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BY JOSH WEISS for JWeekly
Almost 20 years since the publication of “The Bad Beginning” and 13 years (a fittingly unlucky figure) since its film adaptation, Netflix has given Lemony Snicket’s book series, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” new life. All eight episodes of the first season were released on Jan. 13.
Filled with incredible actors, breathtaking set designs and an engaging plot infused with humor and melancholy, the new show is everything fans could have hoped for after all this time.
By Shira Feder for The Forward
There was a time when to any Jew in the know, “the mountains” meant the Catskills, and “the Catskills” meant the Borscht Belt, the site of orgiastic meals, frenzied sexual activity and cutting edge comedy. (A sampling: “Did you hear about the bum who walked up to a Jewish mother on the street and said, ‘Lady, I haven’t eaten in three days.’ ’ ‘Force yourself,’ she replied.” And yes, Woody Allen, Jerry Lewis and Jerry Seinfeld all performed there.)
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine
Virtually unknown before Monday, Tom Oren wins Thelonious Monk contest.
Tom Oren has tickled the ivories in relative obscurity up until this point in his career, but that's all about to change. The 24-year-old Oren, a native of Tel Aviv, just received the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition – one of jazz's highest honors.
The award was announced earlier this week at a gala event held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and hosted by actor Blair Underwood. Oren performed two songs at the event, including the Cole Porter standard “Just One Of Those Things.”
What's with the resurgence of Yiddish these days. There's the proliferation of Yiddish newspapers, a new Yiddish production of "Fiddler on the Roof," and many more universities offering Yiddish as a major, or at least language classes.
Did you know there's a website devoted to all things Yiddish? Yiddish has always been an evolving language so with ties to the past and it's feet firmly in the present, check out this incredible website.
By Inbal Sinai, NoCamels
The Israeli art scene is dynamic and diverse, reflecting the start-up nation’s spirit with an abundance of creativity and daring. It boasts a lively ecosystem, located mainly in Tel Aviv, which has recently seen a shift to the south part of the city due to gentrification, and is host to numerous art museums, alternative spaces, studios, and galleries displaying sophisticated work.
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine
The comic’s new Netflix special is a masterpiece of emotionally honest, intimate, and hilarious comedy
Contemporary American comedy is, with very few exceptions, a jittery mess. If you want to understand why, pick any five comics who worked between, say, 1930 and 1990, and listen to their acts. Styles, themes, and temperaments will vary, but one thing does not: They are telling you the truth.
The golden age of American comedy was golden because it reflected actual lived experience. The personas of the greatest American comedians, down to their signature tics, were rooted in their own, often gut-wrenching, personal lives. The way Rodney Dangerfield shifts uneasily on Carson’s chair, crossing and uncrossing his legs and fixing his tie twice a minute? It’s not shtick, or, at least, not entirely; it’s the vestigial anxiety of a poor Jewish kid who saw his father twice a year, sold ice cream on the beach to make ends meet, and didn’t find success until he was 46.
By Seth Rogovoy for The Forward
Robin Hood is well known as a defender of oppressed populations. But one aspect of his story that has mostly been lost to time, however, is his role as protector of Jews, who figured prominently in ballads and dramatic texts that began appearing in 15th- and 16th-century England. Aside from his fundamental mission of tikkun olam — repairing the world via a forced redistribution of wealth, aka stealing from the rich and giving to the poor — Robin Hood was originally portrayed as a champion of all the oppressed, whether they be peasants, Muslims, disinherited kings, scorned Crusaders, anti-clerics or Jews.
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Beth El is raising funds for a new playground?
Beth El is getting a new playground! If you would like to donate towards this very worthy project, simply send your donations to Beth El Hebrew Congregation and notate "Playground." If you donate on line, the playground fund is first on the list!
Wednesdays during the school year
@ 7:00 PM
See calendar for exact dates and subjects
For more information about ALIVE! go to alive-inc.org.
We have a very special service January 18 at 7:30 p.m. in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his heroic work.
We will be joined by our talented 5th grade class and singer-songwriter, LEA.
Come for a fast and fun night of trivia, food and comaraderie on Saturday, March 2, 2019, 6:00 pm, at Beth El. Adults and teens (7th grade and up) can play! The cost is $35 per person (includes: dinner and participation), BYOB. Bring cash to buy optional extra chits to help your table become the champion! Separate, supervised Kids Night Out - $10 per child (6th grade and younger; includes casual dinner, movie & games). RSVP: by Monday, February 18, Advance Ticket Sales Only. Register here Questions: Contact Anne Levy, [email protected] Proceeds will go to the Beth El Playground Fund.
Please sign up for Ushering at Beth El for Friday Night Services
This is a great opportunity to see and meet fellow congregants.Please use the link to sign up:
Support During Shutdown
As the frustrating government shutdown drags on, we extend our sympathies during this anxious time for you and your family. While Beth El Hebrew Congregation is not a direct service provider, we can offer temporary dues relief until the shutdown has ended. We hope this resource list can be an asset during this difficult time and pray for an immediate resolution:
What Furloughed Workers Need to Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits: https://tinyurl.com/yd3v7w29
A Furloughed Federal Employee’s Guide to Filing for Unemployment: https://tinyurl.com/y9qltsjt
U.S. Office of Personnel Management Furlough Guidance: tps://tinyurl.com/y8sg3mum
Alexandria Center for Economic Support: https://tinyurl.com/yd66o7mj
Coordinated Services Fairfax County: https://tinyurl.com/y8f9e4vg
Local Restaurants Offering Free or Discounted Meals and More: https://tinyurl.com/ybmozmt3
There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.