A Portuguese-Spanish Jewish Thanksgiving Service Going Back to 1789

By On November 21, 2017

When George Washington announced the first national Thanksgiving in 1789, he called for all Americans to gather in their houses of worship, and to thank God for Independence. A group of Jewish… Read More


The 1916 Knish War of the Lower East Side

By On November 14, 2017

Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Rival restauranteurs battle over knishes! The 1910s were a bustling time for the Lower East Side shtetl-metropolis, where roughly 2 million Ashkenazi Jews were crammed more… Read More


Tiffany Synagogues: Like the Lamps, But Holier

By On November 13, 2017

Here’s what probably comes to mind when you hear the name Louis Comfort Tiffany: stained glass lampshades in intricate, kaleidoscopic, jewel tones. Here’s what should come to mind: gorgeous late 19th- and… Read More


One of the First Films About the Holocaust Remains a French Sensation

By On November 10, 2017

Around the tenth anniversary of the liberation of France, a French government agency decided to produce a documentary about Nazi concentration camps. A promising young man named Alain Resnais, who would later become… Read More


This Raucous Jewish Stand-Up Comedienne Made Fat Jokes Before They Were In Style

By On November 7, 2017

Self-mockery is a staple of stand-up comedy, and few excelled at it as much as Totie Fields. The raspy-voiced Jewish comedienne is mostly forgotten today, but she made her name on late-night… Read More


The Italian Jewish Programmers Making Auschwitz a Virtual Reality ‘Experience’

By On November 3, 2017

Perhaps not as exciting as the latest installment in the Super Mario franchise, the Italian studio 101% is working on something really big: a virtual-reality game. Featuring Auschwitz. Witness: Auschwitz, currently under development… Read More


Purify Your Life With 17th-Century German Jewish Magic!

By On October 31, 2017

If you like your self-help books to feature Medieval Jewish magic, The Book of Abramelin is for you. Thought to have been written by the German Jewish Talmudist Rabbi Yaakov Moelin around… Read More


How Portugal’s Jews Saved Themselves With a Sausage

By On October 27, 2017

The Alheira is a beautiful thing. A type of Portuguese sausage known for garlic and breadcrumbs, the meat link is so beloved in Portugal that it was voted one of the nation’s… Read More


Clarice Lispector, Brazil’s Beloved Writer, Was Born in a Russian Shtetl

By On October 25, 2017

The modernist Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector is widely hailed as one of the greatest Latin American writers of the 20th century. What you wouldn’t guess from that fact is that she was born… Read More


Love and Tears in a Mother and Sons’ Reunion, 70 Years After the Holocaust

By On October 20, 2017

Izak Szewelwicz thought he knew his mother Aida. After giving birth to him in the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp, she’d sent him to Palestine when she departed for Canada. Though they later… Read More


Why This Charming Anne Frank Halloween Costume is No Longer For Sale

By On October 19, 2017

In a blow to enthusiasts of off-color role play, HalloweenCostumes.com, a Minnesota-based company, pulled an Anne Frank-themed costume from their site last Sunday, when the item went viral due, perhaps, to some… Read More


The Baddest Yiddish-Speaking Jews of Warsaw and New York

By On October 18, 2017

Eddy Portnoy’s just-released Bad Rabbi and Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press reminds us that not all Jewish immigrants and migrants did well. Sure, some became doctors, lawyers, and… Read More

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