Hank Rosenfeld


Everybody Loved Murray

By Hank Rosenfeld

So many friends wanted to speak at Jan Murray’s July 6 funeral, held in Culver City, Calif., that the rabbi warned mourners, “Just to remind you, Shabbos begins tomorrow night.”The comedian and television host, who died July 2 at the age of 89, was remembered as a giant, “20 feet tall,” and as the “most un-showbiz show business guyRead More


Life and Laughs At the Oasis

By Hank Rosenfeld

When Irving Brecher did his stand-up act for a room of retired physicians at Beverly Hills’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center it didn’t go so well.“They smiled,” 91-year-old Brecher recalled, “but didn’t want to use up their energy laughing.”But like anyone with a vaudevillian’s instincts, Brecher was able to use the debacleRead More


Using Krusty’s Bar Mitzvah To Animate Religious Lessons

By Hank Rosenfeld

Two and a half dozen 20-somethings inched forward in their seats as Rabbi Brian Schuldenfrei turned on a television set one recent evening in Los Angeles’s Sinai Temple. Suddenly the Upper Traub room of the huge synagogue on Wilshire Boulevard was immersed in a classic episode of “The Simpsons.” In “Like Father, Like Clown,” Krusty theRead More


Comedy Giants Gather To Mourn One of Hollywood’s Great Clowns

By Hank Rosenfeld

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Humor includes 14 pages of jokes on death, so when Buddy Hackett passed away in Malibu at age 79 last week, the chapel at Hillside Memorial in Culver City was packed with every comedy icon that hadn’t booked a Fourth of July gig out of town.Sid Caesar sat up front with Jan Murray. Don Rickles was there.Read More


Where Music Aficionados Debate Who’s the Elvis of the Cantorial World

By Hank Rosenfeld

Fairfax is the best avenue in Los Angeles, containing within one miracle mile Little Ethiopia and the Peterson Auto Museum, the L.A. County Museum of Art and a farmers market. Cross Beverly Boulevard and you come upon Russian nightclubs and Israeli cafes. But lately creeping into this “one size feedsRead More






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    • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
    • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
    • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
    • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
    • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
    • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
    • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
    • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
    • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
    • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
    • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
    • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
    • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
    • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
    • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
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