the Jewish Week

Dark Humor

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

 Earlier this year, New York magazine ran a cover story announcing the death of Jewish humor. “Twilight of the Tummlers” was a profile of Woody Allen and Larry David, tied to the movie “Whatever

Works,” but it was also a prediction that their particular brand of bleak, self-lacerating comedy was not long for this world.

PHOTO: AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE: French refugee children, Portugal, 1941.

Swaggering Through The Shuk

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

I’m god. No—I’m bigger than god. And badder. I’m Clint Eastwood. I’m Jesus Christ, Captain America, and the Beatles.

I mean, look at me. Do you see me? Do you see me in my olive-green uniform, beret, and shiny black boots? Do you see the assault rifle slung across my chest?

That’s me! Finally! I am the badass Israeli soldier at the side of the road, in sunglasses, beret, forearms like bricks. And honestly—have you ever seen anything quite like me?

The 188th Crybaby Brigade

Subversive and Sublime

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

 When Ronna Glickman and Beverly Ginsburg, two 50-something lifelong friends from Boston who between them have seven marriages, three children and several stepchildren they don’t talk about, come to Los Angeles to promote their book, “You’ll Do a Little Better Next Time: A Guide to Marriage and Remarriage for Jewish Singles,” they announce that they love the used bookstore they find themselves in because “everything is half-off” – and then berate the hapless Jewish clerk they meet because his wife isn’t Jewish.

Jewish Women’s Archive: Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers,Gilda Radner and Wendy Wasserstein

All In The Timing

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

Thirty years ago, when we were finishing up “The Big Book of Jewish Humor,” a few older comedians were still doing what comedians had always done. They told jokes — by which we mean funny little stories of indeterminate authorship — about a man and an elephant walking into a bar, for example, or a rabbi, a priest and a minister on a train.

PHOTO BY ADINA MENASHE, 2008, Marrakech/ the Kivunim photo exhibition, "ImagiNation: Young Photographers Engage the World"

Call and Response

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

I really admire considerate telemarketers who listen and try to sense your mood without immediately forcing a dialogue on you when they call. That’s why, when Devora from YES, the satellite TV company calls and asks if it’s a good time for me to talk, the first thing I do is thank her for her consideration. Then I say politely that no, it isn’t.

“The thing is that just a minute ago I fell into a hole and injured my forehead and my foot, so this isn’t really the ideal time,” I explain.

“A Rabbi Walks Into a Bank . . . ”

Special to the Jewish Week
03/19/2010

 A witty man was once asked: “A doctor and a banker — which one is more important in the eyes of the Lord?”

Literary lights Alter Druyanov, Y.H. Ravnitzky, Simon Dubnow, Mendele Mocher-Seforim and Chaim Nachman Bialik

Child Nutrition Seders to Raise Awareness, Advocate for Funding

03/18/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The Passover story is about the Jewish people gaining their freedom from slavery in Egypt. This year, two Jewish groups are connecting the holiday to a campaign to free American children from the bondage of hunger.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger are helping communities around the country hold a “Child Nutrition Seder” to both raise awareness of the issue of proper childhood nutrition and build support for the reauthorization of congressional legislation providing billions of dollars for federal nutrition programs.

Against The Grain

Special to the Jewish Week
03/17/2010

 If you live with a vegetarian on Passover and you also happen to be allergic to nuts, the week’s meals quickly become oppressively similar. And so, when I learned that several respected kosher authorities have declared quinoa to be not only the ancient “wonder grain” of the Andes, but also fit for consumption on the holiday of Passover, I thought it time to celebrate.

Quinoa: 'wonder grain' of the Andes?

Organizing on Iran, the Snowmageddon and More

03/14/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

As the snow melts away and the trees state to blossom, Jewish students nationwide are defining themselves through action. They’re doing Jewish things -- great Jewish things. You can read more about these inspiring stories below by clicking here.  Here’s a run-down of the biggest stories in Jewish student life.

Standing for Israel, One Campus at a Time

New/Old French Lenses

A directorial debut and the latest from veteran Robert Guediguian highlight ‘Rendezvous with French Cinema’ series.

03/11/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

French film criticism graduates filmmakers the way Penn State used to turn out linebackers. The latest example is Axelle Ropert, one-time editor of “La Lettre du Cinema,” whose first feature, “The Wolberg Family,” is one of the pleasant surprises in this year’s “Rendezvous with French Cinema” series.

The French Family Wolberg: Axelle Ropert’s new film portrays a Jewish family with hidden secrets.
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