Haggadahs by JDate

April 8, 2014
By
phar

We dare you to go on a JDate seder. No, not a first date to somebody’s seder, but rather a JDate-themed seder, in which the four children—all eligible, naturally—take on a whole new meaning. This brand new JDate-issued haggadah (no, seriously) is interactive, and full of hilarious snarky asides and pop culture…

Read more »

Pop Goes the Haggadah!

April 7, 2014
By
pop-hagaddah

The seder is an ancient ritual, but your haggadah doesn’t have to look and feel like a creaky old text. This year artist Melissa Berg brings us the Pop Haggadah, which features traditional haggadah text set in the midst of Berg’s very modern illustrations. Sayonara, calligraphy; peace out, papercuts—this haggadah is full of vibrant…

Read more »

Discover the Promised Land…in Lake Erie

April 4, 2014
By
arara-2

Imagine: It’s 1825, and the idea of Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel is a pipe dream. But a man named Mordecai Manuel Noah has a plan that starts small: with a temporary Jewish homeland on the border of the U.S. and Canada. He called this future settlement Ararat, after the mountain where…

Read more »

Morning Jew News & Schmooze!

April 3, 2014
By
morning-jews-1

What do you get when two Jewish comedians—one in Oakland and another in New York City—put their Skype convos up on the web for all to see? Welcome to Morning Jew, a smart and hilarious online Jewish comedy and news schmooze. Co-anchors Heather Gold and Katie Halper don earbuds and take swigs from mugs of…

Read more »

Sweet New Sounds from the Ancient City of Jaffa

April 2, 2014
By
abu-nassar

On Luna Abu Nassar’s Bandcamp-released debut album, Asaper Lakh (“I’ll tell you”) your ears may deceive you. The 24-year-old Palestinian-Israeli singer’s light, flexible voice hits first, and is momentarily mistakable for that of any twenty-something girl with a guitar. But then a hint of scraped harp strings, a little reverb, and the…

Read more »

The Last Man Who Spoke Provence’s Dead Jewish Language

April 1, 2014
By
Armand-Lunel

In 1977, Apple Computers incorporated, Menachem Begin became Israel’s 6th Prime Minister, Jay Leno first appeared on The Tonight Show, and Armand Lunel, the last living speaker of Judeo-Provençal, died. Also known as Shuadit and Hébraïco-Comtadin, Judeo-Provençal was the language of the Jews who arrived in Southern France in the first century after the destruction of the Second…

Read more »

The Dyke and the Dybbuk

March 31, 2014
By
dyke-dybbuk

It’s not easy being a dybbuk. Jewish tradition holds that dybbuks are demons who drive people crazy, but what happens when the Head Office assigns a dybbuk to haunt someone who’s already pretty nuts? In Ellen Galford’s 1994 novel The Dyke and the Dybbuk you’ll find out just how the dybbuk Kokos deals with an…

Read more »

Is Chutzpah Dead?

March 28, 2014
By
chutzpah-2

When Jewish diners complete their annual tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas, their fortunate cookies exhort them to learn Chinese. The Chinese, it seems, have also been learning Yiddish. We already know that Chinese have been harboring a fascination with so-called Jewish success, but we haven’t yet heard about chutzpah, that famous Jewish…

Read more »

The Lesbian Flick Banned by the Nazis

March 27, 2014
By
Mädchen-in-Uniform

Quick, a riddle: Who wouldn’t love a lesbian boarding school romp? Answer: Nazis. Believe it or not, the first widely-released film featuring a lesbian plot came out in Germany just as Hitler was rising to power. Despite being made in Germany, Mäedchen in Uniform was more successful elsewhere in Europe than in its home…

Read more »

Politics, Protest, and Klezmer in Ukraine’s Freedom Square

March 26, 2014
By
pushkin

What does Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, also known as Freedom Square, sound like? There’s of course plenty of chanting, talking, and arguing. And thanks Kiev’s Pushkin Klezmer Band, there’s also traditional Jewish music. Ukrainian Jews, like their leaders are divided over the political crisis. But band leader Dmitry “Mitya” Gerasimov is not just another voice…

Read more »

The Jew Who Taught the Mormons Hebrew

March 25, 2014
By
j-smith

Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, wanted to learn Hebrew. In 1835 he set up the School for the Elders where Mormon men were taught grammar, writing, and history. But not long after, Smith put out word that he and his Elders were looking for a Jew. Enter Joshua Seixas,…

Read more »

The Bathtub Carp that Inspired the Architect

March 24, 2014
By
gehry-1

Inspiration can come from the strangest places. Famed architect Frank Gehry once explained how fish became such a popular motif in his work. Like many good Jews, Gehry, née‎ Goldberg, traced his fascination with fish back to his grandmother. As a boy, Gehry used to accompany his grandmother, Ms. Lillian Caplan to…

Read more »