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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Jewniverse Beach Reading!

August 12, 2014
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Jewniverse beach reads

Check back all week for our top summer reading picks from the archives! Monday’s pick: Shakespeare The Spy, a novel about an Israeli spy named Shakespeare by Joshua Sobol. Nothing else like this. Tuesday’s pick: Half Empty, the last novel American humorist David Rakoff published before his death. We miss this guy. Wednesday’s pick: Sydney Taylor’s Lower…

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The Israeli James Bond

August 8, 2014
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The Israeli James Bond

The name’s Cohen, Eli Cohen. Born to Jewish and Zionist parents in 1926, Israel defense was in Cohen’s blood from the start. After being spurned by the Mossad in the late 1950s, the Egyptian-born Cohen worked as a filing clerk at a Tel Aviv insurance office until Meir Amit, the Mossad’s Director-General, found himself…

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The Woman Who Turned Boxes Filled With Junk Into Great Art

August 7, 2014
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The Woman Who Turned Boxes Filled With Junk Into Great Art

A bunch of scavenged old boards nailed together unevenly, and painted black. It might not sound like much, but that’s the revolutionary artwork of sculptor Louise Nevelson, who emigrated to America from Russia as a child. Nevelson grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household, and went on to become one of the…

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An Ultra-Orthodox Dating Show (Please Hold the Hot Tub)

August 6, 2014
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An Ultra-Orthodox Dating Show (Please Hold the Hot Tub)

They’re young. They’re single. They’re ultra-Orthodox Israelis. How will they ever find love? The old-fashioned way, of course—on a reality TV dating show. Match Made in Heaven followed Haredi singles, their families, and of course their matchmaker Jaffa Parnes, for two years, as they went through the trials, tribulations, hopes and joys of…

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The Jewish Photographer Who Got Marilyn Monroe to Jump

August 5, 2014
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The Jewish Photographer Who Got Marilyn Monroe to Jump

Albert Einstein. Alfred Hitchcock. Marilyn Monroe. Salvador Dalí.  These celebrities are just a few of those captured in iconic portraits by Riga-born Jewish photographer Philippe Halsman during his storied career shooting covers for Life magazine throughout the 1950s and 60s. A brilliant technician gifted with the acumen for revealing the inner life of his subjects,…

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Chinese Self-Help Books Teach You to Be Like the Jews

August 4, 2014
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Chinese Self-Help Books Teach You to Be Like the Jews

Head to the self-help or business section at a bookstore in China and you’re likely to see books with titles like Learn To Make Money With the Jews, and Jewish People and Business: The Bible of How to Live Their Lives. These cringy titles might suggest something weird, or even anti-Semitic, but they’re actually part…

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The Jews Who Carved the Carousel Horses

August 1, 2014
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The Jews Who Carved the Carousel Horses

There’s nothing like mounting a horse, tossing your head back, and riding off in the California surf. Unless, of course, your horse is handcrafted by Torah ark woodcarvers, and mounted to a pole in the heart of New York City. That’s right, the carousel horse you loved to ride as a child…

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The Prostitution Ring That Lured Women From Their Shtetls

July 31, 2014
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The Prostitution Ring That Lured Women From the Shtetls

The subject of prostitution is rarely associated with the word “Yiddish.” But from the 1860’s until the cusp of WWII, a powerful sex-trafficking ring operated between the shtetls of Eastern Europe and the streets of South America. The “Zwi Migdal” ring used well-dressed men to publicize openings for domestic service…

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Rudolf Kasztner: Hero or Nazi Collaborator?

July 30, 2014
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A New Film Asks: Was Rudolf Kasztner a Hero or Nazi Collaborator?

The Talmud says that “he who saves one life, it is as if he saved the entire world.” So a person who saved 1,684 lives during the Holocaust would surely be considered a hero. But Rezsö (Rudolf Israel) Kasztner, a lawyer, journalist, and head of the Zionist Aid and Rescue Committee…

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Elie Wiesel’s Mysterious Mentor

July 29, 2014
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Elie Wiesel's Mysterious Mentor

They say he dressed in rags. That he appeared with no warning, and disappeared just as quickly. That he was fluent in many languages, and equally so in the texts of multiple religions. That his mastery of science, math, and philosophy was unparalleled. That he taught Torah to the great…

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Southern Africa’s Lost Tribe of Israel

July 28, 2014
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africa2jv

Africa is positively peppered with peoples of Jewish descent at every corner. You probably know that Jews hail from Morocco and Ethiopia, and perhaps also from Ghana and Kenya. But did you know that the south is Lemba territory? The Lemba ethnic group have lived in what is now South Africa and Zimbabwe for about 2,500 years, ever since…

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