Video: In Which the Lunacy of Israeli Bureaucracy Is Taken to a Whole New Level

February 11, 2013
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Tel Aviv Parking Trick

Imagine parking your car in a perfectly, blessedly legal spot in the middle of traffic-clogged Tel Aviv and coming back to find not just a ticket on your windshield, but the markings of a handicap spot all around it—when you’re 100% sure you did not, and would not, park in…

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The Omri Casspi Bill

February 11, 2013
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omri-casspi

Drafted 23rd overall in 2009 by the Sacramento Kings, Omri Casspi hit the ground running as the first Israeli to play in the NBA. Since then, though, Casspi’s impact off the court has been greater than his impact on it. Two years after making the news for his athletic achievements,…

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Video: Palestinian Youths Go “Gaza Style”

February 8, 2013
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Gaza style

By now chances are you’ve seen Gangnam Style (and our post about it) but here’s something new: “Gaza Style” Produced by a group of Palestinian youths, this music video exemplifies the best of gallows humor: The narrative is all about the hardships of life in the Gaza Strip, but its…

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“Koch”: The Mayor, The Movie

February 8, 2013
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koch

Former 3-term New York City mayor Ed Koch was a controversial figure. The mayor, who was the second Jewish denizen to hold the post, served from 1978 to 1989, and is credited with saving the city from financial ruin and improving city housing, services, and education. But as Koch, the new documentary by…

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Breaking and Entering

February 7, 2013
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breaking-and-entering

The year is 1994 and psychologist Richard Shapiro has accidentally burned down a California state forest. Weeks earlier, his young patient had committed suicide, and the blazing forest hastens Richard’s slide toward mental breakdown. He and his wife Louise, an exasperated school guidance counselor, decide to start their and their…

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50 Years of Allan Sherman

February 6, 2013
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my-son-the-nut

Before Weird Al Yankovic there was Allan Sherman. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Sherman’s biggest hit, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” a hilarious song in the form of a letter from a kid at sleepaway camp to his doting parents, and which features hapless campers like Joe Spivey (and his poison…

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Los Desterrados

February 5, 2013
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los-dest

Music arouses strong emotions, whether it makes you nostalgic, teary, angry, or just completely blisses you out. But sometimes a song or album is so remarkable that it doesn’t just touch you—it transports you to another place and time.  The London-based Sephardic Flamenco band Los Desterrados – “The Exiles” –  is making…

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Alef Beit Stretch

February 4, 2013
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aleph-b

Considering how much Jews love yoga, kabbalah, and Jewish-Eastern hybrids (Soy Vay teriyaki sauce, anyone?), it was only a matter of time until a Jewish yoga emerged. And then re-emerged, in the form of Alef Beit Stretch, the brainchild of Dekelyah Winer, an Israeli Hasidic woman who currently lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.…

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OMGWTFBIBLE

February 1, 2013
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omgwtfbible

On the third Monday of every month, at New York City’s Parkside Lounge, the comedian and writer David Tuchman hosts what could be described as a rather, well, unorthodox reading of the weekly Torah portion. Going chapter-by-chapter through the Hebrew Bible, his monthly show OMGWTFBIBLE analyzes, questions, and dissects the text with a healthy…

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Santa Fe’s Crypto-Jews, Illustrated

January 31, 2013
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el-ilumindao

Quick, name 3 centers of Jewish culture. New York, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv? Why not include Santa Fe, New Mexico? A new graphic novel, El Iluminado, depicts present-day Santa Fe as the center of a thriving, yet hidden Jewish world: the land of the crypto-Jews, who emigrated from Spain after the expulsion…

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A Priest and a Rabbi Walk Into a Book

January 30, 2013
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sacred-apples

Isaac Frankel’s recently-released first novel, Sacred Apples, fascinatingly explores the intersection of Judaism,Christianity, and Islam—both in Jerusalem, where the plot unfolds, and beyond. With some lines taken directly from the Bible and the Talmud, and the rest matching their high, formal tone, the novel’s language evokes Jerusalem’s religious atmosphere and heritage. The story follows a young Catholic priest,…

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The Loopy Truths of Jewish Signatures

January 29, 2013
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hostess-signature

By now you’ve probably heard: Jack Lew, President Obama’s nominee for Treasury secretary, signs his name like your Uncle Saul after too much Manischewitz. And now his sloppy John Hancock may get scribbled across our $10s and $20s for years to come. Though Lew is the one currently in the spotlight, he isn’t…

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