Monthly Archives: February 2009

60+ Jewish comedians guarantees laughs

By Marista Lane

Old Jews Telling JokesOld Jews Telling Jokes.” That is the self-explanatory title of a new website that’s guaranteed to provide a smile.

Started on Jan. 22, 2009, it highlights the 60 and older Jewish crowd to narrate their favorite joke. New webisodes are released every Tuesday and Thursday.

Emphasizing the importance of Jewish story telling, Sam Hoffman, creator of the website, knew that laughing goes hand in hand with story telling—so he got his parents and eighteen of their friends together to create individual comedic snippets. So far only nine of the webisodes have been released, which means there are still plenty more foul-mouthed, wise cracking installments left to air.

Most of the episodes are not-so-suitable for the underage crowd, including when Hoffman’s mother drops the F-bomb and two others mix hospitals and sex.

Either way, worth a peek.

Confessing Rosenblat Seeks Oprah

By Marista Lane

Herman and Roma Rosenblat on Oprah

This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, Herman Rosenblat said he wasn’t sorry for the book he called a Holocaust memoir, Angel at the Fence, but did admit he made a mistake and wants forgiveness from the American public. “It wasn’t a lie,” he said. “It was my imagination, and in my mind, I believed it. Even now, I believe it.” Here lies the difference between memoir and fiction.

Oprah, who praised the memoir as being one of the greatest love stories ever written, had the couple on her show two times since she heard of the story. The book probably would have been on her Book Club list in no time. Berkley Books canceled the supposed memoir since Rosenblat’s confessed that much of the story was fabricated last December.

The “memoir” was meant to be released sometime this month. It tells the story of how Rosenblat met his wife Roma during their time at a sub-camp of Buchenwald concentration camp during the Holocaust, and how they reconnected later in life and are still married to this day.

In a statement released after he knew the book was fabricated, Ken Waltzer, director of Jewish Studies at Michigan State University, said, “This was not Holocaust education but miseducation…Holocaust experience is not heartwarming, it is heart rending. All this shows something about the broad unwillingness in our culture to confront the difficult knowledge of the Holocaust. All the more important then to have real memoirs that tell of real experience in the camps.”

Rosenblat was brave to appear on Oprah. Considering what happened to James Frey, it looks like Rosenblat came out relatively unscathed.

Should Israel Recognize Kosovo’s Independence?

By Jeremy Gillick

In February of 2008, the Republic of Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. Now, as the country of two million–almost all of whom are Muslim–celebrates its first birthday, Israel wonders whether or not to recognize it.

Over 50 nations have already done so, including the United States, the U.K., Germany, France and Turkey, but Israel has thus far avoided the issue entirely. As Ha’aretz puts it, “Jerusalem is hesitant to endorse the independence of a break-away Muslim country, in light of the implications it could have for Israel with regard to the Palestinians.”

“Israel may also view recognition of the breakaway republic as one that could potentially lead to a domino effect which could encourage other contested areas to declare independence, and possibly raise international calls for Palestinian statehood.”

In worrying about the potential repercussions, though, Israel overlooks an inconvenient truth: Kosovo’s Albanian Muslims are arguably more supportive of Israel than Muslims anywhere else in the world. Continue reading

Red Sox Not Moving Opening Day Because of Passover

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

Tha Sawks' season will start on time

Tha Sawks' season will start on time

There’s an email rumor spreading around the Jewish community that the Boston Red Sox, at the initiative of young Jewish General Manager Theo Epstein, had moved opening day to acccomodate Passover. Snopes has a big thread on it. Maybe you’ve gotten this email? It looks like this:

RED SOX GENERAL MANAGER-THEO EPSTEIN ANNOUNCED THAT THE BOSTON RED SOX
HOME OPENER WILL BE POSTPONED TO APRIL 14TH..TO AVOID THE 10 DAYS OF
PASSOVER.

HE NOTED, BECAUSE 3 OF HIS STARTERS WERE JEWISH AS WERE HIS BOX SEAT
HOLDERS, HE WAS FORCED TO MAKE THIS CHANGE IN SCHEDULING.  THE GOYIM
(non-Jews) IN BOSTON ARE ENRAGED AT EPSTEIN’S DECISION.

PROTESTS ARE BEING TENDERED TO THE COMMISSIONER OF BASEBALL’S OFFICE IN
P ROTEST…HOWEVER, BUD SELIG-COMMISSIONER OF BASEBALL WILL NOT BE ABLE
TO ADDRESS THESE PROTESTS –MAINLY DUE TO A SCHEDULING PROBLEM…CAUSED
BY THE FAMILY SEDERS HE AND MRS SELIG WILL BE OCCUPPIED WITH.
YES..THIS IS AN AMAZING COUNTRY.

Well, no matter how amazing you think this country is, it’s just not amazing enough to move opening day for Passover. This year, Passover goes from sundown on April 8th through the 16th, and as you can see from the Red Sox schedule they play every single one of those days except the 16th.

It looks like our wait for a contemporary Sandy Koufax-Yom Kippur moment will go on.

Bizarre Tales from the Holy Land

By Jeremy Gillick
Evidence of the approaching end-times, a society gone-psycho, or just more proof that humans are weird?

In the first tale, Haaretz reports that a man dressed up as spiderman (from a settlement, logically), was arrested for harassing commuters:

“Israel Police have grown accustomed to strange sights on Israel’s highways, but nothing could have prepared them for the sight of a man in a Spiderman costume jumping on top of cars and throwing ropes at the startled commuters’ vehicles.

“Cops were called to the scene after receiving a flurry of calls from gridlocked commuters near the Rosh Ha’ayin intersection who reported a man in a Spiderman costume throwing ropes at cars, the improvised lassos presumably meant to substitute for the web-crawler’s famous mechanical web-shooters.” Continue reading

Israeli Model Bar Rafali Gets SI Swimsuit Cover

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

Rafaeli on the cover

Rafaeli on the cover

Israeli election? Hamas? Forget about it for a second. Here’s some sexier news. Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli is on the cover of the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. Rafaeli was the first Israeli to appear in SI, in 2007.

That year, she and her beau Leonardo DiCaprio made headlines on a trip to Rafaeli’s family ranch in Hod Hasharon.

For more coverage, People has an interview with Rafaeli and SI has extensive photo galleries and videos.

Hamas on Offensive in Gaza

By Jeremy Gillick

As the Israeli election enters its final stretch (polls close at 10 P.M. Israel time), with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni surprisingly ahead in preliminary exit polls, Hamas continues its brutal crackdown on Fatah in the Gaza Strip.

According to a report issued today by Amnesty International, since Israel’s attack on Gaza began in late December, “Hamas forces and militias in the Gaza Strip have engaged in a campaign of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of “collaborating” with Israel, as well as opponents and critics.”

Amnesty claims that over twenty men have been killed by Hamas–both “collaborators” and members of Fatah–and “scores of others have been shot in the legs, kneecapped or inflicted with other injuries intended to cause permanent disability, subjected to severe beatings which have caused multiple fractures and other injuries, or otherwise tortured or ill-treated.” Continue reading