Friday, December 15, 2017

Welcoming Shabbat with Adon Olam at the Hampton Synagogue


On this Shabbat Chanukah we're sharing a medley of Adon Olam versions that was sung just a few weeks ago in the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, New York.

The occasion was a 70th birthday concert in honor of Cantor Naftali Hershtik, the father of the synagogue's long time cantor, Netanel Hershtik. The two cantors were joined in the concert by four other cantors: Netanel Baram, David Berson, Azi Schwartz, and Gideon Zelermyer.

Naftali Hershtik is a well known chazzan (cantor) and teacher. He was born in Hungary and came with his family to Israel at the age of three. He is descended from a long line of cantors and Rabbis, and was recognized as a cantorial prodigy from his early childhood, singing as a teen in concerts with Cantor Moshe Koussevitzky. 

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom from Jerusalem.

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, December 14, 2017

Throwback Thursday Hanukkah Special: SNL's Hanukkah Harry Saves Easter


One of our favorite Saturday Night Live characters was Hanukkah Harry, as played by Jon Lovitz. He first appeared on December 16, 1989 in a sketch titled "The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Christmas". 

We couldn't find that sketch to share with you, but we did find Harry's second appearance on April 14, 1990, in a sketch titled "The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Easter." It has a similar theme to the first sketch, but instead of filling in for Santa Claus who couldn't deliver toys because of a stomach virus, he helps out the Easter Bunny who can't deliver Easter baskets because of a leg injury.

In this sketch, Hanukkah Harry saves Easter for a poor family of gentile children with the help of an invisible (and thirsty) Elijah the Prophet and his trusty flying donkeys Moishe, Herschel, and Shlomo.

The Baltimore Sun has called Hanukkah Harry one of the best Saturday Night Live sketches of all time. We hope you enjoy this 27 year flashback.

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.



#Throwback Thursday   #TBT

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Chanukah Around the World With the Womens' Performance Group of Jerusalem


Today we're sharing a KOL ISHA Chanukah music mash-up! 

Every month The Women's Performance Community of Jerusalem invites women/teens from all over the Greater Jerusalem area to participate in a performance-related activity in the OU Israel Center.

For this extra-special Chanukah event, they invited women anywhere to participate right from their homes (or their cars or their cactus gardens) and they did. Women from Toronto to Tuscon, New York to Neve Daniel are all included in this clip of holiday unity and love.

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, December 12, 2017

Chanukah Comes Early to the White House


Tonight Jews around the world will light the first Chanukah candle as the eight-day holiday begins.

A year ago we posted the Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony at the White House presided over by then President Barack Obama. 

This year Chanukah came early as President Donald Trump presided over a party to light the Chanukah menorah and celebrate the announcement a day earlier that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The White House Hanukkah Party is an annual reception hosted by the U.S. President and First Lady to recognize and celebrate the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The tradition was established in 2001, during the administration of President George W. Bush. 

At the White House party, attended by many friends and supporters of Israel, the candle lighting by President Trump's Jewish granddaughter Arabella Kushner was led by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, the Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.

He is the great nephew of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the late leader of American Jewry who identified with what became known as Modern Orthodoxy. 


Because it was a few days before Chanukah, the blessing for lighting the candle was not said. Instead Rabbi Soloveichik said the first blessing, Shenatan michvodo l'basar vadam (Who bestows power and distinction upon flesh and blood), a blessing said when in the presence of a head of state. The second blessing was the Shehecheyanu.

The 7 minute version of the event appears below. You can see the full 21 minute version by clicking here.

We wish you a happy Chanukah from Jerusalem. 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.




Monday, December 11, 2017

A Joke to Start the Week - "She's Out of This World"


Yes, we know it's almost Chanukah. But Monday is Monday, and we have to start the week off with a joke. Otherwise, we know we'll get complaints from our Monday joke fans.

So here's another oldie from the archives of Sam Hoffman's Old Jews Telling Jokes. This one is told by Larry Aarons, a Marketing and Creative Director.

Here's the setup: A businessman walks into a bar. He sees this fabulous looking woman at the end of the bar and he says to the bartender "Get her a drink." 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, December 10, 2017

Happy Chanukah from the Staff of Jewish Humor Central and the Mensch on the Bench



Office Depot/Office Max has partnered with the folks who created the Elf on the Shelf Christmas phenomenon and the associated Elf Yourself app and the creators of The Mensch on a Bench.

The result?  They've added a Jewish twist to the funny dance videos that let you add yourself and up to four others into the animated action.

Most of the animated dances feature familiar songs about Christmas and the winter holiday season. But now you can create a Chanukah themed dance, featuring the Hanukkah phenomenon, the Mensch on a Bench, and the popular a capella group, the Maccabeats, singing Oh Chanukah!

We've joined in the fun and created a video featuring the five members of our staff dancing like we've never danced before and wishing you a Chanukah that's filled with enough light and laughter to last eight days.

You can do the same with photos of your family and friends. Just follow the directions at elfyourself.com and choose the Hanukkah theme from among the many offered.

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.




Friday, December 8, 2017

Welcoming Shabbat: Shalom Aleichem with Japanese Students in Tel Aviv



As we prepare for another Shabbat, we're posting our 20th version of Shalom Aleichem, the liturgical poem that was written by the Kabbalists of Safed in the late 16th or early 17th century.

The version that we're sharing today is one of the traditional melodies, but it's being sung in Tel Aviv by a group of Japanese students participating in a Visual Arts Young Leadership Program and singer David D'Or. The students seem glued to their smart phones while singing. We can only hope that they're carefully reading the lyrics and not texting their friends.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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, December 7, 2017

Throwback Thursday: A Look Back at The Good Old Days with British Comedian Bernard Spears



The Good Old Days was a BBC television light entertainment program which ran from 1953 to 1983 in the United Kingdom.

It was performed at the Leeds City Varieties and recreated an authentic atmosphere of the Victorian–Edwardian music hall with songs and sketches of the era performed by present-day performers in the style of the original artists.  


British music hall was similar to American vaudeville, featuring rousing songs and comic acts, while in the United Kingdom the term "vaudeville"' referred to more working-class types of entertainment that would have been termed "burlesque" in America.

The audience dressed in period costume and joined in the singing. In the course of its run it featured about 2,000 performers. Each show was up to an hour long. All acts were in the style of late Victorian/Edwardian stage acts.


One of the stars of The Good Old Days was Jewish comedian Bernard Spear. Here is one of his performances from 1980. Spear tells a few jokes and sings You Gotta Have a Little Mazel. Notice the elaborate Victorian hats and fancy dresses worn by the women attending the show.


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.
 



#Throwback Thursday   #TBT

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Here Come the Chanukah Videos: Boys Town Jerusalem Choir with Sevivon and Dreidel Song


The Dreidel Song has been taken to a new level with this new jazzed up rendition by the Boys Town Jerusalem choir. The Dreidel song or in Hebrew Sevivon Sov Sov Sov has been given a new modern spin. 

Hanukkah - the festival of lights - is enjoyed by thousands of Jewish families around the world, many who play the Dreidel game and sing the Dreidel song after lighting the Hanukkah candles.

Established in 1948 to provide a home and education for young immigrants to the newly-created State of Israel, Boys Town Jerusalem has become one of the country's largest and most respected educational institutions.

Boys Town was founded by Alexander S. Linchner, a Brooklyn-born rabbi who, after the Holocaust, devoted his life to building a school for the children of immigrants who poured into Israel from countries around the world. His goal: providing them with a quality education that would prepare them to build the State of Israel with technological skill and traditional Jewish idealism.

Today, the beautiful 18-acre Boys Town campus in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem is one of Israel’s major technological training centers. Approximately 800 students, ranging in age from 12 to 20, live on the campus, with a capacity to house up to 1,000.
 
The children and grandchildren of immigrants from 45 countries on six continents, they mirror the ethnic diversity of the Israeli population. More than 75% come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and require substantial scholarship assistance. No student is ever turned away from Boys Town due to inability to pay tuition.
 
In addition to receiving a fine technological and academic education, Boys Town students are deeply imbued with traditional Jewish values and ideals, and pride in their Jewish heritage. As a result, Boys Town graduates are proud to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and then go on to build fine Jewish homes and families, while making important contributions to their communities and the State of Israel. Among Boys Town’s more than 6,200 graduates are many engineers, technicians, educators, fine craftsmen and professionals.

Enjoy the video!

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, December 5, 2017

Tumbalalaika Around the World: Eco Band Performs Yiddish Classic in Rome


The Yiddish folk love song Tumbalalaika originated in Eastern Europe in the 19th century, but its exact origin is hard to pinpoint. That hasn't prevented it from being sung and played over and over, not only in places where Yiddish songs are sung, but just about everywhere in the world, in vocal and instrumental versions, in cabarets and in the movies.

Just as we have followed the songs Hava Nagila, Adon Olam, Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, and Abanibi as they took different forms as interpreted by a wide variety of singers, musicians, and dancers, we're continuing the series today that we started back in 2012, bringing you many interpretations of this universal courting and love song.  

This rendition of Tumbalalaika was recorded by the trio called Eco in Rome, Italy.

The English translation appears under the video on this page.

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Tumbalalaika - English Translation

A young lad stands, and he thinks
Thinks and thinks the whole night through

Whom to take and not to shame
Whom to take and not to shame

Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalalaika
Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalalaika
Tumbalalaika, strum balalaika
Tumbalalaika, may we be happy

Girl, girl, I want to ask of you
What can grow, grow without rain?
What can burn and never end?
What can yearn, cry without tears?

Foolish lad, why do you have to ask?
A stone can grow, grow without rain
Love can burn and never end
A heart can yearn, cry without tears