Short Takes

Synagogues Get Their Own (Scape)Goat

09/24/2014
Staff Writer

When Sarah Lefton first came up with the pre-Yom Kippur app eScapegoat, she thought it would be a cute way to bring awareness to the Leviticus story behind the ritual of atonement.

eScapegoat app offers an online way to do repentance for the High Holy Days.

Say You Didn't Say It, Joe: More Bidenisms

This is your grandfather's vice-president.

09/18/2014
Editorial Intern

Vice President Joe Biden was trending -- not in a good way -- on Wednesday after calling fraudulent money lenders "shylocks." Jewish leaders, bearing in mind Biden's reputation as a friend of Israel and Jews, chastised him gently. Then, after that, he referred to Asia as "the Orient." Read on for more Bidenisms on topics racial.

Vice President Joe Biden made an embarrassing verbal blunder when he called fraudulent money lenders "shylocks." Getty Images.

What (Else) Is Jewish About FatJew?

UWS, radiologist dad, Jewfro. And more.

09/18/2014
Staff Writer

The Fat Jew, aka Josh Ostrovsky, is a 30-year-old Instagram star with over one million followers. He got a big write-up in the Times today. The Chelsea resident, whose video of teaching homeless people “SoulCycle” classes on parked Citi Bikes last summer went viral, is a recently crowned social media king. But is he a true Jewish prince? You decide.  

With various furry friends. Wikimedia Commons

Geeking Out On Rosh HaShanah

A list of 5 obscure -- and underrated -- customs.

09/17/2014
Editorial Intern

Dipping an apple in honey is always yummy, and everyone’s heard of the shofar blasts. But the Jewish New Year is also the time to enjoy some slightly more obscure customs that observers of the festival might want to incorporate into their holiday experience. Here, our geeky list.

Fish heads for Rosh HaShanah are a custom more honored in the breach than the observance, these days. Fotolia

‘Hallelujah’: Leonard Cohen As High Holiday Liturgy

09/16/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Jeffrey Salkin remembers that the first book of poetry he ever owned was the “Selected Poems” of Leonard Cohen. Cohen’s poetry, his fiction and his songs left their mark on Salkin, and when he was planning the High Holy Day services for Temple Beth Am in Bayonne, N.J., where he is the rabbi, he remembered that the Jewish-Canadian bard turns 80 this year.

Leonard Cohen: His songs will serve as inspiration for a New Jersey rabbi’s High Holy Days sermons. Getty Images

Turning Shiva Into Comedy

The novel that became the film 'This Is Where I Leave You' is the first explicitly Jewish work from a prolific writer.

09/16/2014
Editor And Publisher

Jonathan Tropper, the best-selling author whose film version of his novel “This Is Where I Leave You” opens nationally this weekend, says he was reluctant to make his characters explicitly Jewish in his first four books for fear “of being pigeonholed as a Jewish writer.”

Jonathan Tropper: Screenplay adapted from his novel pictures dysfunctional Jewish family.

Top Spot For Jewish Films Gets New Owner

09/10/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Charles Cohen can remember the exact moment at which he fell in love with cinema.

“I was 3 years old and my grandmother took me to see the Walt Disney ‘Cinderella,’” he recalled in a telephone interview last week. He laughs and adds, “I made her sit through it twice.”

A fan of cinema since seeing Walt Disney’s “Cinderella,” Charles Cohen now owns the Quad Cinema.  Courtesy of Quad Cinema

Deli Food For Syrian Jews?

09/10/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Redolent of tamarind, allspice, cinnamon and honey, and often made with vegetables and dried fruits, the Mediterranean and Levantine cuisine of Syrian Jews differs markedly from the salty, garlicky, fatty fare that forms the basis of traditional Eastern European Jewish cookery. But for Yaron Harazi, the owner of Brooklyn on Rye, a new kosher deli at 543 Kings Highway in Midwood (brooklynonrye.com), deli sandwiches are just the ticket for the growing Sephardic population in that district. “Syrians especially like bologna,” he said. “I’m selling bologna sandwiches as fast as I can make them.”

   Yaron Harazi’s new Brooklyn on Rye offers a combination of Sephardi and Ashkenazi fare.  Michael Datikash

Crown Heights Soon To Be Smokin’

09/03/2014
Staff Writer

Sruly Eidelman, 27-year-old Jewish foodie from Brooklyn, is constantly smoking. Meat, that is.

“It’s a hard habit to break,” said Eidelman, 27, in a recent phone interview. “I smoke whatever I want, even cholent.”

Sruly Eidelman’s pop-up BBQ restaurant now has a home in Brooklyn.

Hillel The Sage Gets A T-Shirt

09/03/2014
Staff Writer

What do H&M and a far-left political group have in common? Mishnaic sage Hillel, of course.

Both the Swedish retail giant and a Jewish anti-war group allied with JVP are using “If not now, when?” the rhetorical question found in Ethics of Our Fathers [Pirkei Avot]: H&M as a T-shirt slogan and the group #IfNotNow as a name.

Talmudic rabbi suits fashion to a T: Famous dictum from the Mishna is a hit at H&M retailer. Via hm.com
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