Jacob Kaplan

Jacob is a writer and a teacher. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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The Secret History of ‘I Have a Little Dreidel’

By On December 7, 2015

You’ve probably never heard of the late Samuel E. Goldfarb, but chances are good that you’ve heard the music he’s written. In fact, you probably know one of his songs by heart:… Read More

Hardboiled Mystery Novels, Israeli-Style
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The Man Bringing Hardboiled Mystery Novels to Israel

By On November 18, 2015

When you think of Israeli fiction, you probably don’t think of hardboiled mysteries—you know, the hard-edged, alcohol-soaked whodunits writers like Hammett and Chandler built an institution out of. Dror Mishani is interested… Read More

Reading the Koran in Yiddish
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Reading the Koran in Yiddish

By On October 27, 2015

  Demand for a Yiddish translation of the Koran has never been particularly high, but that didn’t discourage Solomon Blumgarten, penname Yehoash. Blumgarten (1872-1927), a Lithuanian-born New Yorker, translated parts of the… Read More

Turns Out Rav Kook Was a Vegetarian Renegade
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Turns Out Rav Kook Was a Vegetarian Renegade

By On August 31, 2015

  While vegetarianism is not an official tenet of Orthodox Jewish belief, certain scholars feel the Torah suggests that Jews should abstain from eating meat. Abraham Isaac Kook—the late Torah scholar, and… Read More

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The NYC Savant Changing Jewish Literature

By On August 28, 2015

Joshua Cohen has all the trappings of an arch-nemesis: he’s handsome, precocious, hyper-functional, prolific. He speaks three languages. Besides his latest novel, Book of Numbers, he’s written three others, plus four collections… Read More

The Surprising Jewish History of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
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The Surprising Jewish History of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

By On August 3, 2015

Jews from Denmark first arrived on the white beaches of what is now St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands—a tiny speck off the coast of Puerto Rico—in the mid-17th century. These were descendants… Read More

If "The Wire" Were Israeli, It Would Be This Show
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If “The Wire” Were Israeli, It Would Be This Show

By On July 31, 2015

Fauda, a new thriller on Israeli TV, is being likened to American crime drama The Wire, and not just for its frequent shoot-outs and edge-of-your-seat pacing; like its American cousin, the show… Read More

Painted by Klimt, Stolen by the Nazis, and Finally Recovered
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The Sordid Nazi History Behind This Famous Klimt Painting

By On July 14, 2015

Maria Altmann’s story has all the hallmarks of a great thriller: stolen famous art, tight-fisted government officials, Nazis. It’s no wonder, then, that the late Altmann (née Bloch-Bauer) has been the subject… Read More

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