Monday, April 27, 2015

A Joke to Start the Week - "A Healthy Country"


It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. We're starting our week by heading to the airport and flying back to the US after a month in Israel.

During the month, we've been posting more Israel-related videos than usual because this March-April period (Nisan-Iyar) has been filled with lots to report on with four major holidays all taking place in a three-week span (Passover, Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut). Then there was our interview on Voice of Israel radio and a few Jokes to Start the Week with a special Israel focus.

Tomorrow we'll be back posting funny and happy videos from North Jersey, including videos from Israel and around the world.

Here's the setup for today's joke: Izzy is visiting Israel for the first time. As soon as his plane lands, he finds himself a taxi and starts a lively conversation with the taxi driver. And then...

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rare Video: Ray Charles and David Ben Gurion Sing Hava Nagila


In 1973 Ray Charles performed a concert in Tel Aviv. The concert film "Ray Charles: Soul of the Holy Land August 1973" documents the legendary performer's historic Tel Aviv concert and includes footage of him visiting some of the most renowned religious sites in the world.

The 17-song set list includes many beloved hits including a cover of the Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road," "Let the Good Times Roll," "I Can't Stop Loving You," and "Yesterday."

During the concert, Charles met with David Ben Gurion, and the two sang Hava Nagila together. Here's a rare look at two very successful people in two very different fields coming together to celebrate Israel through one of its most popular songs.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Friday, April 24, 2015

Comedian Elon Gold Re-enacts the Immigrant Experience at Ellis Island


You may have missed it, as we did, but last June was the first Immigrant Heritage Month in the United States.

It was started by Welcome.us, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by an immigrant tradition. 

During the month, they focused on telling some of the stories that shaped this country.They included partnerships with corporations, media outlets, organizations, celebrities,athletes, faith, civic and political leaders.

To kick off the project, they enlisted comedian Elon Gold to comment on the Ellis Island process of admitting new immigrants to the US, using his mother's experience of arriving there with her mother.

Filmed on location, Gold shmoozes with visitors to Ellis Island, and tries to re-enact some of the procedures used in admitting newcomers to the US shores.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Live From Jerusalem - It's Yom HaAtzmaut!


If you're not in Israel today, it's likely that your streets are not teeming with throngs of happy people noisily inching their way through crowds, hitting each other with plastic hammers and axes, and spraying everyone with artificial snow and silly string.

If you happen to be in Israel, you know what we're talking about. After a day of sadness and sober recollection of lives lost in battles and terror attacks, Israel's Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) gives way to the joy of celebrating another anniversary of the country's founding.

Sure, you can find video clips of formal ceremonies with speakers praising the great accomplishments of this tiny country, but that's not the way most of the population celebrates Yom HaAtzmaut. What they do is go to parties and celebrate in the streets with music and food.

Not wanting to be left out, we hit the streets of downtown Jerusalem last night to see the partying first hand. With two young grandsons in tow, we couldn't stay out very late, but just late enough to capture some of the excitement.

Today's video shows one of the bands playing all night at two outdoor stages set up about a half-mile apart, and the scene as you walk up the Ben Yehuda Street mall connecting them.

The celebrations continue today until nightfall, with the smoke and aromas of barbecues filling the air.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Yom HaAtzmaut 2015 - So Many Reasons to Love Israel


Tonight is the start of Yom HaAtzmaut, the day that Israel celebrates its 67th year as an independent state, a year in which immigration is expected to set a new record.

Jewish immigration to Israel hit a ten-year high in 2014, with over 26,500 people making aliyah over the course of the year, according to figures released by the Jewish Agency. This represented a 32% rise compared to 2013, and the highest immigration rate since 2002, when 33,539 made aliyah.

For the first time since the founding of the state, France topped the list of countries from which immigrants moved to Israel this year, with over a quarter — about 7,000 people — making the move. It was the largest single-year movement of French Jews to Israel since the founding of the state. Half that many moved to Israel in 2013.

Nefesh B'Nefesh, the organization that facilitates aliyah to Israel in partnership with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL), and JNF-USA. reports that a total of 3,762 Jews from the US and Canada and 525 from the UK fulfilled their dream to immigrate to Israel in the past year.

Among the top cities to welcome olim in 2014 were Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh and Ra'anana. 

According to Central Bureau of Statistics data, emigration rates are also declining. The figures released in recent months suggest that Israelis are much less inclined to permanently leave the country than they were 10 or 20 years ago, with 2012, the last year for which figures on long-term emigration are available, showing the lowest emigration rates since the founding of the state in 1948. 

To celebrate the day, we're sharing a new video just released by Nefesh B'Nefesh showing the wide-range of reasons that bring these new immigrants to Israel.  The individuals shown in the video are profiled in a link from the video in which they tell their personal aliyah story and what they love about Israel.

Their stories and occupations are interesting and varied. They include Jamie Shear, an  artist, calligrapher, and creator of all forms of Judaica in Jerusalem, Jeremy Welfeld, founder of Jem's Beer Factory in Petach Tikva, and Mia Pava, a dress designer who opened a bridal studio in 2014.

Enjoy!

 (A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On Israel's Memorial Day, a Prayer for the Soldiers of the IDF


All Israel has been busy this week preparing for the coming together of two major annual observances, Yom HaZikaron (Israel's Memorial Day) and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day). We're making a practice of extending our annual Passover visit to Jerusalem to include these special days.

All schools have special plays and ceremonies on Yom HaZikaron, outdoors if the weather cooperates, to remember the soldiers who fell in Israel's wars and the victims of terrorism. As the sad day ends, the country is transformed at nightfall into all night partying that lasts through the following day to commemorate the founding of the state 67 years ago.

At many of the memorial ceremonies, names are read, photos projected on screens and walls, prayers are read and appropriate songs are sung. 

We're doing our part at Jewish Humor Central on Yom HaZikaron, which starts tonight, by abstaining from humor for the day and posting a beautiful rendition of the Prayer for the Welfare of Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) by Shai Abramson, the Chief Cantor of the IDF. (How many other countries do you know of whose army has a position of Chief Cantor???)

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Joke to Start the Week - "God Will Provide"


A happy Monday to all of our readers. We're happily enjoying the festive atmosphere in Jerusalem as the country prepares for its Independence Day, Yom HaAtzmaut. The holiday starts Wednesday night and lasts into Thursday, a day for celebrations, concerts, lots of flag waving, and outdoor barbecues.

But not even Israel Independence Day can prevent us from coming up with another (old) joke to get the week off to a good start. We're working on improving the video quality as we create these joke clips in our makeshift Jerusalem studio. We hope to upgrade to better equipment soon.

Here's the setup for today's joke: A young woman brings her fiance home to meet her parents for the first time. And then...

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Musical Showcase: Eighth Day Band Follows up on Ya'alili With Hooleh Hooleh Music Video


When the musical band Eighth Day released their first music video called Ya'alili, we featured it and profiled the band. We can't believe that was four years ago! 

Since then the Jewish Rock group founded by brothers Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus has released five studio albums and played lots of concerts across the globe. Now they've moved their location from the Pomegranate supermarket in Brooklyn where they filmed Ya'alili to the Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, California, to film their latest hit Hooleh.

The band got their start in Southern California where the Marcus brothers grew up in a very musical ultra-orthodox, chassidic home. What started as a fun family project, has now become a global phenomenon as their fan base continues to grow all over the world. 8th Day's fresh and unique sound is complimented by their catchy lyrics, mostly English with some Hebrew and Yiddish mixed in, along with their spirited vocal harmonies. 

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 



Friday, April 17, 2015

Kosher Switch for Using Electricity on Shabbat Ignites Rabbinic Controversy


Flipping a wall switch on Shabbat to turn on electric lights in a room is considered a prohibition by Orthodox Jews. It is less of a problem to Conservative Jews and not an issue with other Jewish denominations. 

Members of Orthodox communities don't spend Shabbat in the dark. They either use 24-hour time clocks to control their lighting or leave the lights on all day. But they keep looking for better solutions. Along comes Menashe Kalati with an invention he's been perfecting for more than three years.

It's called the Kosher Switch, and uses sophisticated technology to overcome the main objection to using electricity on Shabbat, that causing the flow of electric current is close enough to kindling a fire which is specifically prohibited by the Torah.

As Tova Dvorin reported in Israel International News,
The switch uses a series of light pulses fired at random to stop - or start - the electric current to flip the switch, which is fired at a randomized series of intervals and at a randomized rate of success when a piece of plastic (the toggle) is moved.
A green indicator light demonstrates when the system is inactive, allowing for the observant Jew to flick on the switch on Shabbat, as it is simply moving a piece of plastic; the randomization process allows for the system to work based on a number of halakhic (Jewish law - ed.) principles preventing indirect toggling of electric switches that leads to a definitive outcome.
The switch has a separate toggle to be used during the week as well as a normal light switch.
Kalati has taken his idea to the IndieGoGo crowdfunding community to raise the $50,000 needed to start mass production of the device. As we post this item, he has reached 92% of his goal.

Even though the product has the endorsement of some prominent Orthodox rabbis, there are still voices of objection being raised, mainly questioning whether this innovation is against the spirit of Shabbat and whether it will cause people to assume that all light switches are permitted on Shabbat.

Some lively discussions on the pros and cons of this product are taking place on Internet sites and only time will tell whether the proponents of technological innovation prevail or whether those who resist all new approaches keep this product from becoming popular in their communities.

Shabbat shalom from Jerusalem.

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jewish Humor Central Featured on Voice of Israel Radio Show


On the set of Israeli satire show Eretz Nehederet (Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90)
On Tuesday we were interviewed on the Voice of Israel radio network by Molly Livingstone, the station's humorist and interviewer on her show, The Big Falafel.

Molly shares our interest in spreading laughter and showing the world that Israel is a funny country.

Molly kicked off the interview with her comments on a 24-hour-visit to Jerusalem the day before by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, a visit that we didn't know about and frankly didn't care about. 

But then she settled into the main interview about Jewish Humor Central, how it got started, and how we manage to keep it going through 1,700 posts over six years to thousands of readers in 210 countries. OK, most of them are in the US, Israel, Canada, the UK, Australia, and South Africa, but we do get some in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

We talked about humor in Israel and how it differs from humor in other countries. Toward the end of the interview, we discussed the challenges of a humor site posting appropriate material on days such as Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut. We hope you find the questions and the answers interesting and meaningful.