Monday, May 23, 2022

A Joke to Start the Week - "Valve Job"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today Mickey Greenblatt is back with another oldie but goodie.

Marshal (Mickey) Greenblatt received degrees from Columbia (BA and BS in Flight Sciences), a DC from Von Karman Institute (1963) and his PhD from Princeton in Aerospace Sciences. He worked as a researcher for NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory. 

With four other scientists, he founded Fusion Systems Corporation, which invented microwave-powered UV lamps for drying coatings. He founded and served on the boards of technology companies and is active in volunteer work. He served on the executive committee of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington for many years.

Mickey also loves Jewish jokes and sent us this one to share with you. Here's the setup: A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from a Honda when he spotted Dr. Berger, the local cardiologist in the shop waiting for his car to be finished in the next bay. So the mechanic shouted "Hey Doc, you wanna look at this?" And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

CBS TV Visits the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts

Earlier this month "CBS Saturday Morning" co-hosts Jeff Glor, Michelle Miller and Dana Jacobson aired a TV segment about the Jewish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. 

The center, founded 42 years ago by then-graduate student Aaron Lansky, has collected more than a million and a half Yiddish books and made them available to visitors. 

In 1997 the center established the Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library, where complete digitized works can be accessed online, free of charge. The digital library today contains 12,000 titles, which so far have been downloaded an astounding 1.6 million times.

In this video interview, Lansky tells the story of the center's creation and shows some of the books, ranging from Yiddish classics to a translation of the children's book Curious George.

Enjoy!

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Friday, May 20, 2022

Welcoming Shabbat with Lecha Dodi sung by Pablo Duek, the Rockin' Cantor

This evening we welcome Shabbat with the 49th version of Lecha Dodi that we've posted, a rockin' version by Cantor Pablo Duek. 

Pablo Duek was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2001, he decided to explore USA for one month which extended to a trip that has lasted for more than 20 years. His passion and love for music evolved into becoming an experienced and beloved professional Cantor. For the last 35 years, he has served the members of four congregations in Buenos Aires and California.

In 2021, after 20 years as Cantor at Temple Etz Chaim in Thousand Oaks, CA, Pablo created his own project, The Rockin’ Cantor, in which he has officiated more than 1,000 life cycle events throughout his career.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Today is Lag B'Omer, a Day of Bonfires and Celebrations

Today is Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the period between Pesach and Shavuot. Around the world, the day is celebrated mainly in Jewish schools with children going on picnics and hikes and playing with toy bows and arrows in the field. In Israel, schools are closed for two days.

In Meron, in northern Israel, about 500,000 chasidim make an annual pilgrimage to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Rashbi) to sing, dance, and light bonfires.  Rashbi's tomb is the epicenter of the Lag B'Omer celebrations because he was one of the students of Rabbi Akiva who survived a terrible plague that killed thousands of them, and he went on to write the Zohar, the book of Kabbalah.
 
This year the Meron celebration was scaled down because of the deadly crush last year that killed 45 people and was the worst civil disaster in Israeli history. The government has made changes this year to boost safety at the site. Only 16,000 people are being allowed in the tomb compound at a time.

Elsewhere in Israel and around the world, bonfires are blazing. In Jerusalem, a section of the Western Wall plaza was cordoned off and a controlled fire blazed in its midst. Here is a video of the celebration last night at the Kotel.
 
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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

A YouTube Polyglot Tries Out His Yiddish in Brooklyn

The New York Times recently published a feature article about Frankie Light, an African-American Brooklyn resident whose shtick is learning new languages and posting YouTube videos of him trying to use them in conversation in public places.

As Saki Knafo wrote in the article in the Metropolitan section,

Frankie Light is what’s known on social media as a YouTube polyglot. He studies various languages and practices them on the streets of New York, enlisting strangers as impromptu conversational partners. The often-charming results are then posted online. His most popular videos have gotten more than seven million views.

Frankie's adventures in the streets of Crown Heights and Boro Park were a mixed success. Despite his valiant attempts to engage residents in Yiddish conversations, most of them said they spoke "a bissele Yiddish" - a little Yiddish, and said they were more comfortable in English, Russian, French, and Hebrew. But we give Frankie a big "E" for effort.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Two Jews Choose: Josh Peck & Eliot Glazer Decide if Elon Musk, Piercings, & More Are Jewish or Goyish

It started with standup comedian Lenny Bruce back in the 1960s. He saw the world as absurdly divided between things that were Jewish and things that were goyish.

“Jewish”, he said, is stuff like pumpernickel and fruit salad. White bread and baton twirling, on the other hand, is distinctly “Goyish”. Clearly, he was really poking fun at such categories. And never more so than when we realize that “Jewish”, for Bruce, didn’t even refer, necessarily, to Jews: “If you live in New York or any other big city, you are Jewish. It doesn’t matter even if you’re Catholic; if you live in New York, you’re Jewish. If you live in Butte, Montana, you’re going to be Goyish even if you’re Jewish.”

Newer comedians have picked up the theme. Notably, writer and producer Eliot Glazer has been posting a series of videos reviving the Jewish or Goyish question. In this clip, Glazer and actor Josh Peck consider typing Elon Musk, piercings, arriving late vs. arriving early, Chinese food vs. sushi, burgers vs. hot dogs, and a host of other pairs as either Jewish or Goyish.

Enjoy!

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Monday, May 16, 2022

A Joke to Start the Week - "How to Remember New York"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. This week we're posting another joke from Dr. Jay Orlikoff, a retired dentist from Centereach, New York, a community on Long Island in Suffolk County.

After a distinguished and meritorious dental career, he is shifting his focus to telling and posting jokes on YouTube. We were fortunate to find some of his jokes and we're sharing one of the family-friendly ones with you today. 

Here's the setup: A doctor from Los Angeles is in New York for a medical convention. As a remembrance of his trip to New York he decides to look for a souvenir to bring back. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Mel Brooks Reflects on His Remarkable Life in Show Business in His New Book "All About Me"

Shortly after publication last year of his new biographical book All About Me, Mel Brooks was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC News. 

The 95-year-old actor, comedian, film producer, director and screenwriter has had a career in show business that’s spanned over seven decades. His new memoir tells his journey of a lifetime.

In the interview, Brooks reflects on his career and offers anecdotes about the creation of some of his most memorable films.

Enjoy!

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Friday, May 13, 2022

Welcoming Shabbat with Yigdal by Israeli Singer-Songwriter Yasmin Levy

Yasmin Levy is an Israeli singer and songwriter of Judeo-Spanish music. 

With her distinctive and emotive style, Levy has brought a new interpretation to the medieval Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) song by incorporating more "modern" sounds of Andalusian flamenco and traditional Turkish music as well as combining instruments like the darbuka, oud, violin, cello, and piano. 

In this video Yasmin sings her interpretive version of Yigdal, a song traditionally sung at the end of Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday night.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Throwback Thursday Comedy Showcase: Chico Marx Impersonates His Brother Harpo on "I've Got a Secret"

I've Got a Secret was an American panel game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS television. Created by comedy writers Allan Sherman and Howard Merrill, it was a derivative of Goodson-Todman's own panel show, What's My Line? 

Instead of celebrity panelists trying to determine a contestant's occupation, as in What's My Line, the panel tried to determine a contestant's secret: something that is unusual, amazing, embarrassing, or humorous about that person.  

On April 21st, 1954 Chico Marx fooled the I've Got A Secret panel into thinking he was actually his younger brother Harpo Marx! Here's the rare video clip.

Enjoy!

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  #Throwback Thursday    #TBT

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Wacky Wednesday Comedy Showcase: Allan Sherman Sings "Strange Things in My Soup"

Allan Sherman dominated the world of song parody during the 1960s and recorded eight albums, starting with My Son the Folksinger.  

Listening to or reading his lyrics is a crash course in pop culture of the 1960s, with Sherman taking satiric swipes at summer camp, psychiatry, fad diets, Hadassah ladies, school dropouts, and upward mobility.

The popularity of his parodies got him many guest appearances on TV variety shows. In this video clip, Sherman sings his take-off on Frank Sinatra's popular Strangers in the Night.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Yiddish Word of the Day: I'm Sorry

Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter has been posting Yiddish words and expressions to give non-Yiddish speakers an introduction to how these familiar Yiddish phrases might be used in everyday situations.

Originally a regular series, they are now posted from time to time. Whenever we find a new one, we'll share it with you.

Schaechter, who was appointed the new editor of the Forverts in 2016, is the first woman to helm the paper in its 119-year history, its first editor to have been born in the United States, and likely its first editor who is shomeret Shabbat.


Today's expressions focus on the many ways of saying "I'm sorry" in Yiddish

Enjoy!

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Monday, May 9, 2022

A Joke to Start the Week - "Train Pass"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. Today Mickey Greenblatt is back with another oldie but goodie.

Marshal (Mickey) Greenblatt received degrees from Columbia (BA and BS in Flight Sciences), a DC from Von Karman Institute (1963) and his PhD from Princeton in Aerospace Sciences. He worked as a researcher for NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory. 

With four other scientists, he founded Fusion Systems Corporation, which invented microwave-powered UV lamps for drying coatings. He founded and served on the boards of technology companies and is active in volunteer work. He served on the executive committee of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington for many years.

Mickey also loves Jewish jokes and sent us this one to share with you. Here's the setup: Sadie Cohen lived in a diverse neighborhood in Long Island. Her neighbor was a very sweet Black woman who stopped in one Saturday. And she said "Mrs. Cohen, I'm going into the city to see my daughter. Is there anything I can get for you?" And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 8, 2022

A Mother's Day Musical Special: Cantor Azi Schwartz Sings "My Yiddishe Momme"

Today is Mother's Day and we celebrate by posting a tribute to all mothers in the form of a new rendition of My Yiddishe Momme by Cantor Azi Schwartz of the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York.

My Yiddishe Momme is a song written by Jack Yellen (words and music) and Lew Pollack (music), first recorded by Willie Howard, and was made famous in Vaudeville by Belle Baker and by Sophie Tucker, and later by the Barry Sisters.

Tucker began singing "My Yiddishe Momme" in 1925, after the death of her own mother. She later dedicated her autobiography Some of These Days to Yellen, "A grand song writer, and a grander friend". Sophie Tucker made 'Mama' a top 5 U.S. hit in 1928, English on one side and Yiddish on the B-side. Leo Fuld combined both in one track and made it a hit in the rest of the world."

Enjoy, and Happy Mother's Day!

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Friday, May 6, 2022

Welcoming Shabbat with a Ukrainian Version of Shalom Aleichem by Cantors Sergei and Elena Schwartz

Tonight we welcome Shabbat with a version of Shalom Aleichem that's set to a famous Ukrainian song Nich Yaka Misyachna - "Нiчь яка мiсячна" (What a Moonlit Night)..

It's sung by Cantors Sergei and Elena Schwartz of Temple Sinai of Roslyn, New York, Long Island's largest Reform synagogue as a symbol of support for Ukraine.  

Enjoy, and Shabbat Shalom! 

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Thursday, May 5, 2022

Today Israel Celebrates its 74th Independence Day

Last night, after the end of Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day), a day of sadness and subdued music, Israel came alive with the joy of celebration as the nation started a 24 hour commemoration of Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Independence Day).

All across the country, the aromas of barbecues filled the air as the streets were filled with music and singing. The Israeli Air Force put on an air show over much of the country. The celebrations will continue all day today until nightfall.

Today we join Israel's i24 News in wishing the people of Israel a very happy 74th birthday.

Mazal tov and Chag Sameach!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Happy Birthday Israel! Tonight the Jewish World Celebrates Israel's 74th Independence Day

Chag Sameach to all of our readers and to the State of Israel in celebration of its 74th Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Independence Day). The celebration starts tonight at the conclusion of Yom Hazikaron and continues all day Thursday.

Today we're posting a tribute to the land of milk and honey. With a background of Israelis of all ages joining Koolulam singing Chai (We are alive) the video travels the length and breadth of the country with familiar scenes of popular sites and a clip of David Ben Gurion proclaiming the state in 1948. 

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Break From Humor on Yom Hazikaron - Israel's Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers

Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, is always preceded by Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence — the very existence of the state — to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.

This year Yom HaZikaron begins tonight and will be observed tomorrow until nightfall when the Yom HaAtzmaut festivities begin and continue through Thursday night.

To mark Yom Hazikaron we're sharing a video of Cantor Israel Nachman and the Estonian National Male Choir singing Mi Sheberach L'Tzahal, the prayer for the Israel Defense Forces, set to the melody of Eretz Tzvi, originally made popular by singer Yehoram Gaon.

Cantor Nachman serves as cantor at the Tel Aviv International Synagogue (TAIS-Temple Beth El) and is well-recognized for his talents, having given concerts all over Europe.

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Monday, May 2, 2022

A Joke to Start the Day - "Adam Gets His Wish"

It's another Monday and time for another Joke to Start the Week. This week we're posting another joke from the prolific Dr. Jay Orlikoff, a retired dentist from Centereach, New York, a community on Long Island in Suffolk County.

After a distinguished and meritorious dental career, he is shifting his focus to telling and posting jokes on YouTube. We were fortunate to find some of his jokes and are sharing one of the family-friendly ones with you today. 

Here's the setup: Very soon after his creation Adam was walking around Eden. He looked up into the trees and saw two birds billing and cooing. And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 1, 2022

Yiddish Word of the Day: All About Cooking

Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter has been posting Yiddish words and expressions to give non-Yiddish speakers an introduction to how these familiar Yiddish phrases might be used in everyday situations.

Originally a regular series, they are now posted from time to time. Whenever we find a new one, we'll share it with you.

Schaechter, who was appointed the new editor of the Forverts in 2016, is the first woman to helm the paper in its 119-year history, its first editor to have been born in the United States, and likely its first editor who is shomeret Shabbat.


Today's expressions focus on cooking, both literally and also how they are used to describe someone who's furious and someone who always mixes into everyone else's business.

Enjoy!

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Friday, April 29, 2022

Welcoming Shabbat with Mizmor Shir by Atara Saracik and Her Israeli Band

Atara Saracik is an Israeli singer and musician whose band features a saxophone as well as a host of Middle Eastern instruments. Together they produce a beautiful haunting sound that transports the listener to Israel.

Here is Atara Saracik and her band singing Mizmor Shir l'Yom Hashabbat, from the Kabbalat Shabbat liturgy.

Enjoy, and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, a Partisan Song Heard 'Round the World

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) started at sunset yesterday and is being observed worldwide today.

"Zog nit keyn mol" (Never Say; Yiddish: זאָג ניט קיין מאָל‎) or "Partizaner lid" (Partisan Song) is a Yiddish song considered one of the chief anthems of the Holocaust survivors and is sung in memorial services around the world.


The lyrics of the song were written in 1943 by Hirsh Glick, a young Jewish inmate of the Vilna Ghetto. The title means "Never Say", and derives from the first line of the song. Glick's lyrics were set to music from a pre-war Soviet song.

In this year's commemoration of Yom Hashoah, the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation shared versions of the song by a group of JPEF Partisans, the Ellenbrook and Carmel Schools of Perth, Australia, Seattle Day School, Washington, and the Herzliya School of Cape Town, South Africa.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Wacky Wednesday Comedy Special: Alex Edelman at the Vegan Cupcake Shoppe

Alex Edelman grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family and, following high school, spent a year in a yeshiva in Jerusalem. During his time, he helped to establish the city's first comedy club -- Off the Wall Comedy. 

In 2008, he moved to New York City to study English at New York University. He graduated in 2012. During college, he continued to perform stand-up and later joined Upright Citizens Brigade. 

His first show, Millennial, won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, the first show by an American to do so since 1997. 

In this video clip, Edelman tells about what happened when he walked into a vegan cupcake shoppe in Brooklyn.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Touring Jerusalem Through the Eyes of a Running 3-Year-Old Toddler

We've toured Jerusalem many times, but we've never seen it through the perspective of a three-year-old toddler on the run. 

Thanks to the use of a special camera stabilizer, Jewlicious founder David Abitbol treats us to a unique visit through Jerusalem. 

Follow the 3-year-old toddler as he runs through the alleyways of Nachlaot, the food stalls at the Mahane Yehuda Market, the cobblestone roadways in the Old City, the Jews assembled at the Kotel and the bountiful space at Al Aqsa / Temple Mount. 

Enjoy!

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Monday, April 25, 2022

A Joke to Start the Week - "An Exotic Pet"

It's Monday morning and as usual we're starting the week with a new old joke. Here's one we found from the annals of Old Jews Telling Jokes. It's told by Joel Leizer, a dentist from New Jersey.

Here's the setup: There's a very wealthy man who likes exotic pets. He goes into a pet store and says "I would like the most exotic pet that you have in the store." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 24, 2022

Hava Nagila Around the World - Malika Hakimova Sings at Uzbekistan Talent Show

One of the joys of posting videos on Jewish Humor Central is discovering new versions of traditional Jewish and Hebrew songs as they are performed around the world, often in unexpected places.

Since we started Jewish Humor Central in 2009 we have posted 104 different versions of Hava Nagila. The song has shown up in many countries, including some unexpected ones (Scroll down the left column on this page and click on Hava Nagila in the Keywords list and you'll see what we mean.)

Today we're posting a version of Hava Nagila that was performed at a Uzbekistan TV Talent Show by Malika Hakimova.

Enjoy!

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Farewell to Pesach and Welcome to Shabbat - Josh Goldberg Sings Oseh Shalom with Rap by Tamir Tencer

Josh Goldberg is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, producer, and soon-to-be ordained Cantor, whose perspective on life, love, faith, and the world is reflected in his music as well as his personal endeavors. 

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Josh studied music from an early age and is an accomplished pianist, guitarist, and singer, traversing a variety of musical genres with equal dexterity. 

Tamir Tencer is an Israeli rapper. As we celebrate the end of Passover and welcome another Shabbat, Josh and Tamir collaborate in a rendition of Oseh Shalom that expresses the wish that the one who makes peace in the heavens will bring peace down upon us. 

This song is dedicated to all those who are suffering in Ukraine or have been displaced from Ukraine, and all whose who are suffering due to terrorism in Israel. It's a prayer that we may collectively raise our voices and do everything in our power to stop this violence so we may all live together as creatures made in the divine image. 

We will be celebrating Shabbat and the last days of Pesach so there will be no post tomorrow. We'll be back on Sunday with our usual mix.

Shabbat shalom and Chag Pesach sameach!

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.