He Shall Be Released

August 14, 2012
By
Pollard

In 1968, Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy wrote “Hurricane,” a song about a man, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who many believed was falsely convicted of murder. The song became one of Dylan’s most successful singles, and it was credited with helping Carter receive a new trial. For literally decades, Jewish and Israeli activists have been…

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Hip-Hop Vaudeville

August 13, 2012
By
Hip-Hop Vaudeville

Founded in the late 19th century, the Gebrüder Wolf (Wolf Brothers) were a renowned German-Jewish vaudeville troupe. They started as the three sons of a butcher, but rose to prominence in the 1920s as singers, dancers, and comics. They wrote the song “Tudelband,” which is still a popular German folk song. The…

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Life or Death Pregnancy Cravings

August 9, 2012
By
pregnant-lady_hp

Judaism is full of rules: Rules about holidays, day-to-day rituals, and perhaps most notably, lots of rules about food. The Bible (Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14) lists animals that are strictly off limits, and later on the rabbis enacted more hard and fast rules about what’s okay to eat and what isn’t. But the rabbis actually make an…

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Having an Affair with your Synagogue

August 8, 2012
By
the-invitation

In the new novel The Invitation, by Anne Cherian, a successful computer engineer invites his three best friends to his son’s graduation from MIT. His friends accept, and then immediately regret it. Their jobs are insecure, their families are unstable, and their lives are falling apart–not exactly the things you want to…

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Bob Dylan Plays at Jewish Summer Camp

August 7, 2012
By
image002

Like many other Jewish kids, Bob Dylan went to Jewish summer camp. Growing up in Hibbing, Minnesota,  the grandson of Jewish immigrants from Odessa, Robert Zimmerman (as he was then known) spent his summers at Herzl Camp, a Zionist camp in Webster, Wisconsin. According to some stories, that’s where he first learned to play guitar,…

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Jewish Singles Dances

August 6, 2012
By
singles-dances

“Jewish singles dances in the eighties were my guarantee of a lot of free dinners and great stories,” writes Harriet Rose, a stand-up comic and author of the new essay collection I’m Easy, You’re Lucky. Rose is a Jersey girl who’s a little too self-conscious, and a little too smart, about her position…

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The Jewish Mail Order Bride

August 2, 2012
By
little-bride-anna-solomon

These days, mail-order brides mostly reside in your spam folder, but in the 1800s, it was a booming industry in the American frontier, and an easy way for women to make it to the New World. And some Jews joined the bandwagon. In her gorgeous debut novel The Little Bride, Anna…

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Ben Sorer U’Moreh

August 1, 2012
By
rebel-son

Think kids today have trouble with authority? The Torah (Deuteronomy 21:18) tells the story of a ben sorer u’moreh, a “stubborn and rebellious son” who “doesn’t hearken to the voice of his father or mother.” Let’s just say that the Torah’s method of dealing with this son is more stringent than a slap on the wrist: His…

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@DailyHillulah

July 31, 2012
By
meron_hp

How many righteous people can you name? A hundred? Fifty? When Abraham played that game with God, they couldn’t even find ten. (Admittedly, the two were looking in Sodom and Gemorrah, the two evilest cities on Earth, but still.) The new Twitter stream, @DailyHillulah, marks the yahrzeit—anniversary of a death–of a different rabbi or tzaddik who died…

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Gay Avek

July 30, 2012
By
Gay avek

Matt Honig, a documentarian from outside Washington, D.C., is making a movie that traces the history of Judaism, political change–and punk rock. Punk is a lifestyle that’s mostly tied to music, and it espouses a do-it-yourself culture. This makes for loud and fuzzy self-produced albums, and also music that expresses…

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Internment Camps

July 27, 2012
By
internment-camp a

During World War II, Jews were rounded up by Nazis and put into concentration camps and death camps. Another type of racial profiling occurred during wartime in the United States –following the attack on Pearl Harbor, over 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese citizens living in the U.S. were placed into…

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Treasure Hunt in Prague

July 26, 2012
By
treasure hunt in prague

In the late 1500s, Prague was a cultural hotspot. The reigning monarch of the Holy Roman Empire, Emperor Rudolf II, was a patron of the arts and humanities, including scholars, sculptors, and mystics. Rudolf also had a close relationship with the Jews of the region. Rabbi Judah Loew, the reputed creator of the…

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