New Jewish Documentation Center, Containing 100 Years of Jewish Life in Mexico City, Opens This Week
By Alan Grabinsky for Tablet Magazine
The paper legacies of separate immigrant communities return under one roof after earthquake-induced exile
A catastrophic 1985 earthquake that killed thousands of people in Mexico City and destroyed the (back-then) Jewish neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa also left the archives of the Ashkenazi community in a state of complete disarray, stashed away in makeshift boxes in the damp and dark basement of the Nidje Israel synagogue, colloquially known as Acapulco 70 for its street address. In the early 1990s, Alicia Gojman de Backal, a history professor at the National University of Mexico, decided to make sense of this archival nightmare. The result was Generations of Jews in Mexico a seven-tome encyclopedic history of the Ashkenazi community in Mexico published in 1993 and the birth of Mexico City’s Jewish Documentation Center, which will reopen this week in its new home in the historical Rodfe Sedek synagogue.
Author Lemony Snicket’s ‘Jewish story’ on Netflix
BY JOSH WEISS for JWeekly
Almost 20 years since the publication of “The Bad Beginning” and 13 years (a fittingly unlucky figure) since its film adaptation, Netflix has given Lemony Snicket’s book series, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” new life. All eight episodes of the first season were released on Jan. 13.
Filled with incredible actors, breathtaking set designs and an engaging plot infused with humor and melancholy, the new show is everything fans could have hoped for after all this time.
Borscht Belt Hotel Food Gets Star Turn In ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
By Shira Feder for The Forward
There was a time when to any Jew in the know, “the mountains” meant the Catskills, and “the Catskills” meant the Borscht Belt, the site of orgiastic meals, frenzied sexual activity and cutting edge comedy. (A sampling: “Did you hear about the bum who walked up to a Jewish mother on the street and said, ‘Lady, I haven’t eaten in three days.’ ’ ‘Force yourself,’ she replied.” And yes, Woody Allen, Jerry Lewis and Jerry Seinfeld all performed there.)
24-year-old Israeli earns jazz's most influential prize
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine
Virtually unknown before Monday, Tom Oren wins Thelonious Monk contest.
Tom Oren has tickled the ivories in relative obscurity up until this point in his career, but that's all about to change. The 24-year-old Oren, a native of Tel Aviv, just received the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition – one of jazz's highest honors.
The award was announced earlier this week at a gala event held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and hosted by actor Blair Underwood. Oren performed two songs at the event, including the Cole Porter standard “Just One Of Those Things.”
What's with the resurgence of Yiddish these days. There's the proliferation of Yiddish newspapers, a new Yiddish production of "Fiddler on the Roof," and many more universities offering Yiddish as a major, or at least language classes.
Did you know there's a website devoted to all things Yiddish? Yiddish has always been an evolving language so with ties to the past and it's feet firmly in the present, check out this incredible website.