Rashi’s Daughters

May 28, 2013
By
rashis-d

What kind of medieval woman ghostwrites for Rashi? His daughter, of course. The great 11th-century rabbi and commentator had 4 daughters (1 died young) and no sons. Miriam, Yocheved, and Rachel are among the few women known by name from this period of Jewish history. Thanks to their erudite father, these ladies were probably…

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Pee-wee Herman’s Crazy Dad

May 27, 2013
By
,ilton

Those antics had to come from somewhere. Hours after Ben-Gurion announced Israeli independence, Arab forces launched a massive ground invasion. Days later, the American pilot Milton Rubenfeld volunteered for the brand new Israeli Air Force. The young man from Peekskill, New York, his recruitment officer later told an historian, was “so cocky he…

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The Gospel According to Jesus’s Mom

May 24, 2013
By
liars-gospel

The more familiar a story, the greater the challenge for a novelist. How do you convince readers to look out for more than they already know? Naomi Alderman‘s 3rd novel, The Liars’ Gospel, takes on this challenge: in 4 richly interior, interwoven narratives, Alderman reimagines the effect of Jesus’s—Yehoshuah’s—life and teaching on his Jewish…

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Shivah: The Video Game

May 23, 2013
By
shiva1

If we had a shekel for every time we’ve paid a shivah call and wanted to make a game of it…we’d be broke. But that hasn’t been Dave Gilbert’s experience. Gilbert’s brainchild, “The Shivah,” is a murder mystery game in which the user follows a rabbi as he uncovers the truth behind a recent and generous donation…

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Jewniverse is seeking an intern!

May 22, 2013
By
we-are-hiring

Jewniverse is a project of MyJewishLearning, Inc, an umbrella of pluralistic, nondenominational Jewish websites and blogs, and we’re looking for an intern for support with a variety of tasks. Interns will work on both the business and editorial sides of our publications. We’re looking for a solid writer with an…

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Sleeping Through the Holocaust in Ukrainian Caves

May 22, 2013
By
no-place-on-earth

When 5-year-old Sima Dodyk emerged from the cave where she spent almost 2 years, she cried to her mother to “turn off the candle.” So foreign was the blinding sun, she favored the dark. In the 2012 documentary No Place on Earth, we hear from Sima and 4 of her relatives who, with…

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Israel’s Secret Army

May 21, 2013
By
machal2

In 1948, on the eve of Israel’s independence, a group of Jewish fighter pilots climbed into reclaimed German aircraft wearing cast-off German uniforms. This isn’t a Jewish spinoff of M*A*S*H*; it’s the circumstances in which a group of World War II veterans found themselves after volunteering for the unit known as Machal—an acronym…

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A Diary of the Nazi Years

May 20, 2013
By
klemperer3

After a Gestapo raid on May 27, 1942, Victor Klemperer wrote in his diary that the journal’s discovery “undoubtedly” would have meant death. “But,” the journalist and scholar vowed, “I shall go on writing. That is my heroism. I will bear witness, precise witness.” The surviving volumes—a 1st-person account spanning the entire Nazi era—are unique,…

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The Jewish Death Curse

May 17, 2013
By
death-curse1

Amid Israeli politician Naftali Bennett’s recent assortment of junk mail, hate mail, and fan mail lay one unusual item: an ancient Jewish curse called a Pulsa Dinura (Aramaic for “lashes of fire”). But Bennett, who has angered Haredim by leaving them for the majority coalition, need not worry: He has halacha on his side. Jewish law…

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Simms Taback and the Freylikhe Meal

May 14, 2013
By
Photo Courtesy Ventura County Star

As an international bastion of treyf, McDonald’s doesn’t seem to have much Jewish going on. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that the first Happy Meal box was designed by a famous Jewish illustrator, children’s book author, and Yiddish story aficionado named Simms Taback. But Taback, who won a Caldecott…

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A Yiddish Glossary for Goyim

May 13, 2013
By
hollywood

Have you ever wandered through Hollywood feeling farschimmelt over the mamaloshen? Thanks to Hollywood insider Noë Gold, you no longer have to. In his Yiddish Glossary for Goyim: the Power Shmoozer’s Guide to Hollywood, Gold offers about 100 important Yiddish words that non-Jews (and Jews) should know for getting around the entertainment industry.…

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Meet Nigeria’s Jews

May 10, 2013
By
nigeria1

If you thought the wonders of the Internet were best characterized by videos of cats on treadmills and Words With Friends, consider the experience of Shmuel Tikvah ben Yaacov. The web introduced him to his heritage. Shmuel, an Igbo (pronounced Ebo) from Southeastern Nigeria, grew up understanding that he was Jewish, but…

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