Tuesday, January 23, 2018

11 Types of People You'll Meet in Tel Aviv


Comedians Meir Kay and Renny Grinshpan have teamed up on this video to give you a heads up on 11 types of people you are likely to run in to when you're in Tel Aviv.

Of course they're stereotypes and subject to a bit of exaggeration.

Tel Aviv is home to lots of types that we never encountered on our trips to Israel, but we spend most of our time in Jerusalem and this is, well, Tel Aviv.

Enjoy!

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Monday, January 22, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "Detroit Lions Quarterback"


It's another Monday at Jewish Humor Central, so here we go again with a joke to start the week. Once again we dipped into the reservoir that is Old Jews Telling Jokes, and came up with a rarity -- a joke that we hadn't heard before. It's told by endodontist Harmon Katz. 

Here's the setup: The Detroit Lions were building this great football franchise and they were headed toward the Super Bowl but they didn't have a class quarterback and they just couldn't make it to the top. The coach was very frustrated. He tried the trade, he tried the draft. He just couldn't get anybody good enough. And then...

Enjoy!


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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jewish Film Festival Preview: "Humor Me" with Elliot Gould and Jokes From "Old Jews Telling Jokes"



It's Jewish Film Festival time around the USA, and weeks filled with new movies with Jewish themes are popping up from coast to coast.

One film which was just released to the festivals and which will go national later this year is Humor Me, featuring Elliott Gould (MASH, The Long Goodbye), Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers), Annie Potts (Ghostbusters, Pretty in Pink), Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and singer Ingrid Michaelson.

The film marks the directorial debut of Sam Hoffman, creator of Old Jews Telling Jokes. We've shared many of his jokes with you on Mondays as part of our Joke to Start the Week series. Sam's original website sparked an off-Broadway play, a bestselling book, and a lecture series.

It's a heartfelt father-son comedy about a struggling playwright who is forced to move in with his joke-telling dad in a New Jersey retirement community and learns, as his father often says, “life’s going to happen, whether you smile or not.”

If you're in Florida this winter you can see Humor Me at the David Posnack JCC in Davie on February 15. We'll be seeing it there while we're on our February Jewish humor lecture tour.

Humor Me is also scheduled to be shown at the Rockland Jewish Film Festival in Nanuet, New York on April 16. Watch for it at your local theaters in the coming months. In the meantime, enjoy a preview with this trailer.


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Friday, January 19, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Lecha Dodi at Beit T'shuvah in Los Angeles


Beit T'shuvah isn't your father's or grandfather's synagogue. But it is a congregation that meets every Friday night and Shabbat morning to welcome Shabbat in its very own way.

Based in Los Angeles and led by Rabbi Mark Borovitz, its mission is to guide individuals and families towards a path of living well, so that wrestling souls can recover from addiction and learn how to properly heal.
 
The Beit T'Shuvah faith-based model, founded on authenticity and wholeness, integrates spirituality, psychotherapy, Jewish teachings, the 12 Steps, and the creative arts. They are a compassionate, supportive community, devoted to building an empowering sense of belonging and purpose to everyone who seeks it.
 
They also like to sing and dance, and they don't hold anything back when they get together on Friday evening and Shabbat morning for their unique services.
Last month they welcomed Shabbat with the traditional Friday evening melodies including Lecha Dodi.
Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Sid Caesar and Nanette Fabray in "Marriage is Fun"


When Your Show of Shows was canceled in 1954, Sid Caesar started a new show called Caesar's Hour. The popular series of sketches called The Hickenloopers, about a bickering married couple, was recast as The Commuters, with Nanette Fabray playing Sid's wife as Imogene Coca had played in The Hickenloopers.

In this episode of The Commuters, "Marriage is Fun', Sid and Nanette go to a dance but have different ideas about how they will spend the evening. Sid's sidekicks Carl Reiner and Howard Morris are also in the sketch.

We have previously posted other episodes of both shows. We don't have a date for this very rare video, but it was shown between 1954 and 1957 and is available because two Caesar fans found these treasures and transferred them into a digital format.

Sid Caesar died in 2014. Nanette Fabray is 97 and lives in San Diego. We plan to share some of their other sketches with you in the coming months.

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, January 17, 2018

So You Think You Know Hebrew? Renny Grinshpan's A to Z Guide to Hebrew Slang


How's your Hebrew? I mean the Hebrew that you learned in school or in camp. If you think that's going to make you understood by Israelis, fuggedaboudit. What you need to be understood in Israel is Israeli slang, for which there are few dictionaries and formal education.

Renny Grinshpan, a Canadian model and comedian who made aliyah in 2014, has become famous in Israel for her comedic commentary on Israeli culture.

As Andrew Tobin reported for JTA last year,
Grinshpan’s most popular video is a tutorial on Hebrew slang that has been viewed 1.7 million times on Facebook since it was posted in September. Standing alone in front of the camera, she goes through the (English) alphabet from “achi,” or “brother,” to “zorem,” or “go with the flow.” At the letter “h,” for example, she explains: “Haim sheli, meaning ‘my life,’ can be used to address even your most casual acquaintances.”
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, January 16, 2018

Comedy Showcase: Meet Ethan Herschenfeld, Ethnic Actor and Stand-up Comic


Ethan Herschenfeld is a stand-up comedian, accomplished actor, and award winning opera singer.

In addition to appearing on Girls, Boardwalk EmpireBlue BloodsThe Blacklist, High Maintenance, Power, and Damages, he's sung at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and Opera stages around the world. 

He appears regularly at comedy clubs in NY, LA, and across the country.

We get a kick out of finding stand-up comedians that we haven't seen before, and we hope that you enjoy these finds and laughing at their routines.

In this video clip, Ethan Herschenfeld tells about his adventures in being cast repeatedly as an ethnic thug, and how his lack of interest in American history and hip-hop as expressed in the musical Hamilton led him to create his own musical based on geometry and modern opera.

Enjoy!

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Monday, January 15, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "My Son"


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

Once again dipping into the archives of Sam Hoffman's Old Jews Telling Jokes, we came up with this oldie but goodie told by marketing consultant Sheila Danzig.

Here's the setup: There are three Jewish women sitting on the beach, and the first one says "Oy, do I have a son!" And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Great Yiddish Songs Revisited: A New and Fun Version of "Rumania Rumania"


The Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus is part of a modern Yiddish renaissance -- more than forty members strong, from students to retirees, a good number of whom speak or are learning Yiddish. 

Their repertoire spans a century -- exciting oratorios and operettas, labor anthems, folksongs, and popular tunes -- all in Yiddish. Committed to strengthening Yiddish as a living language, they have commissioned and premiered new Yiddish choral works by half a dozen composers.

In July we posted their Yiddish version of The Star Spangled Banner.  Today we're sharing their fun version of the Yiddish classic Rumania, Rumania, by Aaron Lebedeff. The musical arrangement is by Binyumen Schaechter, with his daughter Temma as soloist.

Schaechter is a member of a leading family in Yiddish language and cultural studies. His father, Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter, was an influential linguist of the Yiddish language, writing and editing many articles, magazines, journals, terminologies and textbooks in Yiddish and on Yiddish. His mother, Charlotte (Charne) Schaechter, spent much of her life as an accompanist to Yiddish singers. His aunt, Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, was a Yiddish poet and songwriter and spiritual guide to many of the Klezmer musicians in the world today. 

Among his three sisters, Rukhl Schaechter is a journalist with the Yiddish Forward, and host of the on-line Yiddish cooking program, Est gezunterheyt! (we posted 24 episodes of this cooking program during the last 8 years); Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath is a Yiddish poet and editor, and she sings in the Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus; and sister Eydl Reznik teaches Yiddish among the ultra-Orthodox community in Tsfat, Israel. Schaechter and his sisters all speak only in Yiddish with their children, giving their parents 16 Yiddish-speaking grandchildren. Binyumen's cousin, Itzik Gottesman, was an editor of The Yiddish Forward and the Tsukunft, and is continuing his work as a scholar of Yiddish folklore. 

Enjoy! 

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Eishet Chayil by Cantor Shai Abramson and the IDF Rabbinical Choir


Back in April we posted a rendition of Adon Olam sung by the IDF Rabbinical Choir led by Shai Abramson, Chief Cantor of the Israel Defense Forces.

The song was sung at a Shabbat dinner hosted by Laura Ben David, Director of Marketing for Shavei Israel, the non-profit organization dedicated to assisting descendants of Jews and the Lost Tribes of Israel to reclaim their roots.

Abramson and the choir were in a good singing mood, and saluted their hostess with the traditional Friday night song Eishet Chayil. We found a video of the event and are sharing it with you here.

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.