Sunday, June 16, 2019

"Funny Monday" Brings Israeli Stand-up Comedy to English Speakers


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.


Last year Sponder, Hason, Yossi Tarablus, and some of their friends took their show, Funny Monday, on a tour of Europe and visited Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Manchester. Here is a video highlight of the tour.

Enjoy!

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: Hava Nagila at Oshodham, India


About 30 miles south of Delhi, India, the meditation center of Oshodham has blossomed, offering a clean, green, aesthetic and peaceful environment for those on the inner journey of meditation. In tune with nature, a beautiful space has been created for group and individual meditations both indoors and outdoors. 

The cherubic sound of gurgling water bodies and fountains with the chirping of birds help the meditators to go deep on the path of awareness through meditation. Today, meditators from all over India and abroad converge here to meditate and celebrate. Over 150 people can be accommodated to take part in three-day or three weeks meditation camps and groups. Oshodham is open all round the year for meditations.

So what's the latest activity at this meditation center? It's Hava Nagila, introduced as a dance to followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, more recently known as Osho.

The meditation group was introduced to this song and dance number the previous evening after dinner during a video session showing young Jews dancing happily to it. Before the video, a brief background of the Jewish people, their suffering, determination and spirit of celebrating life was shared. The folk song traces its origins back 1800 years and surfaced just over a century ago moving from Russia to Austria and to Israel.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!
 
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, June 13, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Rita Rudner's 1987 "Women of the Night"


We've been big fans of Rita Rudner ever since she started to appear on late night TV in the 1980s.

One of the hallmarks of her comedy is that it's clean, free from the vulgarity and shouting that many stand-up comics find necessary.  Her delivery is demure, tasteful, full of wry observations, and very funny.

Rudner started her career as a dancer, then switched to stand-up comedy about her dating experiences.  She married British producer Martin Bergman about 30 years ago and they have a daughter.  She is fond of Jewish humor but generally reserves it for when she performs for Jewish audiences.

Here's a video clip of Rita in a 1987 HBO special called "Women of the Night."

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


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The New Jewish Comedians: Meet Harrison Greenbaum, Comedian/Magician


Harrison Greenbaum, a 32-year-old member of The Jewish Week's annual "36 Under 36" young Jewish achievers, says "I'm a comedian who does magic, not simply a funny magician."

With a background that includes Hebrew school and, after his bar mitzvah, Hebrew High School, he has already appeared on America's Got Talent and Last Comic Standing.

Greenbaum began performing stand-up comedy while studying psychology and English at Harvard.  A summa cum laude graduate, he was the co-founder of the Harvard College Stand-Up Comic Society (or "Harvard College SUCS," as the group's name is cheekily acronymized), the first organization at Harvard dedicated to the performance and appreciation of stand-up comedy and one still popular on campus today.

Greenbaum peppers his act with frequent Jewish references. His material is basically clean, even cleaner "if I'm in a temple."

Today we're sharing a 10 minute excerpt from a Greenbaum stand-up set last year in Atlantic City. In 10 minutes he managed to draw applause and boos from the audience. But that's what happens in New Jersey when your stand-up act includes references to Trump, Obama, guns, substitute teachers, the NAACP, Amazon Echo, Alexa, and rectal thermometers.

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, June 11, 2019

Hava Nagila Around the World: Thailand Girl Group Celebrates Israel's 71st Birthday


After posting 75 versions of Hava Nagila, Israel's most loved and most hated song, from all over the world, you'd think we'd run out of versions? Nope, not a chance. They keep coming up and keep on being posted on YouTube. 

This latest one was performed by six members of the famous BNK48 band together with an Israeli singer last month at the 71st Independence Day of the State of Israel Reception in Thailand.

The group is named after Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, where its theatre, BNK48 the Campus, is located.

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, June 7, 2019

Welcoming Shabbat and Shavuot with Oseh Shalom by HaZamir


This week Shabbat, which starts at sundown tonight, leads directly into the Shavuot holiday, in which the giving of the Torah is celebrated for two days around the world and one day in Israel.

One of the most distinctive customs of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot is Tikkun Leil Shavuot, an evening-long study session held on the night of Shavuot

Tikkun means a “set order” of something and refers to the order in which the texts are read. The custom originated with the mystics of Safed in the 16th century, and today, many Jews stay up all night on Shavuot reading and studying a variety of sacred texts. Traditionally, readings from the Torah and Talmud are included. 

Many synagogues hold a Tikkun Leil Shavuot. Some host programs that go on all night, fueled by cheesecake, sushi, and other delicacies, culminating in morning services at sunrise. Other congregations gather for a few hours of study. Whether one is planning to attend an all-night session, study for a few hours, join with others, or study on one’s own, Shavuot is a wonderful time to encounter sacred text.
 
To welcome this holiday weekend, we're sharing a performance of Nurit Hirsh's iconic Oseh Shalom as captured at the HaZamir 2019 Gala Concert in David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center. 
 
Oseh Shalom is conducted by Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman, conductor of HaZamir Philadelphia and arranged and accompanied on piano by Matthew Lazar, founder of HaZamir and founder and director of the Zamir Choral Foundation. Soloists for this piece are Shani Chamovitz from HaZamir HaSharon and Yosef Nelson from HaZamir DC.

We'll be attending synagogue services on Sunday and Monday, so Jewish Humor Central is taking a two-day break. We'll be back on Tuesday with our usual mix.

Shabbat shalom and Chag sameach!

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: Norm Crosby Stand-up Malaprops in 1997


Norm Crosby is a Jewish comedian from Boston who served time on the Borscht Belt circuit and in Las Vegas hotels. He's known mainly as a source of malapropisms that he integrates into his comedy routines. 

Crosby became a frequent guest on TV talk and variety shows, including Dean Martin’s, and subsequently was a perfect choice as a regular roaster on the hugely popular Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts of the ‘70s, writing lines like: “Wilt Chamberlain is an insulation to young people all over the world. Wherever he appears, after every game the kids give him a standing ovulation.”

Crosby continued with a busy schedule in the following decades, and was the Los Angeles co-host of the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon for over 25 years, until Lewis was unceremoniously dumped from the annual event in 2011. In later years Crosby, who is now 91 years old, performed at casinos, Friars Club roasts, and on cruise ships.

We previously posted a video clip of Crosby co-hosting a Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon in 1987. Here he is ten years later, at a MDA telethon in 1997.
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.
 


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

YidLife Crisis Explorers Find Surprising Traces of Jewish Life in Detroit


Jamie Elman and Eli Batalion, the Montreal-based Jewish comedians of YidLife Crisis who travel the world looking for unusual slices of Jewish life, set their sights on the Jewish community of Detroit, Michigan a few months ago.

Sure enough, they found some unexpected instances of Jewish life in previous decades, including a shvitz (steam bath) that had been regularly frequented by members of the Purple Gang (Jewish American bootleggers and hijackers in Detroit during the 1920s).

After a venik massage - a back and shoulder massage with a broom made from a fragrant bundle of leafy birch or oak tree twigs, and a nosh at a kosher deli, our intrepid explorers visit the old home of Temple Beth El where a rabbi and a pastor (no, this is not a joke) are building an interfaith community center.

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, June 4, 2019

Yavneh Academy Gets the Koolulam Spirit with "Hallelujah"


We've been posting the singing extravaganzas of the Israeli Koolulam ever since they started the project for Israel's 70th Independence Day celebration last year in Tel Aviv.

Koolulam’s popularity has soared since then, with Israelis jumping at the opportunity to come together with thousands of strangers — to sing. But it's popularity hasn't been limited to Israel. The idea has become infections and has stimulated groups of singers to come together in other locales.

The excitement has reached Paramus, New Jersey, home of the 77 year old Yavneh Academy, a modern Orthodox co-ed yeshiva. On Yom Haatzmaut last month, the entire student body came together to sing Hallelujah in their own version of Koolulam.

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, June 3, 2019

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Bedpan"


Happy Monday to all our readers. Why Happy Monday? Because it's joke day, of course. It's the start of a new month and time for another joke to start the week.

Once again we dip into the archives of Old Jews Telling Jokes for another oldie but goodie. Today's joke is told by Yiddish professor and former Catskills MC Archie Barkan.

Here's the setup: A lady is a wonderful terrific social worker. She's got every sticker of every Jewish orgainization you ever saw on her car. And she calls on all the shut-ins. One day she's running late like crazy and suddenly she sees she's out of gas. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, June 2, 2019

A Tribute to the City of Jerusalem on Yom Yerushalayim


Today is Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), the 52nd anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem. To mark the occasion the students and faculty of the Fuchs Mizrachi School in Beachwood, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, were asked what their favorite place in Yerushalayim is.

The answers include the Old City, the Western Wall, the Mahane Yehuda market (shuk), the City of David, and family residences. 

Do you have a favorite place in Jerusalem? Let's take a photo and musical tour of some of the most popular sites.

Happy Jerusalem Day!

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