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‘When comedy went to school’ investigates the secret of the Catskills

‘When comedy went to school’ investigates the secret of the Catskills

TO everyone under 40, and anyone outside of New York, the popular Catskills summer resorts of the mid-20th century must seem as distant, obscure and foreign as the Yiddish theatre.

Both institutions were important signposts in the history of Jews in America. Now, both belong more to the past than the present.

“When Comedy Went to School,” a new documentary by Mevlut Akkaya, Ron Frank and Lawrence Richards, picks a particular entry point to revisit the heyday of Grossinger’s and the many other hotels that catered to a primarily Jewish clientele: The multitude of Jewish stand-up comics who honed their routines on tough-to-please audiences, and eventually went on to success on television.

Last Updated ( Monday, 09 September 2013 11:05 )

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Hiking through Israel at 63, feeling the footprints

Hiking through Israel at 63, feeling the footprints ROSH HASHANAH EDITIONSECTION D PAGE 10 AFTER miles of climbing the jagged edge of Israel’s Karbolet Mountain, wilting from the vertical and melting in 98-degree desert heat, we held the treasure map in our trembling fingers. This was not a map to Roman ruins or a friendly hikers’ hut, though there were plenty of those on our 600 mile route through the “Shvil.” What we sought was far more precious: Bottles of water, left by our outfitters, buried in sand as protection from desert pira...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 August 2013 11:40 )

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Rosh Hashanah in the summer

Rosh Hashanah in the summerThe days are still long. The sun is still bright. Yet Rosh Hashanah is rapidly approaching. With its early arrival, it makes it hard to want to turn on the oven and heat the house. Labor Day is just days before Rosh Hashanah. It’s still grilling season. As a result of the early holiday, it allows for a change of foods and flavors. Embrace that Rosh Hashanah is early because you just might find that new favorite dish. Mary Fabrikant, owner of Le Vie Catering, recommends utilizing the summer p...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 August 2013 11:58 )

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Formula One in Jerusalem: Accelerating past regulation

Formula One in Jerusalem: Accelerating past regulationTHERE is something different about taking a ride from Shlomi Bakish. Not only can he get from Haifa to Tel Aviv in half the time, but passengers also don’t feel the road. The car accelerates without strain. Unlike many Israeli drivers, Bakish doesn’t express rage when a slower car cuts him off. He sees his opportunity and easily passes on the right. It’s as though he’s driving in a race. For the past decade, talented Israeli drivers like Bakish were stranded in traffic by an unpopular ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:06 )

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After his heart attack, Grandpa rides bike 3,000 miles

After his heart attack, Grandpa rides bike 3,000 milesMike Samuelson, 67, doesn’t “fear the force of the wind, the slash of the rain.” He “[faces] them and [fights] them ... to walk like a man.” These are the words of Samuelson’s favorite childhood poem, “Do you fear the wind?” by Hamlin Garland, that are inspiring him to bike 3,000 miles on the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to New Mexico. Samuelson grew up in South Africa. He was a very active boy and teenager, always playing sports. In 1970, at the age of 20, he made aliy...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 August 2013 11:53 )

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JTA News

Hoops guru David Thorpe connects with players on and off the court

mbrodsky The Florida trainer has earned the trust of NBAers like Israelis Omri Casspi and Gal Mekel, as well as those reaching for the stars. ... [Link]

In Knesset, former protest leader Stav Shaffir follows the money

Ben Sales The youngest female legislator in Israeli history says budget transparency is the key to solving nearly every social problem — including Israeli-Palestinian peace. ... [Link]

Heirs to German Jews sue Swiss bank UBS to recover inheritance

Marcy Oster The relatives of German Jews whose art collection was seized by the Nazis have sued UBS, claiming the Swiss bank cheated them out of their inheritance. ... [Link]

From the Archive: Kesher Israel’s murdered rabbi

Julie Wiener Rabbi Barry Freundel’s arrest last week wasn’t the first time Washington’s Kesher Israel was ensnared in a sordid crime case. ... [Link]

Ex-Nazis were paid millions in Social Security, probe finds

Raffi Wineburg Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments after being forced out of the United States, an investigation by The Associated Press fou... [Link]

29 projects debut on expanded Slingshot guide highlighting innovation

Julie Wiener An alternative Hebrew school program in Manhattan, a digital repository for Jewish texts and a Tulsa synagogue-based bakery that employs mentally ill adults i are among the 29 Jewish groups listed for... [Link]

Elsewhere: Handwritten deliverance, emigration anxiety, a bittersweet rebirth

Raffi Wineburg JTA rounds up noteworthy news items from the Web. ... [Link]

Amended charges have suspected JCC shooter facing possible death sentence

Marcy Oster The alleged gunman in a shooting spree at two Jewish agencies in Kansas City is facing a potential death sentence after prosecutors amended charges against him. ... [Link]

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