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Flory Jagoda is Sephardic Music’s 91-Year-Old Accordion-Playing Superstar

Posted on October 16th, 2017
BY AVISHAY ARTSY for Jewniverse

Legend has it that when the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, they brought their house keys in the hope they would someday return. They also held onto their culture. And perhaps no one alive is guarding and communicating that culture like Flory Jagoda, the acclaimed 91-year-old folk musician who has been called “the keeper of the flame” of Sephardic heritage.

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These Are The All-Time Best Jewish Moments In Movies and on TV

Posted on October 9th, 2017
David Zvi Kalman for The Forward

Most Accurate Wedding Sequence:
“Have Gun Will Travel,” ‘A Drop of Blood’ 1961

The length and accuracy of this scene is owed entirely to Shimon Wincelberg, a long-time Hollywood television scriptwriter who worked on everything from “Star Trek” to “Law and Order.” His melodious Ashkenazi chanting is dubbed over the actor’s in this scene—his only speaking role in his many decades in the industry.

Most Accurate Divorce Sequence:
“Hester Street” 1975

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Abstract Painter Mark Rothko’s Jewish Roots

Posted on October 2nd, 2017
BY AVISHAY ARTSY for Jewniverse

Before Mark Rothko’s famous rectangles of color were found in college dorms everywhere, before he became a key figure of Abstract Expressionist painting, he was born Marcus Rothkowitz in 1903 in Tsarist Russia.

His father, Yacov, was a self-educated secular pharmacist, but deadly pogroms in the Pale of Settlement convinced him to enroll Marcus, his youngest child, in a yeshiva. Whether it was a sudden burst of piety or an effort to keep the army from drafting his son isn’t clear.

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Cello goddess Maya Beiser wants classical music to rock like Janis Joplin

Posted on September 25th, 2017
By Gabe Friedman for JTA

There’s a small music room in the basement of cellist Maya Beiser’s large, kempt house in the leafy Riverdale section of the Bronx. It’s pretty spare — a few cellos, some basic recording equipment and posters from past concerts.

Against one wall, though, rests a cherry red Gibson SG guitar, the kind made famous by AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. Beiser — a tall, auburn-haired and beautiful Israeli-American — smiles when asked about it.

“I play around with it sometimes,” she said.

She also owns several foot pedals, which alter and distort the sound of her cellos, but those are housed in a different space upstate, she explains.

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Why the Internet Is Bad for the Jews

Posted on September 18th, 2017
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine 

And what to do about it

Earlier this week, I was walking to work when I heard the loud beat of a drum. I looked up and saw dozens of men and women dressed in white, moving about solemnly. They were holding dinner plates, and their movements corresponded with the kettledrum’s syncopated thuds. A man playing the flute circled them somberly, injecting the occasion with a sharp sense of sadness. You hardly needed to consult the leaflets being passed around to realize that the performance, by the Buglisi Dance Theatre, was a memorial to September 11 and that it sought to provoke a sense of peace and remembrance.

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