Love It. Fear It. Smear It.
Is 'Halachic' Going Mainstream?
Sitting Shiva for Spot?
A 'Crazy' Look at Paris Strip Palace
Boycotting Israel and My Olive Tapenade
From Esperanza to Shprintze
Israeli Gas Masks Help Get You High(er)
Was Adolf Hitler Leader or Follower?
Why My Daughter Isn't Bilingual — Yet
Preaching Lost Art of Fermentation
'Homegrown' Story of West Coast Jews
Remembering Mike Wallace
Sisters in Skivvies on the Lower East Side
An Anthem for LGBT Youth
Jewish Gangsters at the Mob Museum
Mayim's Most Important Role
‘Cabaret’ Comes to Tel Aviv
A Transsexual at Yeshiva University
'Strange' Evolution of Legendary Song
Kehinde Wiley Paints Israelis in Color
Nudge, Nudge. Wink, Wink.
Sweating in the Cleveland Schvitz
Berlin Film Festival Gets Serious, Mostly
Addicted to Aggadah
Why Do Men Write All the Baby Manuals?
Jewish Oscar Winners, From Allen to Zinner
Cleveland Rocks — Not Really
Raised Christian, But Jewish by Birth
Be My Israeli Valentine
The Jew and Hitler's Bug
Academy Awards Slideshow
Oscar Wins for ‘The Artist’; ‘Footnote’ Shut Out
The Jewess of 'Downton Abbey'?
The Allure of the Burka
Who Will Light Up Jewish Kids Lit?
Leonard Cohen's Old Whine in a New Bottle
Stephen Colbert vs. Maurice Sendak
X-Rated Dispute in Knesset
A Fraught Journey To Judaism
Bringing Real Bagels to the Motor City
Saying Mazel Tov in Mandarin
Strange Origins of David Cronenberg's 'A Dangerous Method'
How Jews Stayed in Good Spirits During Prohibition
The Word 'Jew' Has Fallen Out of Favor
Last Song of Hitler's Favorite Crooner
Making Foodie Resolutions for New Year
For the Glove of the Game
Adrienne Cooper Embodied Progressive Spirit
TV Ripped My Son From Reality
How Authentic Is ‘Porgy and Bess’?
Sandra Bernhard Shows Her Softer Side
Gimme Some New Time Religion
Tintin and the Anti-Semites
Gimme Some Old Time Gossip
Jewish Cookies Santa Would Love
The Hanukkah Bush and Christmas Dreidel
If you were to ask the question “Who is a Jew?” to some ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrating against marriage equality yesterday in the New York state capitol, their answer would definitively be “Not Sharon Kleinbaum.”
In a video made yesterday by The Times Union (the newspaper serving the Albany region) and posted today on the gay website Towleroad.com, the ultra-Orthodox protesters can be seen muscling the pro-marriage equality sign-toting lesbian senior rabbi of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (New York’s LGBT synagogue) out of a photo-op with State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. Diaz is a Pentecostal minister who strongly opposes marriage equality.
He’s the acclaimed author of three novels and a book of poetry, but Adam Mansbach is taking the literary world by storm with his little irreverent book that could: “Go the F**k to Sleep.”
The book — which resembles a bedtime story and is geared not toward children, but to their frustrated parents — debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times’ best-seller list during the week of June 19. It climbed to No. 1 on Amazon before it was printed. And the sheer magnitude of its popularity on the Web moved up its publication date, October 2011, to June.
Samuel L. Jackson lent his voice to the Audible.com version of the book, Werner Herzog staged a reading at the New York Public Library and Judah Friedlander has done a dramatic reading, too.
Through lines like “The windows are dark in the town, child. The whales huddle down in the deep. I’ll read you one very last book if you swear you’ll go the f**k to sleep,” the book’s narrator pleads with his child to go to bed so that he and his wife can watch a movie.
The Forward’s Lucy Cohen Blatter spoke to Mansbach about his runaway — and controversial — hit.
Could we be approaching the iPhone intifada? Israeli lawmaker Yuli Edelstein seems to fear so.
An iPhone app offers Palestinians and Palestinian sympathizers real-time news about efforts to spark a third intifada. The ThirdIntifada was released last week, seemingly to replace a pro-uprising page that Facebook removed in March.
After much speculation from those who keep tabs on domestic Jewish basketball stars (Lord knows there are few), Jon Scheyer, the former Duke University guard who guided the Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA championship, has signed with the Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv.
With Scheyer, Maccabi gets one of those undersize jump-shooters, rich in basketball IQ but plagued with the limited athleticism of a seventh man on a Jewish community center house league squad. For Maccabi, though, Scheyer’s Jewish heritage might be just as important: He’ll be listed on the roster as an Israeli; the Israeli Super League imposes a quota on foreign players per team.
In Bad Feilnbach, a postcard-perfect spa town in the Bavarian Alps, residents are crying NIMBY. It’s not a cell phone tower or nuclear energy plant they are concerned about, but rather something many find even more toxic — convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk.
The 91-year-old Demjanjuk, a free man while his appeal wends itself through the German court system, has been staying at the St. Lukas nursing home on the edge of this village just south of Munich since May 12. Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the deaths of 28,060 people (the vast majority of them Jews) while he was a guard in the Nazi death camp Sobibor, in Poland. As a stateless person, he cannot leave Germany.
No one in town has seen Demjanjuk, as he has reportedly not left his room at the nursing home. Nonetheless, his being out of sight does not mean he has been out of mind among the local residents. While some are indifferent to the convict’s presence, others oppose it on either moral or practical grounds.
Supporters of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard jammed the White House’s switchboard over the weekend, demanding his temporary release so that he could attend his father’s funeral today. Morris Pollard died at the age of 95 in South Bend, Ind., on the morning of Saturday, June 18.
Angry that President Obama did not heed requests to grant Pollard “compassionate leave” to visit with his dying father, activists overloaded the White House phone system with calls to say that Pollard should at least be allowed to part with his father at the funeral. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in response to more than a week of pressure from the pro-Pollard lobby, agreed Sunday to issue a formal diplomatic request through Israel’s embassy in Washington, asking for Pollard to be allowed to attend the funeral.
It’s never a good idea to compare your boss to Hitler — even more so when his boss is Steven Spielberg.
Actress Megan Fox apparently learned this lesson the hard way, getting fired from one of Hollywood’s most popular film franchises after likening the series’ director, Michael Bay, to the Nazi dictator.
In an interview with England’s Daily Mail, Bay — currently ramping up publicity for the third “Transformers” movie — claims that Spielberg reacted furiously to Fox’s comments, in which she said, “[Bay] wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is.”
There aren’t many facets of healthcare in which Palestinians are progressing faster than the far better-resourced Israelis. But it turns out that that Palestinians do seem more prepared to kick the tobacco habit.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has just reported that among Palestinians, there has been an enormous decrease in smoking over recent years. It has declined by some 18% in the last decade. In Israel, by contrast, the figures are stagnant. The percentage of people who smoke is — coincidentally — 23%, the same as among Palestinians. But while the figure among Palestinians has been on a downward slide, the Israeli number has been the same for three years. That’s despite investment in stop-smoking campaigns.
What is really bizarre is the huge discrepancy in smoking habits between Israeli and Palestinian Arabs. While between a quarter to a third of Palestinian males smoke, among Israeli Arabs the figure is more than a half.
With all the Israel-related new anti-Semitism taking place on college campuses lately, people might forget that there is still some good old-fashioned, early 20th century-style anti-Semitism out there, too.
Richard Klagsbrun, a Canadian social media entrepreneur and writer, reported on June 13 on his “Eye on a Crazy Planet” blog on anti-Semitism and a “Jew count” at the University of Toronto. The reported anti-Semitic behavior of a professor of social work (as well as some of her students) took place in late 2009. One of the professor’s U of T colleagues published an account of it in the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism in 2010, and the Canadian Jewish News ran a story on it in early that same year. It appears, however, that it is Klagsbrun’s blog post that has exposed the incident more broadly as it has spread in recent days through social networking on the Internet.
WAFA, the Palestinian News and Information Agency, is reporting that crews from the Jerusalem municipality started working early this morning to remove existing street signs in East Jerusalem and replace them with new ones. The new signs will change the names of streets and locations from their Arab names to Jewish ones.
According to WAFA’s press release, “The municipality, as part of its project to change the Arab and Islamic character of East Jerusalem, changed the name of Sultan Suleiman Street that extends between Damascus Gate and Herod’s Gate of the Old City Wall to Eliyahu Street, as the new signs say. The Sultan Suleiman Cave on the same road has been renamed to Eliyahu Cave.”
Glenn Beck fever is sweeping the Holy Land. The controversial American broadcaster has got Israel talking about the rally he is planning for Jerusalem in August.
Last year, he organized a huge event in Washington called Restore Honor, bringing together thousands of conservatives. He’s now planning Restore Courage — a similar concept with a pro-Israel focus. It is intended to “unite the people of the world in standing with Israel and remind us of the need to have faith, honor and courage in our own lives,” according to his website.
Pop star Shakira is on her way to Jerusalem — not to perform, but to speak about childhood education at a summit organized by Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer will participate in the Israeli Presidential Conference this month with an eclectic set of guests, who range from Dr. Ruth and Sarah Silverman to Nobel Prize winners Israel Aumann and Eric Maskin.
A goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, the Colombian singer has family ties to the region: she was born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, and comes partly from Lebanese Christian roots. She has regularly incorporated Middle Eastern sounds and even a bit of Arabic into her performances, and she knows a thing or two about belly dancing. Shakira has made childhood education a focus of her charity, the Barefoot Foundation.
Lenin, his sister said, “always thought highly of the Jews” — and with good reason, since he apparently had Jewish ancestry.
That, at least, is the claim being put forward at a recently opened exhibit at the State Historical Museum in Moscow, where the founding ruler of the Soviet Union is revealed to have had a Jewish grandfather.
You thought “goy” is a derogatory word for a non-Jew? Incorrect.
It actually means “genetically modified goat” — at least in New Zealand, where scientists are using the term to refer to a new breed of the animal.
While the Arabs are organizing historic political uprisings on Facebook, Israelis are using the social networking website to protest the high price of cottage cheese.
Fed up with the nearly NIS 8 price for a 250 g container of the popular dairy food (it accounts for 28% of all cheese sales in Israel), consumer groups set up two Facebook pages to protest the regular price increases on the product that have been taking place in the past half year — going so far as to urge people to boycott cottage cheese for an entire month. These Facebook groups have garnered thousands of “friends” in just a few days.
Mazel tov to Natalie Portman, the new mother of a baby boy.
Details remain scarce about the arrival of the infant, who was delivered less than a week after his mom’s 30th birthday. The actress plans to marry the baby’s French father, dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, later this year. The pair met on the set of “Black Swan,” for which Portman won the best actress Oscar earlier this year.
While her approach to Jewish motherhood remains to be seen, Portman adopted a traditional strategy during her pregnancy. She told “Access Hollywood” earlier this year that she wasn’t getting carried away with planning.
“I think it’s a Jewish thing to be kind of superstitious,” she said. “You don’t do any of the baby stuff before the baby arrives.”
He’s saved Gotham City a couple times as Batman, and now Christian Bale might get to save the future of humanity as one of the heroes of the Torah.
“The Dark Knight” star is apparently on Darren Aronofsky’s wish list to play Noah, in an “edgy” film being floated around Hollywood about the Biblical flood. As New York magazine notes today, landing Bale would help Aronofsky secure funding for his movie, envisioned as a $130 million epic.
Aronofsky, nominated for an Oscar earlier this year for “Black Swan,” hasn’t worked previously with Bale, who won an Academy Award in February for his turn in “The Fighter.” Despite his acting chops, New York points out that Bale might be a bit on the young side for the role. The Wales-born actor is 37, while Noah was 600 at the time of the flood.
The NYPD transferred Officer Elliott Zinstein from the Bronx to Greenpoint, Brooklyn because the neighborhood supposedly needed more Jewish cops, according to today’s NY Daily News.
But there are a couple of reasons why Zinstein — an Orthodox Jew — wasn’t buying the explanation. For one thing, the Jewish population is much higher in the neighboring 90th Precinct in Williamsburg, the paper said. For another, Zinstein believes the department’s punishing him for busting a Bronx prosecutor for DWI — and refusing to cut her a break.
That celebrated playwright David Mamet has taken a hard turn to the right is old news by now. He has written about it in his newly published book, “The Secret Knowledge: On The Dismantling of American Culture” (Sentinel, 2011), and has been shouting it from the mountaintops in all the related press coverage.
Mamet sums up the reasons behind his dramatic conversion from left to right in this pull quote from the book:
My interest in politics began when I noticed that I acted differently than I spoke, that I had seen ‘the government’ commit sixty years of fairly unrelieved and catastrophic error nationally and internationally, that I not only hated every wasted hard-earned cent I spent in taxes, but the trauma and misery they produced…
You know things are serious when Kiddush clubs are willing to give up their scotch.
The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, an affiliate of the Conservative movement, has called upon its North American members (250 clubs; 25,000 individual members) to boycott scotch whisky made in distilleries located in West Dunbartonshire in Scotland.
Among the distilleries in West Dunbartonshire included in the boycott are Morrison Bowmore, Loch Lamond and Chivas Brothers — the latter known for its premium Chivas, Glenlivet and Ballantine’s labels.
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