JBuzz Reviews May 31, 2013: New York Times Reviews Ruth R. Wisse: No Joke: Making Jewish Humor

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‘No Joke,’ by Ruth R. Wisse

Source: NYT, 5-31-13

No Joke: Making Jewish Humor
Ruth R. Wisse

Princeton University Press

Reviews | Table of Contents | Introduction [PDF]

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“No Joke,” a subtle and provocative new book by Ruth R. Wisse, who teaches Yiddish literature at Harvard, recounts the long history of Jewish humor and brings it up to date. She includes the effects of the Holocaust and Stalin on Jewish storytelling; she discusses American humorists from the borscht belt stand-ups of the 1940s to Larry David, and novels from Philip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint” to Howard Jacobson’s “Fink­ler Question,” which won the Man Booker Prize in 2010. And she reviews the lively state of humor in Israel today….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 29, 2013: Mauro Perani: Oldest Known Complete Torah scroll found at University of Bologna Library in Italy

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Old Torah scroll found in Italy university library

An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts says he has found the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. Photo / AP

An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts says he has found the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. Photo / AP

An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts said Wednesday he has discovered the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. It was right under his nose, in the University of Bologna library, where it had been mistakenly catalogued a century ago as dating from the 17th century.

The find isn’t the oldest Torah text in the world: the Leningrad and the Aleppo bibles – both of them Hebrew codexes, or books – pre-date the Bologna scroll by more than 200 years. But this is the oldest Torah scroll of the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, according to Mauro Perani, a professor of Hebrew in the University of Bologna’s cultural heritage department….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 29, 2013: Polish history professor Krzysztof Jasiewicz fired for blaming Jews for Holocaust

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Blaming Jews for Holocaust costs Polish prof his job

Source: JTA, 5-29-13

Polish historian Krzysztof Jasiewicz was dismissed from the Polish Academy of Sciences for laying some blame on the Jews for the outbreak of the Holocaust….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 28, 2013: Funeral held in New York for Torah scrolls ruined by Hurricane Sandy

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Funeral held in N.Y. for Torah scrolls ruined by Sandy

Source: JTA, 5-28-13

A funeral was held in New York for 12 Torah scrolls that were destroyed in superstorm Sandy….READ MORE

 

JBuzz News May 27, 2013: London family robbed of $30,000 in Judaica while sleeping

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London family robbed of $30,000 in Judaica while sleeping

Source: JTA, 5-27-13

Judaica artifacts worth approximately $30,000 were stolen from a Jewish family in northern London….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 27, 2013: Friedberg Genizah Project: Computer network to help break Cairo Genizah codes

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Computer network to help break Cairo Genizah codes

Source: JTA, 5-27-13

The Friedberg Genizah Project will use a high performance computer network at Tel Aviv University Cairo Genizah to break the codes of the Cairo Genizah….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 26, 2013: Naomi Schaefer Riley: Why do Jews intermarry, and who’d marry a Jew anyway?

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Why do Jews intermarry, and who’d marry a Jew anyway?

In her new book, Naomi Schaefer Riley takes a look at why so many in the American Jewish community are marrying out of the faith.

Jewish wedding

Jewish wedding Photo: Thinkstock
Over the past half century, intermarriage has become increasingly common in the United States among all religions – but among Jews at the highest rate.

Why that is the case is one of the questions Naomi Schaefer Riley probes in her new book, “‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America” (Oxford University Press).

One of the main reasons, Riley finds, is that the older people get, the more likely they are to intermarry….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 21, 2013: Hebrew Union College: US Reform Jewish seminary reconsidering policy against intermarried students

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U.S. Reform Jewish seminary reconsidering policy against intermarried students

Movement already embraces intermarried couples; now may start ordaining rabbinic students who married outside the faith.

Source: Haaretz, 5-21-13

Should the Reform movement ordain intermarried rabbis? Hebrew Union College, which is the seminary of America’s largest Jewish denomination, is considering altering its current policy, which does not allow admission to its rabbinical, cantorial or education schools of applicants who are married to or partnered with non-Jews.

A growing chorus of voices — including newly-ordained and long-time Reform rabbis — says that changing it is the only way to be a truly inclusive movement. Other rabbis, including the HUC’s president, say that doing so would undermine their graduates’ ability to model ideals of Jewish commitment, a key part of a rabbi’s role….READ MORE 

JBuzz News May 21, 2013: Barbra Streisand to receive honorary PhD at Hebrew Universty in Jerusalem

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Barbra Streisand to receive honorary PHD in Jerusalem

Source: BBC News, 5-21-13

The award is in recognition for her human rights work and dedication to Israel and the Jewish people. Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, said they were “deeply proud” to honour her….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 20, 2013: Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

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Boruch Spiegel, Fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 93

Source: New York Times, 5-20-13

Boruch Spiegel, one of the last surviving fighters of the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943, in which a vastly outgunned band of 750 young Jews held off German soldiers for more than a month with crude arms and Molotov cocktails, died on May 9 in Montreal. He was 93….

Mr. Spiegel was on guard duty and, according to his son-in-law, Eugene Orenstein, a retired professor of Jewish history at McGill University, gave the signal to launch the uprising….READ MORE