American (Jewish) Idol

March 1, 2013
By
jewishstar-judges

Do you ever catch yourself watching American Idol and wishing they would sing more psalms? Or wondering why you never hear “Adon Olam” on The Voice? Turns out, you’re not alone. Four years ago, out of this void, a singing competition called A Jewish Star was born. (You didn’t think they’d really call it “Jewish Idol,” did…

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen

February 28, 2013
By
ladies-and-gentlemen

Before he recorded “Suzanne” or “Hallelujah” or retreated to a Zen Monastery on Mt. Baldy for 5 years, Leonard Cohen was the subject of Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen, a 1965 documentary that offers a rare glimpse into the prosaic meanderings of a great artist before his peak. Born into a prominent…

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The Kubbeh Project

February 27, 2013
By
naama-and-itamar

During the first 3 weeks of March, Tel Aviv-based chef Itamar Lewensohn will serve up Iraqi-Jewish comfort food beside the cafes, yoga studios, and music venues of New York City’s East Village. The After Hours Kubbeh Project, which will be housed at Zucker Bakery, is a pop-up restaurant that bills itself…

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The Most Popular Jewish Picture

February 26, 2013
By
vilna-gaon-art

Twentieth-century Jewish-American homes tended to have one thing in common: a Jewish National Fund blue tzedakah box. According to a new book by Eliyahu Stern, a distinctive artifact linked 19th-century European-Jewish homes, too: the portrait of Rabbi Elijah of Vilna. Elijah was known as the Vilna Gaon—the Genius of Vilna—and the popularity of…

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Dr. Giovanni: Jewish Pickpocket Supreme

February 25, 2013
By
giovanni

A recent New Yorker profile of contemporary pickpocket Apollo Robbins briefly mentioned another theatrical thief who has since slipped into obscurity: Dr. Giovanni, a Hungarian Jew hailed as the most entertaining pickpocket of the 1930s and ’40s—and who tried to pass as Italian. Born Adolf Herczog in Budapest, Giovanni became legendary for stealing…

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Video: Chicago Does “Gangnam Style” Purim

February 23, 2013
By
Gangname Style in Chicago

Just when we thought the “Gangnam Style” spoofs were finally on their way out, Chicago’s Anshe Emet Synagogue proves us wrong. Happy Purim, from the midwest! Gangnam Purim Style -Anshe Emet Synagogue-Chicago, IL. from Oceanbear Productions on Vimeo.

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Ad D’lo Yada Between This Way, That Way, Or That

February 22, 2013
By
amir-benayoun

You may be familiar with ad d’lo yada, the Aramaic term for the Purim tradition of drinking so much you can’t distinguish between the Purim story’s hero, Mordecai, and its villain, Haman. What you are likely not familiar with is Israeli musician Amir Benayoun and his plaintive song of the same name, which describes a…

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Unterzakhn: The Graphic Novel

February 21, 2013
By
unterzakhn

In the beginning, there was the Lower East Side – the place where it all began for hundreds of thousands of Eastern European Jews. Crowded, dirty, poor. Home to more hopes and tragedies than should ever be squeezed into two square miles. Author-artist Leela Corman perfectly captures the tumult and heartbreak of the neighborhood…

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Bernard Malamud, The Clumsy Teenage Writer

February 20, 2013
By
bernard-malamud

Before he wrote The Fixer and won the Pulitzer Prize, Bernard Malamud, like so many before him, was a humble high school student who submitted an essay to the Scholastic Art and Writing Award for teenagers. Unlike so many before him, he won. Published in 1932, the essay — about working in his father’s grocery store —…

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Video: A Millenial Becomes a Man

February 19, 2013
By
bar-mitzvah-oy

Daniel’s becoming a man! With the help of Atlanta royalty Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Mayor Kasim Reed, a boy tells the world – with a small army of fixers and production assistants behind him – that his bar mitzvah is coming. And here we still thought it was extravagant…

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“I UNPLUG TO . . . cuddle”

February 19, 2013
By
unplug-shabbat

Being connected 24/7 is practically a requirement for the 21st-century American worker. Some—like Officer Jeffrey Allen who’s making news for suing the Chicago Police Department for requiring him to check his BlackBerry off the clock—are not happy about it. The National Day of Unplugging hears Allen’s complaint. (And God, one could argue, anticipated it.) Based…

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Whatever Happened to Those Jewish Student Radicals?

February 18, 2013
By
jsps2

It’s no secret that Jews were disproportionately involved in the campus activism of the 60s and 70s. What many don’t know is that those Jews were doing a fair amount of writing, and even founded a wire service to link all the new Jewish campus publications together. By the mid-70s the Jewish…

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