Isra-Alien: Acoustic Rock for Dueling Mothers-in-Law

April 25, 2013
By
somewhere-is-here

It’s not so unusual these days for 2 guys with acoustic guitars to play venues around New York City. But it’s pretty rare for those 2 guys to have met during their Israeli army service, and to include traditional Jewish simcha dances on their albums. Enter Isra-Alien, a duo whose music stubbornly…

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How Do You Say “Cooking Show” in Yiddish?

April 24, 2013
By
yiddish-cookingshow1

Julia Child had her glass of wine, Emeril famously “kicks it up a notch,” and viewers across Britain wish Jamie Oliver actually was a naked chef. Every great cooking show has a hook, and Est Gezunterheyt! (“Eat in Good Health!”) is no exception. The brainchild of Rukhl Schaechter and Eve Jochnowitz, and produced by…

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A Charleston Poet in a Calico Gown

April 23, 2013
By
penina-moise

Happy 216th birthday to Penina Moise (1797-1880): poet, Southerner, and Sunday school superintendent. Moise’s life could have been a Victorian melodrama: One of 9 children born to French immigrants in Charleston, South Carolina, a fatherless Penina left school at age 12 to care for her asthmatic brother and her sick mother. Despite…

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Looking for Lox in Loch-Land

April 22, 2013
By
scotland

Inside every Jew lies the soul of a Scotsman. So says Vicki Boykis in her short, funny travelogue e-book There’s Something About Scotland. They’re a lot alike, Boykis writes: two bargain-hungry nationalities with endearing attachments to gut-wrenching ethnic foods. (Scots, meet gefilte fish; Jews, meet haggis.) But more than that, Boykis writes, “Just…

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The Imaginarium Atop the Warsaw Ghetto

April 19, 2013
By
forest2

You enter a modern glass building and descend into a forest of sorts—”a space of historical imagination.” You wander those woods, modeled after those encountered by early Jewish merchants when they first came to Poland.  Later you find yourself lost on a bustling prewar street, which may lead you to a concert of contemporary,…

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Hey Jews, Go Back to Poland!

April 18, 2013
By
jrmip1

We’re used to a certain kind of Jewish nostalgia for the old country and the relative simplicity of shtetl life, but nobody’s really serious about going back there. Right? Not exactly. Since 2007, Israeli media artist Yael Bartana has been developing the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, a multifaceted project that includes films, a manifesto, and…

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Palestine’s First Jewish Feminist

April 17, 2013
By
pesha-journey

When Pesha Dzimitrovsky, the daughter of an Orthodox rabbi in British Palestine, turned 15 in 1921, her schooling was over—or would have been, had she remained in Jerusalem. So her parents shipped her off to boarding school in Weimar-Republic Frankfurt. The move would be her first step in a lifetime of country-hopping…

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The Other Gaga

April 16, 2013
By
gaga1

Lady Gaga’s bizarre videos and catchy lyrics launched the gibberish word into the mouths of adults the world over. But now there’s another Gaga catching on, and it’s not the children’s ball game. Created by Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company, this Gaga—a “movement language”— is staging a…

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Brooklyn Jews Boycott Schools!

April 15, 2013
By
boycott

Last month, Mississippi passed a law that lets public school students lead prayers over public address systems. The ACLU promised a lawsuit. Sound familiar? It must: this type of mishegas has been going on for over a century. One of the most notable but seldom-discussed clashes started in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in 1905. It began when…

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Women on the Verge

April 12, 2013
By
women-on-the-verge

A matchmaker schools a young woman on how to make gefilte fish for a potential mate. A high school girl plans her future: balancing Shabbat preparations with her duties as Madam President. These and other voices make up Shula Rosen’s Women of Valor, a collection of monologues performed under the title “Chareidi Women Speak” at Jerusalem’s Stage One Festival last…

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German Klezmer by “The Talking Clarinet”

April 11, 2013
By
eisel

All it took was one klezmer improvisation workshop with Israeli clarinetist Giora Feidman for German mathematician Helmut Eisel to change his career course and devote himself to Feidman’s mentorship and music. Nearly 25 years later, Eisel’s mastery of his instrument has earned him the moniker “The Talking Clarinet.”Through it, he sings, spits, wails,…

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Josephus and the First Mooning

April 10, 2013
By
moon

Marking the new moon was God’s first commandment to the Jewish people. But when was the first recorded mooning? Incidentally, the famously self-aggrandizing ancient historian who brought us classics like The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities, and Against Apion, had as good an eye for exposing Roman military stratagems as he did for exposing their, well, exposures. In…

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