Joshua Yaffa


Serious Falafel: Served With(out) a Smile

By Joshua Yaffa

Serious Falafel: Served With(out) a Smile
On November 2, 1995, NBC aired the 116th episode of “Seinfeld,” titled “The Soup Nazi.” It featured a brilliant but moody chef known for his transcendent lobster bisque and his less-than-warm personality. Since then, fans of the show have deployed the title as something of a term of endearment for their own local culinary wizards: The Pasta Nazi of Irvine, Calif.; the Bagel Nazi of Cincinnati; the Sushi Nazi of Los Angeles, and, here in New York City, Ezra Cohen, the Falafel Nazi.Read More


Inspired Cuisine: An Italian (Jewish) Kitchen

By Joshua Yaffa

Inspired Cuisine: An Italian (Jewish) Kitchen
As a kid growing up in Queens, Mark Strausman would often walk down the hall of his family’s apartment building to trade his mother’s stuffed cabbage for some of his neighbor’s eggplant parmesan. The flavors might have been a little different, the ingredients not quite the same, but there was something familiar in how the two families approached cooking.Read More


Spiritual Vintners

By Joshua Yaffa

As biblical legend tells it, Noah, having successfully unloaded his animal cargo on the craggy peaks of Mount Ararat, set off to handle some business of no lesser importance: planting a vineyard.Read More


Dear Diary: Back in Time

By Joshua Yaffa

In the early hours before sunrise on February 24, 1924, Harry Scheurman sat awake in his tenement apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He had returned earlier that night from a reunion ball for émigrés from his Eastern European hometown, and he took out his diary in the hope of preserving the excitement of the evening. “Perhaps in the pursuit of action, yesterday’s dream will be forgotten before the day is over,” he wrote.Read More


Musical Musings: The Leevees Get Serious

By Joshua Yaffa

They may sing about gelt, latkes and their parents’ timeshares in Florida, but that doesn’t mean The LeeVees don’t take their craft seriously. “Obviously there is going to be some shtick there,” guitarist and vocalist Dave Schneider said. “But bottom line, we are really serious about the music.” The music, as featured on the group’s debut album, “Hanukkah Rocks,” released last year, is wholly devoted to the glory, grief and gestalt that surround Judaism’s most visible holiday — all set to a decidedly indie-rock rhythm.Read More



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