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!

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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!

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Sid Caesar as the Professor on Magic


Sid Caesar left a treasure trove of  video clips of some of his funniest character portrayals and skits from his own Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour and from his appearances with sidekick Carl Reiner on the Ed Sullivan Show and other TV specials.

We've already run some of his most famous comedy routines and we'll be tapping into the collection for more of them from time to time.

Today we're visiting once again with one of Sid's most endearing characters, the wisecracking and loopy Viennese  professor Hocus VonPocus, interviewed by the persistent and straight-talking Carl Reiner.

In this video Reiner asks the professor to perform some magic, with hilarious results.
Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday   #TBT

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hava Nagila Around the World: Played by Andre Rieu Orchestra in Maastricht, Netherlands


In reviewing the 64 versions of Hava Nagila that we've posted since starting Jewish Humor Central in October 2009, we realized that we never posted the one that has more views (more than 10 million) than any other -- the version by Andre Rieu.

Rieu is a Dutch violinist and conductor best known for creating the waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra. Together they have turned classical and waltz music into a worldwide concert touring act, as successful as some of the biggest global pop and rock music acts.

Rieu's father was conductor of the Maastricht Symphony Orchestra. Showing early promise, André began studying violin at the age of five. From a very early age, he developed a fascination with orchestra.

Rieu created the Johann Strauss Orchestra in 1987 and began with 12 members, giving its first concert on 1 January 1988. Over the years it has expanded dramatically, nowadays performing with between 80 and 150 musicians. Rieu and his orchestra have performed throughout Europe, North and South America, Japan, and Australia. The size and revenue of their tours are rivaled only by the largest pop and rock music acts.

This performance of Hava Nagila took place in a huge concert hall in Maastricht, the Netherlands, where Rieu makes his home. 

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Golden Globe Winner "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" Recreates Jewish New York in 1958


On Sunday night, the Golden Globes award for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy, went to the Amazon video The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The show's first season had eight episodes, and its second season should be starting soon.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is about as Jewish as a series could be. It recreates New York City in 1958, with an attention to detail that will bring back memories of the period to most of our readers.

It's the late 1950s and Miriam "Midge" Maisel has everything she has ever wanted -- the perfect husband, two kids and an elegant apartment on New York's Upper West Side. Her father Abe Weinberg, played by Tony Shalhoub, is a math professor at Columbia and her father-in-law Moishe Maisel is the owner of a clothing manufacturing company in the garment district. 

Her seemingly idyllic life takes a surprising turn when she discovers a hidden talent she didn't previously know she had -- stand-up comedy. This revelation changes her life forever as she begins a journey that takes her from her comfortable life on the Upper West Side through the cafes and nightclubs of Greenwich Village as she makes her way through the city's comedy industry on a path that could ultimately lead her to a spot on the "Tonight Show" couch.

Here's a look behind the scenes. Enjoy!

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Monday, January 8, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "Good Samaritan"


It's another Monday. Time for another joke to start the week.

Once again we're sharing an oldie but goodie from the archives of Sam Hoffman's Old Jews Telling Jokes. This one is told by Milt Keiles, a retired custom software business owner.

Here's the setup: This guy goes into a bar and sits down next to another gentleman on a stool. And the other gentleman's head falls down on the bar. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Tovah Feldshuh and Patti LuPone Sing "Remember That We Suffered" on "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"



The CW Network's video hit sitcom series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is now in its third season. Back in 2015 we posted a song from the series with actress Tovah Feldshuh rushed into her daughter's home singing Where's the Bathroom? 

Last year the second season included a funny spoof song with Patti LuPone playing the role of Rabbi Shari at a family Bar Mitzvah.

LuPone and Feldshuh join the family celebrants in a hora "Remember That We Suffered". 

As Linda Buchwald wrote in a review for JTA,
Broadway legend Patti LuPone guests as Rabbi Shari and sings “in a minor key to remember that we suffered.” That would have been enough —dayenu! — but then Tovah Feldshuh, in a recurring guest role as Rebecca’s mother Naomi, joins in, too. If there’s not an online petition yet to replace “Hava Nagila” with this song during the hora at all future bar mitzvahs, there should be.
Enjoy! 

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Havdalah Service Led by IDF Chief Cantor Shai Abramson at the King David Hotel



On Fridays we usually post a musical welcome to Shabbat with a version of Shalom Aleichem, Lecha Dodi, or Adon Olam. But this week we're skipping to the end of Shabbat and continuing the series of Havdalah services that we started in September.
There's a rich lode of musical endings to Shabbat, and Havdalah ceremonies around the world reflect the traditional and local musical tastes of each location.

Here's a video to save for tomorrow night at the conclusion of Shabbat. It's a beautiful version of Havdalah sung by Shai Abramson, Chief Cantor of the Israel Defense Forces. 

The Havdalah Service took place at the King David Hotel with the FIDF Delegation to Israel. IDF Chief Cantor Ltc. Shai Abramson Acompanied by the Rabbinical Choir Conducted by Ofir Sobol with Roey Shema at the piano.
 
Shabbat Shalom and Shavua Tov.
Enjoy!

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Woody Allen Dictates a Letter on Candid Camera


Candid Camera was an American hidden camera/practical joke reality television series created and produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone on June 28, 1947. After a series of theatrical film shorts, also titled Candid Microphone, Funt's concept came to television on August 10, 1948, and continued into the 1970s. 

The show involved concealing cameras filming ordinary people being confronted with unusual situations, sometimes involving trick props, such as a desk with drawers that pop open when one is closed or a car with a hidden extra gas tank. When the joke was revealed, victims would be told the show's catchphrase, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera."

Before he made over 40 films and became one of the legends of all cinema, Woody Allen was a writer for the classic Candid Camera show, and in that time appeared in a some of the clips.

This clip is from 1963, and features Allen hiring a new secretary and having to take down the most non-business letter ever. It's a real comedy classic.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday   #TBT

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

British Comedian Ashley Blaker on New Years Day - Jewish vs. Goyish


We've been following British comedian Ashley Blaker for the last few months, posting his funny observations about Jewish life from the perspective of a 42-year-old Baal Teshuva.

After posting segments about Jews and sushi, driving habits of the very frum, and reflections on celebrating Christmas as a Yom Tov, we have to include his comments on the contrasts between Jewish and Goyish behavior in celebrating a new year.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

מה הכי ישראלי בעיניכם? What Does Being Israeli Mean to You?



Im Tirtzu (IMTI) is the largest grassroots Zionist movement in Israel. Since its founding in 2006, IMTI has had a major impact on Israeli society, both in its role as the leading pro-Israel voice on Israeli campuses and in combating anti-Zionist threats to Israel from within the country.

Over the years IMTI has earned a reputation for serving as a mirror of Zionist values to Israeli society. Whether it is on campuses, with its 15 branches nationwide, in the media, or in the halls of the Knesset, IMTI is recognized and respected for its dedication and work on behalf of Zionism and Jewish democratic values in Israel.

They've also produced a funny video to show the unique characteristics of Israelis, both endearing and annoying, which should be recognizable to anyone who's visited or lived there.

The video features Renny Grinshpan, a Canadian-Israeli model who has become famous in Israel for her comedic commentary on Israeli culture.

Enjoy!


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Monday, January 1, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "Reward and Punishment"


It's a new year. and we hope it's going to be a happy and healthy one for us, our family, our friends, and all of our subscribers. But it's also a Monday, and that means it's once again time for a joke to start the week.

Today's jokester is retired accountant Marvin Nissenbaum, wth an oldie but goodie about reward and punishment.

Here's the setup: A man passes on and goes to heaven. Pausing at the pearly gates, he asks to take a peek inside. And then...

Enjoy!

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