Friday, February 28, 2020

Welcoming Shabbat with Shalom Aleichem by ArcheoEnsemble in Milan, Italy


This week we go to Milan, Italy to welcome Shabbat with another version of Shalom Aleichem as performed by the Klezmer group ArcheoEnsemble at the Nuevo Teatro Ariberto.

The ArcheoEnsemble specializes in instrumental and vocal pieces in Hebrew and Yiddish.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom! 

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Throwback Thursday Comedy Showcase: Sid Caesar as a Gypsy Violinist


On this Throwback Thursday we're going back to an old episode of The Dean Martin Show where Sid Caesar played the role of a Gypsy violinist.

The undated video clip, recorded sometime during the 1960s, has Sid distracted by Dean's date to the extent that he loses track of where he's supposed to be and ends up taking his violin to some unexpected places.

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Comedy Showcase: Joel Chasnoff Opens Z3 Conference with Funny Standup on Zionism


Last November, thought leaders from across the world and from across the political, religious and social spectrum gathered in Palo Alto, California to discuss the most relevant aspects of Jewish life today at the annual Z3 Conference. It featured a cross-generational conversation about identity, culture and social responsibility on multiple platforms including roundtables, workshops, music and art exhibitions. 

It also featured a funny opening monologue by standup comedian Joel Chasnoff. In his 14 minute routine, he contrasted diaspora Jews and Israelis, talked about the difficulties of explaining kosher food rules to flight attendants and tefillin to TSA agents, the miracle of the Israeli army, and using "Solomon Schechter Hebrew" to communicate with native Hebrew speakers.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tumbalalaika Around the World: A Yiddish and Ladino Version from Mexico


The Yiddish folk love song Tumbalalaika originated in Eastern Europe in the 19th century, but its exact origin is hard to pinpoint. That hasn't prevented it from being sung and played over and over, not only in places where Yiddish songs are sung, but just about everywhere in the world, in vocal and instrumental versions, in cabarets and in the movies.

Just as we have followed the songs Hava Nagila, Adon Olam, Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, and Abanibi as they took different forms as interpreted by a wide variety of singers, musicians, and dancers, we've been posting many interpretations of this universal courting and love song.

 
Here's a new one from Mexico. Sol de Enverano was born in 2011 as a Mexican research project focusing on the music and oral tradition of the Sephardic people and other cultures that inhabit the Mediterranean area, mainly from Greece and Turkey. 

In this interpretation, Sol de Enverano performs Tumbalalaika in Yiddish and Ladino.

Enjoy!

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Monday, February 24, 2020

A Joke to Start the Week - "Meeting the Devil"


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 one, told by Susan Jackson.

Here's the setup: Harry is sitting in the shul -- he gets there early for Mincha. All of a sudden there's a puff of smoke, and the devil appears. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Laugh Planet Ranks the Top 10 Jewish Comedians of All Time


The website The Laugh Planet specializes in publishing top 10 lists on Standup, TV, Film and Talk shows. It claims to be a trusted authority on ranking Comedy culture. If you like Standup Comedy a lot, then TheLaughPlanet is the right place for you. 

Last month they published a ranking of the top 10 Jewish comedians of all time.

Do you agree with their choices? We have a hard time keeping the list down to only 10 comedians, but we think they've picked some very good ones. Our personal list includes some 60 comedians, and our lectures at Florida Atlantic University profiled 30 of them.

Enjoy!

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Friday, February 21, 2020

Welcoming Shabbat with Adon Olam by Cantors Rita and Stephanie Shore



This evening we welcome another Shabbat with Adon Olam, sung by Rita and Stephanie Shore.

This mother and daughter team has been singing this exact arrangement since Stephanie was 6 years old. Cantor Rita Shore was the first woman cantor in Jewish History. The first time the profession of cantor was passed down from mother to daughter was between these two women. 

Stephanie Shore received her Bachelors Degree from Florida International University, majoring in voice.  She grew up learning her Cantorial knowledge the old shtetl way from her mother.

Stephanie Shore served as Cantor of Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida for 27 years. 

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Throwback Thursday Musical Special - Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme Sing in Japan


Back in March 1988, Steve Lawrence (Steve Liebowitz) and Eydie Gorme (Edith Gormezano) performed live on stage in Tokyo. Their concert included 25 songs, including That's What Friends Are For, composed by Burt Bacharach with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager.

Steve and Eydie were always our favorite singers, and we were saddened in 2013 to hear that Eydie died at the age of 84. Eydie's parents were Sephardic Jews from Sicily and Turkey, and she was a first cousin to singer Neil Sedaka.

Steve continued to perform until last year, when he revealed that he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

This rendition of That's What Friends Are For is a classic example of their song stylings.

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, February 19, 2020

Hava Nagila Around the World - In the Wintry Streets of Odessa



Hava Nagila always brings out the dancers, no matter where in the world it's played. 

Last Friday, on the cold cobblestones of Deribasovskaya Street in Odessa, the third most populous city in Ukraine, a solo saxophone brought them out in the midst of their winter shopping to dance to this popular Jewish song. 

If you're keeping a count (and yes, we are) it's the 84th version of Hava Nagila that we've shared with our readers during the 10 years that we've been publishing Jewish Humor Central, and we look forward to posting many more in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

When Kirk Douglas Sang "Mein Yiddishe Meideleh" at an Awards Ceremony

 
In 2002, during a celebration of 100 years of the Folksbiene Yiddish theatre, New York Governor George Pataki presented a lifetime achievement award from the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York to actor Kirk Douglas.

At the celebration, Douglas (who died on February 5 at the age of 103) was 85 years old and recovering from a severe stroke in 1996. When he received the award, he reflected on his two Bar Mitzvahs (at 13 and 83) and reminisced about delivering his first Bar Mitzvah speech in Yiddish.

He then launched into a Yiddish song, Mein Yiddishe Meideleh, to the delight of the audience.

Enjoy!

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Monday, February 17, 2020

A Joke to Start the Week - "Hospital Care"


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 one, told by Julie Schwartz.

Here's the setup: There's an elderly gentleman in a hospital bed, and a voluptuous beautiful young nurse comes in and she says "I'm here to give you a bath." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Comedy Showcase: Elon Gold on Birkat Hagomel, the Jewish Prayer for Deliverance


Comedian Elon Gold has the unique ability to find comedy in everyday activities, like the prayers we say in synagogue on special occasions.

Commonly called Benching Gomel, saying the prayer Birkat Hagomel, which is said publicly after recovering from a serious illness or returning from a dangerous journey, can sound funny if it is said after a non-threatening experience such as returning from a kosher cruise or a luxury Passover vacation in Mexico.

Gold mocks people who say the prayer after these experiences and calls the practice "Gomel abuse."

Enjoy!

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Welcoming Shabbat with Yedid Nefesh by the Dina and Zucker Project


Tonight we welcome Shabbat with two versions of the Kabbalat Shabbat song Yedid Nefesh combined into one. It's sung by the two principal singers of the Dina and Zucker Project.

The Dina & Zucker Project's aim is to show Ashkenazi and Sephardic dimensions of Jewish musical culture in one song. The two vocalists are, Dina Pandzarisz, world-famous singer, ambassador of Sephardic music, and Immanuel Zucker, chief cantor from Budapest.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Throwback Thursday Comedy Special: George Burns and Gracie Allen and Her Uncle Otis


George Burns and Gracie Allen worked together as a successful comedy team that entertained vaudevillefilmradio, and television audiences for over forty years.
The duo met in 1922 and married in 1926. Burns was the straight man and Allen was a silly, addle-headed woman. Their 30-minute radio show debuted in September 1934 as The Adventures of Gracie, whose title changed to The Burns and Allen Show in 1936; the series ran, moving back and forth between NBC and CBS, until May 1950. 
After their radio show's cancellation, Burns and Allen reemerged on television with a popular situation comedy, which ran from 1950 to 1958.
Here's a skit from their TV series in which George and Gracie banter about Gracie's uncle Otis and his election campaign for City Council in San Francisco.
Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday   #TBT 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wacky Wednesday Comedy Special: Andy Kaufman as Elvis Presley


As a comedian, Andy Kaufman was truly one of a kind. After making a name for himself on Saturday Night Live with his Elvis Presley imitation, he took it to The Johnny Carson Show and other variety shows and perfected it to such an extent that audiences believed it was Elvis himself singing.

Starting with his awkward Foreign Man voice and awkward bearing, Kaufman started out doing really bad imitations and when he announced that he would be doing "The Elvis Presley," you didn't expect much. But wow, what a performance he turned in.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Chinese People Try Jewish Food for the First Time


Jewish YouTube blogger Xiaoma brought a group of his Chinese friends to NYC’s famous 2nd Avenue Deli to try authentic, traditional Eastern European Ashkenazic Jewish Food for the first time!

They ordered all the classics, including gefilte fish, chopped liver, pickles (full-sour and half-sour), sauerkraut, cholent, matzoh ball soup, blintzes, knishes, potato kugel, and of course pastrami sandwiches. Some of the items they loved, others…not so much!!!

Xiaoma is an American who's fascinated with international foods and cultures. Until the age of 18 he grew up speaking exclusively English, and then he got the chance to learn Mandarin and live in Beijing for a year where he fell in love with Chinese food, language, and culture. 

Enjoy this Chinese journey to the land of the Jewish deli.

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, February 10, 2020

Today is Tu B'Shvat - Celebrate with Fruits and Nuts From Israel


Today is the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, also known as Tu B'Shvat.  No, it's not another fast day.  It's a real holiday, but one without any restrictions.  The holiday is known as Jewish Arbor Day and the New Year for trees.  It's a day to feel good about the bounty of nature, including trees, fruits and nuts.
 
It is customary to eat fruits on this day, especially fruits from Israel.  This includes figs, dates, oranges, pomegranates, and persimmons or Sharon fruit (afarsimonim).  All are available at most supermarkets or gourmet groceries.

Tu B'Shvat is a time for singing, feasting, and rejoicing.  So here's a video walk-through the Shuk HaCarmel market in Tel Aviv with its many aisles of all kinds of fruits and nuts.

Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Israel is a Playground for Daredevil Bicylist Fabio Wibmer


The Israel Ministry of Tourism has been bringing journalists and celebrities to Israel from around the world. Last month they hosted biker Fabio Wibmer, whose new video gives us a new perspective on some of Israel's fabulous sights and sites.

 As Naama Barak wrote for Israel 21c,
Wibmer is a 24-year-old Austrian biker and professional Red Bull athlete who has a huge social media following: 3.92 million subscribers on YouTube as well as 1.4 million followers on Instagram. On Facebook, considered an elderly app by most of his peers, his page is liked by a mere 337,000 people.

In the six-minute video, Wibmer rides his bike and pulls off tricks against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s Old City, Tel Aviv’s waterfront and Jaffa’s cobbled streets, as well as the unearthly terrain of the Dead Sea and the desert landscape of Masada and the Ramon Crater.
Enjoy!

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Welcoming Shabbat with Lecha Dodi by David Hababou


Today we welcome another Shabbat with a new version of Lecha Dodi from the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service sung by French singer David Hababou.

Hababou, a native of Paris, is the third of a family of eight children and has been interested in music from a very young age.

He plays guitar and piano just like his elder brother Mendel. His father won first prize in the conservatory of piano in Nice, and his famous grandfather Michel Hababou accompanied several celebrities during his long musical career in the 1970′s. 


He became known with his first single Adon Olam in which he sang with his two little brothers, Dov and Chmouel.

This is the 30th version of Lecha Dodi that we're posting. We hope that you'll enjoy David's unique interpretation of this classic prayer that was recorded on the beach in Netanya with his brothers.

Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Remembering Kirk Douglas as Col. Mickey Marcus in "Cast a Giant Shadow"


Kirk Douglas as Colonel Mickey Marcus in "Cast a Giant Shadow"
On this Throwback Thursday we remember renowned actor, producer, and director Kirk Douglas, who died yesterday at the age of 103.

Most of the newspaper obituaries and YouTube videos are focusing on his famous roles in Champion, Spartacus, Lust for Life, and Paths of Glory, and on his role in breaking the Hollywood blacklist of writers who were suspected of Communist sympathies.

But our most vivid recollection of Douglas (born Issur Danielovich to Russian Jewish immigrants) is his role in the 1966 movie Cast a Giant Shadow about the life of American Colonel Mickey Marcus, who assisted Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and who became Israel's first modern general.

Here is a scene from Cast a Giant Shadow, which also starred Yul Brynner, John Wayne, and Frank Sinatra.  

Enjoy!

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#Throwback Thursday    #TBT

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Musical Showcase: Yonina Sings "A Million Dreams" from "The Great Showman"



We've been posting versions of Hebrew liturgical and popular songs by Yonina (Yoni and Nina Tokayer, a married musical duo who live in the small town of Pardes Chana, Israel.)

They have been uploading home videos to Facebook and Youtube and reaching millions. They have both been singing and writing since they can remember, and have been making music together ever since they met.

The name Yonina is a combination of both their first names, Yoni and Nina.

Here they are  singing the song A Million Dreams from the film The Greatest Showman.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Hinei Ma Tov Around the World - Israeli Dance at the Las Vegas Line Dance Explosion


Every fall, 1500 line dance enthusiasts know where the action will be -- Las Vegas, of course. It's the home of the annual Line Dance Explosion, where hundreds of dancers from countries all over the world congregate for the world's greatest line dance event.

Israel and Israeli music is well represented, and Israeli dances are very popular. At the 2019 event, one of the most popular dances was to the song Hinei Ma Tov, which has found a following in many countries.

Here's a video of instructor Silvio Berlfein leading a group of line dancers in a version of Hinei Ma Tov with the recording by the Miami Boys Choir providing the musical accompaniment.

Enjoy!

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Monday, February 3, 2020

A Joke to Start the Week - "Yorkville Deli"


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 one, told by Henry Rendall.

Here's the setup: It's a Friday morning, and a cute little Jewish man walks into a fancy gourmet delicatessen in Yorkville. And then...

Enjoy!

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