The First Jewish Woman in Congress

September 9, 2014
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The First Jewish Woman in Congress

Her tenure might have started when her husband died, but she went on to win re-election five times, and to serve in Congress from 1925 to 1937. Meet Florence Prag Kahn: Republican from California, and the first Jewish woman to serve in United States Congress. Born in Salt Lake City in 1866, Florence Prag…

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A New, Digital Wonderland of Jewish Text

September 8, 2014
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A New, Digital Wonderland of Jewish Text

Imagine a digital wonderland where every Jewish text is available free and open-source, where the extraordinary expanse of our texts are waiting to be combed, prodded, and commented upon by interested parties the world over. Good news: this exists. Started by writer Joshua Foer and techie Brett Lockspeiser—two Jews with a passion for…

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“My Cruel Land”: An Israeli Poet Discovers Loss

September 5, 2014
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"My Cruel Land": A Poet's View of Loss

For most of Israel’s existence, the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea has been discussed as the site of human conflict. But with the poem that opens the latest English translation (by Esther Cameron) of her selected poems, The Ladder, Tel Aviv-based poet Hamutal Bar-Yosef offers another view of the region, as…

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The Infamous 1970s Sex Novel Featuring Lilith’s Kin

September 4, 2014
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The Infamous 1970s Sex Novel Featuring Lilith’s Kin

What modern lovers refer to as “casual sex” was, at one time, known by a very different, very transgressive name. In 1973, Jewish American writer Erica Jong infamously published Fear of Flying, a radical novel that immediately garnered attention from all sides for its progressive views of female sexuality. The book—about a young…

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Sex and The City Writers Bring Hasidic Brooklyn to Showtime

September 3, 2014
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Sex and The City Writers Bring Hasidic Brooklyn to Showtime

An ultra-Orthodox man in Williamsburg has a secret identity…as a stand-up comedian. If this sounds like the premise to a sitcom, that’s because it is! The comedy Yank was recently bought by Showtime, and is set to explore the life of a Hasidic man living in Williamsburg who moonlights in the Manhattan comedy scene. Written by Sex…

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Heil Honey, I’m Home!

September 2, 2014
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Heil Honey, I'm Home!

The setting: suburban 1950s-style Berlin apartment. The main characters: Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun. The neighbors: Jews. Hitler enters to applause, straightens his sleeve cuffs, sieg heils and says, “Heil honey, I’m home!” “Don’t you ‘heil honey’ me!” says Eva Braun, storming into the room to applause of her own, holding cold schnitzel in…

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The Jew Who Invented the Universal Language

August 29, 2014
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The Jew Who Invented the Universal Language

The year was 1879. Stalin was born. The Austro-German Alliance was signed to dissuade Russia from attacking either nation. During the chilling lead-up to the Armenian genocide, Turkey banned Armenian performances in Constantinople (now Istanbul). And amidst this growing sectarianism, a Polish Jew named Lazarus Ludwig Zamenhof set about to create a universal language that would trump…

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Introducing: The Golem, Weimar Germany’s Creepiest Film

August 28, 2014
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Introducing: The Golem, a Horror Film From Weimar Germany

Deep in the annals of obscure German cinema lies The Golem: How He Came into the World, a 1920 silent horror film about the Jewish mythical Golem and, well, how he came into the world. Directed by Paul Wegener, a German Expressionist, The Golem is set in the Jewish ghetto of medieval Prague. The film begins with…

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Rube Goldberg is an Adjective

August 27, 2014
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Rube Goldberg is an Adjective

Do you need to change a flat tire? Perhaps wipe your mouth without using your hands? Are you one of those people who likes to make simple tasks as complicated as possible? Then you should thank Rube Goldberg for coming to your rescue.Born in San Francisco in 1883, America’s most inventive illustrator started his…

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A Russian Jewish Mom Turns to the Internet For Dating

August 26, 2014
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When a Russian Mom Starts Online Dating

Here is what’s less than stellar about Anya Ulinich‘s graphic novel, Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel: The title is confusingly clunky, and certain pages feel overstuffed with text. But that’s it! This lavishly illustrated, imaginative, acerbically funny chronicle of a Russian-Jewish divorcee’s expedition into the underworld of OkCupid is, otherwise, near letter- and pixel-perfect. Ulinich’s main…

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An Unforgettable New Hungarian Film

August 25, 2014
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An Unforgettable New Hungarian Film

Hungarian director János Szász’s film, The Notebook, is about World War II, but the only fighting in it isn’t between soldiers—it’s between twin boys whose parents decide to secret them away to their grandmother’s house in a remote part of Hungary until the war’s end. The boys are inseparable—the film opens with…

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Jewniverse Goes to the Movies

August 21, 2014
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Jewniverse Summer Film Picks

Rainy summer night? Lazy evening at the beach? Stay-cation at home? Grab some snacks and settle in to a movie. You can watch most of these on Amazon Instant right now. Or later! Enjoy our daily picks. Monday: Meet the amazing bubbe cooking duo of Berlin, in Oma and Bella, a gorgeous documentary…

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