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…
What do you have to do as an Egyptian Member of Parliament to earn the nickname Nose Job? Anwar El-Balkimy, of the Salafist Nour Party (that means he's sooo religious, he has one regular prayer rug and a special one for yomim tovim), told everybody he had been beaten and robbed of LE100,000 by thugs on 29 February. But according to Al Ahram, it was later discovered that his facial injuries were caused by cosmetic surgery on his nose.
Is there such a thing as too many metaphors for the triumph of the human spirit packed into one sidewalk, especially such a crowded sidewalk near Wall Street (add that, too, to the mix, wrap in an American flag and call it a day?). But I'm probably being too cynical. It's actually a heart warming story.
What's a good Jewish Press Story for the Irish national day of beer and more beer? We've got one for you! It's about Drew Lovejoy, 17, from Greenville, Ohio, who is the son of a black Baptist from Georgia and a white Jewish mother from Iowa. But his fame is international, after winning the all-Ireland dancing championship in Dublin for a third straight year.
Anti-Semitism in some parts is apparently so rampant, it's enough to have a Jewish sounding name for your life to be in danger. A couple of rampaging murderers who are up for several murders in Oregon and California, said in a jailhouse interview after their arrest that one of their victims, Cody Myers, was killed because he had a "Jewish sounding" last name. Myers happened to be a devout but extremely unlucky Christian.
Lemel Leo Adler, left, and Leon Schagrin are cousins, the sons of two sisters. After the invasion of Poland, they were transported to the Tarnow ghetto, and then to several labor camps, and finally to Buna, "a chemical plant taht also known as Auschwitz III." In there they met only briefly, between shifts. In January 1945 they were separated and didn't see each other again. "A far as they know, everyone else in their families were killed."
Punning might be the most annoying form of art save for mime (a punning mime, now that would be hateful). Check out the Monday NY Post (a paper known for outrageous punning, not enough mime) for verification. They claim that an outfit named Urban Nosh, which got its start making Matzel Toff, a chocolate-covered matzah, is adding a new, year-round version of the same dubious treat, called Matzel Bits, and are also conspiring to launch yet another new product, called Holy Macaroons. Help…?
The Sunday Daily Mail features a colorful spread on fashion designer, owner of the Max Studio upmarket fashion chain, Leon Max, or Leonid Maxovitch Rodovinksi, "one of a clutch of rich Russians buying up chunks of Britain." The piece recalls another billionaire, Roman Abramovich, who bought the London Chelsea soccer team. But instead of buying soccer clubs, Max has purchased "a spectacularly beautiful English stately home." Love those Jews and their wonderful money…
We went out to watch the Purim Parade in our sweet town of Netanya, and for a few hours were transported to a care-free world, somewhere between Disneyland and New Orleans. Our daughter Yarden said, Purim is like Halloween but without dead people. Everyone was distinctly alive in Netanya this Purim. And everyone seemed to take very seriously the idea of the Purim happy noise. Even the babies.
When a press release from the organizers of the NY Peace Film Festival popped in my email, I naturally braced myself for the usual torrent of anti-Semitic graffiti masked as criticism of Zionism we have learned to expect from any event with the words Peace and Festival in the title. To my very pleasant surprise, someone at the 5th annual festival has decided—imagine!—to dedicate the entire program to films discussing peace efforts around the world.