Author Archives: Michelle Albert

This Week’s Links

By Michelle Albert

  • Four car bombs exploded in front of Shiite mosques in Baghdad this morning, killing 39 people and wounding 54.
  • The Rabbinical Council of America is meeting this Sunday to discuss the possibility of female leadership in Orthodox synagogues. This comes a few months after a woman was almost ordained as a rabbi by one of the RCA’s members.
  • The XX Factor reviews Sarah Silverman’s new book, The Bedwetter.
  • England’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, answers questions about dealing with anti-Semitism on university campuses, Israeli use of British passports in Dubai and how he feels about being the first British Prime Minister to address the Knesset.
  • Berlin’s Free University has launched an Internet database documenting more than 20,000 works of art deemed “degenerate” by the Nazis and removed from German museums in 1937.
  • In honor of Israel’s 62nd birthday, the Israeli army marched in a formation resembling Zionist founder Theodor Herzl’s head.

This Week’s Links

By Michelle Albert

  • Now that Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court’s only Protestant member, has resigned, who will take his place on the bench? The New York Times shortlisted two Jews and another Protestant.
  • Palestinians from Jerusalem and Palestinians from the West Bank who marry must live in Kufr Aqab, the equivalent of a dusty, somewhat neglected no-man’s land, though technically part of Jerusalem.
  • Jewish rapper Y-Love teamed up with beatbox star Yuri Lane to create an album with tracks for each week of Sefira, the time between Passover and Shavuot. The all-vocal album will enable Jews who do not listen to live music over those seven weeks to get their groove on.
  • South African Judge Richard Goldstone, the former head of the UN commission that investigated last year’s Gaza war, will not attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah. Jewish groups have threatened to protest outside the synagogue during the bar mitzvah if Goldstone attends.
  • The local, sustainable, organic food crowd is revamping New York’s Jewish delis, one pastrami sandwich at a time.
  • Hasidic Jews and hipsters battle for space in Brooklyn.
  • And the strangest thing to read on the internet: Holocaust fanfiction.

This Week’s Links

By Michelle Albert

Seders, and the Last Supper, and Jesus! Oh, My!

By Michelle Albert

A recent article on Slate raises the question of a possible connection between the Last Supper and Passover, dredging up a long-standing source for argument and speculation.

On the surface, and indeed to many Jews and Christians, the Last Supper seems to have been a seder. It is generally acknowledged that Jesus was Jewish; in fact, early Christians had to be Jews before they could be Christian. At the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples said blessings over the bread and wine and reclined as they ate. (Though that they ate bread, not matzah, is one mark against the correlation). Three of the four gospels, those of Matthew, Mark and Luke, state that the Last Supper happened after the start of Passover.

We know that the Last Supper and the resurrection happened around Passover – the proximity of Passover and Easter attests to that. But there is plenty of debate whether the Last Supper happened either before Passover started, or on the first night. The fourth gospel, that of John, dates the day before Passover (when the Jews were preparing for Passover) as the time of the crucifixion. And Jesus’ actions, though reminiscent of Passover tradition, also match up with what was done at most Jewish tables at the time. (And remember: bread, not matzah). Continue reading

This Week’s Links

By Michelle Albert

  • President Obama walked out of a dinner at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Petulance and politics probably aren’t a good mix.
  • A Palestinian man who tried to bomb a Bronx synagogue in 2000 was recently convicted of a hate crime. Though the building was the target, the judge presiding over the case deemed that the real victim was the synagogue’s congregation.
  • War games simulations at the Brookings Institution focused on the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran.
  • Axum, an Israeli/Ethiopian/Moroccan hip-hop group, is bringing da jewish funk to the south with a tour of Hillels, Jewish Day Schools and Jewish centers in Georgia.
  • Genetics could be the reason why your Ashkenazi bubbe is 98 years old and still dancing the hora.

Haikus: The New Political Medium

By Michelle Albert

Political haikus

Skewer talking heads to roast

Pass barbecue sauce

If you need an outlet for politically-based anger, want to flex your poetic muscles or just need a laugh, Haik U Glenn Beck could be the answer. The blog, supported by Jewish Funds for Justice and spearheaded by Mik Moore (co-founder of the 2008 Great Schlep), posts reader-submitted haikus in response to what they consider a particularly irksome quote by Beck, a conservative pundit with his own Fox Network television show. Continue reading

This Week’s Links

By Michelle Albert

  • Just in time for Passover, Jewcy takes a look at haggadahs that suit the wise, wicked, simple and tongue-tied children in all of us. Check out Moment‘s article on A New Generation of Haggadah Art.
  • Last week, Israeli police raided a warehouse containing seven tons of matzah with forged kosher certificates. The matzah was made with flour that is not kosher for Passover. Israeli police have warned citizens to be on the lookout for pirated matzah.
  • Over 250 members of Congress have signed a letter addressed to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that reaffirms their commitment to the “unbreakable” bond between the US and Israel.
  • Lionsgate Entertainment has bought the rights to a film about a box brought to the United States by a Holocaust survivor that apparently contains a Jewish ghost. “It’s A Serious Man meets Ghostbusters!”
  • A copy of Schindler’s list—the actual list, not the movie—is on sale for $2.2 million.
  • The alleged use of forged British passports in the assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai earlier this year has led the British government to expel an Israeli diplomat from the country.
  • Sea Secret, a new swimwear company, has found their niche, catering to haredi women with a swimsuit that resembles a dress.
  • Slate’s Emily Yoffe goes undercover as a bat mitzvah dancer.


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