1. Obscenity Arms Race
Sarah Silverman came out with a new HBO special this year, and was in the news for her new YouTube channel as well for wearing a cross. But she wasn’t the only woman working with blue material. Amy Schumer made a splash with her Comedy Central show “Inside Amy Schumer” and Joan Rivers launched a new Internet talk show, “In Bed With Joan,” while also managing to start a feud with the ADL.
2. Shlomo Carlebach in Africa and on Broadway
Gearing up for Shlomo Carlebach’s 20th Yahrtzeit in 2014, this past year saw a couple re-imaginings of the life and work of the “Singing Rabbi’.” In the winter Jon Madoff released his “Zion80,” album, which combined Carlebach’s tunes with the rhythms of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, while the spring saw the premiere of the “Soul Doctor” bio-musical on Broadway.
3. Yiddish Makes It New
There’s more than enough to draw from in the canon of Yiddish culture, but 2013 saw new Yiddish productions including a dictionary, a Yiddish production of “Waiting for Godot,” publication of new literary journals, and an all-Yiddish film from Canada.