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 reconnected, when Izak, at seventy, found his birth certificate, he realized how little he actually knew about her. [...]
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source
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 keen Twitter users. The $25 outfit, which featured a long-sleeved, blue button-up dress, brown shoulder bag, and a green [...]
Thu, Oct 19, 2017, Continue reading at the source
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 successful business owners. But others became pimps, boxers, and general ne'er-do-wells. Portnoy, Senior Researcher and Director of Exhibitions at [...]
Wed, Oct 18, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Gefilte Joe and the Fish, Oy George, Georgie Girl, The Screaming Faloshes – these aren't the punchlines of bad Jewish jokes, but the names of four “bands” who recorded Jewish novelty tunes for a 1984 Rhino Records EP called Kosher Club. What's shocking: the songs are actually hilarious. Dug out of [...]
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Coincidences involving famous Jewish writers and a giant, stampeding ape don't come around very often. This one begins with Russian Jewish author and diarist Isaac Babel, who documented the horrors of the Polish-Soviet war and later published his seminal story collection Red Cavalry. But there's more in his diaries than just [...]
Tue, Oct 10, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Jews make great therapy patients. Just ask Sarah Silverman, Gary Shteyngart, or Lena Dunham: long-time devotees of the therapy couch. Shrink, a new short-form video series created by Spielbergs, a collaboration of Alex Karpovsky and Teddy Blanks, puts celebrities—Jewish and non-Jewish—in front of a camera to tell their therapy story in [...]
Wed, Oct 04, 2017, Continue reading at the source
In 1994, a man whose later years were spent as a high school Latin teacher was recognized by Yad Vashem as a righteous among the nations. In 1935, it turns out, Mr. Varian Fry traveled to Berlin to report on the German government's banning of all non-Aryans from military service [...]
Mon, Oct 02, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Where does a prisoner rescued from Auschwitz find the strength to immediately pivot and fight his captors? “Music” might sound cliche, but when survivor/infantryman/cantor David Wisnia says so, he means it. In a video that recently went viral, he tells the “very funny story” of his unlikely life, punctuated with [...]
Wed, Sep 27, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Imagine a box made of and filled with wire and string, frayed cloth, rotted paper, wood, stitching, netting, and mesh. Imagine that this box symbolizes the trauma and beauty of the world. Now imagine that this work was created by a German Jewish refugee named Hannelore Baron, whose experience watching her [...]
Tue, Sep 26, 2017, Continue reading at the source
It's hard out there for a cantor. On any regular week you have to lead a congregation in prayers, hopefully with a nice voice and a pleasing style. And if that pressure weren't bad enough, then the High Holidays come around, and you feel like you're being watched by every [...]
Wed, Sep 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source