The Only Kosher Butcher in Cuba

January 13, 2015
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The Only Kosher Butcher Shop in Cuba

For the kashrut-observant Cuban, there’s only one place to go for a piece of meat. Situated on Acosta Street in Old Havana is Cuba’s sole kosher butcher shop. For nearly 70 years, the privately run business has provided kosher beef to the country’s Jews, and only to the Jews—non-Jewish Cubans…

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Yiddish Theater Takes the Web

January 12, 2015
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Yiddish Theater Takes the Web!

Want to know about Yiddish theatre in Cairo? What about Buenos Aires, or the more familiar territory of New York’s Lower East Side? Good news: In these times of freezing temperatures and airline disasters, there’s no need to venture out, as Yiddish Theatre, like Yiddish in general, is on the…

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What do you Get When You Cross a Neo-Nazi and a Hipster?

January 9, 2015
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What do you Get When You Cross a Hipster and a Neo-Nazi?

Hello, Nipster. As the neo-Nazi movement in Germany continues to shrink, some of the country’s extremists are trying to shed their intimidating skinhead image to appeal to a younger generation. That means trading in their black combat boots for Converse sneakers and Tumblr blogs. Rolling Stone and NBC News have…

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The First Jew Scalped for America

January 8, 2015
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The First Jew Scalped for America

Francis Salvador was a man of firsts. Salvador was born in 1747 to the wealthy Sephardic owners of a shipping firm. Struggling to rebuild their fortune after an earthquake in Lisbon destroyed much of the family’s business interests, Salvador left for South Carolina in 1773 to find work. There, he…

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Argentinian President Saves Jewish Boy from Becoming a Werewolf

January 7, 2015
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The Jewish Werewolf Who Never Was

Two weeks ago, Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner adopted the country’s first Jewish godson – Yair Tawil – in order to keep him from turning into a werewolf. Some news outlets challenged the report. But actually – it’s true. Over a century ago, Argentinian presidents began a custom of adopting seventh sons…

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L.A.’s First Jew

January 6, 2015
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LA's First Jew

There are more than half a million Jews in Los Angeles, making up roughly six percent of the metro area’s population. When did it all begin? Who was the first Angeleno Jew? Enter tailor Jacob Frankfort. Born in Germany in 1801, Frankfort arrived in LA in December 1841 from Sante…

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When Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner Staged a Holocaust Opera

January 5, 2015
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When Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner Staged a Holocaust Opera

In 1938, Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása penned the children’s opera Brundibar—“bumblebee” in colloquial Czech—for a government competition. But it wasn’t exactly a good time for art. Though early rehearsals took place at a Jewish orphanage in Prague, it wasn’t until Krása and all the orphans were deported to Theresienstadt in…

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Little White Lie

January 2, 2015
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Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz didn’t set out to be a filmmaker, but a story too personal to ignore dropped in her lap. Little White Lie is her documentary film about her family history, secrets, and ultimately her decision to face—and tell—the truth. Born into a white Jewish family in Woodstock, NY, Schwartz always looked…

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2015 Looking Like an Anti-Semitic Year? Take Two And Call Us in the Morning.

January 1, 2015
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2015 Looking Like an Anti-Semitic Year? Take Two And Call Us in the Morning.

What’s in your first aid kit? Bandages, check; thermometer, check; rubbing alcohol, check; protection against anti-Semitism – hold on a sec. In 2014, France was stymied by a mass exodus of Jews in response to rape, robbery and the targeting of a Jewish community center, among other crimes. To raise…

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Getting Back Home Tonight, The Yiddish Way

December 31, 2014
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Getting Back Home Tonight, The Yiddish Way

It’s New Years Eve, and after all those rounds of champagne, the last place you’ll want to be tonight is behind the steering wheel, right? Of course, there are apps like Uber, which have revived urban nightlife in some locales and saved many a late-night reveler from a run-in with…

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Discover the Jewish Cemetery Inside the General Motors Plant

December 30, 2014
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The Jewish Cemetery Inside General Motors

Oddly enough, one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the Midwest shares space with a car manufacturer. In the 1860s, congregants of Shaarey Zedek in Metro Detroit, acquired land for a cemetery, which they named Beth Olem, in which to bury their dead. 120 years later, General Motors, using eminent domain,…

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Ben Sira, The Prophet Who Wasn’t One

December 29, 2014
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The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Joshua Ben Sira

Believe it or not, the fact that the prophet Jeremiah is both Ben Sira’s father and grandfather is not the weirdest thing about him. Yup–according to apocrypha, evil men forced Jeremiah to act onanistically into bathhouse waters in which his daughter later goes for a dip. But that’s not the…

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