Jerry Seinfeld is a master comedic craftsman still keeping his standup game in top form.
That’s the takeaway from this weekend’s New York Times magazine profile in which Seinfeld shares his writing process (including his notes) and talks spirituality with the Times’s Jonah Weiner.
Seinfeld describes growing up on Long Island in a “pretty Jewish” family that went to temple and kept kosher. Despite forays into Zen Buddhism, Scientology and transcendental meditation, Seinfeld told the Times he still identifies as Jewish.
“I was very flattered recently to hear about a Nazi rally in Florida where they took DVDs of (my) show, sprayed swastikas on them and threw them through the windows of a synagogue,” he said. “That was nice.”
As Jerusalem continues to shake off its, er, parochial reputation, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism this week announced the second annual Jerusalem International Marathon will run its course on March 16 around some of the Holy City’s most iconic sites.
The race, whose 2011 debut drew more than 10,000 runners from more than 40 countries, will include a full and half marathon, as well as a 10K run, according to a press release. The race “will bring participants through sites within Jerusalem’s historical landscape, including the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, the Knesset, Jerusalem Promenade and various Old City sites such as Sultan’s Pool and the German Colony,” the announcement said.
When Hasidim and hipsters have shared headlines in recent years, it’s most often been because of tensions dividing the two communities. So it’s nice, for a change, to see a story about something the two groups have in common — specifically, their love of a distinctive type of headwear.
The New York Times reports that Williamsburg’s hipster population is now embracing the Borsalino, the brand of black fedora long worn by Hasidic men as a way to identify themselves and each other.
For a Jewish visitor to Poland, is it moral to steal souvenirs that may have themselves been looted from Jewish homes during the Holocaust?
Not according to yesterday’s Ethicist column in the New York Times Magazine. “Traveling in Poland, I visited antique stores offering Jewish items — menorahs, mezuzas — that seemed more than 65 years old,” wrote Randy Malamud of Atlanta. “[I] found myself unable to pay for what was probably stolen property. Part of me wishes I had stolen (liberated?) some of them. Would that have been justified?” In his response, Ethicist scribe Randy Cohen quoted Marilyn Henry, a Jerusalem Post columnist who “has written much about such sad relics.” Cohen advised that “while the items may have been looted during the Nazi era, they may have been treated as legally ‘abandoned’ when the family was deported; they may have been sold at fire-sale prices by the original owner/family to raise funds to flee; they may have been held with the best of intentions by neighbors in anticipation that a Jewish family would return, and the family did not return.”
Israel and Lebanon are at it again. But there’s no heavy artillery in this battle — unless you count giant sums spent by tourism boards in Tel Aviv and Beirut in a furious competition for gay tourists. With both cities “boasting a trendy nightlife, warm climate and carefree attitude,” reports the Jerusalem Post, efforts to lure “pink dollars” are ramping up.
Earlier this year, the Forward reported on Tel Aviv’s ascent as a gay destination; in April, a pair of U.S. gay tour operators even made headlines with dueling, ultra-luxe packages for gay travelers. There’s also a new, official Facebook page, Tel Aviv Gay Vibe, that touts the White City as “a dashing piece of gay heaven.”
Beirut, however, earned the moniker “Provincetown of the Middle East” in a 2009 Travel story in the New York Times. And according to the Post, industry powerhouse the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association held its first symposium in the city a few weeks ago. The owner of the gay travel agency LebTour also tells the Post his company now escorts 500 gay tourists around Lebanon every year.
Afternoon blues? Plug in your earphones and check out this hilarious new clip by the DJ duo Duck Sauce, posted on the New York Times ArtsBeat blog.
What does a new Holocaust documentary have in common with “The Kids Are All Right,” “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “Predators”? An R rating, according to the Classification and Rating Administration of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Yesterday’s New York Times reports that “A Film Unfinished,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, earned the R rating, which requires viewers under the age of 17 to be accompanied by an adult, for “disturbing images of Holocaust atrocities, including graphic nudity.”
The movie, which will be directed by Jay Roach of “Meet the Fockers” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” is inspired by the 1998 French film “Le Diner de Cons” (essentially, “The Dinner for Assholes”). It follows the unlikely friendship between Rudd, an executive who nearly has it all, and Carell, an eccentric and clumsy IRS employee who creates dead mice dioramas for fun. Rudd plans to bring Carell to his boss’s annual “Dinner for Extraordinary People,” where the employee who brings the lamest and strangest guest to dinner is rewarded at the office.
Defining Israeli cuisine is tough work, as Forward Ingredients columnist Leah Koenig recently pointed out. But difficult or not, Israeli food culture is thriving, and the global gastro community is taking notice.
In the world of Jewish food, the iconic deli and the sustainable food movement seem like strange bedfellows. But in a post-Alice Waters world such is no longer the case, at least according to an article by Julia Moskin, “Can the Jewish Deli Be Reformed?” in today’s New York Times.
Delis, which once thrived on the fact that they could sell cheap meat brined, smoked, roasted or ‘cued and smothered in seasoning, are no longer up to snuff for discerning deli aficionados. And, as David Sax, author of Save the Deli, points out, old delis with overly long and poorly executed menus are dying by the dozen.
If you think Israeli food comprises just hummus, falafel and shawarma you have a lot to learn (and taste). Modern Israeli cuisine is hip, fresh, local and heavily influenced by the loads of immigrants living there. For your convenience, we’ve found two food programs, both happening this week, sure to bring you and your taste buds up to speed.
Celebrity Israeli Chef Haim Cohen, host of the cooking show “Garlic, Pepper and Olive Oil,” will be preparing a dinner at the venerable James Beard Foundation tonight in New York. Serving up dishes like whitefish ceviche, labaneh filled torellini, and seared calamari with hummus, he’ll incorporate traditional and new Israeli ingredients into the meal.
For a more in-depth look at modern Israeli cuisine, you can sign up for the New York Times’ course “The New Israeli Cuisine,” a week-long online seminar led by Times food writer Joan Nathan and Janna Gur, editor of Israel’s leading food magazine, On The Table.
Leave the schnitzel and falafel at home.