries, Forgiving Máximo Rothman, AJ Sidransky’s debut novel, begins with a murder. In this case, the victim is Max Redmond, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor found dead in his Washington Heights apartment. And like any good mystery, a compelling detective is in tow. While investigating, Tolya Kurchenko finds…

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Think You Need a Kosher Scooter?

July 2, 2015
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For a More Kosher Scooter (In Case You Think You Need One)

Introducing the “halachically-approved” Amigo Shabbat motorized scooter! All you have to do is change your toggle from “normal” to “Shabbat” mode, and you’re off to synagogue. The Amigo Shabbat is authorized by the Zomet Institute of Israel, which researches and endorses products for Shabbat use – everything from home minibars…

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Sweden’s Outrageous ’90s Jewish Dance Band

July 1, 2015
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Sweden's Outrageous Jewish '90s Pop Band

It’s fair to say that Swedish dance pop, high camp and bands whose names begin with “A” are pretty snuggly bedfellows. After all, Sweden is responsible for giving us Abba and Ace of Base. But Army of Lovers, known for their outlandish costumes and over-the-top and provocative music videos takes…

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Introducing a Yiddish Lifestyle Cookbook from 1938 Vilnius

June 30, 2015
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Introducing a Yiddish Lifestyle Cookbook from 1938 Vilnius

“It has long been established by the highest medical authorities that food made from fruits and vegetables is far healthier and more suitable for the human organism than food made from meat,” wrote Fania Lewando in 1938. With that Austen-like pronouncement and the publication of Lewando’s cookbook, Vegetarish-Dietisher Kokhbukh, a…

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The Only Leonard Nimoy Documentary You’ll Ever Need to Fund

June 29, 2015
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The Only Leonard Nimoy Documentary You'll Ever Need

Did you know that Spock’s Vulcan salute was an homage to the Kohanim, the sort which Leonard Nimoy observed as a child? The youngest son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nimoy’s first language was Yiddish. He narrated a controversial film about the different sects of Hasidism and published a photography book inspired…

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