Friday, April 28, 2017

Welcoming Shabbat in Israel with the Revivo Project


The Revivo Project is one of the most successful bands in Israel. The three singers in the band are Israeli musical producer and composer Raviv Ben Menachem, Raviv’s brother – Nir Ben Menachem, and their close friend Eliran Tsur.

The project wasn’t founded for commercial use -- the band members’ goal was to record and reproduce their favorite’s nostalgic songs into medleys, and to respect the Israeli singers and creators of the 70’s and 80’s. The band created for their music colorful video clips in the style of “Takzina” – a form of gathering with music and liquor that was very common in those years.


The success was immediate and surprised the whole Israeli music industry. The band released seven albums, including a live album from their huge 10,000 people concert in front of the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. All of them were a huge success in Israel and around the world with tens of millions of views on YouTube and millions of uses on digital music stores. The band also won many awards such as “band of the year” award, gold albums and the YouTube silver button award for having more than 100,000 subscribers on their channel.


Today the Revivo Project joins us in welcoming Shabbat wherever we are. We're not exactly sure what they're drinking, smoking, and chewing, but judging from the fun they're having with Lecha Dodi and the other Shabbat songs in the medley, we'll have what they're having.

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!
 
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca as The Hickenloopers - "The Joke"


With Passover behind us, we're getting back into the groove of dipping into the comedy archive every Thursday, and pulling out a beloved comedy sketch from such favorite TV programs as Your Show of Shows.

In this episode from the early 1950s, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca take on the roles of Eddie and Doris Hickenlooper, a happily married couple who always seem to find something to bicker about.

As they get ready to go to bed (in single beds, which was the way the TV censors wanted it back then), Sid tells Imogene a joke that she doesn't get. And then the fun begins.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday   #TBT

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ultra-Orthodox B'nei B'rak Bans Smurfette from New Smurf Movie Ad


The Israeli Billboard
The Israeli Billboard on a Street in B'nai B'rak
The ultra-Orthodox town of B'nei B'rak in Israel has given a new meaning to blue movies.

When it became known that the latest Smurf movie Smurfs: The Lost Village included Smurfette, the blonde girl Smurf, the PR company promoting the film confirmed that it had removed images of Smurfette from promotional material in order to avoid causing offense to the central Israeli town’s residents.

As Sue Surkes wrote under the headline Smurfette too Sexy for ultra-Orthodox City in The Times of Israel,
Bnei Brak, a mostly ultra-Orthodox city, has an ordinance that prevents the hanging of posters of women that “might incite the feelings of the city’s residents.”

Other entertainment icons to have been erased from advertising posters in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem — which also has a large ultra-Orthodox community — include Jennifer Lawrence, star of the Hunger Games, and Tinkerbell, the cartoon character from Peter Pan.

Smurfette, brought to life in the movie with the voice of pop star Demi Lovato, plays a leading role in the new film. Along with Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty, she gets to race through the Forbidden Forest to discover what is said to be the biggest secret in Smurf history. The Hebrew word for Smurfs is Dardasim.
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Postcard from Israel - Touring Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Be'er Tuvia


One of the many benefits of spending a month in Israel is visiting some unexpected places that aren't on the standard tourist lists. Last week we visited the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory and store in Be'er Tuvia, about an hour's drive from Jerusalem on the road to Ashdod and Ashkelon. 

Though the grandkids were disappointed that they couldn't see the ice cream being made because the factory was closed during Pesach, they didn't mind too much because the factory store was open and serving lots of the delicious flavors and toppings.

The outdoor seating area next to the store provided a place to eat the ice cream and a life-size Ben & Jerry's plastic cow to ride on.

It didn't take us long to find a short video of a previous factory tour on YouTube, so here it is. The next time you're in Israel, you might want to include this stop on your itinerary.

Enjoy!

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Israel Pauses on Holocaust Memorial Day


Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. 

The full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah”— in Hebrew literally translated as the "Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism."

It is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the end of the Passover holiday and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers). It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Througout Israel, a siren will wail for two minutes starting at 11 am. All activity comes to a halt. Traffic slows and comes to a complete stop on all streets and highways. Shoppers freeze in their place wherever they are. 

The video below shows Israel pausing last year on Yom Hashoah. 

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Holocaust Remembrance Day Starts Tonight: Dudu Fisher Sings The Partisan Song


With Holocaust Remembrance Day starting at sunset today and continuing through tomorrow, we're holding off on the humor until Wednesday, so we can post videos appropriate for the commemoration.

"Zog nit keyn mol" (Never Say; Yiddish: זאָג ניט קיין מאָל‎) or "Partizaner lid" (Partisan Song) is a Yiddish song considered one of the chief anthems of the Holocaust survivors and is sung in memorial services around the world.

The lyrics of the song were written in 1943 by Hirsh Glick, a young Jewish inmate of the Vilna Ghetto. The title means "Never Say", and derives from the first line of the song. Glick's lyrics were set to music from a pre-war Soviet song

The annual March of the Living program brings thousands of young people from around the world each year on Holocaust Remembrance Day to Auschwitz-Birkenau to honour the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and to pledge to build a better world for all humanity.

In 2013, singer Dudu Fisher and the March of the Living Choir sang The Partisan Song on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Musical Showcase: Meet the Ramatayim Men's Choir Singing a Jerusalem Medley


Music is an important part of our mix at Jewish Humor Central. In our sporadic series bringing new musical groups to your attention, we're introducing you to the Ramatayim Men's Choir of Jerusalem.

Late in 1995, four enthusiasts gathered in the Ramot suburb of Jerusalem, to sing choral music they recalled from synagogue services in their youth. Since then the choir has grown to 40 choristers, native Israelis and Olim from 4 continents who share a love of the great tradition of Jewish liturgical music and of singing together.

The choir appears regularly at concert halls and synagogues throughout Israel. Their list of approximately 250 performances includes appearances alongside some of the finest cantors in the world as well as artists in different genres. They have appeared in concert with the Israel Symphionette Orchestra 'eers Sheva, on national television and radio and have also performed at the residence of the President of Israel.

The choir's repertoire consists mainly of Jewish liturgical music and includes Chassidic and Israeli songs, pop, opera and folk music. All activities are performed on a voluntary basis. They perform regularly in support of various Israeli and Jewish charitable and social causes. A distinctive feature of the choir's activity is their active collaboration with ensembles of the same genre, inaugurating and hosting joint concerts in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The choir's name derives from Ramatayim-Tzofim, in the hill country of Ephraim, birthplace of Samuel the Prophet, mentioned in the Book of Samuel 1 (1:1) and associated with the suburb Ramot, Jerusalem.

In this video they sing a medley of songs about Jerusalem at the International Rabbinical Conference in 2014.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom !

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: "Slowly I Turned..." (The History of the Niagara Falls Joke)


"Slowly I turned" (The Niagara Falls joke) has been made famous by Abbott and Costello, The Three Stooges, Lucille Ball and Phil Silvers, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, and countless other comedy teams. It's such a renowned comedy classic that it has its own listing in Wikipedia that reveals its historical origins.

The listing states that it was not created by any of the above comedy teams, but started out as  a popular vaudeville sketch that has also been performed in cinema and on television. Comedians Harry Steppe, Joey Faye, and Samuel Goldman each laid claim to this routine, also referred to as "The Stranger with a Kind Face" by clowns and clowning aficionados, "Niagara Falls" by fans of The Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello, "Martha" by fans of I Love Lucy, "Pokomoko", and "Bagel Street".

Our favorite version is the one performed by Moses Harry Horwitz, Louis Feinberg, and Jerome Horwitz. You never heard of them? Sure you did, but you know them as Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard, or the Three Stooges.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday, #TBT

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Comedy Showcase: Stand-up Comedian Avi Liberman on the Jewish Holidays



Israeli-born and Texas-raised comedian Avi Liberman has been bringing groups of stand-up comics to Israel for years to support the Koby Mandell Foundation. And we've featured some of them here on Jewish Humor Central.

But Avi has some great stand-up routines that he performs on his own, and whenever we find one, we try to share it with you.

Here's a recent performance by Avi at the City Winery in New York City where he presents a hilarious description of all the Jewish Holidays to a mixed Jewish audience comprising all levels of observance.

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Had Enough Matza? Gorillas in Ramat Gan Zoo Are Also Getting Their Fill


In Ramat-Gan's zoo safari, near Tel Aviv, even the gorillas keep kosher for Passover.

The Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan is the largest collection of wildlife in human care in the Middle East. The 250-acre site consists of both a drive-through African safari area and a modern outdoor zoo.

Gorillas and other animals are usually given bread to check their vitality, but since the zookeepers and handlers cannot touch any leavened products during the week-long holiday that marks the biblical Jewish exodus from Egypt, they are also fed matzo, the unleavened cracker Jews eat to remember that in their rush to flee slavery, the ancient Israelites' bread did not have time to rise.


Is it a healthy treat for the gorillas? Calling it "environmental enrichment, Jewish style," one zookeeper says that they may develop a slight case of constipation but they overcome that after awhile. 

We're taking Monday and Tuesday off for the last two days of Passover, so there's no Joke to Start the Week tomorrow. We'll be back on Wednesday with our usual Jewish humor mix.

Enjoy, and Chag sameach!

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