Tijuana, Mexico’s Border-Crossing Jewish Kids

May 19, 2014
By
tijuana

You might think a New York City family is making a sacrifice by renting a second apartment so their child can attend a high-ranking public school school—but try driving your kid across the U.S.-Mexico border every day. A recent article in the Jewish Journal reports that in Tijuana, whose Jewish community numbers just 2,000, young Jews of all…

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The Jewish Mother of Modern Acting

May 16, 2014
By
stella

Legendary actor and acting teacher Stella Adler was put onstage as soon as she could walk and never left. The newly released first biography of Adler (written by yours truly) explores how the daughter of Yiddish theater pioneers Jacob and Sara Adler grew up to star in and produce Hollywood films, while remaining identified with her…

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A New Romantic Comedy for the Manhattan Jewish Set

May 14, 2014
By
putzel

“There are two types of people in the world. Those the sun shines on, and there are those who sell lox.” Walter “Putzel” Himmelstein is clearly one of the latter. At “30-ish,” his marriage is failing and his “forty-year plan” includes inheriting his family’s appetizing emporium, Himmelstein’s House of Lox, and…

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Jews: Not Funny Anymore

May 12, 2014
By
when-jews

You want we should make you laugh? “Too late!” says When Jews Were Funny, a new documentary by acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Alan Zweig. Named the Best Canadian Feature Film at its 2013 Toronto International Film Festival debut, the film covers the gamut of Jewish comedy, from its Borscht Belt beginnings to the present. And it…

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How Mother’s Day Came to Israel

May 9, 2014
By
mothers-day

On November 14, 1951, an 11-year-old girl named Nechama Frankel wrote to the children’s newspaper Haaretz Shelanu suggesting that Israel adopt the American holiday known as Mother’s Day. The editors agreed, and Israel has been celebrating the occasion in one form or another, on one date or another, ever since. Initially honoring the yahrzeit of…

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The Yiddish Writer and the Siberian Exile

May 7, 2014
By
der-nister1

All manner of genius can be found in the shrouded annals of Soviet Jewish history. Born Pinkhes Kahanovitsch in 1884 Ukraine, Der Nister—the nom de plume meaning “The Hidden One”—was a widely underappreciated Yiddish writer of staggering talent and ingenuity. Der Nister’s early surrealistic stories were infused with Kabbalah and inspired by the…

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The Greatest Soviet Jewish Artist You Never Heard Of

May 5, 2014
By
El-Lissitzky

In a climate that spawned heavyweights like Marc Chagall, Sholem Aleichem, Irving Berlin, and Isaacs Asimov and Babel, it’s no surprise there were yet other Soviet-era Jewish artists who evaded mainstream recognition. El Lissitzky is one such fellow. A titan of the early 20th-century Russian Jewish art renaissance, “El” was a leading innovator in the graphic arts. Born Lazar…

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The Israeli Left Calls Home

May 2, 2014
By
local-call

What if there was a cutting-edge news site that delved into thorny social and political issues in the place you live, covering subjects that no one else covers, with writers you’d love to read, if only you could understand them? Until last week, that was the case for nearly 8…

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A Polish Nun Finds Her Jewish Roots

May 1, 2014
By
ida1

What happens when a young Polish aspiring nun learns about her Jewish past? Set in the early 1960s in the Polish countryside, Pawel Pawlikowski‘s newest film Ida, opening in select theaters tomorrow, explores one woman’s confrontation with her heritage on the cusp of taking her vows. The Mother Superior instructs the almost-nun,…

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The Quirky Film That’s Saving an Italian Synagogue

April 30, 2014
By
italian-synagogue

A new indie Italian comedy will change the way you look at Jewish cemeteries forever—not to mention that boot-shaped country by the sea. Based on a true family story, Felice Nel Box by first-time director Ghila Valabrega begins with Stefano, a Jewish photographer on a journey, stumbling across a dilapidated Jewish cemetery in the northern Italian town of Sabbioneta.…

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Scrolling Through a Mysterious Polish Shtetl

April 29, 2014
By
radzyn-3_225-long_jewniverse

Looking to get away but don’t want to deal with the logistics of flights, or well, traveling? Luckily for you, you can now transport yourself to an old, mysterious shtetl named Radzyn hidden deep in the forests of Poland, via a brand-new serialized, gorgeously illustrated e-story. This “epic folktale” about a Hasidic shtetl of…

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When Dr. Mengele Moved to Argentina

April 28, 2014
By
the-german-doctor

When Adolf Eichmann was captured by the Mossad in Argentina, it made headlines all over the world. Eichmann was the biggest name to be captured, but Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s infamous Dr. Death, was hiding in Argentina at the time, too, and a new movie imagines his life in hiding, where he continued his sadistic experiments on children. The…

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