Avishay Artsy

Avishay Artsy is a news reporter and producer at Southern California public radio station KCRW, and a contributing writer for the Jewish Journal, where he writes about arts and culture through a Jewish lens. He formerly worked as a producer on the business show Marketplace and on New Hampshire Public Radio's Word of Mouth. He lives in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Follow him at @heyavishay.

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A New Brazilian Holocaust Documentary as Beautiful as an Impressionist Painting

By On September 14, 2017

The new documentary Red Trees is unlike any Holocaust film we’ve seen. Visually stunning, it is filmmaker Marina Willer’s loving, poetic tribute to her father, Alfred, whose Jewish family was among the… Read More

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Flory Jagoda is Sephardic Music’s 91-Year-Old Accordion-Playing Superstar

By On September 13, 2017

Legend has it that when the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, they brought their house keys in the hope they would someday return. They also held onto their culture. And… Read More

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This Jewish Punk Band Existed to Spite Neo-Nazis

By On August 25, 2017

What’s a Jewish punk fan to do about all that skinhead punk out there? Some choose to ignore it, while others choose mockery instead. Take the spoof band Jewdriver, whose guiding motivation… Read More

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1930s Los Angeles was a Pro-Nazi Hotbed

By On June 26, 2017

While America nervously watched the rise of the Third Reich in the early 1930s, some Nazi-sympathizing Los Angelinos were eagerly anticipating a Nazi future. In those years, the pro-Hitler German American Bund held… Read More

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‘Jew With Beans’ Is This European Country’s National Dish

By On June 2, 2017

When in Luxembourg, do as the Luxembourgers do and order a plate of — wait for it — “Judd mat Gaardebounen,” literally “Jew with Beans.” You’ll get smoked pork collar with broad… Read More

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This 1915 KKK-Loving Film Built a Jewish Movie Empire

By On May 30, 2017

You might not think you’ve heard of the Russian-born Jewish motion picture magnate Louis B. Mayer, but if you’ve heard of MGM Studios you have. Mayer, the second ‘M’ in MGM, made… Read More

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This Jewish-Raised Hindu Musician Sings About Islam

By On May 19, 2017

The Australian-born singer-songwriter Ben Lee has been on a lifelong spiritual quest. He was raised Jewish, studied Taoism, and was married in a Hindu ceremony. Now he’s released an album called Ben… Read More

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The Secret Nazi History Behind ‘The Crown’

By On May 18, 2017

The Crown, Netflix’s epic bio-drama about the British monarchy, failed to win any honors at this year’s BAFTA awards, despite high praise for the show’s historical accuracy and outstanding cast. But critics have… Read More

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The Ancient Babylonian History of Haroset

By On April 6, 2017

The haroset most American Jews eat at the Passover seder to symbolize the mortar used by Hebrew slaves contains apples, walnuts and Manischewitz. But the delicious chunky mixture originated in ancient Babylonia,… Read More

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When Modern Dance Got Caught in Israel’s Culture Wars

By On March 22, 2017

Mr. Gaga, the intriguing new documentary about Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company and its artistic director, is about more than dance. Veteran filmmaker Tomer Heymann incorporates never-before-seen archival footage, beautifully shot performances, interviews and… Read More

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This Jewish Punk Heroine Died Tragically Young

By On March 13, 2017

The early ‘80s were an exciting time in New York’s music scene, and a young Jewish woman stood at the center of it all. Ruth Polsky was a prominent club promoter on… Read More

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Meet the Harlem Globetrotters’ Jewish Basketball-Spinning Founder

By On March 1, 2017

The Harlem Globetrotters are known for gravity-defying slam dunks, trick shots and improbable long shots. What’s less known is that the razzle-dazzle comedic showmanship was the idea of British-born Jewish businessman Abe… Read More