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
Does Raymond Perelman, the nonagenarian businessman and big-time Jewish philanthropist have a “heart and head bursting with anger, arrogance, and rage”?
So says his son, Jeffrey, in court documents revealed this week.
Alas, there is more high-stakes Perelman family drama for those interested in gawking at that sort of thing (not us, of course).
Tabloid attention usually has focused on Ron Perelman, owner of the Revlon Company, the 23rd richest man in the country, according to Forbes, who has been divorced four times (most recently in a contentious split from the actress Ellen Barkin that also resulted in a lawsuit). But it is Ron’s brother Jeffrey who is now in the news.
All you need is love, but sometimes a good immigration lawyer is also helpful.
That’s what the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is reminding people today, the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. Like countless Jews before him, the former Beatle faced resistance to his efforts to gain U.S. residency — though in his case the problem wasn’t xenophobia or anti-Semitism. An outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, Lennon made himself an enemy of the Nixon administration, which used a drug charge in England as a pretext to seek his deportation.
The lawyer who ultimately secured Lennon’s stay in the United States — over the course of four rounds in federal court — was Leon Wildes, a Yeshiva University law professor who now sits on the board of HIAS.
With offices in Toronto, Buenos Aires and Paris, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center keeps a vigilant eye on global anti-Semitism. And thanks to a wide and ardent network of supporters, its reach extends to the unlikeliest of places, like Japanese discount retail store Don Quijote Co.
In a letter sent Monday to company executives, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, petitioned that Don Quijote “immediately remove” Nazi soldier party costumes from its shelves after they were spotted by a member. The costume includes a black jacket and swastika armband. The packaging features a cartoonish Adolf Hitler in Nazi salute; “Heil Hitler” is written in Japanese.
“You came to me one summer night and from your beam you made my dream,” sang the Beatles on their 1964 cover of “Mr. Moonlight.” Yes, the entire song was penned as a love letter. But that doesn’t mean those particular words can’t be applied during Hanukkah, when we celebrate and remember the miracle that occurred at the Holy Temple thousands of years ago.
Coincidentally, this year’s Festival of Lights occurs during the commemoration of an event involving the lead singer of that “Mr. Moonlight” cover, the one and only John Lennon. Thirty years ago tomorrow, the rock legend was gunned down outside of his apartment in New York City.
As Hanukkah celebrations got underway last week, The Daily Beast ranked the 30 most Jewish cities in America. Their results were determined by three per capita factors: Jewish population, number of synagogues and kosher restaurants.
As expected, New York claimed the top spot. With a Jewish population of 9.6%, four synagogues per capita and an almighty 504 kosher restaurants, it remains headquarters of most American and international Jewish institutions and, of course, home of the best Jewish delis.
How does Leonardo DiCaprio look in a yarmulke? We might get a chance to find out. The (UK) Daily Mail reports the 36-year-old, Catholic-born megastar may convert to Judaism as a step toward nuptials with his Israeli supermodel girlfriend Bar Refaeli. “A source” apparently told the Daily Mail that “Leo’s sudden intense interest in Israel, its culture and religion is the clearest sign yet that he intends to marry Bar.” DiCaprio “has been staying with her in a hotel in Tel Aviv for a few days at a time recently so that he can avoid the photographers outside her apartment in a nearby suburb,” according to the source.
When in the Holy Land with his beloved, Di Caprio stays “in the royal suite of the five-star Dan Hotel on the beach of Tel Aviv,” the Daily Mail says. The source, again: “It is a very romantic and private hideaway for them and an easy commute to Jerusalem Old Town, where Leo has spent hours exploring its religious sites with a guide.”
Some Florida Jews have become regular churchgoers. No, they haven’t converted; the members of tiny Congregation Matah Chaim in coastal Palm Bay have made a local Christian worship hall their temporary base while they raise money for a permanent home, reports Florida Today. Twice a month at the Riviera United Church of Christ, “a projection screen is unfurled to obstruct images of the cross. An ark is brought out to house the elaborate Hebrew texts that comprise the Torah,” Florida Today says.
It may have only been a blip in the ironic T-shirt-clad world of hipsterdom, but if culture-tracking websites like Jezebel and Vice see it fit to run images of aleXsandro Palombo’s latest clothing designs, well, who are we to argue?
The provocative, arguably iconoclastic, Italian designer and illustrator recently posted a set of politically charged T-shirt designs on his Humor Chic art blog. While North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il holding a multi-colored phallus-shaped lollipop might be cheeky, a grinning Anne Frank wearing combat lingerie and brandishing an AK-47 is slightly confusing.
Sid Horowitz, a retired dentist living in Bridgewater, N.J., has been collecting menorahs for the past 40 years as gifts and has been inviting guests to participate in menorah lighting festivities for over 10 of them. Check out this photo of the massive menorah lighting at his home last night.
Do you like the makeup on John DiTullio’s face and neck? Hope so, because you may be paying for it. The skinhead, who goes on trial for murder today in Clearwater, Fla., will appear in court with special cosmetics covering his tattoos — including a swastika on his neck and green-tinted “scar” running from forehead to eyebrow — The New York Times reports.
Taxpayers will pick up the tab for the makeover after the court agreed with lawyer Bjorn Brunvand that the tattoos could prove “distracting or prejudicial” to jurors.
The Times reports this is Ditullio’s second trial for the murder; the first, “which also involved the services of a cosmetologist,” ended last year in a mistrial.
Latkes sizzling, dreidels spinning, menorahs burning… They may love the first two Hanukkah traditions, but Israeli firefighters have come to dread the Festival of Lights for the menorah-related surge of house fires it brings, the Associated Press reports. Many Jews light the holiday candles “too close to the drapes,” firefighters say; Jerusalem fire department spokesman Asaf Avres told the AP the menorahs children make in kindergarten often topple over, posing another fire threat. Hanukkah typically sees a jump of 10 to 15 percent in house fires, Avres said. The report comes as northern Israel battles a raging forest fire that has already killed 40 people.
Rather than host a public menorah-lighting, the fire department marked the start of the holiday by releasing safety guidelines, including common-sense tips like keeping fire extinguishers or buckets of water close at hand. Stateside, the Orthodox Union offered up its own advice on “Chanukah Burn and Scald Prevention.”
For the first time, Israel has a female Arab plastic surgeon. Rania El Hativ, 28, is now operating at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.
She hopes that her decision to enter the field will help to make Arab women less reticent about going for plastic surgery. “While there is growing openness to plastic surgery among the Arab population, the field is still relatively unknown,” she said in a press statement. “In addition, Arab women may be hesitant to reveal bodily defects to male doctors, and may neglect serious problems. Just by being there, I hope to make it easier for Arab women to undergo examinations for plastic surgery procedures.”
Is a New York-Washington rivalry about to erupt over menorah size? While NY1 News is claiming Mayor Michael Bloomberg lit “the world’s largest menorah” to kick off Hanukkah in New York last night, some news sources are claiming the National Menorah on the White House Ellipse — ignited yesterday in a ceremony attended by a Jewish Obama Administration official — is, in fact, the biggest in the world.
As far as ceremonies go, Washington had the edge, with performances by violinist Itzhak Perlman, the United States Navy Band and The Three Cantors. The highest-ranking member of the cabinet, Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew — accompanied by two rabbis — lit the first candle of the National Menorah. Contradicting NY1’s assertion, web sites like ThirdAge.com and the Philadelphia Jewish Voice were calling D.C.’s menorah “the world’s largest”.
We can’t decide if this is the most awkward or hilarious thing we’ve ever seen, but check out the video below of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dancing the “Hora” yesterday with a group of Hasidic rabbis in Sacramento.
Apparently, the gov was so excited that he tweeted: “Dancing the Hora today at the Menorah Lighting. It was my 7th Menorah Lighting, and I always love it.”
Glad you enjoyed, Arnold.
Despite Howard Jacobson’s slightly miserable interpretation of Hanukkah in the New York Times, the Jewish festival of lights has inspired YouTube moviemakers in recent years to make or post some fun videos.
Hanukkah wouldn’t be Hanukkah (or Chanukah, or Khanike) without Adam Sandler’s song, either the original, the Neil Diamond cover or the follow-up. Sandler embraced the anti-assimilationist message of the original story in which Greeks and Hellenistic Jews were indiscriminately attacked by a bunch of religious zealots. By looking to the ethnicity of some famous stars, Sandler just pointed out the Jewish jelly that filled those famous American doughnuts.
This year the video offerings seem to veer away from doughnuts, bypass the latkes and head straight to the dairy territory of Shavuot — cheese.
From the Snuggies advert, to Matisyahu’s adventure on ice and the Storahtelling story this year’s offerings are testament to the triumph of the humorless Hasmoneans. Granted Storahtelling is aimed at children but I only watched to the end for research; Matisyahu I watched to see if it was in fact Ali G in a beard; and Snuggies passed the clickaway test only because of a macabre fascination with the flammability of Snuggies (do the blanket-clad singers all die in flames from the hanukkiah candles or not? Click here to find out).
In fact the only compelling video I’ve seen this year is the Maccabeats “Candlelight.” Despite being a capella (not obviously a help, witness this Hanukkah song), derivative and featuring a group of Yeshiva University students who are not destined to grace the walls of teenage girls across the country, “Candlelight” is a lot of fun to watch. Plus it shows a dramatic restaging of the defeat of the Greeks about which Howard Jacobson was unconvinced. Unless the next candles bring us better offerings, for seven more days we remain Maccabeaten.
Watch “Candlelight” below.
It seems to have become a monthly ritual: A trove of never-before-seen Nazi memorabilia goes up for auction somewhere in suburban Britain. This time, it’s a collection of “previously unpublished photographs of Adolf Hitler” taken by his personal photographer before the start of World War II, according to the Scotsman newspaper.
The snaps are set to go under the gavel January 18 at JP Humbert, an auction house in Towcester, Northamptonshire, UK. The company’s web site euphemistically refers to the lot as “Specialist – Militaria”. “We’ve got somewhere around 800 negatives and maybe 600 stills, some from these negatives and other stills that don’t have a negative that they were developed from,” auctioneer Jonathan Humbert told the Scotsman. Heinrich Hoffmann, der Fuhrer’s photographer, is believed to have passed on the collection himself to an unnamed “elderly gentleman who I understand used to live in Germany,” Humbert said.
The dreidel will rock! Students at Yeshiva University crowded a gymnasium last night to break the world record for the largest number of people spinning dreidels at one time. An astounding 618 to be exact, easily top-pling the previous record of 541 set by Temple Emanuel at Cherry Hill, N.J., in 2005. The event was not leftist but 618 revolutionists were present and accounted for.
Tension was high as the microphone announced the countdown. Then, the whole dizzying feat lasted only 10 to 20 seconds, after which whoops of cheering filled the auditorium to its rafters. The crowd roared again when “Dreidel Palooza” co-organizer Jason Katz announced that they had the world record at 582 spinners. As if on cue, the song “We are the Champions” boomed over the speaker system. (Saying that one sheet had not been counted, Katz later announced that they in fact had 618 participants. As co-organizer Fiona Guedalia deftly spun it: “We beat our own record.”)
Menorahs are usually displayed on window sills or tabletops during Hanukkah. But Adam Podlesh, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ punter since 2007, keeps his in his locker year-round for everyone to admire. The 5-foot-11-inch, 27-year-old New York native came to the NFL with a checklist of accolades: He was first punter taken in the 2007 draft and highest drafted punter in Jaguars history. But his career hasn’t been smooth sailing — a knee injury sidelined him for the final five games of the 2008 season. Yet this Jewish athlete proved resilient. Podlesh spoke to the Forward about religion, sports and that ever-present hannukia.
A Jewish version of “Dance Dance Revolution” is coming to a shul near you. Just in time for Hanukkah, “Step It Up” is a new game designed for Orthodox Jews who’d prefer to get down to techno versions of Hebrew and Yiddish tunes than to Lady Gaga’s racy lyrics.
The game’s inventor, Faigy Grossman, 25, told The New York Post, “The game meets our standards for modesty. Many [Orthodox Jews] just won’t listen to non-Jewish music. They’re also offended by graphics showing women dancing in the background.” Enter “Step It Up” (see video below), which features images of (fully-clothed) popular Jewish music stars like Lipa Schmeltzer, whose techo-infused songs are biblically inspired. The game’s website boats “Turn your computer or laptop into a dance machine!” and promotes the game as an ideal fitness regime.
It turns out that the Thanksgiving tradition reached the Israel Defense Forces.
An organization that cares for so-called lone soldiers — i.e. soldiers who made aliyah without their parents — prepared Thanksgiving dinner for 200 people in Tel Aviv.
And it wasn’t only U.S. expats who were invited, but also soldiers from 13 other countries. They all received special leave from duty to attend. And they all got to watch the Patriots-Lions football game projected on a large screen.
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