Wednesday, April 25, 2018

International Jewish Comedy: Meet Joe Bor, British Stand-up Comedian



Most of the stand-up Jewish comedians whose video clips we've been sharing have been from the United States. But the USA isn't the only country where you'll find this form of entertainment. 

Today we're profiling Joe Bor, a standup comedian who lives in the UK. Joe is an observational character comedian, actor and writer. He has done TV warm up for The Graham Norton Show, Mock The Week, Alan Carr Chatty Man and 8 Out of 10 Cats.

He regularly performs at top comedy clubs around England including The Comedy Store, Jongleurs, The 99 Club and The Glee Club. Joe has also appeared in advertisements for a range of products including Cobra Beer, Magners, Kia, Argos, The Co-op and Expedia.

Here is a video of Joe Bor performing at The Glee Club in Birmingham, England. His subject is the texts he gets from his mother (mum).

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: The Kuki People of India - One of the Lost Tribes?


In northeastern India, a small ethnic group claims to be one of the lost tribes of Israel. 

The fervor of the Kuki people has persuaded the Chief Rabbi of Israel to approve their immigration to the Promised Land. 

Kuki men are traditionally fighters, so once in Israel most of them become soldiers, while their wives try to adjust to their new lives in the settlements.

Reporters from France 24 TV traveled to the valleys of West Bengal, where India meets Bangladesh and Burma, home of the mysterious Kuki tribe. These Asian Jews say they were forced into exile in this remote valley almost 27 centuries ago. Today, they practice an archaic Judaism and claim to be one of the lost tribes of Israel referred to in the Old Testament, a little like the Ethiopian Falashas.

Tensions have grown in recent years with the Indian and Burmese governments and for the Kuki people, the lure of a better future in Israel is stronger than ever. In recent years, some of them have been able to emigrate to Israel and make Aliyah. 


The men, who are traditionally fierce fighters, often join the Israeli army, while their families find a new home in the occupied West Bank settlements. France 24 TV correspondents went to meet some of those who have left everything behind for a new life in the Promised Land.

Here is a video report of what they found.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Taxman Cometh"


This week marked two annual milestones - Israel Independence Day and U.S. Income Tax day. Can you believe that we found a joke to start the week that brings these two events together?

Here's the setup: Sheldon owns a small deli in suburban New Jersey. One day he gets a call from the IRS. He had just filed a tax return and claimed a net profit of $200,000. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

The New Jewish Comedians: Meet Orny Adams, Standup Comic


We've been posting clips of Jewish comedians going back to the days of vaudeville and burlesque, from Jack Benny to Alan King, and including dozens more. We've posted many of them since we started Jewish Humor Central nine years ago. Next winter we'll be teaching a course at Florida Atlantic University on these old timers. 

But a new generation of Jewish comedians is on the rise. And they're very funny. It's a rare one who can get through a routine without off-color words or phrases, but some are trying very hard to let the jokes and situations carry the day without resorting to outright foul language.

Some of the new comedians are only new to us, since we haven't been watching all the late night TV shows and comedy specials where they make their first appearances. But as we discover them, we'll share some of their video clips with you.

We just ran into the comedy of Orny Adams (Adam Jason Orenstein), who has been performing on late night TV shows and other comedy venues. We expect to see him in Montreal this summer when we attend the Just For Laughs festival, where he will be featured in The Ethnic Show.

Orny Adams delivers a powerful, incisive stand-up routine that vacillates between the relevant and the absurd. Orny attacks what’s wrong with the world and sometimes even what’s wrong with Orny. He’s brutally honest, satirical and his performance is ceaselessly energetic. 

Orny has had one hour stand up specials on Netflix, Comedy Central and his third special More Than Loud is airing now on Showtime. Orny has appeared all over television, most notably on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman and The Conan O’Brien Show. And you might also recognize him as Coach from the TV show Teen Wolf which ran for six seasons.

In this clip, Orny focuses on the warnings on the label of a water bottle. Enjoy!

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Israel's 70th - The Worldwide Celebration Continues in Song and Dance with Israel Sheli (My Israel)


Israel's 70th birthday is over, but the celebrations will continue around the world all year long. A special song has been selected as the official song to commemorate the occasion, and it is catching fire worldwide in song and dance.

The song is Yisrael Sheli (My Israel) and the official video is by Israeli pop singers Yardena Arazi and Lior Narkis. It's a very catchy tune and must have been released a few weeks ago so it could be used to train groups of dancers who recorded their versions for sharing on YouTube. 

Here is the original music video, followed by a montage of dance groups in 48 cities in 16 countries performing the same dance. We should warn you that it's infectious and if you watch both videos you may be singing and humming the melody and dancing around your house and neighborhood all weekend long. 

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

70 Years in the Promised Land - Hora Medley to Celebrate Independence


Continuing our tribute to Israel on its 70th birthday, we're sharing another excerpt from the new show 70 Years in the Promised Land as performed by an international cast of singers assembled by Musical Director and Producer Tomer Adaddi.

This excerpt is a collection of horas with black and white films of the original dancing in the streets of Tel Aviv on the first Independence Day in May 1948.

Just below this video we're also sharing a video interview wiith musical director Tomer Adaddi in which he talks about the Spanish River concerts in South Florida and explains the origins of the show and talks about the performers who are actors and singers in Habima, the Israel National Theatre.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

12,000 Israelis Unite in Song for Israel’s 70th Independence Day


To celebrate Israel's 70th Independence Day, Koolulam invited 12,000 people who hadn't met before to sing together in a special event with the artist Shlomi Shabat, accompanied by the Jerusalem Street Orchestra, in collaboration with the Office of the President, the Ministry for Social Equality, and the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality.

As Renee Ghert-Zand wrote in The Times of Israel,
Koolulam’s popularity has soared since it kicked off in Tel Aviv in April 2017, with Israelis jumping at the opportunity to come together with thousands of strangers — to sing.

The NIS 40 ($11.50) tickets for recent Koolulam events have sold out in mere minutes. In under an hour, participants learn a three-part arrangement of a Hebrew or English song, and then perform it for a video to be shared on social media. Views of the videos reach into the hundreds of thousands, and millions in some cases.

When they conceived of the initiative, Koolulam’s three founders, Ben Yefet, Michal Shahaf Shneiderman, and Or Taicher, were aiming for that feeling of connection between strangers.

Shneiderman, 33, takes credit for the initiative’s catchy name. It’s a multiple play on the English word “cool,” the Hebrew word “kulam” (everyone), the Hebrew word “kol” (voice), and “kululu,” the ululation sound of joy some Israelis of North African and Middle Eastern descent make at happy occasions like bar mitzvahs and weddings.

“Basically, the gist of it is that we should all be happy together,” Shneiderman said.
In that spirit, let's all join in singing Al Kol Eleh to wish a very happy 70th birthday to the State of Israel.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On Israel's Memorial Day, a Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces by HaZamir


Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, is always preceded by Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence — the very existence of the state — to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.

This year Yom HaZikaron begins tonight and will be observed tomorrow until nightfall when the Yom HaAtzmaut festivities begin and continue through Thursday.

To mark these two important dates in the Jewish calendar, today we're sharing a special video of the 300+ voices of the HaZamir high school choir singing David Burger's T'fila L'Tzahal - The Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces. The song is conducted by Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman, Conductor of HaZamir Philadelphia and accompanied by Scott Stein, Conductor of HaZamir Manhattan. It was sung at the HaZamir Gala Concert in Carnegie Hall in 2016.

Tomorrow we'll celebrate Israel's 70th birthday.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Creation of Israel"


Yes, it's Monday again -- Monday of a very special week that includes the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel on Wednesday evening. There will be ceremonies in Israel and around the world to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, and memorial services on Tuesday evening, Yom Hazikaron, for those who gave their lives in defense of the State of Israel. 

But all that is later in the week. Today is joke day, and here is one for Israel's birthday.

Here's the setup: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. On the third day, God was very busy creating the land. He turned to the angel Gabriel and said "Today I'm going to create a land called Israel." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Project Seventy: Israel Off the Beaten Track - Tekoa Beer Festival


Australian  globetrotter and energetic personality Joseph Waks has created 70 short videos to celebrate Israel's 70th birthday. We posted one a few weeks ago and we'll be posting more throughout this celebratory year. 

Waks traveled the length and breadth of Israel to record vignettes of places and people that you're not likely to find on a short touristy visit.

Project 70 began out of just pure love for the adventures, the people, the land, nature, and creativity of the Israeli people. We'll share some of the more unusual sights and sounds that we found in the 70 videos. Today we're visiting a Beer Festival in progress in Tekoa, about 10 miles from Jerusalem. L'chaim!

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