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Are We Funny or What?

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Submitted by Joe Dorinson Brooklyn produced a bumper crop of comic artists. Many of the nation’s premier humorists–Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Buddy Hackett, Jack Carter, Joan Rivers, Fanny Brice (and her avatar, Barbra Streisand),  Alan King, Lenny Bruce, Danny Kaye, Abe Burrows, Phil Silvers, Phil Foster, and Henny Youngman–mined their Brooklyn past and Jewish roots for comedic nuggets. Starting in local candy stores, they honed their… Read More »Are We Funny or What?

Sandy Koufax

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Sandy Koufax 1961 Just in: Koufax was a baller of more than one kind Apparently Brooklyn Jewish baseball legend Sandy Koufax had short legs but also ups. He played basketball for Lafayette High School in Bath Beach, Brooklyn in the early 1950s, setting himself apart as an extraordinary player on the court before going on to his career as an all-star pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers. As an early teenager… Read More »Sandy Koufax

Remembering Maurice Sendak

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Brooklyn-born, Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83. The cause was complications of a recent stroke, said Michael di Capua, his longtime editor. Mr. Sendak,… Read More »Remembering Maurice Sendak

Traditions in Food: Esther Cohen Salem

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Sarina Roffe: Culture and tradition are passed down from one generation to another in a family through foods. Esther Cohen Salem was the first to own a Syrian catering service in the Syrian Jewish community. In 1920, Esther and her two younger brothers, Sam, 13, and Joe, 11, came to America from Beirut sharing a passport issued by the French Troops of the Levant. Esther and Selim built a kitchen… Read More »Traditions in Food: Esther Cohen Salem

Babs Brings it Back to Brooklyn at Brand New Barclays

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The Brooklyn-born and raised, world-acclaimed superstar will perform a concert on Thursday, October 11th, in Brooklyn at Barclays Center, the new 19,000-seat sports and entertainment venue. Streisand will be making a triumphant return to her native borough. Raised in the Flatbush neighborhood and a graduate of Erasmus Hall High School, Streisand will perform publicly for the first time in Brooklyn. Streisand stated, “Brooklyn to me means the Loew’s Kings, Erasmus,… Read More »Babs Brings it Back to Brooklyn at Brand New Barclays

First Woman President of the NY Board of Rabbi’s

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A native New Yorker, Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman, has become the first woman to assume the presidency of the New York Board of Rabbis in the year 2012. Rabbi Goodman has long been a leader in the community, outspokenly fighting to protect women’s reproductive rights and health care, and advocating for marriage equality in New York State. For her advocacy in social justice, the New York Board of Rabbis awarded… Read More »First Woman President of the NY Board of Rabbi’s

Rabbi Abraham Hecht, Chabad And Sephardic Leader, Dies At 90

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1/08/13 – published in www.thejewishweek.com Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht, an Ashkenazi who led a Sephardic congregation and was also closely affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, died Saturday night at 90. He was a passionate advocate of traditional Torah values and strict interpretation of halacha. Rabbi Hecht was leader of Congregation Shaare Zion in Midwood, Brooklyn for over 50 years and rabbi emeritus of that congregation at the time of his death.… Read More »Rabbi Abraham Hecht, Chabad And Sephardic Leader, Dies At 90

Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul

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Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot Play Barclays Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman will bring his soulful sound to Brooklyn with a major performance at Cushman & Wakefield Theater at Barclays Center on Thursday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. Perlman will be joined on stage by Brooklyn-based Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, a world-renowned tenor who has led the revival of Jewish liturgical music. Perlman and Helfgot recently collaborated on the… Read More »Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul

A Brooklyn-Based Prayer Leader Heralds a Revolution in Jewish Music

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Joey Weisenberg’s music workshops—blending a democratic approach with a range of traditions—aim to boost engagement

By Leonard Felson published in Tablet Magazine – june 4,2013
 
Joey Weisenberg, center, leads singing at a wedding on April 28, 2013.

Joey Weisenberg, center, leads singing at a wedding on April 28, 2013. (Marta Fodor)

On a recent Saturday evening, as Shabbat began to fade, two dozen men and women, most in their 20s and early 30s, were slowly belting out a long niggun, a wordless melody, sitting in a close circle in the chapel of a Brooklyn synagogue. When their eyes weren’t closed in this meditative chant, they were watching Joey Weisenberg. He was leading a discussion on effective prayer leadership skills, but for the moment, Weisenberg wanted them simply to feel the mystical power of singing together. One melody, over and over and over. “Instead of changing melodies,” he said, “let it change our selves.”

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Danny Kaye, A Mentsh for All Seasons

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Danny Kaye

by Joe Dorinson

“My father took me on his knee and said: ‘Kolya, my little gypsy. It is time you vent out into the verid and learen the facts of life.’ So, I packed my little karzink, wandered over hill and dale, small villages and pretty cities. Then I saw her–my first womansk. She was gorgeous and sassionately beautifuly. And her voice–was the voice of angel. SOFT AND MELLOW! Deenah! Is there anyone feener in the state of Caroleena? If there is and you know her, please show her to me! Kack de byerna sertzer”
Nestled in the hallways of our low-income housing project, my friends and I slid up and down the scat scale in emulation of our idol. Danny Kaye. We loved the slow build-up, oozing shmaltz, the mad riffs and the blast off into stratospheric heights. Kaye represented the triumph of energy over matter–the fantasy triumph of every spirited kid. It is hard to believe that this elemental comic force no longer graces our world. To be sure, Kaye aficionados have various films to sustain them–but these Hollywood vehicles do not convey Danny Kaye at his best.
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