Jana Banin


Regina Spektor Welcomes Baby Boy

By Jana Banin

Regina Spektor Welcomes Baby Boy
(JTA) — Mazel tov to Regina Spektor on the birth of her son — on keeping the details and photo evidence away from the prying eyes of the media (although we have to admit we’re dying to see a shot of the munchkin).Read More


Muppets and Bar Refaeli Too Racy for Israeli TV

By Jana Banin

Muppets and Bar Refaeli Too Racy for Israeli TV
(JTA) — A risqué ad featuring Bar Refaeli in bed with a purple, mustachioed Muppet has been banned from running before 10 p.m. in the holy land, Walla!, Israel news website reports. Per a governmental council called The Second Authority for Television and Radio, the ad for local fashion brand Hoodies has “too many sexual insinuations” to be seen during prime time.Read More


Sorry Guys, No Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour

By Jana Banin

Sorry Guys, No Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour
(JTA) — If you thought rumors of a concert tour featuring a hologram version of the late Amy Winehouse seemed too good to be true — or perhaps creepy — you would be correct.Read More


Julianna Margulies Can Really Lay on The 'Jew Guilt'

By Jana Banin

Julianna Margulies Can Really Lay on The 'Jew Guilt'
What to do when a key player on your hit series has one foot out the door? Invoke your bubbe at her most manipulative. At least that’s the route “The Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies took when trying to convince co-star and friend Josh Charles to stay on the show, Entertainment Weekly reports.Read More


Sarah Silverman Donates Her Voice to Keshet

By Jana Banin

Sarah Silverman Donates Her Voice to Keshet
(JTA) — Attention all Bostonians looking for a good, old-fashioned, R-rated outgoing voicemail message: Sarah Silverman and Keshet, an organization that advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews, might be able to help. Attendees of the Keshet Cabaret on March 27 will have the opportunity to bid on a personal voicemail from the raunchy comedienne, The Boston Globe reports.Read More






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  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
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