The Knight Who Saved 700 Jews

July 24, 2013
By
nickysfamily

Nicky’s Family, a new film by Slovak director Matej Mináč, tells the story of a 20th-century hero you probably don’t know, but should: A British stockbroker named Nicholas Winton who rescued nearly 700 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Sudetenland. Through means ranging from straightforward to ingenious (including romancing a suspected Nazi agent), Winton, who was stirred by…

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The Last King of Hawai’i and his Jewish Fortune Teller

July 23, 2013
By
king

How does a Jewish peddler with a shady past become the trusted adviser to the king of Hawai’i? Apparently by getting him drunk, chanting in Hebrew, and casting rosy horoscopes about his future. Elias Abraham Rosenberg was probably born in Russia, and seems to have lived in Australia and England before arriving in…

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Across-the-Jewniverse Summer Wish List

July 21, 2013
By
Across-the-Jewniverse Summer Wish List

We’ve finally organized all the books we’ve been meaning to read, picnic gear we’ve been meaning to buy, and kitsch we’ve been meaning to show off. Check out our finds below, and don’t hesitate to ask for our mailing address to send some our way. (Hint, hint.) Barely-Guilty Beach Reads…

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A Simulated Diary of a Jewish Hamburger

July 19, 2013
By
investigation

An Internet diary that, instead of serving news and musings, takes you moment by moment through an 80-year-old story: this is the vision of Swedish novelist, pilot, and documentarian Torkel S. Wächter, mastermind behind the literature and family history project On This Day 80 Years Ago. Compelled to investigate what happened to…

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The Jewish Strongman And The Baby Elephant

July 18, 2013
By
strongman

As the stereotype goes, Jewish men are bookish and sensitive, nerdy and meek, and they don’t let railroad workers drive sledgehammers into tombstones laid on their chests. Or do they? Zishe Breitbart, the “Iron King,” was a Jewish circus strongman who became a worldwide sensation in the early 20th century.…

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The Temptations Do “Fiddler on the Roof”

July 17, 2013
By
the-temptations

You’ve heard “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and you might even know half the lyrics, but you’ve probably never heard as groovy a take as The Temptations’. Though best known for their number 1 hit, “My Girl,” the Temptations’ discography is actually incredibly extensive, and in 1969 they joined Diana Ross & the Supremes for a program…

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A Jewish Pop-Up Museum in a Random Portuguese Town

July 16, 2013
By
mendes3

For the past month, residents of Cabanas de Viriato, a small town in central Portugal have been greeted by a strange site outside a dilapidated old mansion: frosted glass pavilions with 30,000 embossed signatures of Aristedes de Sousa Mendes, one of the mansion’s former residents. Who exactly was Sousa Mendes, and…

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The Mad Jews Behind Mad Magazine

July 15, 2013
By
1950-humor

From Hillel and Shammai to Jagger and Richards, some of the greatest art in history emerged from collaboration. The partnership between illustrator and comic artist Will Elder and Harvey Kurtzman, the creative genius behind Mad magazine is one such example. Born Wolf Eisenberg to a Bronx family that called him “Meshugganah Villy,” Elder was, according to Mad publisher William…

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Norway, Jews, and Political Murder

July 12, 2013
By
norwegian

Derek B. Miller‘s debut novel, Norwegian by Night, is about aging snipers. Or, it’s about parenting and loss. Or, the lingering traces of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It feels about as full as life itself, and almost as real. Through shifting perspectives, Norwegian tells the tale of 82-year-old Sheldon Horowitz. After finding himself widowed…

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People of the Glass?

July 11, 2013
By
whiskey

People of the Book, sure. But people of the glass? If whiskey lovers have their way, maybe. Jewish whiskey lovers have known for a while that they’ve got it good. Most whiskey is naturally kosher, unlike wine, which has more stringent criteria for obtaining a hechsher. Even so, many popular scotch-makers, like Glenmorangie and Bowmore, are going…

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“Goodbye, Boys!” & Forbidden Soviet Jewish Film

July 10, 2013
By
goodbye-boys

In the lazy summer days of the late 1930s, 3 Soviet teenagers roam the streets of a small seaside town as their youth slips away and WWII looms. The boys, one of whom is Jewish, look forward to their military careers, getting away from overprotective parents, and becoming heroes. Thus begins Goodbye,…

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The Rabbinic Sage Who Dismembered His Adversaries

July 9, 2013
By
hadrian

Talmudic and aggadic lore offers many episodes of rabbinic sages intellectually defeating the luminaries of the Hellenistic world. Far less common are instances of rabbis dismembering their pagan nemeses. So 2nd-century Rabbi Joshua Ben Hananiah really stands apart. As recounted in the Babylonian Talmud (Bekhorot 8b-9a), acting on Roman Emperor Hadrian‘s dare to abduct Athens’ top philosophers,…

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