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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The True Story of the Jew Who Married a Dolphin

June 28, 2015
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The Jewish Woman Who Married a Dolphin in Eilat

Worried, as Bill O’Reilly is, that last week’s SCOTUS decision in favor of gay marriage will result in a slippery slope, permitting humans to marry with all manner of flora and fauna? Well, the situation may have gotten dire long before the elimination of the Defense of Marriage Act: in…

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The Medieval Rabbi Who Invented the Decimal Fractions System

June 25, 2015
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The Medieval Rabbi Who Invented the Decimal System

As you likely learned, the decimal system is the numerical system with a base of ten–the most widely used form in the world. But you were probably never taught that a rabbi named Immanuel ben Jacob Bonfils invented it. The French Jewish rabbi (not to mention astronomer and mathematician) published…

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A Sephardic Prayer Service for Insomniacs

June 24, 2015
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A Sephardic Prayer Service for Insomniacs

Can’t sleep? Instead of shuffling to the freezer or watching this live walrus cam, you could be getting a jump start on your prayers. That is, if you happen to live near a Sephardic community that still practices the tradition of singing baqashot, a service that starts well after Friday…

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Where Teenage Love is Anything But Ordinary

June 23, 2015
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Best known as a columnist, novelist, and writer of the hit Israeli TV series Arab Labor, Sayed Kashua has a new distinction: writer of one of the best coming-of-age movies in recent memory. Based on Kashua’s semi-autobiographical novel, A Borrowed Identity, which was filmed in Israel and is being released…

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Seeger’s Unforgettable Song for the 3 Murdered Boys

June 22, 2015
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Pete Seeger’s Tribute to the 3 Boys Murdered by the KKK

This past weekend marks not only the first Sunday services after the mass murder in Charleston’s historic African-American church, but also the 51st anniversary of the abduction and murder of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman: the three young men who were gunned down by Mississippi Klan members during…

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The Holocaust-Memorializing Catholic Priest

June 19, 2015
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The Holocaust-Memorializing Catholic Priest

If there was a distinction for modern-day Righteous Gentiles, Father Patrick Desbois would be the first to be honored. In 2002, sometime after learning that his grandfather, a French soldier, had been imprisoned during the Holocaust, Father Desbois trekked out to Ukraine to see the concentration camp. When he arrived,…

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The Little-Known History of Ecuadorian Jews

June 18, 2015
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The Little-Known History of Ecuadorian Jews

Every immigration has its adjustments, but for the European Jews who fled to Ecuador during World War II, they were more extreme than most. As An Unknown Country, the new film by Ecuadorian-born Jewish filmmaker Eva Zelig shows, other than the small community of Sephardim who arrived in Ecuador in…

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Meet the Mystical Mah Jongg Bubbe

June 17, 2015
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Meet the Mystical Mah Jongg Bubbe

Karen Gooen is a woman of many talents. She’s been a copy editor, a camp transportation director, a budget analyst, and has spent nearly forty years writing nonfiction. But one thing is certain: her true calling is mah jongg. Searching for Bubbe Fischer: The Path to Mah Jongg Wisdom, Gooen’s…

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The Utopian Jewish Chicken Farmers of Petaluma, CA

June 16, 2015
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The Utopian Jewish Chicken Farmers of Petaluma, CA

Which came first, the chicken or the leftist Jews? Today, Petaluma, California, is known as a sleepy suburb steps away from Sonoma County’s wineries. But in the 1920s and ’30s, it was alive with the sound of squawking chickens — and their Jewish farmers. Coming from New York, Chicago, and…

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He Insulted John & Yoko and Started a (Sorta) Feminist Tradition

June 15, 2015
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He Insulted John and Yoko, and Started a Feminist Tradition

On November 15, 1937, a cartoon strip gave birth to an American holiday. Named Sadie Hawkins Day after “the homeliest gal in all them hills,” the fictional holiday created by famously acerbic Jewish humorist Al Capp almost instantaneously sprang off the page into a proto-feminist tradition in high schools across…

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