Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Israeli rock band animates YouTube

An Israeli animation is now creating a buzz on the Net. It got 160,000 views in just two weeks, and a special review at Aniboom – the world’s biggest animation site. It was also featured on YouTube Spain, Mexico, Ireland, Netherlands and Israel.

It’s an animation music video for the Israeli alternative rock band, Eatliz. Called “Hey”, the 3D animation took almost two years to make, with a crew of 15 animators.
The project is the brainchild of Guy Ben-Shetrit, a freelance animator who has worked for commercials, TV programs and computer games. Ben-Shetrit is the founder and composer of Eatliz, wrote the featured song, directed the movie, and was the lead animator. (He quit his job and took a year off work to complete the project.)

The video, which is going to be featured in the next issues of animation and design DVD magazines Stash and IDN, is a weird Sci-Fi fantasy journey taken by a little girl and her special pet friend, a huge toad.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Latkehs: Traditional Potato Pancakes


Yield: 25-30 latkehs - 6 generous servings (can easily be halved)

These instructions assume you’re using a food processor.


6 large potatoes: 1.600 kg.

3 large onions

1 more large onion, chopped and set aside. This is is optional but worth the extra few minutes of work for the extra taste.

6 eggs

1 cup flour and 1 Tblsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp salt for separate onion

1 1/2 tsp. salt for potato batter

1 tsp. white pepper

Oil for shallow frying: olive, canola, or corn oil


1. Cut the potatoes into chunks that will work with your food processor. You don’t have to peel the potatoes, just scrub them well and go over them with a knife to remove anything undesirable.

2. In food processor: grate the potatoes with the fine-grating disk.

3. Dump the grated mass into a colander and rinse briefly to avoid discoloration. Allow to drain while everything else is being prepared.

4. Rinse the food processor; fit the knife in.

5. Peel and quarter the 3 onions; puree them in the food processor.

6. Add the eggs to the pureed onions; blend them for a few seconds.

7. Add the 1 1/2 tsp. salt, the pepper, flour, and baking powder to the contents of the FP. Whirl till all is smooth.

8. Optional Heat 1 Tblsp. oil in the frying pan. Saute the chopped onion until it’s golden, and remove it to a small bowl.

9. Put the grated potatoes in a big bowl and mix the batter into that. Add the sauteed chopped onion, if using; mix well.

10. Pour another tablespoon of oil into the pan and heat it. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, turn out little hills of raw batter into the hot oil. This works better than using cooking spoons. Flatten out the tops a little. Fry till the first side is brown; gently flip over with a spatula and fry till the other side is brown too. Taste the first one or two to determine what color the latkehs have to be when they’re done. The oil in the pan will need to be renewed once in a while.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve hot, topped with applesauce and sour cream.

another recipe

4 med potatoes, grated
1 lg sweet potato, grated
2 lg carrots, grated
2 lg zucchini, grated
1 lg onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil

Press grated potatoes into colander to eliminate excess moisture. Mix ingredients together in bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Heat oil in lg heavy skillet. When very hot (not smoking) squeeze moisture from small fistfuls of mixture and flatten in palms, dropping into hot oil. Smaller latkes take less time to cook, so make them small to cut down on cooking time. Lift to test after a few minutes; when brown, turn over and cook on other side until done. Drain on cookie sheets lined with paper towels. Serve immediately with toppings.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Interesting Jewish Trivia

Jewish Trivia (You may or may not know - Enjoy!)

The Roosevelts were Jewish Dutch, arriving in NYC in 1682 (Originally named
Claes Rosenvelt before name change to Nicholas Roosevelt) Sarah Delano, FDR's mother, was descended from Sephardic Jews.

Joseph Stalin was originally named Joseph David Djugashvili (translates to "son of a Jew.") As well, all 3 of the women he married were Jewish.

Dwight Eisenhower's father was a Swedish Jew and was so identified in the
West Point Yearbook of 1915.


1. Lillian Friedman married Cruz Rivera. They named their baby Geraldo
Miguel Rivera (Funny, it doesn't sound Jewish.) Since, according to Jewish law, anyone born to a Jewish mother is Jewish, Geraldo Rivera is Jewish. As
were, among others: Fiorello Laguardia, Winston Churchill and Cary Grant, as
explained below.

2. Fiorello Laguardia's mother's name was Jacobson. His father was not
Jewish. Laguardia spoke seven languages -- including Hebrew and Yiddish - fluently.

3. Winston Churchill's mother's name was Jenny Jerome.

4. Cary Grant's mother, Elsie, was Jewish. His father, Elias Leach, was not.
Grant's original name was Archibald Alexander Leach. (Robin Leach is his
first cousin).

5. Peter Sellers' mother, Margaret Marks, was Jewish. His father, Bill
Sellers, was Protestant. Peter's real name is Richard Henry Sellers.

6. David Bowie's mother is Jewish, his father is not. One of Bowie 's album
covers discusses his Jewish ancestry. His real name: David Stenton Haywood

7. Robert DeNiro's mother is Jewish; his father is not.

8. Shari Belafonte's mother is Jewish. Her father, Harry, has a Jewish

9. Olivia Newton John's Jewish grandfather was a Nobel Prize winning

10. Harrison Ford's mother is Russian Jewish, his father is Irish Catholic.


Fact: The first theater to be used solely for the showing of motion pictures was built by a Jew (Adolf Zukor).

Fact: The first full-length sound picture, The Jazz Singer was produced by the Jewish Samuel L. Goldwyn & Louis B. Mayer (of MGM).

Fact: A Jew (Dr. Abraham Waksman) coined the term antibiotics.

Fact: A Polish Jew (Casimir Funk) who pioneered a new field of medical
research gave us a word now common in our language -- vitamins.

Fact: The first successful operation for appendicitis was performed by a Jewish surgeon (Dr. Simon Baruch)

Fact: The doctor (Dr. Abraham Jacobi) hailed as America 's father of pediatrics was a Jew.

Fact: Until a Jewish doctor (Dr. Siccary) showed differently, Americans
believed the tomato was poisonous.

Fact: Jewish Levi "Levi's" Strauss (inventor of jeans) is the largest clothing retailer in the world.

Fact: In 1909, four Jews were among the 60 multicultural signers of the call to the National Action, which resulted in the creation of the NAACP.

Fact: A Jew (Emile Berliner) is the man who developed the modern day
phonograph. While Thomas Edison was working out a type of phonograph that used a cylinder as a record, Berliner invented a machine that would play a disc. The machine he patented was called the gramophone, and the famous RCA trademark is a picture of a dog listening to "his master's voice" on Berliner's device. The gramophone was superior to Edison 's machine. In short, Emile Berliner made possible the modern record industry. His company was eventually absorbed by the Victor Talking Machine Company, now known as RCA.

Fact: Jewish Louis B. Mayer (MGM) created the idea for the Oscar.

Fact: European Jews are the founding fathers of all the Hollywood Studios.

Fact: Jews comprise a mere 1/4 of 1% (13 million) of the world's population (6 billion).

Fact: 99.75% of the world is non Jewish.

Fact: Three of greatest & most influential thinkers dominating the 20th century were Jewish - Einstein, Freud, and Marx.

Fact: The most popular selling Christmas song ("White Christmas") was written by a Jew. (Irving Berlin)

Fact: Of the 660 Nobel prizes from 1901 - 1990, 160 have been won by Jews.
In the end, Jews win more Nobel prizes than any other ethnicity. They win 40 times more than should be expected of them, based upon their small population numbers.

Fact: A Jew (Dr. Jonas Salk) is the creator of the first Polio Vaccine.

Fact: Jews (Hayam Solomon & Isaac Moses) are responsible for creating the first modern banking institutions.

Fact: Jews also created the first department stores of the 19th century: The Altmans, Gimbels, Kaufmanns, Lazaruses, Magnins, Mays, Strausses became
leaders of major department stores. Julius Rosenwald revolutionized the way Americans purchased goods by improving Sears Roebuck's mail order merchandising. Hart, Schaffner, Marx, Kuppenheimer and Levi Strauss became household names in men's clothing. (Let's not forget EJ Korvets - Eight Jewish Korean (war) Veterans).

Fact: Jewish Marc Chagall (born Segal , Russia ) is one of the great 20th
century painters.

Fact: English Jewish financiers such as Isaac Goldsmid, Nathan Rothschild, David Salomons, and Moses Montefiore, whose fortunes helped England become an empire.

Fact: In 1918, Detroit , a Jew (Max Goldberg) opened the "first" commercial parking lot.

Fact: In 1910, a Jew (Louis Blaustein) and his son opened the "first" gas station, eventually founding AMOCO OIL. One of the richest oil families inthe world.

Fact: A Jew (Dr. Albert Sabin) developed the first "oral polio vaccine."

Fact: A Jew (Steven Spielberg) is the most successful filmmaker since the
advent of film.

Fact: A Jewish poet's (Emma Lazarus) famous poem, "give me your tired ..
your poor. your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," appears as the inscription on the Statue Of Liberty .

Fact: Jewish Harry Houdini (Weiss) is the father of Magic/Illusion.

Fact: Dr. Sigmund Freud (Jew) is the father of psychiatry.

Fact: Jewish Abraham is the father of the world's 3 major religions:
Judaism, Christianity & Islam (ancestors of the Hebrew & Arabic peoples).
Jesus (formerly known as "sweet Jewish Jesus") is still worshipped by billions.

Fact: Jews are the oldest of any people on earth still around with their national identity and cultural heritage intact.

Fact: George & Ira Gershwin & Irving Berlin (Jews) are three of the most
prolific composers of the 20th century.

Fact: Isadore & Nathan Straus (Jews) - "Abraham & Straus," eventually became sole owners of Macy's (world's largest department store) in 1896.

Fact: Dr. Paul "magic bullet" Ehrlich (Jew) - physician, Nobel Prize in 1908 for curing syphilis.

Fact: Armand Hammer (Jew) - "Arm & Hammer," physician & businessman who originated the largest trade between U. S. and Russia .

Fact: Louis Santanel (Jew) was the financier who provided the funds for
Columbus' voyage to America .

Fact: Sherry Lansing (Jew) of Paramount Pictures, became the first woman
president of a major Hollywood studio.

Fact: Flo Zigfield (Jew) of "Zigfield Follies," is the creator of American

Fact: Jews were the brains behind the Confederacy:

Fact: Maj. Adolph Proskauer led the unit at Gettysburg.
Fact: Judah P. Benjamin held four cabinet positions: Attorney General, February 25 to September 17, 1861; Secretary of War, September 17, 1861, to March
18, 1862; acting Secretary of War, March 18 to 23, 1862; Secretary of State,
March 18, 1862 , until the end of the war, and was referred to as "the brains
of the confederacy."

Fact: Rabbi Max Michelbacher was a confidant and spiritual advisor to General Robert E. Lee.

Fact: A great many Jews fought for the Confederacy, and the overwhelming
were recent immigrants from Germany & East Europe who felt they were fighting
for Democracy. They fought far out of proportion to their numbers.

Piano Prodigy Ethan Bortnick is only 7 years old!

NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, December 20, 2008


Click the audio link above to hear Ethan talk about the piano and play songs from his home in Hollywood, Fla.

Pianist Ethan Bortnick, 7, composes pieces about animals and wants to be a zoo keeper.

Weekend Edition Saturday, December 20, 2008 - Pianist, composer and world-class entertainer Ethan Bortnick has appeared on Oprah, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, and Martha Stewart. He's shared a stage with Beyonce, Josh Groban, Santana, Natalie Cole, Nelly Furtado, Wyclef Jean, Smokey Robinson, Gloria Gaynor, Patti LaBelle, and The Pointer Sisters. He can play more than 200 songs from memory, has composed more than 30 pieces of music that are being published, and has raised record amounts for children's charities.

His accomplishments are comparable to those of well-known established musicians and entertainers, and he's only 7 years old.

When he was 3, Ethan asked his parents for piano lessons. "They're like, 'You know what, I don't think you can have piano lessons, because you're still in diapers.' So I listened to every note of Mozart's 'Alla Turca,' and I started playing, and they're like, 'Wait, the audio's not on, so who is it? Oh man.' They thought it was a ghost or something playing." When they found out who was really playing, Ethan was allowed to take piano lessons.

At 7, Ethan has already started writing his own pieces. One song he wrote, "Arctic Jazz," is about, "a manatee who went all the way from Florida to Antarctica to play a jazz party."

Despite his early accomplishments, Ethan doesn't plan on being a professional pianist as an adult. "I'm going to be a zookeeper," he says. "I love animals. That's why I write every song about animals."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Statements from G-d

"Here's how you cure cancer: make it cooler for a kid to grow up to
be a scientist than it is for him to be an athlete or a pop star.
That's how you cure cancer. Also, teach your girls to dig scientists,
that'll do it."

"In 6 days? Define "day". Back then a day lasted until I was done."

"You can travel to other planets after you learn to take care of this one."

"He was guilty as hell, but the cops did plant the glove by the fence
and Nicole's blood on the sock."

"It took me years to get him to figure that out. I was planting E=MC2
in Einstein's dreams for 20 years before he finally got it."

"Here's a clue: if any person claims to be acting in MY name, but is
making a ton of money doing it, he's a fraud. I don't need money.
Mother Theresa is the only one recently I can recall who had my stamp
of approval."

"My 'Ways' are only mysterious because you spend all your time
following celebrities instead of studying science. Every answer is in
quantum physics and DNA. Figure it out. How old is the Earth? Ask the
Earth. How come nobody is asking me if it will ever be possible to
fly? Because you figured that one out already! Same with the others."

"It was big all right, but there was no "bang". Sound can't travel in
a vacuum, brainiac."

"You called them miracles, I called them Magic Tricks. Again, it's
just physics. Figure it out."

"Yes, the future will be exactly like Star Trek. Do you think Gene
Roddenberry dreamt all that up by himself?

A rocking version of Mi Yimallel by Psycho Toddler.

YEMEN: Jews in north fear for their lives

SANAA, 24 December 2008 (IRIN) - Members of the Jewish community in Amran Governorate, northern Yemen, say they fear being attacked by Muslim extremists, after Moshe Yaish Josef Nahari, a Jewish teacher, was gunned down on 11 December in Raydah District.

"We really live in fear. We fear for our lives. We are mistreated by some Muslims who are demanding that we convert to Islam or leave the area," said a Jewish community leader who preferred anonymity.

He told IRIN that the more than 250 Jews in Raydah District were unable to lead a normal life and many had stopped work after receiving death threats. Many Jewish men worked as silversmiths or carpenters.

"We now stay at home, and our life has become chaotic and unsafe. How can we live this way?" he asked.

According to him, the Jews are demanding to be moved from Amran Governorate to a safe city such as Sanaa, Ibb or Taiz, "where people are educated and men do not carry guns". However, they do not want to be relocated hastily: They fear losing their property, as happened to the Jews of Saada in 2007.

Photo: Muhammed al-Jabri/IRIN
Tribesmen carrying their guns in Raydah District

On 16 September, President Ali Abdullah Saleh met Jewish community leaders and suggested the Jews move from Amran to Sanaa city, and that each family be granted a small piece of land in the city.

"But how can we leave our homes, businesses and land and come to Sanaa? There was no talk of financial assistance. We were told to sell our property and come to live in Sanaa," said the Jewish leader.


Four days after the killing of Nahari, a grenade was thrown at the house of a Jewish man in Raydah, further raising fears. The authorities have not managed to identify the perpetrators.

On 20 December, Abdul-Aziz al-Abdi, a 39 year-old former military pilot, confessed in court to killing the Jewish teacher in order "to get closer to God".

He said he had warned the Jews a month ago to convert to Islam or leave the area, and that he had informed the authorities six months ago about his intention to commit a crime if the Jews were not deported. "The Jews are creating problems and worries in the country and have relations with Britain and Tel Aviv," he said.

Relatives of al-Abdi said he had psychological problems and had killed his wife a few years ago, prompting Nahari's relatives to ask how it was he had been allowed to carry a gun in such circumstances.

Photo: Google Maps
A map of Yemen highlighting Saada and Amran provinces

The victim's sister, Malakah, told IRIN that going to court without protection was dangerous as al-Abdi's relatives "carried guns".

"We had to take a detour to reach the court. The al-Abdi family threatened us, saying they would not allow any Jew to live safely, and would kidnap Jewish women. If their relative was executed, they would kill 20 Jews," she said.

According to her, Nahari had nine children and was the family bread-winner.

The Jewish minority in Amran Governorate has been there for centuries, though thousands left for Israel in or after 1948.

Currently some 270 Jews live in Amran Governorate, all in Raydah District - a district well-known for its gun markets and where carrying a gun is considered normal.

In early 2007, scores of Jews in Saada Governorate, northern Yemen, received death threats from Shia rebels and were moved to Sanaa city.


Yemenite Jews have limited rights in Yemen. They are not allowed to bear arms, while everyone else carries daggers and guns. "Abandoned" women, those who have no husband, are under the care of the government and are not given passports. Many of the families still there have relatives who have been kidnapped by Yemen Moslem families.

Two weeks ago, a Yemenite rabbi, Masha Yaish bin Yahya, was murdered in broad daylight in a marketplace in Raidah. The President of Yemen agrees that the Jews in Raidah are no longer safe there. He proposes moving them into Sana'a, the capital city, to be under his protection. However, he promises them a plot of land and tells them to build houses on this tract of land, but gives them nowhere as an immediate safe haven.

Two sisters of the Yemenite murder victim who had years ago moved to Bnei Brak, flew in from Israel upon hearing of their brother's murder. A car drove head-on into the vehicle carrying them from the airport. The two sisters were hospitalized. ( ) At this point, they would like to return to Israel but want to take their elderly, blind father and the widow and orphans of the murdered rabbi. Thus far, their request is denied.


What the Yemenite government ought to be doing:

• Facilitate immediately the safe return to Israel of the two sisters with their requests fully granted and the safe relocation of the entire family to Israel. The widow and orphans of Rabbi Masha must be allowed to move to Israel.

• Give an immediate safe haven for the Jews from Raidah, not some far-off long-term resettlement plan.

• Grant each and every Jew currently in Yemen a valid passport, no questions asked about what they will be doing with such passport. This must include each man, woman and child. If they would like to leave Yemen, that should be their right.

Related Links:

Amnesty Statement:

Yemen Ministry of Human Rights
P.O. Box 16313, Sana'a
Tel: 967-1-419-672
Fax: 967-1-419-555

Yemen ambassador in Washington: or

News report fromYemen Times:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Al Hanisim


The Lyrics


I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is ... Jews

I won't ask for much this Christmas
I don't even wish for snow
Just want a Jew who runs show business
Spielberg, Stiller Ari Gold
I will make a list and send it
Of my choices for St. Nick
Seinfeld, Zach Braff and Jon Stewart
Are the boys with a big schtick.
I just want them here tonight
Holding on to me so tight
I'll take Zac Efron too
all I want for Christmas is Jews.

Menorah lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the big box office
Makes Jews millionaires
They may have killed our savior
That's not the best behavior
That's OK he rose again three days later
and now I'm an active J-dater

I don't want a lot for Christmas
Gentile boys are such a bore
Goldman, Weissman, Cohen, Levy
These are names that I adore
I just want a chosen one
Hebrew boys are so much fun
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is...Jews
Baby.. All I want for Christmas is...Jews

Merry Hanukkah (A Jewish Christmas Rap)

Holiday Hallel

The LeeVees - Latke Clan

Sesame Street - Telly plays Dradel

PS22 Chorus sings AWESOME Chanukah song with "L'IL EMINEM"

Barenaked Ladies - Hanukkah O Hanukkah!

The Eight Days of Chanukah

The Eight Days of Chanukah

On the first night of Chanukah my true love gave to me Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the second night of Chanukah, my true love gave to me 2 Kosher pickles and Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the third night of Chanukah, my true love gave to me 3 pounds of corned beef, 2 Kosher pickles and Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the fourth night of Chanukah, my true love gave to me 4 potato latkes, 3 pounds of corned beef, 2 Kosher pickles and Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the fifth night of Chanukah, my true love gave to me 5 bowls of chicken soup, 4 potato latkes, 3 pounds of corned beef, 2 Kosher pickles and Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the sixth night of Chanukah, my true love gave to me 6 pickled herrings, 5 bowls of chicken soup, 4 potato latkes, 3 pounds of corned beef, 2 Kosher pickles and Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the seventh night of Chanukah, my true love gave to me 7 noodle kugels, 6 pickled herrings, 5 bowls of chicken soup, 4 potato latkes, 3 pounds of corned beef, 2 Kosher pickles and Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the eighth night of Chanukah, my true love gave to me 8 Alka- Seltzer, 7 noodle kugels, 6 pickled herrings, 5 bowls of chicken soup, 4 potato latkes, 3 pounds of corned beef, 2 Kosher pickles and Lox, bagels and some cream cheese


"Play it again, Sam" - H. Bogart, Casablanca
by Joe Hample (sung to the tune of "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca")

You must remember this,
A bris is still a bris,
A chai is just a chai.
Pastrami still belongs on rye,
As time goes by.

With holidays in view,
A Jew is still a Jew,
On that you can rely.
No matter if we eat tofu
As time goes by.

Old shtetl customs, never out of date.
All those potatoes someone has to grate.
One flame in the window,
keep counting till there's eight
To light the winter sky.

In the Bronx or in the Mission,
It's still the same tradition,
That no one can deny.
We roam, but we recall our birthright,
As time goes by.

Dreidels and chocolate, never out of date.
Ancient Semitic glories to relate.
Blue-and-white giftwrap, ain't this country great,
And festive chazerai!

It's still the same old Torah,
It's still the same menorah,
We've latkes still to fry.
December's when I feel most Jewish,
As time goes by.

Top Ten Hanukkah Holiday movie rentals

Top Ten Hanukkah Holiday movie rentals.
10. The Rocky Hora Picture Show
9. Yenta in a Blue Dress
8. Rabbi Scissorhands
7. Seven - but for you, 6.50
6. Matzo Impossible
5. Goy Story
4. Mensch and Menschability
3. The Mirror Has Two Faces - but for you, 1-3/4
2. The Hunchback of Temple Beth Israel
and, for the second year in a row, number
1. Prelude to a Briss

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A podcast od Hannukah music

The Menorah

You might find this story beautiful enough for Chanukah.

I cannot vouch for its veracity but it is worth repeating.

The Menorah

Young Private Winneger was with the U.S. Army as it marched through Europe at the end of World War II. His unit was assigned to a European village with the orders to secure the town, search for any hiding Nazis and to help the villagers in any way they could.

Winneger was on patrol one night when he saw a figure running through a field just outside the village.

He shouted, "Halt or I'll shoot." The figure ducked behind a tree. Winneger waited and eventually the figure came out and figuring that Winneger was no longer nearby, went to a spot near a large tree and started to dig. Winneger waited until the figure had finished digging and was once more on the move before he stepped out and again shouted, "Halt or I'll shoot!" The figure ran. Winneger decided not to shoot but to try to catch the furtive figure. He shortly caught up with the figure and tackled it to the ground.

To his surprise he found he had captured a young boy. An ornate menorah had fallen from the boy's hands in the scuffle. Winneger picked up the menorah. The boy tried to grab it back shouting, "Give it to me. It's mine!" Winneger assured the boy that he was among friends. Furthermore, he himself was Jewish. The boy who had just survived several years of the Holocaust and had been in a concentration camp was mistrustful of all men in uniforms. He had been forced to watch the shooting of his father. He had no idea what had become of his mother.

In the weeks that followed, Winneger took the young boy, whose name was David, under his wing. As they became closer and closer, Winneger's heart went out to the boy. He offered David the opportunity to come back to New York City with him. David accepted and Winneger went through all the necessary paperwork and officially adopted David.

Winneger was active in the New York Jewish community. An acquaintance of his, a curator of the Jewish Museum in Manhattan, saw the menorah. He told David it was a very valuable historic, European Menorah and should be shared with the entire Jewish Community. He offered David $50,000 for the menorah.

But David refused the generous offer saying the menorah had been in his family for over 200 years and that no amount of money could ever make him sell it.

When Chanukah came, David and Winneger lit the menorah in the window of their home in New York City. David went upstairs to his room to study and Winneger stayed downstairs in the room with the menorah.

There was a knock on the door and Winneger went to answer. He found a woman with a strong German accent who said that she was walking down the street when she saw the menorah in the window. She said that she had once had one just like it in her family and had never seen any other like it. Could she come and take a closer look?

Winneger invited her in and said that the menorah belonged to his son who could perhaps tell her more about it. Winneger went upstairs and called David down to talk to the woman and that is how David was reunited with his mother.

Rabbi Arnold Stiebel, Ph.D. .
Woodland Hills, CA

all you need to know about Israeli-Palestinian politics

On the lighter side - this joke explains all you need to know about Israeli-Palestinian politics.

What happens when a fly falls into a coffee cup?

The Italian - throws the cup, breaks it, and walks away in a fit of rage.

The German - carefully washes the cup, sterilizes it and makes a new cup of coffee.

The Frenchman - takes out the fly, and drinks the coffee.

The Chinese - creates a delicacy out of the fly eats it and throws away the coffee.

The Russian - Drinks the coffee with the fly, since it was extra with no charge.

The Israeli - sells the coffee to the Frenchman, the fly to the Chinese, drinks tea and uses the extra money to invent a device that prevents flies from falling into coffee.

The Palestinian - blames the Israeli for the fly falling in his coffee, protests the act of aggression to the UN, takes a loan from the European Union to buy a new cup of coffee, uses the money to purchase explosives and then blows up the coffee house where the Italian, the Frenchman, the Chinese, the German and the Russian are all trying to explain to the Israeli that he should give away his cup of tea to the Palestinian.

Songs In The Key of Hanukkah - Dreidel

Monday, December 22, 2008



'Twas the night before Christmas and down here in Boca,
I was sitting at Starbucks, drinking my mocha.

I know we're all Jewish, but was wondering still,
if Santa would come here and give us a thrill.

On my way home, no Christmas lights did I see,
on the houses, the windows, not even the trees.

What a strange feeling Not a decoration in sight.
Was it really December or a warm summer's night?

I drove past the deli's, there were lines out the door.
People were waiting for kishka and more.

The restaurants were busy, Christmas dinners not planned.
Never, not here we're in Boca Land.
At home all was quiet. left out Kosher wine,
In case Santa came to Boca for the very first time.

Snoozing came easy to me Christmas Eve.
I wasn't waiting for presents to be left under a tree.

I could hope all I want. I could fuss and then see,
if Santa would make time for little old me.

Then all of a sudden he pulled up in his Jag,
with a sack full of presents each sporting a tag.

Oh Bloomies, oh Saks a computer and more.
He knows where to shop, he frequents my stores!

He looked for the lox, the bagels and jelly.
He came to Boca first to fill up his belly!

"I have a long night ahead, I want you to know.
>From Boca I leave for New York and the snow."

He stayed for a while, he chatted and ate.
Then he left in a flash before it got late.

What a great night I thought with a sigh.
That jolly old Santa is a really nice guy.

As I cleared off the table I heard with delight
"Shalom to you all, and OY, what a night!!

The (Disney Animal Sequel) Dreidel Song

Happy Chanukkah from Jerusalem!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yes, it's kosher; rabbi plans to light salami menorah for Hanukkah

December 19, 2008

A 15-foot-high Hanukkah menorah made of kosher salami? That's what you get from a Jewish deli with a sense of humor, if not tradition.

David's East Side Deli in Palm Beach Gardens will hold a public ceremony to light the salami spectacle at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the first night of Hanukkah.

"It's going to be an unbelievable sight to see," said Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui of Chabad of Palm Beach. "Head to toe salami, baby!"

Chabad runs the establishment, 4580 PGA Blvd. Call 561-691-9293 or go to
The salami will be wrapped around a thin metal frame, topped with lettuce and bread, the rabbi said. Guests will be treated to free food and Hanukkah music.

If all goes well, David's may try to get the salami menorah into Guinness World Records next year. — Marc Freeman

Pass The Candle

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Joza Karas, Collector of Music of Nazis’ Victims, Dies at 82

Joza Karas, Collector of Music of Nazis’ Victims, Dies at 82

Joza Karas, a musician and teacher who became a sleuth in his quarter-century search for the music and stories of composers who managed to do masterly work in a Nazi concentration camp, died on Friday in Bloomfield, Conn. He was 82.

His family announced the death.

In 1985 Mr. Karas (whose first name is pronounced YO-zha) published “Music in Terezin, 1941-1945.” That book chronicled the thriving musical life in the disease-ridden concentration camp at Terezin, in what is now the Czech Republic. The camp was also known by its German name, Theresienstadt.

Mr. Karas collected more than 50 pieces of the music written there and produced editions that have been widely performed.

In films and by other means, the Nazis made propaganda use of the four concert orchestras and as many chamber groups that flourished at Terezin. An opera company mounted several productions.

In a legendary deception, when the International Red Cross inspected the camp in 1944, the Nazis sent the old and sick to gas chambers, painted buildings, planted flowers and even opened a chocolate shop.

In truth, Terezin was a place where 140,000 people, mainly Jews, were held in a labor camp or transferred to death camps like Auschwitz. Many died at Terezin through execution, disease and starvation.

But the music was real, developing spontaneously after a pianist found and repaired an abandoned piano. Soon there were several choruses. Inmates smuggled in instruments in pieces.

Eventually, more than 10 composer-inmates created original works, many of which were performed in the camp. One such composer was Viktor Ullmann, who had studied with Arnold Schoenberg. He formed the Studio for New Music at Terezin. Others were Hans Krasa, Gideon Klein and Pavel Haas.

Despite using the music for propaganda, the Nazis had no interest in preserving it, and the composers and musicians could not: many of them were killed. Tracking it down became Mr. Karas’s obsession.

“Why should I, a Christian, get involved in a research project virtually untouched for 25 years, since the last puff of smoke had darkened the skies of Auschwitz?” he wrote in his book. “Putting aside these questions, I felt attracted to the project because I am a Czech musician, and this was a subject dealing with the music of Czechoslovak Jews.”

Josef M. Karas was born in Warsaw on May 3, 1926, and learned to play the violin when he was very young. His father, Frantisek, was a government official, a professor of Polish and an author who wrote about Czech customs; he also helped Jews as part of the World War II underground.

As a boy, Joza noticed that his Jewish classmates had stopped coming to school with no explanation. He saw signs warning people away from Jewish-owned stores.

In 1948 Mr. Karas escaped Czechoslovakia, which by then was under Communist rule, and made his way to the United States by way of Colombia and Canada. In 1955 he began more than a half-century of teaching the violin at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford in Connecticut and of playing the instrument in the Hartford Symphony.

In 1970, Mr. Karas read articles in a Czech music magazine reporting that eight short compositions and fragments of music from Terezin had been deposited in the Jewish Museum in Prague. Investigating this seemed a perfect project for summer break. On his first trip to Prague, he made several major finds. One was the piano reduction and orchestral version of Hans Krasa’s children’s opera “Brundibar.” It had been the most popular musical production in the camp, presented 55 times.

Mr. Karas made a performing edition of the opera, about a brother and sister whose efforts to buy milk for their sick mother are thwarted by an evil organ grinder. He conducted the North American premiere of the opera in Czech in 1975 and the English-language premiere in 1977, using a translation by him and his wife, the former Milada Javora, who had died in 1974.

Mr. Karas is survived by his second wife, the former Anne Killackey; his sons Francis, Henry, Michael, Joseph and Alexander; his daughter Joan K. Carrasquillo; his brothers Zdenek and Frantisek; his sister Jana Spacek; and seven grandchildren.

“When I started my research, I used to have nightmares,” Mr. Karas told The Hartford Courant. “And guilt. I’d pick up a piece of chocolate and I couldn’t eat it.”

He recovered. “They say Czechs get used to anything,” he said. “Even the gallows.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Was there a Jewish President?

Written by Rabbi Jeff Kahn, Warren , NJ

Was there a Jewish President?

On the twelfth of February, 1809, nearly 200 years ago, a young, poor illiterate woman from Virginia,

Nancy Hanks Lincoln, gave birth to a son, in a log cabin, built along the banks of the south fork of

Nolin Creek, near what is now Hodgenville, Kentucky . That baby, whom she named Abraham,

grew to become one of our greatest, and most tragic, national leaders.

Lincoln was a man of great spiritual conviction. Yet, and I find this fact fascinatingly instructive,

Abraham Lincoln was the only American president not to have declared himself a
member of any particular religious faith. That fact has given rise to a great deal of

interesting speculation. In fact, there are those who believe that Honest Abe was Jewish.

After all, his name was Abraham. His great-grandfather was named Mordechai. Lincoln was

the only President not to have a formal religious affiliation. He was neither raised in a church

nor did he ever belong to a church.

And there's more... the town of Lincoln, in eastern England, whence his ancestors came, has an

interesting Jewish history. A Jewish community was established there in 1159. During Crusader
riots, the Sheriff of Lincoln saved the Jews by giving them official protection. St. Hugh, the great

Bishop of Lincoln, taught love of Jews to his parishioners. His death was marked by an official period
of mourning among Lincoln 's Jews. Rabbi Joseph of Lincoln was a scholar mentioned in the Talmud;

Aaron of Lincoln was a financier whose operations extended all over the country. In 1255, Lincoln 's

Jews were accused of ritual murder. Ninety-one Lincoln Jews were sent to London for trial and 18

were executed. Notwithstanding, the Lincoln Jewish community flourished until 1290, when they

were forcibly expelled by edict. Most Jewish historians assume that all the Jews of Lincoln left in 1290.
But could it be possible that some remained, practicing their Judaism in secret...passing the family

secret from generation to generation? The more we learn of the secret life of Spanish Jewry following

the Expulsion of 1492, the more we must at least consider the possibility of the same thing occurring elsewhere.

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, whole Jewish communities sat shivah. Rabbis all over the

country eulogized the fallen President. Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the man who created Reform Judaism in

this country, began his eulogy with the words..."Brethren, the lamented Abraham Lincoln believed himself to be
bone from our bone and flesh from our flesh. He supposed himself to be a descendant of Hebrew parentage

He said so in my presence." Lincoln was often questioned about his religious beliefs. Time and
again, he told of a special passage from Scripture that summed up his theology. It was the twentieth chapter

of the Book of Exodus he recommended that every American study, learn and follow. In English it is
usually referred to as the Ten Commandments.

Rabbi Jeff Kahn
Temple Har Shalom, Warren , N.J. :

PS from Marlene: Abraham Lincoln was Jewish. I typed an extensive research

paper from a Professor in Rutgers who studied this topic extensively and found,

beyond any reasonable doubt, that Abe Lincoln was Jewish. She has absolute

proof from checking out his ancestry and going back to his hometown where she did
years of work on this topic. Her research was complete and absolute. Her name is

Professor Elizabeth Hirschman, Rutgers University .