Ione Skye’s Yiddish Vacation

September 15, 2014
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Ione Skye’s Yiddish Vacation

___ Check out Kveller’s exclusive interview with Ione Skye! Actress Ione Skye—daughter of Scottish singer Donovan and American model Enid Carl, and best known as John Cusack’s brainy and beautiful love interest in Say Anything, has just added an unexpected item to her resume: Jewish children’s author. As she writes in the author’s note to…

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Curious George Goes to Arkansas…From Nazi-Occupied France

September 12, 2014
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Curious George Goes to Arkansas…From Nazi-Occupied France

You’ve probably known Curious George all your life, right? You remember when he pranked the fire department, when he got a job, and maybe even when he learned his ABCs. You might even know that he had his share of real-life adventures as well. It’s such a cool story, in fact, that an exhibit has been…

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A New York City Anarchist Named Emma

September 11, 2014
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The 19th-Century Jewish Anarchist Named Emma

A far cry from mallrats sporting Che Guevara t-shirts and pocket manifestos, Emma Goldman was the real deal: anarchist, lecturer, writer, and all around intellectual instigator. Born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1869 to an Orthodox family, Goldman immigrated to New York City in 1885 and became attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket Affair. She wrote…

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When Heinrich Heine Wrote a Love Song to Cholent

September 10, 2014
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When Heinrich Heine Wrote a Love Song to Chulent

We all love cholent, that magical slow-cooking stew that’s usually served for Shabbat lunch. It can be made with beans, barley, meat, or whatever you have lying around the kitchen. It’s cross-cultural (Ashkenazic Jews call it “cholent;” Sephardim and Mizrahim, “hamin”) and easy to make. (Its basic recipe is: Throw a…

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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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