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
Well that settles it. It turns out that Jewish chess-champ-turned-rambling anti-Semite Bobby Fischer is not the father of a 9-year-old Filipino girl, Jinky Young, whose mother claimed to have been impregnated by Fischer.
As we reported in June, four parties, including young Jinky, were caught in a legal battle over Fischer’s $2 million estate following the chess champ’s death in 2008 from kidney failure. The other claimants included a Japanese chess official named Miyoko Watai, who says she was married to Fischer in 2004; Fischer’s two American nephews, Alexander and Nicholas Targ, and the American government, which claims Fischer’s money in compensation for unpaid taxes.
A little crag near Stockholm is causing a minor uproar in the Jewish world, thanks to the inconveniently named Cordelia Hess, a historian who, on a recent hike, took issue with several Nazi-inspired trail names. “I thought it rather unpleasant to climb through the ‘Crematorium’ or say that ‘now I am going to do Kristallnacht,’” she told Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish newspaper. “The use of such names on the climbing routes trivializes the Holocaust.”
Dagens Nyheter’s report gave examples of other Holocaust-themed trail names — including “Himmler,” “Third Reich,” “Zyklon B” and “Swastika” — and explained that long-standing climbing customs give naming rights to the first person to ascend a trail. The names, apparently, are inside jokes among hikers. A spokesman for the Swedish Climbing Federation, which manages the hiking area in question, told Dagens Nyheter that the names were “childish and disrespectful” but ultimately out of their control.
Are the people of Israel truly modern and progressive Israelis are about to undergo the ultimate test: Will thousands of them willingly gather at one of the country’s best-known sites, remove all their clothing and smile for the camera?
Spencer Tunick, an internationally renowned Jewish photographer, has made a name for himself by rounding up huge crowds in locations all over the world, where subjects pose together wearing nothing at all. In 2007, in Mexico City, he shot a mob composed of a record 18,000 nude people, and his most recent project featured more than 5,000 nude Australians standing uncomfortably close together around the Sydney Opera House.
It would have been a “Kumbaya” moment in Singapore on the first day of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games: a 17-year old Israeli locked in fierce but friendly battle with his Iranian counterpart in the under-106-pound tae kwon do competition.
The scene of international sportsmanship was scuttled, however, when the Iranian contestant, Mohammad Soleimani, pulled out of competition against the Israeli, Gili Haimovitz, citing a recently aggravated injury.
Haimovitz won the gold medal — Israel’s first in the competition — by default, having already bested Kirk Barbosa of the Philippines and Nicholas Guzman of Argentina. “I knew beforehand that if I was matched up against the Iranian, there was a chance he would withdraw, but I really wanted to compete against him. It’s a shame he didn’t show,” Haimovitz told Haaretz.
Unless you follow the violent competitions known as mixed martial arts, you may not have noticed the frequent appearances of iron crosses and Nazi imagery on athletes’ T-shirts or on official merchandise.
But the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in its fall 2010 newsletter that despite a ban by some “extreme sports” leagues, like the Ultimate Fighting Championship, “white-power”-wear is growing in popularity with young men who follow the fights.
SPLC reported that popular UFC champion Joe Brammer wore gear from Hoelzer Reich, one of the more notorious clothing purveyors, in a televised match last December; an online firestorm ensued. In a damage-control statement, Hoelzer Reich attempted a “Who knew?” defense, which was posted in an article on the Sourthern Poverty Law Center’s website:
When most inmates complain about jail food, they’re told — literally — to eat it up. Not Baruch Lebovits. The disgraced Satmar hasid, who was convicted of sexually molesting a teenage boy, is getting kosher food from a store in Queens delivered to his cell at Rikers Island, according to the New York Post – even though the jail already provides kosher catering for Jewish inmates.
Lebovits apparently complained that Rikers’ kosher offerings “hadn’t had proper rabbinical supervision,” the Post reported. Last week, “a Rikers jail captain was ordered to pick up $60 worth of glatt kosher canned meals for the sicko, including Salisbury steak, stuffed shells, cheese ravioli and barbecued chicken wings from Alle Processing in Maspeth, Queens,” the newspaper fumed.
Taking on conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and other voices on the right, Slate blogger Tom Scocca makes a reasoned case against comparing the Islamic center planned for Ground Zero to the now-shuttered Catholic convent near the Auschwitz death camp.
The Auschwitz convent is a recurring theme in the campaign against the Islamic center; Newt Gingrich found the analogy impressive enough to post it to Twitter.
The comparison is stupid and abominable, even if you make it in more than 140 characters. Lower Manhattan is not Auschwitz. Also the dispute over the convent at Auschwitz was a complicated one, having to do with a clash between the Poles and the Jews over the understanding of history, made worse by the anti-Semitism and propaganda of the Soviet bloc. But that is beside the point. Lower Manhattan is not Auschwitz.
“What would it be like to smoke pot with my rabbi?”
It’s a question that’s surely crossed the minds of many daydreaming Hebrew school students. But what if it’s the rabbi who’s selling the weed?
The Washington City Paper reports this week that Jeffrey Kahn, a 58-year-old D.C.-area rabbi, hopes to become the proprietor of the city’s first sanctioned medical marijuana shop. Kahn and his wife, Stephanie, plan to open the “Takoma Wellness Center,” which will have a “zen-like but simple and classy” feel, Stephanie explained.
Just a year removed from his bar mitzvah, Netanya teenager Moshe Raziel Sharify is ready to become a rabbi. Thing is, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate won’t let him.
At 14, Sharify has been hailed as a rabbinical prodigy, garnering the approval of at least 10 “well-respected” rabbis, including Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
Sharify, who studies at a Tel Aviv yeshiva, will be profiled at length in Friday’s Jerusalem Post magazine.
There is intrigue across Israel’s Haredi community, after the sector’s media has reported on what seems to be a case of serial sefer Torah theft.
Several communities in and around the central-Israel city of Lod have had scrolls stolen in recent weeks. The criminals were seemingly not opportunists, but rather individuals or gangs who had carefully planned their crimes. They showed detailed knowledge of the synagogues they stole from and how the scrolls are stored and secured. In many cases, there were no signs of break-ins and a key was seemingly used to gain entry.
Even stranger, in some cases the parchments were cut away from the rollers on which they are mounted and the rollers were left behind.
The crimes raise many questions. Why sefer Torah scrolls? Why in these particular synagogues in one of the least affluent parts of Israel? What are the thieves planning to do with them — is there really a serious black market in such items? Why damage the scrolls to take them?
Calling all amateur detectives.
In the tradition of Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax, Nathan Diament, the director of the Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs, will be sitting out an important event due to religious observance. Only this time, it’s not a baseball game, it’s a Ramadan feast — at the White House.
Last year, Diament joined Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, Religious Action Center director David Saperstein and a long list of diplomats and politicians at President Obama’s interfaith dinner celebrating Ramadan.
In the wake of his much-maligned primetime special announcing his move to the Miami Heat, is hoops superstar LeBron James desperate for some good advice?
“Whoever this rabbi is or isn’t, he can’t possibly give worse advice than his handlers have given him,” said Bissinger, who co-authored a biography titled “Shooting Stars” with the player. “The Decision,” James’ hour-long announcement aired on ESPN on July 8 to near-unanimous derision.
For those besotted by the Fantanas — the synthetic girl group pitching Fanta soft drinks — news August 5 that the sugary sodas have Nazi origins left a sour aftertaste. In an otherwise innocuous dispatch about Fanta’s popularity overseas, the online magazine Slate slipped in the factoid that “the original Fanta was a Nazi product” created by a German Coca-Cola Co. executive who “sported a tiny Hitler-style mustache.”
But Slate had actually scooped itself back in 2002, when then-advertising columnist Rob Walker deconstructed Fanta as parent Coca-Cola Co. was preparing to revive the defunct brand. Fanta’s origins, he wrote, lay partly in the unpopularity of foreign-owned firms in Nazi Germany. Both stories relied on the same book to reveal Fanta’s DNA: Mark Pendergrast’s “For God, Country, and Coca-Cola,” was originally published in 1998 and hailed by The Washington Post as “an encyclopedic history of Coke and its subculture.”
Uri Fink, who 30 years ago created Israel’s first superhero, in the form of Sabraman, has a theory about why comic book superheroes have caught on only in America. “It’s naive just thinking people will go out and fight the bad guys out of the goodness of their hearts,” he told the Forward. “It’s Americans’ un-cynical culture. Someone can run around in tights and not be embarrassed.”
Fink will be one of the presenters at Animix, Israel’s 10th annual festival of animation and cartooning, which will kick off on August 17. “It’s the closest thing we have to a comics convention,” Fink explained, adding that Israeli comic book culture is still “in diapers.”
American Jews created some of the greatest American superheroes, like Spider-Man and Superman, so the absence of Israeli superheroes seems puzzling at first. But Israeli culture and American Jewish culture are not the same.
Israeli Arabs may soon make your Yom Kippur fast easier.
It’s often said that Jews and Muslims have a lot in common when it comes to religious observance, and that’s rarely highlighted better than when it comes to fasting. Both religions require full-on fasting several times a year.
Now there’s a theory that a drug called etoricoxib (commercial name Arcoxia), if taken before a fast day, reduces the occurrence of migraines and headaches. Before Yom Kippur, doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center gave 211 patients pills to take — some were placebos, others were etoricoxib. Those who took the real thing — which conveniently remains active in the body for 22 hours — reported an easier fast.
The same researchers are working with Muslims who are fasting through Ramadan to continue their research, and if all goes well, they may just find a cure to fast-related migraines. On their recruitment website, they present the participation in the research as a religious virtue, as it will test whether the drug will “decrease the incidence of people breaking their fast.” You can see more on the experiment in this piece in the Jerusalem Post.
Though there was never an official reaction from the government of Kazakhstan, it’s a good bet that the 2006 film “Borat” did not earn applause from citizens of the Central Asian nation for its portrayal of them as Jew-hating, incest-practicing, homophobic and — worst of all — “Baywatch”-obsessed.
But four years after the massively successful release of Sacha Baron Cohen’s offbeat comedy, a Kazakhstani filmmaker wants to set the record straight. The French news agency Agence France-Presse reported August 7 that Kazakh director Erkin Rakishev will soon start shooting “My Brother, Borat,” an unauthorized sequel to Baron Cohen’s mockumentary. Rakishev, according to AFP, told the Kazakh tabloid Kazakhstanskaya Pravda that “we want to ride on the wave of success of ‘Borat,’ to take advantage of this popular image in the West to show people the real Kazakhstan, not Baron Cohen’s Kazakhstan.”
Amar’e Stoudemire was just asking to be parodied.
The New York Knick’s out-of-left-field Tweets (e.g. “I’m going 2 Israel 2 study Hebrew. It’s time 2 get a better understanding on who we R”) left everyone (including us) speculating about his possible Jewish roots.
Now some mysterious Twitter user has taken this to its logical conclusion. Fake Amar’e — with tweets like “The Seinfeld show is so much funnier now, imma have to get the box set and watch it all over again” — is frightfully close to Stoudemire’s real newfound (and occasionally absurd) enthusiasm for Judaism.
It looks like baby Hitler won’t be coming home anytime soon. And when we say Hitler, we of course mean the 4-year-old boy — full name, Adolf Hitler Campbell — whose nazi-obsessed parents branded him with the unfortunate handle.
A state appeals court in New Jersey has ruled that Heath and Deborah Campbell will not be reunited with their three children (the other two are named, get this, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell), all of whom have been in foster care since early 2009, after a media storm erupted over the choice of moniker.
We just love these photos! Jennifer Aniston transformed into our favorite “Funny Girl” in a glamorous photo shoot for the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar. (See the pics here) Barbra Streisand, for her part, was so flattered that she posted this comment to her website yesterday afternoon:
I was very flattered that Jennifer Aniston chose to interpret my style with the photos in Harper’s Bazaar. She’s a delightful person, and I think she did a wonderful job. If only she had a bump on her nose.
Indeed. Check out the Sisterhood’s take on Aniston’s missing bump here.
If some of the models in American Apparel’s ubiquitous, sex-charged ads look pained, there’s good reason. After the company admitted that its financial reporting since 2009 might have been less than honest, accountants Deloitte and Touche dropped it like a pair of hot pants, according to reports this week.
Seeing the company’s stock slide nearly 15% as a result was just the latest headache for founder and CEO Dov Charney, however. “American Apparel’s CEO Must Resign,” blared a headline on business news site BNet. Women’s blog Jezebel recently nailed him as “America’s sexual-harassiest CEO,” and activist web sites like ClamorMagazine have slammed the company as “paternalistic” and anti-union.
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