Monday, November 11, 2019

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Art Collector"



It's another Monday, and it's time for another joke to start the week. Here comes another one from Toronto's Jewish Folks Telling Jokes, a night of comedy to benefit Jewish Family and Child, one of the foremost Jewish service agencies in North America.

We previously posted a few jokes that were told at the event, a Canadian contribution to the world of Jewish humor, probably inspired by the off-Broadway show Old Jews Telling Jokes, still touring around the USA.

 
We'll be posting more of these jokes on upcoming Mondays. Here's another oldie but goodie, told by Marvin Yontef.


Here's the setup: Schwartz has made a little money. Now he needs a new interest that's consistent with having a few dollars in his pocket. And then...


Enjoy!


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(From the Yiddish dictionary: Ongepotchket = Messed up, slapped together without form, excessively and unesthetically decorated.)




Sunday, November 10, 2019

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: Mezinke Wedding Dance in Bulgarian Swimming Pool



The Mezinke dance is a dance done at Ashkenazi weddings when a youngest child is married off, after all of the elder siblings are already married.

The parents, siblings and their spouses take part (there are both mixed and separate versions). Each dancer is armed with an ornate tinsel-decorated broom and dustpan. With these festive implements, they mime sweeping the youngest child out of the door as the dance music rises to a joyous, frenzied tempo.

The origins of the Mezinke dance are obscure, but it appears to be a Chasidic custom. There are obviously a number of politically correct reasons not to do the Mezinke dance - it may hurt the feelings of guests who have older, unmarried children, and it suggests that the parents are, heaven forbid, delighted to be offloading their youngest child.

We never expected to see the dance performed, minus the broom and dustpan, in a swimming pool in Bulgaria. But that's exactly where the video below was recorded and posted by folk dance teacher Ira Weisburd.

Enjoy!

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat with Shalom Aleichem by Andrew Susman and the Megiddo Project


Today we welcome Shabbat with Shalom Aleichem sung by Andrew Susman and his band. Andy is a Song Leader, Cantorial Soloist, and founder of The Megiddo Project, a band that performs at Shabbat Journey and Sound Healing, a Yoga center in Coral Springs, Florida. 

The service announcement invites attendees to "Inhale Peace, Exhale Release. Nurture Your Soul with Music, Movement, Mantra and Meditation."

Andy has more than 25 years of experience as a song leader and been affiliated with numerous synagogues in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.  He was a member of JNF’s National Performing Artists’ Troupe, on staff for over 20 years at various JCC and BBYO Summer Camp programs, and twice attended HAVA NASHIRA, the National Song Leaders Institute sponsored by the Reform Movement.  He is also a member of the Folk Club of South Florida ( Dade ) and Broward Folk Club.

Andrew started playing in college as a hobby, later evolving into a song leader and cantorial soloist, using the guitar as a vehicle to tell stories whether through words or melody alone.

Andy considers himself to be an eclectic Jew, gleaning from all movements and ‘Schools of Thought.’ His goal is the creation of a meaningful service that speaks to the heart, mind and soul of the congregation.  His repertoire includes a blend of Traditional Hazzanut, Israeli Folk, Traditional American Folk  & Contemporary  “Pop”/American Jewish Folk melodies. 

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna on King Tut


Today's throwback skit goes back 40 years to 1979 when the late, great Gilda Radner was riding high on Saturday Night Live with her brilliant cast of invented characters. 

One of our favorites was Roseanne Roseannadanna, a character based on Rose Ann Scamardella, a former anchorwoman on WABC-TV's Eyewitness News in New York City. The character also appeared later in Radner's live one-woman shows.

Let's turn the clock back 40 years to 1979 when Gilda appeared as Roseanne Roseannadanna on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update to report on the King Tut exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Comedy Showcase: Meet Helaine Witt, Retired Schoolteacher and Standup Comic


Helaine Witt has been writing jokes and doing standup comedy for 32 years. She has written for Joan Rivers and other comedians, and has been touring the comedy club circuit. 

Her work includes one liners, current event jokes for presentations, speeches, and comedy roasts.

A retired schoolteacher, she includes anecdotes from her teaching days in her routines.

Here's an appearance by Helaine at New York City's Gotham Comedy Club.

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.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Comedy Showcase: Wendy Liebman Shares What It's Like Being a Woman 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 talks about being a woman comedian. 

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. 


Monday, November 4, 2019

A Joke to Start the Week - "Stopped by a Cop"


In August 2012 we started a weekly feature on Jewish Humor Central -- the Monday Joke to Start the Week. We find it hard to believe that in the last seven years we've posted 280 jokes from many sources -- all of them clean and family-friendly.

Jewish jokes, especially those told by old Jews, tend to be somewhat risque or off-color. If we didn't have a policy of posting only family-friendly jokes, we would have a virtually unlimited supply of new (well, actually not new but previously unposted) jokes to share with you.

We haven't run out yet, and we still have a small supply of these jokes to post for the rest of this year. As we get to the bottom of the list, we're asking for your opinion on whether we should end the series when the clean jokes run out or whether we should start re-running some of the more popular old jokes. Please let us have your opinion in the comments section below.

In the meantime, here's today's joke. It's another one from Toronto's Jewish Folks Telling Jokes, a night of comedy to benefit Jewish Family and Child, one of the foremost Jewish service agencies in North America.

We previously posted a few jokes that were told at the event, a Canadian contribution to the world of Jewish humor, probably inspired by the off-Broadway show Old Jews Telling Jokes, still touring around the USA.

We'll be posting more of these jokes on upcoming Mondays. Here's another oldie but goodie, told by Ellen Levine.

Here's the setup: Sam is driving down the highway, minding his own business. He looks in the rear view mirror and he sees that the police are after him. And then...

Enjoy! 

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Teaching Dogs Yiddish in Central Park


In September and again in October, the historic Yiddish organization The Workmen's Circle invited owners to bring their dogs for an event in Central Park where dogs are taught commands like 'sit' and 'down' in Yiddish.

As Alix Strauss wrote in The New York Times,
The class was organized by Workmen’s Circle, a progressive Jewish community and education nonprofit. “People want to teach their dog Yiddish,” said David Dossick, the event manager at the Circle. “It’s a New York thing to do.”

Steve Zelman, 69, from Sutton Place, Manhattan, was there with Ollie, his longhaired miniature dachshund to “meet some nice Jewish dogs,” he said.
Edna Schwartz, also 69, came in from Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, with Puma, her miniature poodle, for the training aspect. “My family would yell at us in Yiddish, so this reminds me of my childhood,” she said. “My dog is here to learn how to behave, listen and respond.”
Enjoy!


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Friday, November 1, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat with a Motown Version of Shalom Aleichem


Every Friday we try to welcome Shabbat with a musical variation on the liturgical poems that comprise the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Over the years we've posted 30 versions of Shalom Aleichem, 28 versions of Lecha Dodi, 52 versions of Adon Olam, and many other renditions of familiar Shabbat melodies.

They represent all points on the Jewish spectrum, from Reform to Orthodox. But no one synagogue or group has given us more to post than the Los Angeles community known as Beit T'shuvah. In addition to regular weekly services, it's 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 have a knack of fitting the familiar Shabbat tunes to different pop music genres, including, Rock and Roll, Country and Western, The Beatles, and most recently, the Motown Sound.

 
Here's an excerpt from last week's service with the shul band welcoming Shabbat with Lecha Dodi set to the 1961 Motown song Please Mr. Postman, the debut sin
gle by the Marvelettes and the first Motown song to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. 


Please Mr. Postman became a number-one hit again in early 1975 when the Carpenters' cover of the song reached the top position of the Billboard Hot 100. It has been covered several times, including by The Beatles in 1963.
 
Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!


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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Sid Caesar as a Performing Seal on Your Show of Shows


One of Sid Caesar's many talents was mastering the art of pantomime. His weekly TV program, Your Show of Shows, was the venue for Sid to display this talent. We have posted episodes of Sid pantomiming a piano concerto and a woman getting dressed.

Lets turn the clock back 67 years to April 1952 when Sid appeared in pantomime on Your Show of Shows as a performing seal with Imogene Coca as his trainer.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Comedy Showcase: Orthodox Comedian Ashley Blaker on Jews Wearing Baseball Hats


Ashley Blaker is an internationally acclaimed British Orthodox comedian, seen and heard on TV and radio across the world. He has performed on five continents including tours of the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Israel and Australia.

His five week run Off-Broadway was called ‘a slickly funny stand-up show’ by the New York Times. In August 2018, Ashley made his debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a sold-out run of his show ‘Observant Jew’. 

Today we're sharing another stand-up routine by Ashley Blaker.  In this video, Ashley reflects on Jewish men walking around in suits and wearing baseball caps to avoid looking Jewish.   

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Leonard Cohen Tribute in Yiddish: Batsheva Sings "Dance Me to the End of Love"


In February 2017, Toronto's Beth Tzedec Congregation celebrated the life, words and music of the legendary Leonard Cohen with a Kabbalat Shabbat service and dinner, special Shaẖarit service and a community concert. 

Batsheva Capek is a Canadian Jewish folksinger who is living in the USA with her song writer – composer husband. At the Leonard Cohen Tribute Concert, she sang her own Yiddish translation of Cohen's classic Dance Me to the End of Love.

She preceded the song with a short story about how she met Cohen at a dinner in Toronto's King Edward Hotel.

Enjoy!

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If you'd like to see Cohen's original music video of this song, here it is. So far it has been seen 50 million times on YouTube.


Monday, October 28, 2019

A Joke to Start the Week - "A Sudden Change"


We were lucky to discover a collection of more jokes from the talented Toronto joke tellers who put on a performance of Jewish Folks Telling Jokes, a night of comedy to benefit Jewish Family and Child, one of the foremost Jewish service agencies in North America. 

We previously posted a few jokes that were told at the event, a Canadian contribution to the world of Jewish humor, probably inspired by the off-Broadway show Old Jews Telling Jokes, still touring around the USA.

We'll be posting some of these jokes on upcoming Mondays. Here's another oldie but goodie, told by Norman Gilbert.

Here's the setup:  The restaurant opens. Every day Moishe comes in and he sits at the same table. The waitresses love to see him come in. One day he doesn't come in. And then...

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, October 27, 2019

Koolulam Brings 8,000 Strangers Together to Sing About Love


The amphitheater in the Mini Israel Park at Latrun is home to some of Israel’s greatest outdoor summer concerts. The concerts at Latrun are conveniently located for the center of the country, and attract some of Israel’s greatest musicians every year. The intimate venue, with beautiful peaceful surroundings is a brilliant place to enjoy great music.

On August 15th, 2019, 8,000 people came together at the Latrun amphitheater to sing about love and how it triumphs everything. This happened thanks to one newlywed couple called Yariv and Elinore, who after participating in Koolulam events that strengthened their love, decided to fund a mass singing event instead of a traditional wedding. 

This enabled thousands to experience what they had felt while attending a Koolulam event almost two years ago. And this is what it looked like... Koolulam is a social-musical initiative, meant to bring together people from any and all walks of life. The idea is to simply stop everything for a few hours and just sing - together.

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat with Yedid Nefesh by the Ramatayim Men's Choir


Late in 1995, four enthusiasts gathered in the Ramot suburb of Jerusalem, to sing choral music they recalled from synagogue services in their youth. Since then the choir has grown to 40 choristers, native Israelis and Olim from 4 continents who share a love of the great tradition of Jewish liturgical music and of singing together.
 
The choir appears regularly at concert halls and synagogues throughout Israel. Their list of approximately 250 performances includes appearances alongside some of the finest cantors in the world as well as artists in different genres. They have appeared in concert with the Israel Symphonette Orchestra on national television and radio and have also performed at the residence of the President of Israel.

The choir's repertoire consists mainly of Jewish liturgical music and includes Chassidic and Israeli songs, pop, opera and folk music. All activities are performed on a voluntary basis. They perform regularly in support of various Israeli and Jewish charitable and social causes. A distinctive feature of the choir's activity is their active collaboration with ensembles of the same genre, inaugurating and hosting joint concerts in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The choir's name derives from Ramatayim-Tzofim, in the hill country of Ephraim, birthplace of Samuel the Prophet, mentioned in the Book of Samuel 1 (1:1) and associated with the suburb Ramot, Jerusalem.
 
In this video they sing Yedid Nefesh, a liturgical poem that is sung before the start of the Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday nights. The lead singer is Yitzchak Meir, and the choir is conducted by director Richard Shavei-Tzion.
 
Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!
 
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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Groucho Marx as the Hotel Clerk in "A Night in Casablanca"


In the Marx Brothers film A Night in Casablanca Ronald Kornblow (Groucho Marx) takes over as the manager of a luxurious hotel in Casablanca, in the aftermath of World War II. 

After discovering that both of his predecessors had been murdered, Kornblow begins to fear for his safety -- especially when Nazi Count Pfefferman (Sig Ruman) tries to take over Kornblow's job in a bid to get his hands on valuable items that were stashed in the hotel by the Nazis at the tail end of the war.

In this funny clip from the film, Groucho has his way in dealing with hotel guests. 

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