The True Story of Thanksgiving

A new historical account was recently discovered. It is recorded here.

Thanksgiving Dinner(Shutterstock)

Sir Moses splashed his staff into the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean. After years of religious persecution, he and the Israelites would finally be free; an entire New World awaited them. The oceans parted and the group stepped onto the dry land. 40 years later, they arrived in America – at Plymouth.

But the Israelite pilgrims were unfamiliar with the agriculture of this new land and struggled to build a stockpile of food to last through the winter. Luckily, one of the Native American tribes offered assistance. They provided a type of cornmeal, called manna, that to it could be added flavorings of any kind. (more…)

Jewish Leaders Speak Out Against Pruzansky

Comments made on his personal website have generated a harsh condemnation

The Orthodox Union criticized statements similar to Pruzansky's.(Screenshot: Youtube; Times of Israel)

A number of prominent U.S. Orthodox Jewish figures condemned Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck N.J. since 1994, for remarks posted on his personal blog.

Pruzansky commented on the terrorist attacks in Har Nof last week, writing, among other things that “the slaughter of Jews is incentivized in Arab society,” that “‘President’ Abbas should be incarcerated as a war criminal” and “perhaps the day will come in the near future when the mosque [on the Temple Mount} and the dome can be uplifted intact and reset in Saudi Arabia, Syria or wherever it is wanted.” (more…)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Heart Procedure

The SC Justice is resting comfortably after treatment for an arterial blockage

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

On Wednesday morning, Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a small procedure to place a stent in her right coronary artery after experiencing discomfort during exercise. Ginsburg, 81, has exercised twice a week since undergoing treatment for colon cancer in the late 1990s. (Fun fact: she shares a trainer with Justice Elena Kagan.) A few years ago, she was treated for pancreatic cancer.

Last year, when asked about her health issues, Ginsburg said that as long as she can serve on the court, she plans to do so. She has not missed one day in court in the last 15 years. (more…)

Dana Kessler Helms Israel’s Best New Rock Band

Check out Mora Mahlifa for some intense Sonic Youth-like sound


Every magazine likes to think its contributors are rock stars, but we mean it literally: Dana Kessler, our correspondent to Israel’s eclectic culinary scene, is also the lead singer and bass player for Mora Mahlifa, one of the more exciting Israeli bands in recent memory.

To pin down the group’s sound, you can think of Sonic Youth or the Breeders or any of the other outfits of the indie royalty of the 1990s, but that would fall short of capturing the magic. As one Israeli critic wrote in a recent review of Mora Mahlifa’s newly released album, the band’s real sound is rooted in Tel Aviv’s music scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s, where American post-punk was played loudly together with melancholy British guitar rock and hard-edged German industrial music and imbibed by local kids eager to escape the airlessness of a small country with a tight cultural scene that had little patience for weirdos who liked their music loud and disharmonious. You sort of had to be there, I guess: I was, and so was Kessler, and if you listen to Mora Mahlifa, you will be there, too. (more…)

Exploring the Mechitza Through Dance

Florence Nasar uses dance to study the effects of Jewish ritual on women

Dancers during "The Women’s Section"( Whitney Browne)

Florence Nasar remembers clearly when the synagogue she attended in Deal, N.J., changed the layout of the mechitza from dividing the sanctuary equally down the middle to instead relegating women to the back.

“That visual moment of seeing the difference,” she told me in a phone interview was monumental in her understanding of the way women are treated in the synagogue. “It changed the way we could participate” in the service. (more…)

Balancing Modesty and Fashion

Orthodox women bring style to their daily wardrobe

Mushky and Mimi, sisters-in-law, created Mimu Maxi.(

The laws of modesty are about “covering your knees, your elbows, your collarbones,” Mushky Notik, half of the design team “Mimu Maxi,” explained to Refinery29’s Asha Leo in a video posted last month. The clips make dwelling in a modest world look so enticing, even Kim Kardashian might consider covering up. Leo had headed to Crown Heights to see how Notik and Mimi Hecht, her partner, marry fashion with mitzvah observance. (more…)

Matchmaking Service: Jews Like Other Jews

Website says Jews more likely to date Jews than other religions

The celebration of marriage.( Shutterstock)

Jewish moms of the world, rejoice!

A new study by Dating Ring, an online matchmaking service, has found that its Jewish members are 25% more likely to date other Jews than they are to date singles of different religious backgrounds. The study also found that Jewish singles are 25% more likely to match than two members of other religions, or two members of different religions.

Dating Ring’s findings are based on a survey of 2,000 matches, which were arranged by the organization’s matchmakers. Dating Ring users—who are for the most part in their 20s and 30s—are able to select the religion with which they identify, and to request to be matched with a person who identifies with the same religion. (more…)

Eichmann Trial Documents Found in Trash to be Auctioned

The collection offers a behind-the-scenes account of the historic event

Adolf Eichmann sits in his bullet-proof dock as Tribunal judges (R to L) Itzhak Raveh, Moshe Landau, President and Bejamin Halevi start the opening session of the tribunal assembled to try former Nazi SS leader, Jerusalem 11 April 1961. (AFP/Getty Images)

A collection of documents from the 1961 trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann which were discovered in a Jerusalem dumpster will be up for sale on December 2 at the Kedem Auction House.

The documents cover a wide breadth of material: statements during closing arguments, photographs of the trial, copies of the verdict and indictment, and even notes from prosecutors regarding Eichmann’s body language. (more…)

Saying Goodbye To Allan Kornblum

Remembering the founder of Coffee House Press, who passed away Sunday

Allan Kornblum was the founder of Coffee House Press.(

My dear old friend, editor, and publisher Allan Kornblum died Sunday after a battle with leukemia. He founded the now estimable Coffee House Press in Minneapolis, but back when Allan, with his huge frizzy “Isro” of a haircut, shifted from being a young poet in late 1960s New York City to being a publisher, his operation was only a letterpress in the basement of his farmhouse in Iowa City. It was powered by his love of poetry and typography and a personal credit card he was always willing to use to keep his labor of love afloat.

The original press was monikered Toothpaste Press, under whose strange dental colophon Allan published, in 1975, my book of young man’s longing lyrics, Not So Much Love of Flowers. Later, when he moved to Minneapolis in the mid-1980s and Toothpaste became Coffee House Press, he edited and published three of my novels: High Holiday Sutra, Club Revelation, and, most recently, The Hebrew Tutor of Bel Air. (more…)

New Zealand Boy: Victim of Possible Hate Crime

The four-year-old was struck on the street while wearing a yarmulke

An aerial view of Auckland Harbour and the Sky Tower and the Harbour Bridge on October 7, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A New Zealand preschooler was assaulted last week in a suspected anti-Semitic incident, the New Zealand Herald reports.

The four-year-old boy, who was wearing a yarmulke, was walking home with his mother in the Auckland suburb of Mt. Eden when a man approached the child and struck him on the head. He is said to have laughed as he left the scene in a car with four other men. (more…)

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