Bintel Blog

In Other Jewish Newspapers: Exodus From Cleveland?, Airline Ruins Passover, Hummusexual Punk Rock

By Daniel Treiman

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KOSHER AT FENWAY: The home of the Boston Red Sox has long been famous for its Green Monster. Now, it’s getting kosher dogs. Boston’s Jewish Advocate reports on what may be the greatest moment for Jewish Red Sox fans since 2007.


BRANDEIS DISROBES: Students at Brandeis university get naked for the Earth. Boston’s Jewish Advocate reports on “BARE: Brandeisians Advocating Real Environmentalism,” a new calendar featuring an eco-friendly message and photos of students posing au naturel.


QUESTIONING CONVERTS: Critics are warning that a new Rabbinical Council of America policy streamlining Orthodox conversion could result in heightened scrutiny of the Jewishness of people who have converted to Judaism in the past. The New York Jewish Week has the story.


WEAK PLEA: A plea bargain given to a rabbi who had been charged with sexually molesting students at a Brooklyn yeshiva has some crying foul. According to The New York Jewish Week, the deal has “resurrected questions in some quarters about [Brooklyn District Attorney Charles] Hynes’ competence or his political will in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing involving prominent institutions and individuals in Brooklyn’s politically powerful Orthodox community.”


CUTTING CARTOON: Two New Jersey pols, Rep. Steve Rothman and Senator Frank Lautenberg, are urging Bergen County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Ferriero to back the senator’s reelection. Political cartoonist Rob Tornoe’s take: He puts a butcher’s knife into Rothman’s hand as the county chairman is pinned to an operating table by a yarmulke-clad Lautenberg. The title: “Rothman the Mohel or Ferriero’s Bris.” Suffice it to say, as The New Jersey Jewish News reports, some folks aren’t impressed by Tornoe’s wit or wisdom.


EXODUS FROM CLEVELAND?: A battle is brewing in Cleveland over a controversial proposal to move the local Jewish federation’s headquarters from downtown, where it has long been located for a century, to the ’burbs, where most of Cleveland’s Jews live. Now, The Cleveland Jewish News reports, some 50 civic leaders are urging the federation to stay put as the city works to revitalize its urban core.


RABBI KASHERS COKE: Houston’s Jewish Herald-Voice speaks with Rabbi Yehoshua Wender, who provides kosher supervision to Coca-Cola’s local bottling plant, one of eight nationwide that produces kosher-for-Passover products, including soda with liquid cane sugar instead of the usual corn syrup. “The ‘connoisseurs’ of Coke tend to favor the cane sugar products,” Rabbi Wender tells the paper, “especially the people who have been working at the factory for a long time — they all rush out and buy the Passover Coke. They say it tastes much better, and the ‘balance’ is much better.”


AIRLINE RUINS PESACH: With bargain airline Skybus going belly-up right before Passover, some Seder-goers have been left stranded. Columbus’s New Standard swoops in for a look at this travel nightmare.


PEARL ON DIALOGUE: A recent surge in high-profile overtures from Muslim leaders prompts Judea Pearl “to take a sober look at the enterprise of Jewish-Muslim dialogue” in an article for the L.A. Jewish Journal.


YIDCORE TO ZION (SANS HUMMUS): The Aussie Jewish punk rockers of Yidcore are headed to Israel for a tour. But don’t expect to see any of their signature hummus-throwing this time around. “I used to strip down on stage and schmear it all over myself before stage diving,” the band’s pierced frontman, Bram Presser, tells The Australian Jewish News. It was disgusting but pretty funny. That ended after we destroyed the stage at legendary New York club CBGBs, and I was forced to stay after the show and scrub the floors.” A Tel Aviv club was similarly irked by the band’s wild ways and rowdy fans; Presser says it took five years to convince the venue to allow them back. “Now, Presser says, “what we do with hummus in the privacy of our own homes is our own business.” In anticipation of its Israel tour, the band has recorded a new release, “The Hummusexual EP.”


POWER FOR PESACH: Following protests from local Jews, an Australian electricity company postponed electricity disruptions that were scheduled to begin during the run-up to Passover. The Australian Jewish News shines some light on the subject.


CRUMBY SEA OF GALILEE: A week before Passover, London’s Jewish Chronicle reports, Israel’s water company disconnects Jerusalem from the national water pipeline that brings water from the Sea of Galilee. For a period of two weeks, residents of the capital city rely solely on water piped in from local reservoirs and wells. Why all this trouble? Because some Haredi Jews are wary of the crumbs that fisherman and picnickers leave in the Sea of Galilee. Apparently, extremism in avoidance of chametz is no vice.


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