Arts and Culture

New flavors and fresh ideas raise hopes for a revival of Chicago area’s kosher restaurant scene

Chicago's kosher restaurant scene could be getting a boost. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

This city’s kosher restaurant scene has long lagged behind other metropolises like New York and Los Angeles — but changes might be coming. A bold forthcoming restaurant, an authentic taqueria and reports that two established neighborhood eateries are looking to change hands are raising hope for kosher diners who… Read more »

Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest character is an Israeli gunslinger taking aim at pro-Israel conservatives

Sacha Baron Cohen at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., May 23, 2016. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and he is taking aim at a strain of “pro-Israel” thought that has both delighted and unsettled many American Jews: the unconditional love engendered by the country among deeply conservative Americans. In “Who is America?,” a show that made its debut… Read more »

An Israeli wrestler calls himself ‘The Chutzpah,’ and Europe loves to hate him

Lior Brooks, left, during a match in Greece, Nov. 22, 2017. (Courtesy of ZMAK)

(JTA) — Like many Israelis visiting Europe, Lior Brooks is keenly aware of his compatriots’ reputation abroad for rudeness. The boorish stereotype is so well known that it has its own term there – “the ugly Israeli” – and been the subject of many an awareness-raising campaign. There’s even… Read more »

Why synagogues started putting American flags in the sanctuary

American, Canadian and Israeli flags are displayed in the S.H. and Helen R. Scheuer Chapel on the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. (Ady Manory)

(JTA) — Jewish tourists from North America are likely to notice one big difference when visiting synagogues around the world. Though a plethora of symbols, such as stars of David and menorahs, may be displayed, national flags are rare inside the sanctuary. Meanwhile, in the United States and Canada,… Read more »

Grilled Eggplant with Chermoula recipe

(The Nosher via JTA) – From bulbous and egg-shaped to small and thin, the eggplant (or if you’re British like me, the aubergine) is a staple fruit within Sephardic Jewish cooking. Originating in India or perhaps even China, eggplant seeds are thought to have traveled along the Silk Road… Read more »

Tucson J to let adults in on summer camp fun

Summer camp is not just for kids anymore. Summer camps targeted for adults are popping up throughout the country, and Tucson is embracing the trend. The Tucson Jewish Community Center will launch its first One Day Adult Summer Camp on Sunday, July 29. The Foundation for Jewish Camping says,… Read more »

JHM seeks family photos for exhibit on Jewish arrival in Southern Arizona

The Jewish History Museum will stage a digital exhibit, “Mapping Migration,” that documents the trajectory of Jewish community migration to Southern Arizona through triptychs comprising historical to contemporary family photos. The exhibit will open Sept. 1. “Two things I particularly love about this concept are that it is inclusive… Read more »

Home cooking classes where Israel and Jewish culture are always on the menu

From left to right: Jen Binford, Rachel Brown and Gabby Nordell cooking for Passover at a Mevashlim B’Ivrit class in Boise, Idaho. (Courtesy of Efi Asaf)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – In the compact, open kitchen of the apartment here that Dalit Gvirtsman shares with her husband, about a dozen women are jostling for space. One is chopping tomatoes, another is sauteing onions and another is squeezing a few dollops of honey into cooked egg noodles.… Read more »

Museum honorees have deep roots in Tucson

Lynda Rogoff, left, and Linda Tumarkin

This is the final part of a series on the Jewish agency volunteers who received 2018 Special Recognition Awards at the Jewish Community Awards Celebration, held May 10. The Jewish History Museum recognized a pair of volunteers, Lynda Rogoff and Linda Tumarkin, for outstanding service, because they are such… Read more »

S’mores Babka Recipe

S'mores Babka (Shannon Sarna)

(The Nosher via JTA) – Babka is an Eastern European yeasted cake with deep Jewish roots and also great American popularity. One of babka’s most notorious moments was in an episode of “Seinfeld”:  Jerry and Elaine head to Royal Bakery to pick up babka for a dinner party, and… Read more »

How Israel overcame politics in winning the Eurovision song contest

Winner of the eurovision 2018 song contest Netta Barzilai preforms at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on May 14, 2018. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** úøáåú äåôòä úì àáéá äàéøååéæéåï ðèò

(JTA) — Hours before the Eurovision song contest’s kickoff, Rafi Kishon posted on Facebook a sobering message and a picture of himself wearing a head of lettuce for a hat. Israel’s entrant, he said, didn’t stand a chance of winning in anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Europe. “I’m sorry to disappoint you,”… Read more »

‘RBG’ filmmakers hope to inspire Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s millennial fans

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has attained pop culture icon status in the last decade. (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

NEW YORK (JTA) — One of the first scenes in a new documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg features the Supreme Court associate justice, then 84, vigorously lifting weights, doing leg exercises and holding herself in a plank position. The much buzzed-about workout routine has only added to her status… Read more »

The Kennedy Center wants to revive the Israel room you didn’t know it had

A view from the Israeli lounge within the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (Alain Jaramillo)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It’s like finding out that the White House has a mikvah in its basement and no one knows about it. Up an elegant stairway next to the concert hall at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the “Concert Lounge dedicated by the… Read more »