Sunday, November 18, 2018

Kosherfest Discovery: Giant Leaping Asian Carp Find Home in Gefilte Fish


Back in 2010 we shared a video and a story about how giant flying Asian carp invaded the Great Lakes waters and were threatening the ecosystem by dominating lakes from Louisiana to Minnesota.

Last week at the Kosherfest 2018 expo in New Jersey we spotted some of these giants at a booth sponsored by Moon River Foods of Indianola, Mississippi. Speaking with Moon River president Andre Raghu, we found that Moon River was part of the solution to the problem by catching the flying carp and turning them into food, more specifically, gefilte fish.

So if you eat gefilte fish, you may be helping the environment by thinning the population of the giant carp. According to Andre, if you eat any brand of gefilte fish that contains carp (some are only whitefish and pike) it's very likely that you have tasted Moon River's silver carp, common carp, or the biggest of the species, the buffalo fish.

Here are videos of the flying carp and our interview from Kosherfest 2018.




Friday, November 16, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Yedid Nefesh as an Israeli Folk Dance


Yedid Nefesh is a piyyut (poem) usually sung on Friday night just before the Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming Shabbat) service begins.
 
According to Wikipedia, this beautiful poem is commonly attributed to the sixteenth century kabbalist, Rabbi Elazar ben Moshe Azikri (1533-1600), who first published it in Sefer Charedim (published in Venice 1601), but Azikri did not claim authorship of it and there have been other suggested authors (e.g. Judah Halevi, or Israel Nagara).
  
The first letters of each of the four verses make up the four letter name of God, known in English as the tetragrammaton.

We're very familiar with Yedid Nefesh as a song for Shabbat but were surprised to find out that it is also a popular folk dance in Israel. We hope you enjoy this performance choreographed by Yonatan Gabai and sung by Gad Elbaz.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

EXCLUSIVE On-Site Report! Best In Show and Unusual New Products From Kosherfest 2018 - Part 2

 
Today we're bringing you part two of our report from Kosherfest 2018.

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

The products are Israeli style shwarma sausage, Kosher Cook kitchen utensils, a prize winning wine, cured smoked salmon, and a lightbulb designed for Shabbat use.

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 14, 2018

EXCLUSIVE On-Site Report! Best In Show and Unusual New Products From Kosherfest 2018 - Part 1 (Watch For Part 2 Tomorrow)


Mediterranean Crisp Tortas from Spain, healthy mini fruit pops, kosher barbecue, and Israeli craft beer.
  
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 2018 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 $110.

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.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Rapping Rabbi Lights Up the Crowd at International Chabad Emissary Conference


Last week more than 5,000 Chabad rabbis and their supporters gathered in Brooklyn for their annual Kinus Hashluchim, a conference of the Chabad emissaries from around the world.

A highlight of the evening was a Wilmington rabbi who shared his personal journey to religious observance in a rap song.

As Sandy Eller wrote in Vos Iz Neias,
Rabbi Motti Flikshtein, program director at Chabad of Wilmington, Delaware, told the spellbound audience of 5,000 men how it was a single hug from Rabbi Aryeh Weinstein of Chabad of Bucks County, Pennsylvania that transformed him from an wayward teenager into a practicing Orthodox Jew.
Rabbi Flikshtein, who started rapping when he was in high school, launched into the first verse and the chorus of a single titled Coming Home that he released in 2010 as the “Rapping Rabbi” under the name Mor-To-Life.
His nearly one and a half minute long rap focused on how he realized that his life was devoid of meaning until he discovered his faith.
Despite the unconventional style of his music, Rabbi Flikshtein’s delivery was greeted with thunderous applause.
Enjoy!


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Monday, November 12, 2018

Lots of Jewish Jokes to Start the Week - "Guess the Punchline" Game


"Iceberg, Goldberg...What's the difference?"
"Who wrote this crap?"
"His brother is a doctor"
"We said we wouldn't talk about our children"
"Look! He's breathing!"
"What's a bracha?"
"That's the one I never would set foot in"

If you're a fan of classic Jewish jokes, you probably recognize these punch lines and may be able to tell the joke that ends with them. 

We usually publish an "old Jewish joke" every Monday, but today we're doing something a little different by telling lots of Jewish jokes in a format that you can use as a guessing game when you get together with friends.

We got the idea from a Limmud UK conference last December where David Benkof started telling jokes to the audience and challenging them to shout out the punch lines without hearing the rest of the jokes. The ensuing hilarity revealed how well known these jokes have become.

Enjoy!

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  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, November 11, 2018

Comedy Showcase: Standup Comic Wendy Liebman Jokes About Her Marriage on America's Got Talent



Wendy Liebman has been performing stand-up comedy for more than 20 years. We like her style. It's mostly clean and reminds us of Rita Rudner, another of our favorites.
 
Wendy has been called the master of the one-liner with subliminal afterthought. Her distinctive style includes quick, clever follow-ups after her jokes. She starts the joke leading it to one direction then changes it. As in "This Thanksgiving I made a 28 pound turkey ... pot pie," or "I really like to shop....lift."


She has appeared at comedy clubs and most of the late night TV shows. According to her website, she counts among her accomplishments the American Comedy Award for Best Female Standup in 1996, and clue #23 down in a New York Magazine crossword puzzle in 2010.


In this video Wendy appears on America's Got Talent and jokes with the panelists about her marriage.

Enjoy!


A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  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, November 9, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Lecha Dodi at Devotion by the Ocean in Ventnor, New Jersey


In the summertime at the New Jersey shore, two congregations have been pooling their resources in a Kabbalat Shabbat service that takes place on the beach and boardwalk. The service is called Devotion by the Ocean. It is open to all congregations and to anyone who wants to participate.

The sponsoring synagogue, Shirat Hayam, is a new congregation formed by the merger of Temple Emeth Shalom in Margate (Reform) and Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor (Conservative). Separate religious services are under the aegis of the respective clergy. Governance, learning, social and other programming are combined.

In this video clip, the band sings a version of Lecha Dodi by Craig Taubman.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca in "The Drummer"


In the early 1950s, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca were big hits in the weekly 90 minute variety show called Your Show of Shows. We have been posting skits from this show and from its successor Caesar's Hour. In the 1960s Caesar was a host of The Hollywood Palace, where he repeated some of the most popular skits.

On this Throwback Thursday we're turning back the clock to the early 1950s when Sid and Imogene did their At the Theatre skit in which they played a couple attending a Broadway show. They were delighted to be seated in the front row, until they found out that it was in the orchestra pit and their seats were right next to the drummer, played by actor Jackie Cooper.

Some years later they reprised this skit on The Hollywood Palace, where the drummer was played by famed drummer Buddy Rich. Here is the original video from Your Show of Shows.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

60 Years Later, Violinist Itzhak Perlman Returns to the Ed Sullivan Theatre


This week famed violinist Itzhak Perlman returned to the same stage he graced sixty years earlier when he performed on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' as a 13-year-old child prodigy.

In an interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, we see a black-and-white clip with Sullivan introducing him as Isaac Perlman.

In part two of the interview, Perlman combines 'Caprice in A Minor' and 'Someone to Watch Over Me' with piano accompaniment from Jon Batiste.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

"The Jews Are Coming" - Controversial Israeli Sketch Comedy Series - Abraham and Seinfeld


In 2014 Israeli satire on TV took a bold step forward with the airing of a new series of sketches called HaYehudim Ba'im (The Jews Are Coming). Written by Natalie Marcus and Asaf Beiser, the show asks questions about everything, from the Bible to Ben Gurion to the Ashkenazi leadership. 

Their approach is to  go into the texts and make you think. They say that they give all their subjects a critical look, but they're not attacking, just giving the story a fresh, modern look.

The series ran for three seasons on Israeli TV, all in Hebrew. Some of the half-hour episodes were divided into video clips and published on YouTube with English subtitles. We found a few new ones and we'll continue to share them with you. Today we're posting a parody that imagines a conversation between Abraham and a character based on the Seinfeld TV show.

In the clip (in Hebrew with English subtitles) Abraham tells an idol worshipper that he has an idea about starting a new religion about nothing, a nod to the oft-quoted comment by Jerry Seinfeld that his show is a show about nothing. 

The idol worshipper venerates the goddess Ashtoret (also known as Astarte and Ishtar) but is open to following Abraham in his new religion until he hears that joining the religion requires him to "cut the tip of the thingy" and decides that he'll stay with Ashtoret. 

This video clip, like all the others in the series, may offend some readers who are not open to satirical interpretations of the scriptures and satirical views of Jewish life through the ages, but we believe that there's a place for humor everywhere and we hope you'll find the satire amusing.

Enjoy!

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Monday, November 5, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Mother-in-Law"


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

The Forward is producing a series of classic Yiddish jokes presented in Yiddish by Leana Jelen, a young Yiddish-speaking sign-language interpreter.

Last month we posted three jokes in Yiddish by Leana Jelen, all oldies but goodies in our collection of favorite Jewish jokes. Here's another one in the series.

Here's the setup: A groom came to meet his beautiful new bride. Besides his parents, he was accompanied by a bunch of his aunts. And then...

If you don't understand Yiddish, watch the English subtitles while Leana tells the joke in Yiddish. Who knows, you might even learn the language!

Enjoy!

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

From Israel With Laughs: More Israeli Standup Comedy in Engish


Comedians Yohay Sponder and Shahar Hason got their start as comedians in Israel catering exclusively to Hebrew-speaking audiences. As the two became more and more well-known to Hebrew speakers throughout Israel, they noticed a huge demographic in the country that was missing out on the laughs. 

Sponder and Hason took the risk of crafting and re-writing their material from Hebrew to English (and from Israeli humor to American humor), all the while unsure whether or not they would even get a laugh out of an English speaking crowd. Their hard work and dedication to broadening the audience of one of Israel’s most unique cultural elements has launched the growing scene of Israeli Stand-up in English. 


Back in February we started a new series, bringing you some of the stand-up routines from the Chelsea Hotel in Tel Aviv. We know that the language that these comics use it a bit raw and uncensored, but it is typical of Israeli humor. Besides Sponder and Hason, today's video includes bits from Yossi Tarablus.
Enjoy!
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Friday, November 2, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Yigdal by the Portnoy Brothers


The Portnoy Brothers were born and raised in Manchester, UK and are currently living just outside of Jerusalem in Bet Zayit.
Sruli and Mendy have been making music together for as long they can remember. Two out of nine kids in a very musical family, they released their debut album "Learn to Love" after years of hard work.
Their sound is one that spans many genres but all of which maintain the harmony of brothers. Whether they're with their full band, or performing as a duo, their distinct sound always shines through.

Now they have a new Shabbat album in the works. Here is Yigdal, a lively adaptation of the traditional song that we sing at the end of the Friday night services.

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: The Sanity Clause from the Marx Brothers' Night at the Opera


On this Throwback Thursday we're going back 83 years to 1935 and one of the funniest movies made by The Marx Brothers.

"The Sanity Clause" is often cited as one of the funniest scenes in film comedy. It's a short clip from the Marx Brothers' film A Night at the Opera featuring Groucho and Chico Marx.

Anyone who has ever written or read a contract or a piece of legislation will find this scene hilarious.

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.



#Throwback Thursday    #TBT