"Most people have probably never heard of Y-Love," writes Jerry Portwood in Out Magazine this week, explaining that "for a dedicated fan base, however, Y-Love, aka Yitz Jordan, is a popular Hassidic hip-hop artist who raps in a mix of English, Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin. That’s right: Jordan is an African-American rapping Jew. And now he wants the world to know he’s gay."
Here's the text that accompanies this image on the Pentagon-run website DefenseImagery.mil: "During the Holocaust Days of Remembrance U.S. Air Force Capt. Jennifer McGee, with the 12th Contracting Squadron, helps Madison Angelito and Alex Barner make coconut pyramids, a traditional Jewish dessert, at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas." There are Days of Remembrance? More than one? Needs checking. Also: traditional Jewish coconut pyramids? Whose tradition? Help...
Dr. Hatem al-Haj, PhD, MD, a senior committee member of the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), has recently published a 41-page Arabic-language paper titled "Circumcision of Girls: Jurisprudence and Medicine," explaining why female circumcision is recommended and even "an honor" for women.
Bea Abrams Cohen, who turned 102 in February, believes in mitzvahs. "Pay back. It works," she told the LA Times. Bea enlisted during World War II and worked for more than seventy years supporting the U.S. military and charity organizations.
Today's cartoon is from Al-Watan (Qatar), from way back in May 13, 2003. The U.S. and Israel are shown eating from two sides of an apple that represents “the Arab states.” According to the middle-east-info.org, where we found it, this cartoon is noteworthy because it was published in Qatar, home to the Al Jazeera TV network. Qatar is considered by many in the U.S. State Department to be a U.S. ally and a relatively moderate state.
This one took the Photoshop equivalent of plastic surgery. The depiction of both the vampire-like Jewish person and the dead child in his arms is so vile, I had to fix every little aspect of the image.
The trick with this nasty but very well drawn cartoon, in which the Jews are depicted as a creature reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver's Alien, speaking to a wise, old Muslim sage, was to remove both religious symbols. Once those were out of the way, it became a cute setup for some sort of vaudeville-style sketch ("Who's on first" comes to mind).
This July 2, 2011 cartoon, by Ad-Dustur, was headlined: "Apple Bows to Israeli Pressure and Removes the Palestinian Intifada Website." The argument against Apple wasn't so outrageous, free speech and all, but the choice to go with a Jew (further identified by the star of David on the hat) was just unnecessarily nasty.
This cartoon, by Syrian artist Tishrin, was published September 22, 2011, and, to be fair, as anti-Israeli cartoons go it is relatively tame. But I was delighted by the opportunity to turn Tishrin's clever (albeit kinda trite) use of the letter T as cross, into the letter T as clothesline.
Welcome to the Jewish Press Online Cartoon Rehabilitation Project (JPOCRP), or, in short (suggested by our colleague Rafi Harkham) Cartoon Rehab. We found this cartoon on the ADL website. They say it was originally published in Oman, April 12, 2012, and the original text, written in blood, says: "We Will Never Surrender."
Drake says: "When I had a Bar Mitzvah back in the day, my mum really didn't have that much money. We kinda just did it in the basement of an Italian restaurant, which I guess is kinda like a faux pas. I told myself that if I ever got rich, I'd throw myself a re-Bar Mitzvah. That's the concept for the video."
The Israeli band Balkan Beat Box will continue its successful world tour with a concert on Wednesday evening in Munich, Germany – striking a nerve for some in Israel because it is the start of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. All entertainment venues, from shows to restaurants, are shuttered in Israel on this day.
Jake Gyllenhall has reportedly been spotted topping up parking meters to stop the car owners getting a ticket. The 'Brokeback Mountain' star fed his spare change into the strangers' slots when an LA traffic warden was about to ticket them.
For the past 10 years, UNT has been the only university in the North Texas area where students could study Hebrew outside of seminary. But, according to NTDaily.com, after many years of low enrollment, the program is being eliminated. Ruth Precker, the adjunct professor hired in 2002 to teach Hebrew, believes the program’s recent low enrollment is due to issues with the registrar – there was a glitch!
Bet you didn't expect to find those two components, Yiddish theater and Neil Sedaka in the same headline. Well, now you have! The National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene will be honoring pop singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka, the son of a Turkish Jew father and a Polish-Russian Jewish mother, at its 2012 annual gala, June 12, at New York’s Town Hall.
In Woody Allen's 1973 comic Sci Fi masterpiece "Sleeper," an underground band in the far future is trying to revive Allen's memory by acting out scenes from his childhood in Jewish Brooklyn. One of the men, in the roll of Allen's father, urges him, "Stop whining and eat your shiksa…" That was the feeling that overcame me when I read the article in Monday's Daily Mail of New Baltimore, NY, under the headline "Church brings Jewish traditions to life."
What do you think of when you hear the name "Gaza?" Gut wrenching misery of a devastated people under siege. Not if you judge by this music video, shot against images of the thriving, beautiful, totally modern city of Gaza, with thousands of folks gathering in a stadium for a celebration, and the obligatory images of armed Hamsniks in training. Everyone looks well fed and quite happy.
The Fountainheads are a group of young Israeli singers, dancers, and artists, all graduates and students of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership, who "have joined forces to create new Jewish artistic content for today's Jewish world." So far, this could be an intro to some really boring stuff, but in this case it ain't so. In my search for great, new Passover content, I landed on their YidVid Breakin' Free, and will definitely be using it while running on my treadmill.
In the solidarity business, life can be unpredictable. Take, for instance, the story of the LGBT commission representing the gay community in Seattle, which this month canceled a Friday reception at City Hall for a visiting delegation of Israeli gay leaders. They argued that Israel was "pinkwashing" its treatment of the Palestinians by showing the world how fabulous they are on gay rights.
The lovely Mayim Bialik, heartthrob of millions of geeks as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, spoke at the National Museum of American Jewish History to mark the 90th anniversary of the Bat Mitzvah. I absolutely love Mayim, who confessed to nursing her own little boy, Fred, through age 3 ("I believe in child-led weaning"). I just think she may not be the best advocate for rituals of adulthood…
The entire story of the Migron outpost explained in 3 entertaining minutes, including the missing link, the one component the High Court is yet to offer in this sad trampling over justice and lives: proof of Arab ownership.
As sponsors of the upcoming J Street conference, B'Tselem has had to explain to its Palestinian allies how it can be part of an event featuring as keynote speaker former PM Ehud Olmert, "the Butcher of Gaza." B'Tselem's response was typical – a lot of backpedaling and revisions. But what works for the op-ed pages of Ha'aretz and the NY Times does not wash with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights…
"I write this article in fear," starts Omar Sharif Jr.'s revelatory article in the Advocate, which dishes out coming out stories to fit every pallet. This one involves an Egyptian TV and screen actor, grandson of a Hollywood legend, who fled his homeland for the safety of America. And he's probably Jewish, too.
Former pro-Soviet Jewry activist and local Upper West Side all around tzadik Glenn Richter has been collecting food from the Ohav Zedek synagogue and similar institutions and bringing it to homeless shelters for more than 20 years, but recently, when he attempted to bring a traditional Shabbat cholent leftovers from a shul kiddush, he was refused on account of the Bloomberg administration's decree against giving too much salt, fat and fiber to the homeless.
The world is full of people without a sense of humor, as was discovered recently by Vanya Heiman, Anat Vershovsky and Amit Shimoni, all students from the "Bezalel" Academy of the Arts, who created the clip "Der Mensch" for the Visual Communication Department at the Academy. It was only supposed to be a genre exercise…