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The Ball Shem Tov’s Occasional Guide to Jewish Life: Lag B’Omer

Our resident expert (??) on Jewish life, ritual and smoked meat is our Communications Director Jim Ball (aka The Ball Shem Tov), who will occasionally answer questions and give advice to our readers. (Full disclosure: he does not have rabbinic smichah, but he has read a lot of books). Our Topic: How does one deal …

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Building a Social Tablecloth

Blog post #2 in the documentation of Freedom and Exile, a forthcoming public art project by London-based artist Julia Vogl. By Julia Vogl At the end of April, I will be in Boston presenting some of my work and those I meet will have the opportunity to engage in a new social sculpture I am …

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Memory Unearthed: More Than Holocaust Remembrance

The show invites us to be a little more human. A little more connected. – Adam Strom When Adam Strom, Director of Scholarship and Innovation at Facing History and Ourselves, said this at the opening of Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross, it set the tone for the first exhibit of its kind …

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How My Friend’s Dad Went from a Polish Ghetto to the MFA

As you may have heard, the MFA is bringing an incredibly powerful exhibit of photographs to Boston- Memory Unearthed: Photography from the Lodz Ghetto.  The story seems unbelievable, like an old Hollywood war movie script. The photographs were taken secretly by a Jewish photographer, Henryk Ross, chosen by the Nazis to record ghetto life for …

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Julia Vogl: Passover Public Art Installation

Who is Julia Vogl? Julia is a London-based, internationally acclaimed artist whose work is expertly rooted in fostering community dialogue. Through the use of important and charged questions, simple colors, and an incredibly clever use of public spaces, Julia creates space for community dialogue through art. She also grew up in a Jewish home in …

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What is Sephardic?

We asked Chubby Chickpea owner chef Avi Shemtov to tell us a bit about what exactly Sephardic food is. Here’s what Avi had to share. Check out his modern take on Sephardic cuisine at the 8th annual Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen on Feb 26th.    To many Americans, and even to many American Jews, The Jewish …

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National Bagel Day

Happy national bagel day! We scoured the internet for a list to share that truly represent the best of Boston… but since we weren’t totally sold, we did some polling. Our favorite Jewish Boston foodies have spoken, and here are the top 5 bagels in Boston.   Rosenfelds, Newton Centre Real deal NY style bagels. …

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Word of the Week: Buri

Buri / boo-ree / #mullet  If you’ve seen Israeli Chef Uri Buri, you probably recall his beard. But what is Chef Uri Jeremias, fondly known as Uri Buri, famous for? Well, his nickname Buri is a giveaway – meaning mullet (as in fish, not hairstyle) in Hebrew. Uri runs one of Israel’s most famous seafood restaurants. Located …

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Word of the Week: Middot

middot / midot / mee-dote / #character Mussar is a biblical Hebrew word from the book of Proverbs 1:2 meaning moral conduct, instruction or discipline. According to the mussar movement (which arose in 19th century Lithuania), we are each born with a range of moral traits that are called middot.  At a time of year that is focused on …

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What Leonard Cohen Taught Me

In April of 1970, I went to a Leonard Cohen concert at Brandeis University. I was a junior in high school, in the throws of teen self-doubt and insecurity. Leonard Cohen understood me. Those early songs, especially Suzanne, Bird on the Wire, and That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, didn’t just speak to me. They …

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