Friday, March 30, 2012

The Daily Show Skewers Israel Boycott Fight at Brooklyn Food Coop


For the last three years, a group of people who have been trying to get retailers to remove Israeli products from their shelves focused their attention on a Food Coop in the upscale neighborhood of Park Slope in Brooklyn. The Food Coop, in operation since 1973, primarily sells produce to its members who own and operate the store. But they also carry some packaged goods, including couscous, hummus, and a soda maker that are made in Israel.

The boycott advocates say they are campaigning against Israeli products because they are opposed to Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. Their presence has led to the entry of an opposing group called More Hummus, Please, which is trying to rebuff the boycotters and encourage the coop to carry even more Israeli products.

To the news team from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, this seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. The show loves to wade into controversies where logical behavior seems to be absent. This time the show sent its ace reporter Samantha Bee to visit the Coop and interview some of the protagonists and customers with the goal of highlighting whatever silliness and illogic she could find.

And find it she did, keeping a straight face as the sometimes unwary interviewees answered her questions as they would those of a serious news reporter.  So play the video and enjoy!

P.S. On Tuesday night the members of the coop voted down a proposal to consider boycotting Israeli products by a vote of 1,005 to 653. So there will be more hummus in Brooklyn.

(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, March 29, 2012

Comedy Classics: Mike Nichols and Elaine May in "Mother and Son" Skit


Today we're taking a break from a run of Passover music videos just to have a good laugh with a classic comedy skit featuring Mike Nichols and Elaine May. 

It's a real oldie but goodie with Elaine playing the mother and Mike playing the son who has been remiss in calling her. It's probably the oldest set-up in the world of Jewish comedy, but it's still fun to watch.

PBS includes the team in their American Masters series. Here's their writeup of the duo:
Mike Nichols and Elaine May revolutionized the landscape of American comedy. By perfecting the art of improvisation and introducing it to the public through their appearances in clubs and on television and radio, they forever changed our expectations of comedy, and our sense of humor.

Born in Berlin in 1931, Nichols attended a segregated school for Jewish children. His father, a doctor, fled the Nazis by moving the family to New York City when Nichols was still a child. May was born in 1932 in Philadelphia, the daughter of the director, writer, and principal actor of a traveling Jewish theatrical company. She caught the thespian bug early, appearing on stage in the roles of little boys.
The two met while attending the University of Chicago, and they first worked together honing their improvisational skills at the Compass Theatre, a Chicago nightclub. Later, Nichols and May decided to take their show on the road. Their meteoric rise as a comedy team began in 1957, when they first performed at the Village Vanguard and the Blue Angel in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

Masters of the dead-pan dialogue, Nichols and May created flawlessly improvised scenes that were outrageously funny, yet simply understated. Their dry wit and wry satire enabled them to lampoon faceless bureaucracy and such previously sacrosanct institutions as hospitals, politics, funeral homes, and even motherhood.
Like other great comedy duos, Nichols and May perfectly complemented each other. They seemed so attuned and at ease with each other that the miscommunication they often based their skits on were all the funnier.
Both Nichols and May are still active. Nichols, 80, is directing the current Broadway production of Death of a Salesman. May, 79, wrote and directed the one-act play George is Dead, one of the three plays in Relatively Speaking, which had a run on Broadway in 2011-2012.

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.)  



(A tip of the kippah to Dan Mosenkis for bringing this video to our attention.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Passover Rhapsody - A Jewish Rock Opera From Aish.com


Aish.com,a division of Aish HaTorah, an apolitical network of Jewish educational centers in 35 branches on five continents, has entered the Passover music video club with a very unusual choice of a song as a basis for parody.

Many of the current Pesach parodies are based on current popular songs, but the Aish entry, titled Passover Rhapsody, is based on the British rock group Queen's 1975 hit Bohemian Rhapsody that has been ranked on all of the music charts as one of the top all-time hits in the U.S. and the UK.

Bohemian Rhapsody, a mock opera written by Queen's lead singer Freddy Mercury (1946-1991), a Parsi/Zoroastrian born in Zanzibar, is the subject of a lengthy article in Wikipedia and its meaning is still debated around the world.

But there's no reason to debate the meaning of Passover Rhapsody. It's the story of the Exodus from Egypt that most Jews will retell at the Passover seder, set to Queen's music and enacted by a cast of puppets.

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.) 

(A tip of the kippah to Phil and Shawn Fink of Shalom America and radio-j.com for bringing this video to our attention.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ein Prat Fountainheads in New Passover Video - "Breakin' Free"


As Passover approaches, we've been hoping that the Fountainheads of Ein Prat would release a new music video to join their highly acclaimed outdoor song and dance extravaganza that went viral a year ago and raised the bar for high quality videos to mark the Jewish holidays.

Yesterday their second Passover video, Breakin' Free, made its debut on YouTube and we're happy to share it with you today.

The Fountainheads are a group of young Israeli singers, dancers, and artists, all graduates and students of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership, who have joined forces to create new Jewish artistic content for today's Jewish world.

All members of the group have spent time living and studying at the Ein Prat Academy, working to create new expressions of Israeli-Jewish identity and building a strong and diverse community that celebrates Jewish life. Through their videos and live performances, the Fountainheads' work is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. 

If you missed their first Passover video, Dayenu/Coming Home, you'll find it just below this year's version. 

Looking for the lyrics? They're just below the two videos. 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.)




Lyrics:

Workin' through another day
I can't go on any more
There's gotta be a better way
To get home...

Lift my eyes up to the sky
Hope is on the way
Dreamin' one day I may try
To go... Breakin' Free

One more day
One more night
Till we'll all be free again
One more brick
One more stone
We'll all be
Breakin' Free

There ain't no time
We all wanna come on home again
We've been waitin' for
So long.

I think it's happening tonight
I can feel it in the air
Passin' over me in the fight
Goin' on...

Now this my chance to make things right
Start way all over again
Eatin' matzah in mid-flight
We're all... Breakin' free

One more day
One more night
Till we all be free again
One more step
One more smile
We'll all be
Breakin' Free

There aint' no time
We gotta go on home tonight
We've been waitin' for...

Echad mi yodeah (Who knows one?)
Echad ani yodeah (I know one...)

Ooooo...Breakin' Free!

One more day
One more night
Then we'll all be free again
One more dip
One more crunch
Then we'll all be
Breakin' Free

This is the time
Everybody's comin' home again
We've been waiting for so long

This is the time
Everybody's come on home again
We've been waitin' for so long!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Eighth Graders in Israel Get Into the Passover Music Video Act


These days you don't have to be a professional musician or even a group of college a cappella singers to pick a popular music video, write a Pesach parody of it, perform it on location, and then broadcast it worldwide over the internet.

That's exactly what a group of eighth-graders at Magen Avot, an American style liberal Haredi school in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel did last year. The American and British kids, now in high school, call themselves The Jewsic (Jewish Music) Group and hope to produce more videos, if they can find the time in their busy schedules. 

The video, recorded a year ago, contains a reference to Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier who was released from captivity later in the year. It's a take-off on the popular song Wavin' Flag. by Somali-Canadian artist K'naan. The song was a global hit, reaching the top ten in 19 charts around the world and was chosen as Coca-Cola's promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa.  If you're not familiar with it, we include a video below the Passover video so you can see what the parody is of.

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.)
 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stuff People Say on Pesach : Going to Hotels, Relentless Cleaning, and How Long Was Your Seder?


The funny Passover videos keep coming. This one is not musical, but focuses on conversations that repeat year after year in some neighborhoods before and during Pesach.

Some of the topics that come up are going away to hotels, obsessive cleaning of a kiddie car, the quanities of food served, and the one-upmanship of claiming the latest running seder.  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, March 23, 2012

Mama Doni Leads Team in "Mission Immatzoble"


The first seder is only two weeks away and the Passover music videos are starting to show up. Here's a new one called "Mission Immatzoble" by Mama Doni and her crew of kids and puppets.

The mission (if you choose to accept it): Find Kosher for Passover food at the Streits matzo factory and at the supermarket.

The kids and the puppets show that they're up to the challenge as they dash through the matzo factory and the supermarket, picking up boxes as they fill up their shopping carts with matzot and head for home, tired but successful in their quest.

Mama Doni, a.k.a. Doni Zasloff Thomas, is a mom, educator, performer, songwriter, and lead singer in The Mama Doni Band, winner of the 2008 Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music,” in competition with more than 100 bands from 15 different countries at the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, Holland. She was invited back to Amsterdam the next year in 2009 to perform a concert and conduct a workshop.

Immersed in Jewish life and music since childhood, Doni grew up in the Washington DC area, attending The Hebrew Day Institute and The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. She then moved to Philadelphia and finished high school at Akiba Academy. She attended Camp Ramah, Camp Judea, Camp Moshava, and Camp Bnai Brith where she was drama/dance counselor. 

Through highschool she was a Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor and Hebrew School teacher, she then went to Brandeis University and NYU, where she earned a degree in Educational Theatre and Performing Arts. Pursuing a career in children's media and marketing, Doni was creative director for an award winning, pioneering children's media company for more than seven years.

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.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New York City to Homeless: No More Kugel For You!


Kugel: Too much salt and fat for homeless?
For more than a decade, volunteers from Ohab Zedek, an Orthodox shul on New York City's Upper West Side, have been delivering kugel, gefilte fish, pastries, and other surplus food from Bar Mitzvahs and synagogue functions to the city's homeless.

The team, led by Glenn and Lenore Richter, has donated freshly cooked, nutrient-rich surplus foods from synagogue events to homeless facilities in the neighborhood, a common practice among houses of worship in the city. No more, says the city's Department of Homeless Services (DHS), working with the Health Department and a mayoral task force. Why? The city's regulators are trying to enforce new nutritional rules including salt and fat content.

Writing in the New York Post this week, Jeff Stier reports:
DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond says the ban on food donations is consistent with Mayor Bloomberg’s emphasis on improving nutrition for all New Yorkers. A new interagency document controls what can be served at facilities — dictating serving sizes as well as salt, fat and calorie contents, plus fiber minimums and condiment recommendations.
The city also cites food-safety issues with donations, but it’s clear that the real driver behind the ban is the Bloomberg dietary diktats.
Diamond insists that the institutional vendors hired by the shelters serve food that meets the rules but also tastes good; it just isn’t too salty. So, says the commissioner, the homeless really don’t need any of the synagogue’s food.
Glenn Richter’s experience suggests otherwise. He says the beneficiaries — many of them senior citizens recovering from drug and alcohol abuse — have always been appreciative of the treats he and other OZ members bring.
It’s not just that the donations offer an enjoyable addition to the “official” low-salt fare; knowing that the food comes from volunteers and community members warms their hearts, not just their stomachs.
So you can imagine Richter’s consternation last month when employees at a local shelter turned away food he brought from a bar mitzvah.
He’s a former city Housing Authority employee, and his wife spent 35 years as a South Bronx public-school teacher, so they’re no strangers to bureaucracy and poverty. But an exasperated Richter says, “This level of micromanagement is stunning.”
Says Rabbi Allen Schwartz of Ohav Zedek, “Jews have been eating chulent and kugel for a long time, and somehow we’ve managed to live long and healthy lives. All we want to do is to continue sharing these bounties with our neighbors.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Shlomones (Jewish Ramones) Go to a Seder


The What's Up Band, a Connecticut-based Jewish American rock band that performs at simchas and often dresses up as the Shlomones, a takeoff on the punk rock band The Ramones, has a funny video to get you in the mood for Pesach sedarim.

If you're wondering what song this is a parody of, it's The Ramones' I Wanna be Sedated, a popular punk rock song written in 1978 by Joey Ramone, whose real name was Jeffry Hyman (May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001). Ramone was an American musician, vocalist and songwriter, best known as the Ramones' lead vocalist. Joey Ramone's image, voice and tenure as frontman of the Ramones made him a countercultural icon.

Here's the Pesach parody, followed by the original song.

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, March 20, 2012

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: Black Jewish Teen Wins Irish Dancing World Championship


Drew Lovejoy, a 17-year-old from rural Ohio, is not the first person you would think of as the winner of the all-Ireland dancing championship for three years in a row. To start with, he isn't Irish, he's American, with a white Jewish mother from Iowa and a black Baptist father from Georgia.

As Sabrina Tavernise wrote in the New York Times on St. Patrick's Day: 
Drew is the first to admit that this is a lot to take in, so he sometimes hides part of his biography for the sake of convenience. As in 2010, when he became the first person of color to win the world championship for Irish dancing — the highest honor in that small and close-knit world — and a group of male dancers in their 70s, all of them Irish, offered their congratulations.
“They said, ‘We never thought it would happen, but we’re thrilled that it did,’ ” said Drew’s mother, Andee Goldberg. She added, “They don’t even know he’s Jewish. That hasn’t been broached. I think it would be too overwhelming.”
Neither mother nor son can remember a time Drew wasn’t dancing, or the reason that he started. Drew thought it might have had to do with his mother getting tired of Disney movies and playing Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly videos for him. She also took him to musicals and theater performances.
But when he went to a friend’s Irish dance competition in Indianapolis, and saw the girls and boys leaping and skipping, dancing that was part tap, part ballet set to very happy music, he was hooked.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, right,’ ” his mother said, shaking her head. “You’re biracial and you’re a Jew. We thought you had to be Irish and Catholic.”
He said, “I was like, ‘I want a medal.’ ”
 And that's what he got. Here's a video clip from the local TV station in Iowa. 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, March 19, 2012

Looking For a New Wine for Passover? Maybe This Will Help


Yesterday we blogged about seltzer. Today it's wine. What's going on? If you've been in a supermarket the last few weeks or looked at the full page or double page spreads in your local Jewish newspaper, you've seen the aisles of products old and new stocked and stacked up for Pesach, and the small print lists of hundreds of kosher wines, also old and new, waiting for you to buy by the case and use at your seder table. So although Passover is 18 days away, it feels a lot closer.

But how to sort through all of the ads and listings of wines -- dry, semidry, and sweet, red and white -- and make good selections to fill the four cups at the seder table?  Each year, New York's The Jewish Week conducts a Grand Wine Tasting at the City Winery in downtown Manhattan where dozens of wine companies show off their latest vintages to an eager rush of early wine buyers. We wanted to attend the event but last Sunday, when it was held, was a travel day for us.

Fortunately for us and we hope, for you, Aaron Herman, a reporter for The Jewish Week, was on the scene to walk around and get the scoop on all the latest in kosher wines. Here's his video showing many of the new wines, interviewing the vendors, and trying to make some sense of the wide range of prices. You won't see all of the new wines, but you should get some ideas to make your seder selections easier.

The paper has also published a wine guide that lists the 18 best kosher wines in eight caterories, and related articles about wine selection. It's available online here. L'Chayim!

(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.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Seltzer Works" Short Film Recalls the Days of Seltzer Syphon Delivery


In the early 1900's thousands of seltzer deliverymen criss-crossed the nation, schlepping heavy glass bottles full of fizzy water to millions of thirsty customers. Today, with only a handful of deliverymen left in the country, the siphon machines at Gomberg Seltzer Works don't turn like they used to. Most of the old customers have passed on (or moved to Florida). But there are still bubbles being made by third-generation seltzer filler Kenny Gomberg. In Jessica Edwards' short documentary film Seltzer Works, the last bottler in Brooklyn fends off the supermarket seltzer take-over and honors this simple drink's place in history.

Seltzer Works is currently screening in film festivals around the USA, and here is the complete film. It should be a nostalgic experience for our older readers and a look at what we're missing today for everyone. 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, March 16, 2012

"The Tailor" (Marcus Pincus) Is Back Online - One of Our Most Popular Blog Posts


Last June we posted a short black-and-white almost silent film called The Tailor which was making its debut at the San Francisco Film Festival. It remains the 5th most viewed of our 759 blog posts since we started Jewish Humor Central in October 2009. It's based on one of the oldest Jewish jokes around, the Marcus Pincus the Tailor joke.

Three weeks after we posted the 6 minute film, Gordon Grinberg, its writer and director, removed it from the internet because it was, and still is, making appearances at Jewish film festivals all over. We understood and respected his desire to keep the film private, and replaced the film on our blog post with the joke in a stand-up comic delivery by one of the regulars from Old Jews Telling Jokes.

But still we got requests to repost the film. Now, Grinberg has included the film on his own website for all to see. It's protected from embedding so we can't put it on Jewish Humor Central, but we can give you a direct link to his website where you can watch this gem of a film.

Just in case you haven't heard the joke, it's about two Chassidic boys who buy black suits from Marcus Pincus, the tailor, but suspect that the suits are actually navy blue.  To confirm their suspicion, they plan to brush against two nuns who are walking towards them to compare the colors of the suits and the nuns' habits.

Meanwhile, the nuns aren't sure whether the boys are yeshiva students or young priests, and plan to listen to their conversation as they pass to determine whether they are speaking Hebrew or Latin.

The suspense builds as the boys and the nuns get closer and climaxes as the boys learn the truth and the nuns come to a conclusion based on what they think they hear the boys say. 

The whole film is just a set-up for a hilarious off-color punch line. (We said we'd warn you before posting anything that might offend readers who object to language that the mainstream media find unfit to print. So if you don't want to hear the word, don't bother watching the video.)

The film plays against a background of klezmer and piano music perfectly suited to maintaining the tension as the story unfolds. It will be featured at the Hartford Jewish Film Festival from March 17 through March 27 and at the Austin Jewish Film Festival from March 24 through March 30.


It may take a few minutes to load, but it's worth the wait. When it finishes loading, just click on the tiny forward arrow at the bottom of the frame. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Comedy Showcase: Mo Kamioner at Off the Wall Comedy Basement in Jerusalem


Two years ago we blogged about the Off the Wall Comedy Basement in Jerusalem, a venue for stand-up comedy by its founder, David Kilimnick, and guest performers who are living in or passing through Jerusalem.

About a year ago, Mo Kamioner, a new oleh to Israel from New York, took his turn on stage to entertain the audience of comedy fans. His topics included:

- Looking for a Southern Baptist style shul in Israel
- Color blindness
- Israeli taxis and radio commercials
- Radio disk jockeys
- Calling Bezeq (Israel's telephone company)
- Driving in Israel
- Dating experiences
- Planning the phone system for the third Beit Hamikdash

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, March 14, 2012

"Old Jews Telling Jokes" Coming to Off Broadway in May


"Old Jews Telling Jokes," one of the funniest Jewish humor sites on the internet, is coming to off-Broadway in May. We've been reporting on this venture by Sam Hoffman as it added a CD, DVD, and book to the collection of spinoffs from the website that made its debut in early 2009.

Now some of the funniest jokes told by the senior men and women who were recruited by Sam and his parents are being incorporated into a theatrical comedy

As Adam Kepler wrote in the New York Times:
One would be hard pressed to find a more honestly titled theater production than “Old Jews Telling Jokes,” an new Off Broadway show that promises to reinvent classic Jewish jokes and perform them on stage. Co-created by the authors Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent and directed by Marc Bruni (“Fanny”), the project is inspired by the Web site oldjewstellingjokes.com which, true to its name, hosts videos of older Jewish raconteurs telling some of their favorite jokes.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Okrent explained how the concept behind the site became a stage production. Mr. Gethers had the notion of an Off Off Broadway show that was a cabaret act. That idea evolved into its current, and more theatrical, form in which Broadway actors will perform the jokes, complete with costumes. “It is a real set and like all good Jewish operations the furniture will have plastic slipcovers,” Mr. Okrent said. “It’s not standup. We’ve taken jokes and turned them into little playlets.”

The show will also feature songs — old and new — and pay tribute to comedy giants of the past and present. Previews are to begin on May 1, with an opening scheduled for May 20 at the Westside Theater. Casting has not been announced.
Okrent, the New York Times Public Editor from 2003 to 2005, is in a good position to bring this show to the Westside Theatre on 43rd Street in New York City. He is one of the joke tellers on the website.

Here is one of the jokes told by Okrent on the Old Jews Telling Jokes website. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Rousing Russian Folk Instrument Version of Hava Nagila


A very Russian folk ensemble with the English name Style-Quartet and a forceful, almost cantorial, singer named Maya Balashova, recently filled a concert hall in Russia where they performed a rousing version of Hava Nagila. 

After posting about 20 versions of this quintessentially Jewish song being performed in locations all over the world, we thought we had exhausted all the possibilities. But it still keeps surfacing in new places with new arrangements, as as long as new ones appear, we'll keep sharing them with you.

In this version, Balashova is accompanied by musicians playing the balalaika, a huge triangular guitar-like instrument, the domra, a mandolin-like instrument, and the bayan, a Russian accordion.

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, March 12, 2012

The Frumest iPhone Ever - A Hilarious Purim Short Video


The new Apple iPhone 4S has a feature called Siri that understands your spoken commands, finds the information you're looking for, and responds in a female voice. Here's the way Apple describes the service:
Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it.
Last week the Mount Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights, New York, had a Purim Spiel competition for best short film under 5 minutes. The winning film is a takeoff on the Apple iPhone 4S with Siri (now Suri, her Jewish name) fielding the messages and responding in a very personal and frum way, taking over the lives of the phone users, censoring their choices in restaurants, movies, dating...you get the idea.)  It's hilarious and we thought you'd enjoy it.

(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.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stuff Kosher Meat-Eaters Say To Kosher Vegans with Mayim Bialik


Do you have any friends or relatives who are vegetarians or vegans? Do you ever give them a hard time about their eating habits when you're having a meal together?

Here's a new video with actress Mayim Bialik delivering just about every line you can think of that kosher meat-eaters have said to their favorite veggie-lovers.

Some of our favorites:

- Wait Wait! Shabbos dinner without the brisket?
- If you married a meat-eater, would you at least make him brisket for Shabbos?
- What do you do about a shankbone? A Passover table without a shankbone is an abomination.
- Not having apples with honey on Rosh Hashanah is like not having sex on Shabbos.
- No leather shoes? That's like Yom Kippur every day.
- If you don't eat shwarma or schnitzel, what do you eat in Israel? How do you call yourself a Jew?
- A new kosher vegan restaurant? Do they serve main dishes, or just side dishes?
- No chicken soup? How do you treat the common cold?
- Try the cholent. I won't tell.

We hope that any of our vegan readers won't be offended and that our meat-eating readers will find lots of reasons to reinforce their culinary choices. (We tried the cholent, and it was delicious.)

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, March 9, 2012

Wissotsky Tea Pays Tribute to the Jewish Mother


Wissotsky Tea, which has become a staple of the Jewish home, is running an ad that we couldn't resist sharing. It's more than just a commercial. It's a tribute to the Jewish mother in all of her roles.

Here's the narrative, followed by the video. Enjoy, and Shabbat Shalom!

Here's to the Mother, an unsung hero. The woman who takes on challenges large and small, and still, brings it all together, making it happen.

Every day, you wear many hats and play many roles.

You're a chef, a homemaker, a stylist, a chauffeur. A hard worker, a baker, a doctor, a nurse. You're a fashion designer, a photographer.

You're a spiritual force, and a revered role model. It is you alone who holds the key to your family's heart and soul, and no one else can take your place.

Yours is the only occupation on earth that can't be retired from, or taken leave from, or delegated to anybody else. Yet incredibly, you wouldn't have it any other way.

And while you'd never want to take a break from being a mother, you deserve a break WHILE being one.
 
Tea time is me time. Enjoy your moment

(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, March 8, 2012

Hamantaschen: Eating Cookies Shaped Like Body Parts and Clothing of Enemies


By tonight, we will have had our fill of hamantaschen, the triangular filled pastries that seem to be everywhere during the week before Purim and especially on Purim eve and Purim day.

There are differences of opinion as to whether the hamantasch is supposed to represent Haman's tri-cornered hat or his tri-cornered ear. In either case, we're not only bearing witness to the summary of Jewish holidays that goes "They tried to kill us. We survived. Let's eat," we're symbolically eating our enemy.

This revelation is taking us into funny territory, as seen in some recent articles and videos by aish.com and the Hahafuch comedy troupe in Israel. Both reflect on the custom of eating our enemy and playfully suggest extending the custom to other body parts and personal effects of other anti-semites.

As Perry Block wrote on the Jewlarious funny stuff section of the aish.com website,
In honor of Purim, I would like to broaden the Eating our Enemy custom. Here’s but a few of the body parts, personal effects, and memorabilia of other foes of the Jewish people that may soon be finding their way onto your table if I have anything to say about it:
The Yul Brynner/Pharaoh Cheese Basket --- Pharaoh is the quintessential villain of the Holy Scriptures, and to most of us, actor Yul Brynner is the physical embodiment of that villain. With no disrespect to the late legendary actor, the mouth-watering Yul Brynner/Pharaoh Cheese and Crackers Basket has arrived!
The basket is graced with sculpted cheese figures of Yul as Pharaoh in his most memorable action poses from the movie “The Ten Commandments,” including the “Sound the Pursuit” Parmigiana, “God of Moses is a Poor General” Gorgonzola, and “His God is God” Gouda. A plague on all ten of your houses if you don’t enjoy!
Grand Mufti Marshmallows --- The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem did his utmost to keep Jews from immigrating to Palestine, all the time sporting a headdress that rose so high above his head it looked like it was doing push-ups. So what could be more appropriate for your snacking pleasure than super fluffy Grand Mufti Marshmallows?
Henry Ford Crankshaft Cookies--- Though times have certainly changed at the company he founded, Henry Ford was a cantankerous old coot who was no friend of the Jews. Now eat the cranky crackpot’s crankcase with new Henry Ford Crankcase Cookies, each one shaped in the form of that aforementioned engine component as manufactured for the least successful car ever built by Ford Motor Company, the Edsel. Sure to sell lots better than the Edsel itself!
Mel Gibson Pound Cake --- The newest Jewish confection is a large pound cake with reviews of Mel Gibson’s most recent movies chiselled into the top. Reviews of the motion picture The Beaver are highlighted at center. Sadly I’ve heard that Mel Gibson Pound Cake is rather dry and tasteless. That’s a shame, but it’s still worse for Mel than for us. He’s got to eat his actual reviews. So my message to any future enemies of the Jewish people: think twice. You might end up a sumptuous snack.
Molly Livingstone, co-founder and "word on the street" reporter of the HaHafuch comedy troupe, took this idea to Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem, interviewing bystanders on their interest in eating delicacies shaped like the body parts of enemies. 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, March 7, 2012

"The Book of Purim" - An Awesome Parody of "The Book of Mormon"


The Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, is the hottest show in New York, with tickets, if you can find them, selling from $300 to $600 apiece. It's gotten many rave reviews, and we're waiting for the discount tickets to appear before seeing it live.

The Year-In-Israel students of the Hebrew Union College-Institute of Religion have created The Book of Purim, a well choreographed, well sung, and well acted parody of The Book of Mormon to tell the story of Mordechai's fortitude and faith, as well as Esther’s courage, in rescuing the Jewish people from their dire fate.

The opening number "Shalom," is based on "Hello," the opening number from The Book of Mormon. It's the best Purim video we've seen this season.  In the original "Hello" a devout, handsome, supercilious missionary-to-be, Elder Kevin Price, leads his classmates in a demonstration of the door-to-door to attempt to convert people to Mormonism. In the Purim version, the door-to-door visitors try to leave copies of the Megillah at each house as they explain the story of Esther, Mordechai, Haman, and Achashverosh.


If you have the time, it's worth watching the complete 16 minute production, which we're sharing below.


Here's the original "Hello" song from The Book of Mormon, just in case you're curious as to what the Purim parody is parodying.  Enjoy!