Shabbat shalom one and all!
Well, everyday is groundhog day here in Palm Springs, but instead of waking up to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe”, we have been waking up to this scene out our bedroom window every morning.
But alas, this will sadly be our last posting from Palm Springs, as this coming Tuesday we head back to the harsh reality of winter in New England. Yesterday we said good bye to the Gekows after some good food, great fun and a few good laughs floating in the pool and battling on the cribbage board. Then Sandy and I had the pleasure of watching a fantastic, spine tingling performance by the Ten Tenors, an Australian singing troupe very popular here in PS. The harmonies around Leonard Cohen’s “Haleluya” were inspirational, and their overall karma was so positive, I have a harmony hangover!
So, in order to continue that harmony hangover, I have decided to ignore all the negativity in the news this week, and provide some good Jew news for a change of pace. So, without any further ajieu, here you go:
- Pray Ball! Unlike previous years, there are no Jews playing in Superbowl LVI, (Edelman, Ali Marpet, eg) but fear not, there are of course a few Jewish angles to report, courtesy of The Forward.
- First, before the Super Bowl begins on Sunday, a student from Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles will help with the coin flip at midfield. The school is one of eight with girls’ flag football teams that the NFL will honor in order to promote the game to the younger generations. With youth tackle football participation plummeting amid concerns of costs and safety, the NFL is counting on the continued growth of flag football to build new interest in the professional game, and its success at Jewish schools across the country shows why. One coach reported that a student came to tryouts wearing ballet shoes!
- The second Jewish Super Bowl connection has to do with the historical Jewish roots of the two teams’ home cities, LA and Cincinnati – two of America’s most storied Jewish communities. Los Angeles is home to America’s second-largest Jewish population, behind only New York City, and includes the largest enclave of Israelis outside of Israel. Eric Garcetti, who was elected in 2013 and is leaving his post soon to become U.S ambassador to India, is the city’s first Jewish mayor. Then there’s Cincinnati, the home of some of the earliest American Jewish institutions. The American Israelite, the longest-running English-language Jewish newspaper still publishing in the U.S., was founded in Cincinnati in 1854. The first association of American synagogues, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations — which is now the Union for Reform Judaism — formed there in 1873, followed by the first Jewish institute of higher education, Hebrew Union College, which opened in 1875. Before it moved to the East Coast, the popular kosher food producer Manischewitz was founded in Cincinnati. For some interesting reasons on which team should win, here is a link. click here
- On this day in history – The Great Jewish Hope – Max Baer, a heavyweight champion boxer, was born on Feb. 11, 1909. Perhaps his most famous bout occurred in 1933, when he fought Max Schmeling, a world champion from Germany, at Yankee Stadium. Hitler himself reportedly coached Schmeling to downplay Jewish persecution in Germany when talking to American journalists. More than 60,000 people attended the fight, with millions more listening on the radio. Baer knocked out Schmeling in the 10th round, a win that, many years later, the writer David Margolick described as a symbol for “Jewry’s struggle against the Nazis.”
- Midge is back! We were devout and enthusiastic fans of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, but for some reason we lost interest after season 2. Could be a pandemic gap issue, or it just got a little too silly/zany. Whatever. Here is a link to a recap of the previous seasons and a review of the new season. Click here
- For National Bagel Day, finally, the ultimate bagel book. Sure, you can get a decent bagel at Life’s a Bagel. But there’s nothing quite like the homemade article, and my daughter-in-law Kalie bakes a perfect example. In “Bagels, Schmears and a Nice Piece of Fish: A Whole Brunch of Recipes to Make at Home,” Cathy Barrow gives bagel lovers an incentive to learn the craft of bagel making — or, at least, an opportunity to pontificate on the delights of the world’s roundest carbohydrate. Read the story ➤
- 🌕 Making the moon a better place – Is it time to grow chickpeas in space?Yes, according to the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL, which has teamed up with NASA to try growing fresh produce in space. Kale and cabbage were already grown successfully, but the potential galactic hummus market had, until SpaceIL’s introduction, been overlooked. Hummus “is a perfect food,” said author Ariel Rosenthal, who consulted on the project. (JTA)
Be safe out there everyone!