Adam Rovner


What Makes a Jewish Joke Jewish?

By Adam Rovner

What Makes a Jewish Joke Jewish?
Ruth Wisse offers a cogent analysis of Jewish humor in her new book. Why does she overlook several decades of scholarship on ethnic jokes?Read More


News of the Carrot, Not Pain of the Stick

By Adam Rovner

News of the Carrot, Not Pain of the Stick
Jews didn’t flee Europe because of pogroms. They moved to all corners of the world to find economic opportunity, writes Gur Alroey in a new book.Read More


Zions Other Than Zion

By Adam Rovner

Zions Other Than Zion
Michael Chabon’s novel “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” imagined Jewish refugees turning “Aleyska” into a Yiddish-speaking sanctuary for the “frozen chosen” in the 1940s. But truth is stranger than fiction. As I explain in a short documentary, which will be screened as part of a program on “Other Zions” at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York on July 6, the Freeland League for Jewish Territorial Colonization was a real-life Yiddish policemen’s union. They even considered colonizing Alaska.Read More


You Don’t Know Zubi!

By Adam Rovner

You Don’t Know Zubi!
Israelis barely speak Hebrew. The language on the streets, in cafes and along the beaches is a hybrid of adapted and adopted expressions mined from Arabic, English, Russian, Yiddish and dozens of dialects. When I first arrived in Israel in 1987, I thought the handful of half-remembered words from my few years spent at a yeshiva would help me get around Jerusalem. But I sounded like an autistic teenager from the pages of Genesis. I shouted at a guy hassling a female friend, “Lech lecha!” thinking this might send him on his way.Read More


A Boardwalk Empire of Their Own

By Adam Rovner

A Boardwalk Empire of Their Own
Before Snooki ruled the Jersey Shore, Atlantic City’s reigning boss was Enoch “Nucky” Johnson. HBO’s new television series “Boardwalk Empire,” set in Atlantic City during Prohibition, draws on the true story of Nucky and his Irish, Italian and Jewish partners in crime. Ethnic and racial rivalries melted away in the bathtub stills so long as Nucky controlled the town from his oceanfront suite in the Ritz-Carlton.Read More






Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.