Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Comedy Showcase: Woody Allen Standup Comedy 50 Years Ago


Before Woody Allen started writing plays and making a new film every year, he started his career as a comedy writer and standup comic.

From 1960 to 1969, Allen performed as a stand-up comedian to supplement his comedy writing. His contemporaries during those years included Lenny Bruce, Shelley Berman, the team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May, and Mort Sahl, his personal favorite. 

Comedy historian Gerald Nachman notes that Allen, while not the first to do stand-up, would eventually have greater impact than all the others in the 1960s.

Here is Allen doing a standup comedy act on The Dean Martin Show in 1967.

Enjoy! 

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Monday, November 19, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week: "Fifty Bucks"


It's another Monday and it's time for another Joke to Start the Week.

Today we're taking a deep dive into the Internet and coming up with an oldie but goodie retold by Jerri Kane, a resident of the Los Angeles Jewish Home.

Here's the setup: A couple went to the Pomona Fair every single year. And every year the guy would ask his wife "Can we go for a ride in the airplane?" and the wife would say "It costs 50 dollars." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Kosherfest Discovery: Giant Leaping Asian Carp Find Home in Gefilte Fish


Back in 2010 we shared a video and a story about how giant flying Asian carp invaded the Great Lakes waters and were threatening the ecosystem by dominating lakes from Louisiana to Minnesota.

Last week at the Kosherfest 2018 expo in New Jersey we spotted some of these giants at a booth sponsored by Moon River Foods of Indianola, Mississippi. Speaking with Moon River president Andre Raghu, we found that Moon River was part of the solution to the problem by catching the flying carp and turning them into food, more specifically, gefilte fish.

So if you eat gefilte fish, you may be helping the environment by thinning the population of the giant carp. According to Andre, if you eat any brand of gefilte fish that contains carp (some are only whitefish and pike) it's very likely that you have tasted Moon River's silver carp, common carp, or the biggest of the species, the buffalo fish.

Here are videos of the flying carp and our interview from Kosherfest 2018.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Yedid Nefesh as an Israeli Folk Dance


Yedid Nefesh is a piyyut (poem) usually sung on Friday night just before the Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming Shabbat) service begins.
 
According to Wikipedia, this beautiful poem is commonly attributed to the sixteenth century kabbalist, Rabbi Elazar ben Moshe Azikri (1533-1600), who first published it in Sefer Charedim (published in Venice 1601), but Azikri did not claim authorship of it and there have been other suggested authors (e.g. Judah Halevi, or Israel Nagara).
  
The first letters of each of the four verses make up the four letter name of God, known in English as the tetragrammaton.

We're very familiar with Yedid Nefesh as a song for Shabbat but were surprised to find out that it is also a popular folk dance in Israel. We hope you enjoy this performance choreographed by Yonatan Gabai and sung by Gad Elbaz.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

EXCLUSIVE On-Site Report! Best In Show and Unusual New Products From Kosherfest 2018 - Part 2

 
Today we're bringing you part two of our report from Kosherfest 2018.

On Tuesday, the first day of the show, we interviewed representatives of companies exhibiting a variety of products, some of which were prize winners and others that just appealed to us as being unusual or of special interest. We posted four segments yesterday and we're posting another five today.

The products are Israeli style shwarma sausage, Kosher Cook kitchen utensils, a prize winning wine, cured smoked salmon, and a lightbulb designed for Shabbat use.

More than 400 exhibitors lined both sides of seven aisles to vie for the attention of visitors (trade only -- but some kiddush aficionados seem to have found their way into the hall) who tried to manage noshing and stuffing literature into the bags provided by some vendors (and rolling suitcases brought by attendees).  And there was plenty to nosh and to stuff.

Some of the samples were meat, some were dairy, and some were pareve.  But all three types were scattered around the show floor, so anyone trying to keep kosher had to make careful choices.

We apologize for the loud background noise from the 6,000 attendees milling about the exhibit space while we were conducting the interviews. Use of earbuds or headphones is recommended.
 
Enjoy!
 
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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

EXCLUSIVE On-Site Report! Best In Show and Unusual New Products From Kosherfest 2018 - Part 1 (Watch For Part 2 Tomorrow)


Mediterranean Crisp Tortas from Spain, healthy mini fruit pops, kosher barbecue, and Israeli craft beer.
  
These are some of the prize winning and unusual products on display yesterday and today for the thousands of visitors representing all aspects of the food industry at Kosherfest 2018 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.
 
More than 400 exhibitors lining both sides of seven aisles are vying  for the attention of visitors (trade only -- but some kiddush aficionados seem to have found their way into the hall) who try to manage noshing and stuffing literature into the bags provided by some vendors (and rolling suitcases brought by attendees).  And there's plenty to nosh and to stuff.

Some of the samples are meat, some are dairy, and some are pareve.  But all three types are scattered around the show floor, so anyone trying to keep kosher has to make careful choices.

The vendors are hoping that visitors will make bulk purchases, and some of the newer, smaller, and foreign companies exhibiting for the first time are hoping to find distributors who will bring their wares to your local supermarket.

If you love kiddush, can make a case for being in some kind of food-related business, have a few hours to spare and don't mind walking a a quarter mile to a parking lot, this is the place for you.  It's still open all day today, Wednesday, from 10 am to 4 pm.  The on-site registration fee is $110.

We interviewed a few of the exhibitors and got closeups of some of the more unusual delicacies in this video for you to savor.  We're presenting them in two parts today and tomorrow.

We apologize for the loud background noise from the 6,000 attendees milling about the exhibit space while we were conducting the interviews. Listening with earbuds or headphones is recommended.

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.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Rapping Rabbi Lights Up the Crowd at International Chabad Emissary Conference


Last week more than 5,000 Chabad rabbis and their supporters gathered in Brooklyn for their annual Kinus Hashluchim, a conference of the Chabad emissaries from around the world.

A highlight of the evening was a Wilmington rabbi who shared his personal journey to religious observance in a rap song.

As Sandy Eller wrote in Vos Iz Neias,
Rabbi Motti Flikshtein, program director at Chabad of Wilmington, Delaware, told the spellbound audience of 5,000 men how it was a single hug from Rabbi Aryeh Weinstein of Chabad of Bucks County, Pennsylvania that transformed him from an wayward teenager into a practicing Orthodox Jew.
Rabbi Flikshtein, who started rapping when he was in high school, launched into the first verse and the chorus of a single titled Coming Home that he released in 2010 as the “Rapping Rabbi” under the name Mor-To-Life.
His nearly one and a half minute long rap focused on how he realized that his life was devoid of meaning until he discovered his faith.
Despite the unconventional style of his music, Rabbi Flikshtein’s delivery was greeted with thunderous applause.
Enjoy!


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Monday, November 12, 2018

Lots of Jewish Jokes to Start the Week - "Guess the Punchline" Game


"Iceberg, Goldberg...What's the difference?"
"Who wrote this crap?"
"His brother is a doctor"
"We said we wouldn't talk about our children"
"Look! He's breathing!"
"What's a bracha?"
"That's the one I never would set foot in"

If you're a fan of classic Jewish jokes, you probably recognize these punch lines and may be able to tell the joke that ends with them. 

We usually publish an "old Jewish joke" every Monday, but today we're doing something a little different by telling lots of Jewish jokes in a format that you can use as a guessing game when you get together with friends.

We got the idea from a Limmud UK conference last December where David Benkof started telling jokes to the audience and challenging them to shout out the punch lines without hearing the rest of the jokes. The ensuing hilarity revealed how well known these jokes have become.

Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Comedy Showcase: Standup Comic Wendy Liebman Jokes About Her Marriage on America's Got Talent



Wendy Liebman has been performing stand-up comedy for more than 20 years. We like her style. It's mostly clean and reminds us of Rita Rudner, another of our favorites.
 
Wendy has been called the master of the one-liner with subliminal afterthought. Her distinctive style includes quick, clever follow-ups after her jokes. She starts the joke leading it to one direction then changes it. As in "This Thanksgiving I made a 28 pound turkey ... pot pie," or "I really like to shop....lift."


She has appeared at comedy clubs and most of the late night TV shows. According to her website, she counts among her accomplishments the American Comedy Award for Best Female Standup in 1996, and clue #23 down in a New York Magazine crossword puzzle in 2010.


In this video Wendy appears on America's Got Talent and jokes with the panelists about her marriage.

Enjoy!


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Friday, November 9, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Lecha Dodi at Devotion by the Ocean in Ventnor, New Jersey


In the summertime at the New Jersey shore, two congregations have been pooling their resources in a Kabbalat Shabbat service that takes place on the beach and boardwalk. The service is called Devotion by the Ocean. It is open to all congregations and to anyone who wants to participate.

The sponsoring synagogue, Shirat Hayam, is a new congregation formed by the merger of Temple Emeth Shalom in Margate (Reform) and Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor (Conservative). Separate religious services are under the aegis of the respective clergy. Governance, learning, social and other programming are combined.

In this video clip, the band sings a version of Lecha Dodi by Craig Taubman.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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