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The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Jewish Comedian Leah Forster

LGBTQ - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
By Aiden Pink for The Forward
 

Leah Forster is the Orthodox world’s favorite lesbian Jewish comedian.

Admittedly, there’s not much competition for that title. But for nearly a decade, Forster was one of the most popular entertainers in the community, until she walked away from the business and her strict ultra-observant lifestyle. Now she’s making a comeback in both the religious and secular worlds — but some ultra-Orthodox rabbis are trying to stop her.

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With Intermarriage Endorsement, Rabbi Hopes To Start ‘Grass Roots’ Movement

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
By Ari Feldman for The Forward
 

A synagogue in Virginia has issued a statement saying it’s in favor of Conservative rabbis presiding at interfaith weddings even though the movement still officially bans the practice.

In a Facebook post, the synagogue’s rabbi said that its board had voted to allow its clergy to marry a Jewish person to a non-Jewish person, but only when the movement formally allows its rabbis to do so. That means the vote and the statement are symbolic.

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Borscht Belt Hotel Food Gets Star Turn In ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
By Shira Feder for The Forward
 

There was a time when to any Jew in the know, “the mountains” meant the Catskills, and “the Catskills” meant the Borscht Belt, the site of orgiastic meals, frenzied sexual activity and cutting edge comedy. (A sampling: “Did you hear about the bum who walked up to a Jewish mother on the street and said, ‘Lady, I haven’t eaten in three days.’ ’ ‘Force yourself,’ she replied.” And yes, Woody Allen, Jerry Lewis and Jerry Seinfeld all performed there.)

 

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Warm yourself this winter with Israel’s favorite hot milk drink… and win a cookbook

jewish-food - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
Israel21c
 

In the second in our Tayim cooking videos, our chef shows you in less than a minute how to cook the warming Mideast beverage, sachlav. Share the video and you could win a great Israeli cookbook!
 

First we started with donuts, now we teach you how to make the popular Middle East hot milk beverage – sachlav – in the second cooking video of our new Tayim (tasty) series.

In less than a minute, 21see’s Tayim videos teach you how to make classic Israeli dishes in your own kitchen.

Watch & Read.
 

We Are Family: Jewish Mizrahi Folktale for Kids

children-and-families - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
from BimBam.com
 

Watch this episode of Shaboom: Plotz Landing as Gabi and Rafael slide into a Jewish folktale and help two brothers learn about love and the appreciation of family. And along the way they learn the words to Hinei Ma Tov, a Jewish song about peace.

Enjoy another similar folktale from PJ Library with “One City, Two Brothers.” 

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On the Future of the Holocaust Novel

jewish-books - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
By Bram Presser for Jewish Book Council
 

In the not-too-distant future, the Holocaust will have passed from living memory. There will be no survivors left to tell us of the horrors they endured, or the triumph of survival, or even the mundane minutiae that is so rarely acknowledged. What they will have left behind is, of course, extraordinary. In volume. In breadth. In depth. Countless words, many of them assembled into great works of literature, others into more modest efforts, written down so that their families might know. Thousands upon thousands of hours of audio and video testimony, pictures, diagrams, photos, ephemera of the most varied kinds. Soon, however, it will all begin to gather dust, to fade into history. It will become a setting, a context, just like every other historical catastrophe.

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2,000-year-old inscription is earliest-ever spelling of Jerusalem

israeil-news - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 

 

Rare artifact going on display for public to see.


Sure, Jerusalem is known as an ancient city. But rarely has the archaeological spotlight shone on the name of the city itself. That is, until today. Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000 year-old stone inscription that notes the full Hebrew spelling of the word Jerusalem. Previous artifacts have either been in Aramaic or used an abbreviated version of Jerusalem. The discovery was announced today at a joint press conference of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Museum.

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With Intermarriage Endorsement, Rabbi Hopes To Start ‘Grass Roots’ Movement

interfaith - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
By Ari Feldman for The Forward
 

A synagogue in Virginia has issued a statement saying it’s in favor of Conservative rabbis presiding at interfaith weddings even though the movement still officially bans the practice.

In a Facebook post, the synagogue’s rabbi said that its board had voted to allow its clergy to marry a Jewish person to a non-Jewish person, but only when the movement formally allows its rabbis to do so. That means the vote and the statement are symbolic.

Read more: 

Did You Know There's a Jewish Holiday Every Month?

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
from BimBam.com
 

What is Rosh Chodesh?

 

How Jews Celebrate the First Day of Every Month
 

Rosh Chodesh is a minor Jewish holiday that happens on the first day of every month and literally translates to “head of the month”. Watch our explainer video to learn the significance of this monthly holiday.

This holiday has long been considered a special holiday for women. Some say that this is because women of Israel did not offer their jewelry for the creation of the Golden Galf so they were given Rosh Chodesh, a day when they could abstain from work. Others connect the lunar cycle of the holiday to a woman’s menstrual cycle. For thousands of years, Rosh Chodesh has been a holiday where women gather together for a variety of activities, from reciting prayers, to sharing a meal, discussing Jewish ethics and working for social change.


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Hazon Perspective: Farm Bill Update

green-living - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
by Hannah Elovitz for Hazon


Our tradition teaches us to open up the corners of our harvest through pe’ah and to attune ourselves to the needs of land for rest and restoration through shmita. We at Hazon are therefore greatly relieved that the recently passed Farm Bill maintains food assistance access for those in need rather than imposing draconian work requirements and that it preserves programs that incentivize farmers to reduce erosion and increase soil carbon.

 

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The Mysterious Childhood of King David

featured-articles - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
By Ushi Derman for Beit Hatfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People


You can tell a lot about religions by their archetypal protagonist. Generally speaking, Christianity is fond of pure, untarnished guys, those who turn their other cheek. The Muslims adore men who sacrifice their lives to reach paradise, whereas the Buddhists respect he who can live an entire life doing one thing – avoiding. Avoiding over eating, uninhibited sex, alcohol and drugs, and life in general.

And Judaism? Well, it certainly resents the character of the agonized martyr. Jewish protagonists are deliberately portrayed full of flaws, bursting with drives and passions, just the opposite of saints. Abraham is manipulative, Isaac is limp, Jacob is hypocritical, Moses stutters, Joseph is arrogant and vindictive, Samson is impulsive and Salomon is a hedonist.

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Shemot

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am

Exodus 1:1−6:1 


BY ARNOLD M. EISEN, JTS


Summoning a People


Two very different stories about who we are as Jews are forcefully presented in the opening chapters of the Book of Exodus. One of them—captured in the Hebrew title of the book, Shemot or “Names”—declares that we are the Children of Israel: a nation, a people, defined in the first instance and forever after by our ancestors and the paths they travelled. The other story teaches that we are disciples of Moses, the human protagonist of the book, and, like him, are servants of the God Who called to Moses out of the Burning Bush and bound us in covenant at Sinai.

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NYU student government passes BDS resolution led by Israeli Jewish student

young-adults - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
Written byi24NEWS


The next stage is for the bill to pass the University Senate before being considered by the Board of Trustees


The Student Government Assembly (SGA) at New York University (NYU) voted in favor of a BDS-type resolution for the divestment of companies that do business with the Israeli army.

The “Resolution on the Human Rights of Palestinians” co-authored by Israeli-Jewish student Rose Asaf along with Bayan Abubakr, and Leen Dweik, calls on NYU to divest specifically from Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin, and General Electric unless they agree to stop “play[ing] an active role in funding and perpetuating Israel’s illegal occupation and its violation of human rights, making NYU complicit in these crimes.”

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MUSLIMS, JEWS AND CHRISTIANS ON BEING LGBT AND BELIEVING IN GOD

LGBTQ - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
By Kashmira Gander for the Independent


The lesbian, gay, bi, and trans-rights charity Stonewall has enlisted faith role models to tackle the idea that religion and sexuality are mutually exclusive 

 

Organised religion and sexuality haven't always been the most comfortable bedfellows. And interpretations of religious texts, from the Bible to the Quran, have been used to argue that being LGBTQ is a sin. In some 74 countries around the world same-sex relationships are illegal, while the rights of trans people remain unprotected - with religion often a sticking point for progression. 

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As the Gulf Warms Up to Israel, a Synagogue Grows in Dubai

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
By Jonathan Ferziger and Alisa Odenheimer for Bloomberg Business News


The U.A.E. has tried to project a more tolerant image.


For centuries, Jews did business and mixed socially—if warily—with Arab neighbors from Baghdad to Beirut, but most were expelled or emigrated when Israel was founded in 1948. Today, as the region’s economy grows and attitudes toward Israel soften, a fledgling Jewish community in Dubai has founded that city’s first synagogue.


Read & Watch. 

24-year-old Israeli earns jazz's most influential prize

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 


Virtually unknown before Monday, Tom Oren wins Thelonious Monk contest.


Tom Oren has tickled the ivories in relative obscurity up until this point in his career, but that's all about to change. The 24-year-old Oren, a native of Tel Aviv, just received the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition – one of jazz's highest honors.

The award was announced earlier this week at a gala event held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and hosted by actor Blair Underwood. Oren performed two songs at the event, including the Cole Porter standard “Just One Of Those Things.”

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SHEET PAN CHICKEN A L’ORANGE

jewish-food - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
Jamie Geller for JoyofKosher


Orange flavored chicken is a classic combination for a reason. Mix up the citrus, add some extra sweetness, and your chicken will be delicious every time. Roasting the chicken on a sheet pan achieves succulent, crispy chicken with the perfect glaze. 

Make this chicken recipe as part of our 1-hour shabbat menu with Quinoa Pilaf and Kohlrabi and Fennel Slaw. 

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The Hardest Part of Being Jewish on Christmas Isn't What You Think

children-and-families - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
by REBECCA GRUBER for PopSugar Family


The hardest part of being Jewish on Christmas has nothing to do with piles of presents under the tree or virtually everything under the sun being closed that day. We have our Christmas traditions, too. On Christmas Eve we pop a big bowl of popcorn and sit down for a family movie marathon of Elf and Home Alone. It continues the next morning with the 24-hour marathon of The Christmas Story followed by a trip to the local movie theater for whatever movie is debuting that day (and there's always a good one!) and concluding with dinner in our favorite Chinese restaurant where the dishes are presented with a flourish that we don't see on a normal Sunday night dinner.

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What to Do About the Solomons by Bethany Ball

jewish-books - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
Review by Heidi Sax for Jewish Book Council
 

Talk about salacious! In her debut novel, What to Do About the Solomons, Bethany Ball leaves no stone unturned as she gradually divulges the inner psyches, darkest secrets, and most problematic idiosyncrasies of her kibbutznik characters. Lust, drugs, money, and other excesses are no strangers to the Solomon family. Lovers of classic Jewish literature and gossip rags unite: this one’s got something for everyone.

 

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In an increasingly nonbinary world, is gendered Hebrew willing to adapt?

israeil-news - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
By RENEE GHERT-ZAND for The Times of Israel


While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity


Not long ago in Israel, Rabbi Arie Hasit led memorial prayers and study at a service for a transgender Jew. Among those gathered were many members of the LGBTQ community, some of whom identified as gender nonbinary — neither male nor female. While the American-born Conservative rabbi  is generally not at a loss for words in his fluent Hebrew, this time he was.

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