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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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Word of the Week: Desterado

desterado / des-terrado / #exile Means exile in Ladino. Before the Jews were desterados from Spain in 1492, they spoke a mix of Hebrew and Spanish, Judeo-Spanish that we now call Ladino. Years later, cello virtuoso Pablo Casals was desterado from Spain to show his support of the Spanish Republican government, and vowed not to return …

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Word of the Week: Seret

seret / seh-ret / #film / #movie Means film/movie in Hebrew. Betty Boop is the original cartoon Jewish girl, first seen in a Max Fleischer animated seret in 1930. She was a bit of a rabble-rouser – a flapper, which was fairly scandalous in those days. This seret star is making a special appearance with guitar wizard Gary …

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Word of the Week: Tummler

tummler / ˈtʊmlə(ɹ) / TOOM-ler Definition: A Yiddish word that originated in the Catskills, describing the comedians/master emcees of the Borscht Belt resorts a lively, prankish, or mischievous man. The great Mel Brooks  got his comedic start as a beloved Borscht Belt tummler. His retelling of the jokes at his show in Boston this week was  a perfect …

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