Thursday, November 30, 2017

Throwback Thursday Special: Robert Merrill and Richard Tucker Sing Fiddler on the Roof Medley


During the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the thought of opera brought to mind the great Jewish opera singers Ruven Ticker, Moishe Miller, and Jacob Pincus Perelmuth.

What? You never heard of them? They all had humble beginnings as the sons of Jewish immigrants but they changed their names and emerged as stars of opera and concert performers Richard Tucker, Robert Merrill, and Jan Peerce.

In August 1973, Tucker and Merrill performed a Fiddler on the Roof medley conducted by Arthur Fiedler in Boston. On this Throwback Thursday let's go back 44 years and enjoy their singing.

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#Throwback Thursday   #TBT

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Here Come the Hanukkah Videos: How to Eat Donuts


It may seem early, but we know that Chanukah is only two weeks away. So we're starting this year's crop of Hanukkah videos today, and from now through Chanukah we'll be posting what we consider to be the best videos of the season.

On Time Studios is a Brooklyn-based video production company that has released a collection of short skits and commercials that features Chassidic actors and comics and is designed to appeal to a frum audience. Here is one of their short films in the Hanukkah spirit that focuses on one of the favorite fried foods served on this holiday...Donuts!


Enjoy!


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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Black Hat Humor in Boro Park, Brooklyn: The Hatzolah Doctor Makes His Rounds


The Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) community of Brooklyn is well served by Hatzolah, a local volunteer Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organization.

Hatzolah/Hatzalah ("rescue" or "relief" in Hebrew: הצלה‎) serves mostly Jewish communities around the world. Most local branches operate independently of each other, but use the common name. The Hebrew spelling of the name is always the same, but there are many variations in transliteration, such as Hatzolah, Hatzoloh, Hatzalah, and Hatzola.

But even something as serious as medical assistance can have its funny moments, especially in the hands of a production company like On Time Studios, which uses humor to promote local Orthodox services and businesses.

In this clip (The Doctor) we follow a Hatzolah doctor as he puts some unconventional implements into his black doctor's bag and makes his rounds on a scooter that he uses to visit patients in his community.

Enjoy!

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Monday, November 27, 2017

A Joke to Start the Week - "Parking in Tel Aviv"


We're starting off the week after Thanksgiving with another joke, this one from the archives of Sam Hoffman's Old Jews Telling Jokes. This week's joke teller is sportscaster and executive producer Mike Leiderman. 

It's an "only in Israel" joke, one that highlights the unique flavor of humor in Israel, a flavor that we've captured in our book, Israel is a Funny Country, which has evolved into one of our most popular programs on the lecture circuit.

We'll be in Jerusalem for the next few weeks, looking for other examples of Israeli humor that we can share. Mike's joke today is set in Tel Aviv, but it could be anywhere else in the country. 

Here's the setup: A motorist drives up to a cop in Tel Aviv and he says "Can I park here?" and then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Musical Nostalgia: Danny Kaye and Harry Belafonte Sing Hava Nagila


Our collection of renditions of Hava Nagila keeps growing and growing. Since we started Jewish Humor Central in October 2009, we've posted 63 different versions from around the world.

Even today the song continues to appear in countries without a Jewish presence. But let's get a little nostalgic and revisit one of the segments from the four seasons of The Danny Kaye Show

In this episode, Harry Belafonte and Danny sang Hava Nagila on September 15, 1965. The full episode is available on The Best of the Danny Kaye Show 2-DVD collection. 

Enjoy!

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Welcoming Shabbat with Lecha Dodi Sung by a Cappella Group Six13


Are you still hungry after yesterday's Thanksgiving feast? Well, you're in luck because it's time for another feast, this time the weekly Shabbat dinner.

To accompany the challah, wine, and other Shabbat specialties, we're providing the musical background that can be sung without using instruments, as shown by the a cappella group Six13.

Six13 is a six-man vocal band that brings an unprecedented style of Jewish music to the stage, with songs ranging from hip-hop dance tracks to rock anthems. The members of the New York City-based group sound like a full band – while using nothing but their voices.
Six13 has recorded five award-winning albums, whose songs have been played all over Jewish radio and been chosen to appear on nine different “best of” compilation albums. The group has over 20,000 CDs in circulation, and are among the top Jewish music artists on iTunes.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom.


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Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Thanksgiving Journey: In Search of the Wild Challurkey


The staff at Mayim Bialk's website, Grok Nation, has been busy this week getting ready for Thanksgiving. 

FIlled with the holiday spirit, and probably somewhat nostalgic for the rare confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah a couple of years ago, Grok Nation's Editorial Director Esther Kustanowitz ventured forth to find a way for like-minded Jews to perpetuate the traditions of both holidays.

She didn't have to travel far from her home base in Los Angeles. At Bibi’s Bakery & Cafe in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood, bakers have been hard at work in advance of Thanksgiving, producing Challurkeys around the clock. Esther's interview of owner and baker Dan Messinger about the peculiarities and importance of this festive Thanksgiving bread reveals everything you wanted to know about the Challurkey.

GrokNation is an online community for people of all ages and backgrounds to dive deep into conversations on contemporary issues. Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory, Blossom) founded the site two years ago. Grok is one of those words that people who are fans of classic sci-fi probably know. Originally, it’s from a 1960s sci-fi novel called Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, and refers to one character’s attempt to learn about the world around him by “grokking,” drinking in an idea until it becomes part of him from the inside out.

Enjoy, and have a happy Thanksgiving.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving in Israel - Turkey, Hummus, Challlah, and Pumpkin Flavored Krembo


The menu may be a little different, but the Thanksgiving spirit is the same. The American holiday is observed in Israel wherever you can find a group of American olim.

Yankee Doodle playing in the background and tables laden with turkey (which has to be specially ordered in advance), hummus, challah, and pumpkin flavored Krembo (the chocolate marshmallow treat that's popular all over the country.) Cranberries can be hard to find,

Today's video clip is from a party in 2014 hosted by the Post-Aliyah department of Nefesh b'Nefesh, the organization that brings planeloads of new olim to Israel each year. If you're going to be in the United States tomorrow, try to have them in mind when you indulge in the traditional American feast.

Enjoy! 

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Comedy Showcase: UK Standup Comic Ashley Blaker on Driving Habits of the Very Frum


Last week we shifted our geographic focus "across the pond" to England and were pleasantly surprised to find that Jewish standup comedy is very much alive in the UK, especially in Orthodox circles.

We posted a video clip of Ashley Blaker, who has become very popular in the UK and also in Israel. Now he's bringing his comedy to New York. On Thursday night, December 7, Blaker will be performing his Strictly Unorthodox show at the Gramercy Theatre.


Much of his comedy centers on his migration from secular Judaism to becoming a frum Baal Teshuva (newly observant Jew) and the difficulties of being accepted by co-religionists who are FFB (Frum From Birth).

In this video he reflects on the driving habits that he's noticed among the very frum, and the steps he will have to take to be seen as a member of their community.

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, November 20, 2017

A Joke to Start the Week - "A Poisonous Situation"


It's another Monday. Time to get back to work, time for another Joke to Start the Week and time to start the day with a laugh. Today Joyce Fama is joining us again with a joke about a rabbi helping out a congregant. 

When she's not telling jokes, Joyce is an award winning Connecticut sculptor. Her medium is fired clay  that is inished with custom patinas. Here's the setup for today's joke: A husband goes to his rabbi. He says "Rabbi, I'm so distraught. My wife is trying to poison me."  And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

"All in the Family" Revisited: Is Archie Bunker Jewish?


In today's politically correct atmosphere, it's hard to imagine some of our favorite TV shows from yesteryear appearing on our screens every week. One of the best was All in the Family, which while attacking prejudice, managed to come up with some funny examples of it. 

Archie Bunker, as portrayed by Carroll O'Connor, didn't hide his feelings about Jews, Blacks, Pollacks, etc. But producer Norman Lear and the show's writers were successful in exposing prejudicial attitudes while still letting the funny punch lines shine through.

In this video clip, neighbor Lionel suggests that Archie might be Jewish, and then the fun begins.

Enjoy!

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Welcoming Shabbat with Eli Dali's Heavy Metal Version of Yedid Nefesh


Eliyahu Meir Dali (Eli Dali) is a guitarist and the founder of the project "Metal Prayer", which is a project of Heavy Metal arrangements of famous Jewish melodies, that are mostly known from Jewish prayers, and/or Jewish folklore. In these arrangements, the electric guitar has a major role.

This week we welcome Shabbat with a Heavy Metal version of the famous Jewish poet "Yedid Nefesh" ("ידיד נפש"), with the vocalist Rami Salmon.

Lyrics: Rabbi Elazar ben Moshe Azikri z"l
Music: traditional
Additional music and arrangement: Eli Dali

Performed by:

Rami Salmon - vocals
Eli Dali - electric guitars, acoustic guitars, classical guitars
Yoram Sadeh - keyboards, bass guitar
Refael Hevrony - drums

Lyrics


יְדִיד נֶפֶשׁ אָב הָרַחֲמָן, מְשֹׁךְ עַבְדְּךָ אֶל רְצוֹנֶךָ
יָרוּץ עַבְדְּךָ כְּמוֹ אַיָּל, יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֶל מוּל הֲדָרֶךָ
יֶעֱרַב לוֹ יְדִידוֹתֶּךָ, מִנֹּפֶת צוּף וְכָל טָעַם

הָדוּר נָאֶה זִיו הָעוֹלָם, נַפְשִׁי חוֹלַת אַהֲבָתֶךָ
אָנָּא אֵל נָא רְפָא נָא לָהּ, בְּהַרְאוֹת לָהּ נֹעַם זִיוָךְ
אָז תִּתְחַזֵּק וְתִתְרַפֵּא, וְהָיְתָה לָהּ שִׁמְחַת עוֹלָם

וָתִיק יֶהֱמוּ נָא רַחֲמֶיךָ, וְחוּסָה נָא עַל בֵּן אֲהוּבֶךָ
כִּי זֶה כַּמָּה נִכְסֹף נִכְסַפְתִּי, לִרְאוֹת בְּתִפְאֶרֶת עֻזֶּךָ
אָנָּא אֵלִי מַחְמַד לִבִּי, חוּשָׁה נָּא וְאַל תִּתְעַלָּם

הִגָּלֶה נָא וּפְרֹשׂ חָבִיב עָלַי, אֶת סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ
תָּאִיר אֶרֶץ מִכְּבוֹדֶךָ, נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בָּךְ
מַהֵר אָהוּב כִּי בָא מוֹעֵד, וְחָנֵּנוּ כִּימֵי עוֹלָם

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

EXCLUSIVE On-Site Report! Best In Show and Unusual New Products From Kosherfest 2017 - Part 2



Today we're bringing you part two of our report from Kosherfest 2017.

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 five segments yesterday and we're posting another three today.

The products are Kosher and pareve ham and corned beef deli slices, colored printed matzos, bagel scoopers, prize-winning wines from Austria, pretzel challah, honey smoked salmon, ginger beer, and low calorie, high protein ice cream.

A special feature of the show was a contest to choose the best decorator and dresser of a pair of Abeles and Heymann hot dogs, using any condiments found on the Kosherfest show floor. The contest, announced by broadcaster Nahum Segal, resulted in some unusual combinations. A short version of the hot dog dressing contest is included in the video below.

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!

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, November 15, 2017

EXCLUSIVE On-Site Report! Best In Show and Unusual New Products From Kosherfest 2017 - Part 1 (Watch For Part 2 Tomorrow)




Kosher and pareve ham and corned beef deli slices, colored printed matzos, bagel scoopers, prize-winning wines from Austria, and pretzel challah.
  
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 2017 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 $100.
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.