Browsing Archive

January, 2014


On the Road with Abraham: The Video Game

By On January 31, 2014

Every Hebrew school kid fantasizes about teaming up with Abraham as he departs Haran, snaking south through Mesopotamia to Canaan, fighting off bandits along the way, right? Okay, maybe that’s just us. Regardless, “Bible Chronicles: The… Read More

Jewish Vs. Goyish

Jewish v. Goyish: The Abbie Hoffman Edition

By On January 30, 2014

While many Jewish comedians (and one in particular) have noted the differing foodways of Jews and gentiles, you might be surprised to find that 1960s radical political activist Abbie Hoffman was one of them. Yes, that Abbie Hoffman. Reviled by some… Read More

The Anti-Yiddish Riots in Palestinian Tel Aviv

The Anti-Yiddish Riots in Palestinian Tel Aviv

By On January 29, 2014

When Mayn Yidishe Mame (“My Jewish Mother”), one of the first feature-length Yiddish talkies, arrived on Tel Aviv screens in 1930, pre-State Palestine had a sizable population of Yiddish speakers. But once the lights went out… Read More

Aaron Lopez

The 18th-Century Jewish Merchant Prince of Rhode Island

By On January 28, 2014

At his prime in the 18th century, Aaron Lopez was the wealthiest man in Newport, Rhode Island. He didn’t get that way by taking the moral high ground. Born in 1731 to… Read More

Six Million and One

A Kooky Israeli Family Explores Their Dark Past

By On January 27, 2014

  In 2003, fifty-eight years after its liberation, the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp site opened its doors to visitors. Eight years later, Israeli filmmaker David Fisher and his siblings became four of them. In… Read More

Dazbog Coffee

A Post-Soviet Jewish Coffee Chain – in Colorado

By On January 24, 2014

“Flavor as big as Russia!” So proclaims one ad for Dazbog, Denver’s most peculiar chain of independent coffee shops. Dazbog Coffee (a phonetic spelling of the Russian dast bog kofe—”May God provide coffee”) is the… Read More

Yiddish Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon…in Yiddish?

By On January 23, 2014

You may associate the Book of Mormon with show-stopping musical numbers and lots of Tony awards, but before it was a hit musical the Book of Mormon was…a book. In fact, it was the foundation… Read More

Shmuley Boteach

Michael Jackson’s Sex Rebbe

By On January 22, 2014

You might think of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach as the kosher sex guru, but, in fact, he used to wear a much more bizarre (and controversial) hat: that of unofficial spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson. Introduced… Read More


The Anti-Semitic Origins of “Hip Hip Hooray”

By On January 21, 2014

Three cheers for the bat mitzvah girl! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip… wait, stop. This is all wrong. Turns out our good old American cheer derives from an old anti-Semitic rallying cry,… Read More

Freedom Seder

The Passover Seder Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.

By On January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated just eight days before Passover in 1968. Among those grieving his loss were Jews who had joined his nonviolent protest movement, and were dedicated to the causes of civil rights… Read More

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Bergen-Belsen

By On January 17, 2014

In the mid-1940s, newsreel footage of the Allied liberation of Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, and Buchenwald horrified viewers across the world. The images of human devastation at Nazi concentration camps crystallized reigning negative opinions of Germany.… Read More

Benny Goodman

The Jazz Concert That Changed Black and Jewish History

By On January 16, 2014

When Benny Goodman, the Jewish clarinetist and so-called “King of Swing” took center stage at Carnegie Hall on this day in 1938, the audience was in for more than just a rollicking time.… Read More