A Secretly Jewish Ballet

April 4, 2013
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jewish-ballet

Ballet has long been associated with tutus and long-necked blondes—which is to say that it is not typically seen as a particularly Jewish form of dance. But for a brief spell in the unlikely location of Stalinist Russia, a virtuosic dancer and choreographer named Leonid Jacobson shifted the form’s patrician associations. During a period…

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The Passover After-Party

April 3, 2013
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mimouna2

Passover’s over; Mimouna is here! Or, more probably, there. Originally little-known outside of North Africa, Mimouna is now a popular Israeli holiday. The one-day affair, which begins at sundown on the last day of Passover, is a festival of hope for agricultural abundance. It’s a hametz-filled event, whose centerpiece is mufleta, a traditional leavened pancake…

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Jews and Baseball

March 29, 2013
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jews-and-baseball

Jews and baseball: they go together like gefilte fish and horseradish. You didn’t realize? Consider: Commissioner Bud Selig? Jewish. The greatest pitcher of all time? Jewish. The guy who composed “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”? Jewish. The Clown Prince of Baseball? Jewish. It’s an old love story, Jews and baseball. Since before Babe Ruth…

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Beyond Bubbie

March 28, 2013
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beyond-bubbie1

Where did your favorite Passover recipes come from? Whether they’re your own innovations or they came to you on a stained recipe card, they probably come with good stories, too: the kugel that brought a couple together; the time your dog ate a Tupperware full of matzah balls. (Or does that only happen in…

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Shadow Puppet Exodus

March 25, 2013
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shadow-puppet

You probably mastered the shadow-puppet bunny back in grade school. But have you ever thought of moving past bunnies to, say, the story of the Exodus? It may be a tall order for most of us, but in 2011 the amazing dancers and artists at Budapest’s Attraction Black Light Theatre brought…

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Matzah Facial

March 22, 2013
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matzah-facial

Passover can be hell…on your complexion. Oily kugels, heavy brisket, endless sheets of matzah—these foods may seem like the enemies of flawless skin, but celebrity doctor Ava Shamban is here with her kosher-for-Passover facial recipes and she wants to change that. Dr. Shamban is the dermatological expert from TV’s Extreme Makeover, and the author of Heal Your…

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Gilbert and Sullivan Go Yiddish

March 21, 2013
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gilbert-and-sullivan

There’s nothing inherently Yiddish-y about Gilbert and Sullivan‘s body of work. But that hasn’t stopped Al Grand, a retired New York City schoolteacher, from making a name for himself by penning Yiddish interpretations of the pair’s renowned operas. Though Grand isn’t the first to pair Yiddish with Gilbert and Sullivan, he is the first…

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Au Revoir, Maxwell House Haggadah

March 20, 2013
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bronfman-haggadah

We’ve come a long way since Maxwell House’s unrivaled seder-table reign, and chances are you’ve collected your fair share of Haggadot. But don’t put the kibosh on Haggadah-acquisition before you see this latest one, written by philanthrophist (and Jewniverse supporter) Edgar M. Bronfman and his wife Jan Aronson. Like its more traditional counterparts, The Bronfman…

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Four More Plagues: A Gift Guide

March 19, 2013
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Four More Plagues: A Gift Guide

You’ve heard about the 10 plagues. But we’ve just discovered 4 more that are right here upon us. Don’t worry, though. There are some precautions you can take… …against the Plague of Dourness: Refusing to sing the Four Questions despite still being the youngest person at the seder? Distract your…

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Oma & Bella: Life is Delicious

March 19, 2013
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oma-and-bella

Holocaust survivors Bella Katz and Regina (“Oma”) Karolinski live together in contemporary Berlin, where they spend their days cooking, talking, and helping one another with the tasks of daily life. The two women are the subjects of Oma & Bella, a new documentary made by Regina’s granddaughter, Alexa Karolinski. (You can watch…

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The First—and Only—Jewish Miss America

March 18, 2013
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miss-america

In September of 1945, just after the end of World War II, a young woman from the Bronx named Bess Myerson became the first—and, still, only—Jewish woman to win the title of Miss America. But winning the crown was just the beginning of the battle. Myerson was urged by the pageant director…

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When Descendants of Slaves Own Slaves

March 15, 2013
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whipping-man1

Matthew Lopez found the inspiration for his award-winning play, The Whipping Man, in the footnote of a history book; apparently, Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House one day before the start of Passover. “It gave me goosebumps,” Lopez recalled, “to realize that the ancient tradition of commemorating the Exodus from Egypt was…

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