November 21, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 37 – Hunkering down…..again

Shabbat shalom JNR family and friends!
While the horrific surge continues unabated, and we are preparing for a very different Thanksgiving this year, the JNR also continues unabated!  This morning, while the cold continues to creep in to the Northeast, I am staying warm in the JNR offices while chillin to some nostalgic vinyl spinning on the turntable.  I just listened to Steve Goodman (relative unknown but famous Jewish American song writer, think “City of New Orleans”) singing of all things a song called “Banana Republic”.  And here we are.  We finally have a “President Elect” but our “President Eject” continues to throw a tantrum and lead his cult-like followers into a fantasy world that ignores reality and threatens to undermine Democracy as well as ignite a civil war. I have said it many times, you just can’t make this shit up. 
But enough of that nonsense. We have a few updates to share:
– A great big welcome to our newest JNR members, Lee Tenenhouse and Mark Blostein, Ruth’s sister and cousin respectively, and two great Canadians! Mark is a hopeless Habs fan, but we will forgive him for that. And another big welcome to our favorite machatunim, Bob and Brigitte Worgaftik, Ian’s mom and dad. 
– JNR T-shirts were delivered and apparently received by all as I have been flooded with nothing but praise at the styling comfort and fit of our first swag offering. For those that did not get in on the first round, we will be having a second round, so let me know if you are interested. Our staff worked overtime sorting, packaging and preparing in order that all were received in time for Chanukah. Thank you staff!


And now, without further ajieu, here is the Jew News Review of the week, courtesy of The Forward:
– What does the Torah say about an Orange Turd that refuses to lose? Turns out, quite a lot. And i bet you didn’t know to look in Deuteronomy to find it! Well now you know!

– Hate crimes rise again in 2019, and steadily since you know when – Seems like old news again, but still disturbing.

– Jews and Muslims united by you know who – But, can it continue and build momentum? I recall the arson fire that burned the mosque in Texas and how the local Rabbi provided the muslim community with the Temple to continue their worship. 

– Ossoff defends Wornack over GOP assault on the truth over his Israeli comments – Wornack has been building bridges to the Jewish community for years in Georgia, but some question his loyalties. As you know, I am rarely political, but i suggest if you have any disposable dollars to send them all to support the Dems in this vitally critical runoff race.

– Eric Garcetti, the first Mexican Jewish mayor of LA, could he be the next Jew in Biden’s cabinet? Read about it here.

– The real “Queen’s Gambit”: meet the first woman to qualify for an international chess championship – Great show on Netlix (Sandy and Brad two thumbs up!), but also a great story about the real first woman of chess and the less than charming challenges she faced

– The secret story of the Jewish Condom – My favorite story of the week! A penetrating story about the origins of condoms in the US and Britain and their ultra sensitive Jewish history. 

All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.

November 14, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 36 – “L’dor v’dor and so much more!” and Happy Diwali Day!!!

Wow, so much going on!
First of all, Shabbat Shalom to all of you.
Diwali, much like Chanukah, is a festival of lights. It’s meaning could not be more relevant to our country today, in that it celebrates the victory of light over darkness. And while too much of the country is still lingering in dark shadows, there is a hopeful light at the end of the dark tunnel, and it’s not an oncoming train! So let’s be hopeful and happy we are where we are. And speaking of happy, I have a number of good news items to share.
Good Jew News Item 1 -The t-shirts have arrived and are being shipped today. The shameless commerce division was busy packing and putting the final touches on our exceptional delivery experience. I do, after all, work for Bringg, and exceptional delivery experience is what the company is all about! Note the more subtle treatment of the Jewish star in the logo. Should arrive by end of next week. Tracking numbers will be provided. 


Good Jew News Item 2 – We have a tagline for the JNR! The Washington Post’s says “Democracy dies in darkness”, the NYT tagline says “All the news that’s fit to print”, and now the big reveal for the new, first ever, JNR tagline:“L’dor v’dor and so much more!”For those non-hebrew literate folks, it means “from generation to generation” and helps capture the heart, spirit and soul of the JNR mission. Special thanks to Sandra for the brainstorming ideation. 
Good Jew News Item 3 (I know, it just keeps coming!) – We are almost live with the JNR website. And special Jew Kudos (Jewdos?) to Nathan Hirsh for volunteering to be our Webmaster and relieving me of the painful WordPress training videos. The website should be live after the holidays, so stay tuned for further updates.  A multi-channel social media campaign is in the works.
And now, what you all are waiting for, The News of the Jews this last week, courtesy of The Forward:
 Will Biden be good for Jews?? YES!!!! says The Forward exec editor – Duh. Even the Orthodox aren’t complaining too much. But remember, Joe got into the race in reaction to “there are very fine people on both sides” in the Charlotteville debacle. And what could be better than having the first Jewish family occupying the VP living quarters in the Naval Observatory.

– The Jewish History of Jeopardy, and the sad passing of an American icon, Alex Trebek (did you know he was Canadian?) – I love how The Forward can always find a Jewish angle on everything, and this piece is no exception. –

 Honoring the passing of an intellectual Jewish giant, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Baron Sacks of Aldgate (Whew, that’s a mouthful for a name!) – Rabbi Sacks was well known as a leading thinker among traditionally modern conservative Jews. I believe he would have been an ardent supporter of the JNR!

– A Black, deaf and Jewish filmmaker, Eli Steele, challenges how we view race – Not that we need any more challenges, but Eli raises some very interesting perspectives in this interview with the creator of the new film, “What killed Michael Brown”. It won’t do anything to assuage your white guilt, but it will make you think.

– Another homage piece, this one honoring the recently passed Palestinian peace advocate, Saeb Erekat – His name will evoke sharp comments from both sides, but he was a relentless advocate for the two party solution, and if there is any hope of settling the issue, his 30 year commitment to a peace process will be a legacy to build upon.

 Real Jewish housewives of Salt Lake City? – Another in the “you really can’t make this shit up” category, this new reality TV show mostly about the foibles of Mormon women, will surely be a hit. And it really does feature two Jewish housewives in the cast of insipid characters.

All for now. And hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.

November 7, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 35 – BIDEN/HARRIS WIN!

Shabbat Shalom!
While the lame-stream media and cable cowards continue to avoid the obvious, the JNR will not! Courage is the call, and the JNR proudly calls this election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris!  Happy birthday Joe!  And Congratulations America! Around 74 million of us chose decency over destruction, while another 70 million of us inexplicably chose a proven sociopath. So go ahead and pop that bottle of champagne that has been sitting on ice for far too long, and bask in the glory and grace of poll workers who did their job honorably and the local officials who upheld the rule of law and persevered through the lame and despicable attacks by the orange turd and his sycophants. While I am proud that around 77% of our fellow Jews supported Biden, there are many disturbing results (based on exit polling) that will be topics of punditry for some time, but for now, chill out and finish that champagne. My key take-away as a Jew is that human decency won out over meanness and cruelty. And if you feel the urge to gloat, recall the meanings of the Hebrew word tzedek (compassion, charity, justice) to help overcome that urge, as we will need a lot of tzedek to repair our broken and divided politics. Good luck Joe!

Hilarious Memes About Obama Surprising Joe Biden With The Medal Of Freedom  - ViraScoop

And now, without further ado or any recount, here is the Jew News of the week, courtesy of The Forward:
– An essay on being home-sick for NYC – Meh

– Don’t Gloat if your guy wins?! – Jodi’s editorial on how to be a good winner where she reminds us of the Torah’s saying,  “What is hateful to you, do not do to others”

– Fear and resilience in Jewish Vienna – The terrorist attack took place in the historic jewish area of Vienna, putting a scare into the community

 Israeli view: Donald who? – A view that most Israelis want a return to a strong America that leads in the world, not just guns and rhetoric

 Historic parallels: Assassination of Yitzchak Rabin (25th anniversary) and Gedaliah Ben Ahikam (582 BCE) – The latter Jewish leader was assassinated by a former army officer named, and this is not made up, Ishmael Ben Netanyahu.

– What do King Solomon, Baruch Spinoza, RBG, Gertrude Stein and Gwyneth Paltrow have in common? This is pretty funny!

– Election 2020: The new Four Questions (with answers!) – Worth a read. My fifth question: Why did more Muslims vote for Trump than Jews?

– In Judaism, even God respects the vote! We might all sound like authorities, but we are not authoritarian! 

All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.

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October 31, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 34 – Time to end the orange nightmare!

Shabbat shalom fellow Hebrews and friends alike. This is the last JNR edition before the country makes a historic decision and, hopefully, will result in a blue Tide washing over our land that will finally remove the orange stain from doing any further damage to the fabric of our democracy. Say a few Shemahs or whatever prayer works for you, but for God’s sake, vote!  And make sure all your kids, friends, acquaintances, passers-by, in-laws, and pets vote for Biden/Harris. I truly believe our lives depend on it!  I am feeling positive, no kenahura, that we will be celebrating in the streets on Wednesday! Or, Sandy and I are moving in with Alan and Susie in Toronto. 


Speaking of pets, a big welcome to the newest member of the tribe, Ruby S Hirsh. They don’t come any cuter!  And, a big congrats to our two Bark-mitzvah dogs, Nox and Rico. Fabulous celebration!


T-shirt update: The order is in! thanks to all for your continued support. Once they arrive, we will figure out the logistics.
And now, the JNR proudly presents, this weeks selected news items (a solid offering, btw), courtesy of The Forward.
– Debate: Is the Orange Turd good or bad for the Jews? Seriously? While 80% of the tribe are supporting Democrats across the board, there is still a contingency of mostly orthodox that support the orange turd.  I suggest you hold your nose and read this debate as it is an interesting and insightful read. 

– An interview with Erran Borat Cohen, who composes the scores for his brother Sacha Borat’s movies – I am not a big fan of Borat, but some interesting insights here on the Borat family. BTW, Rudi was doing more than tucking in that shirt, the sleaze bag! 

– Rabbi Springsteen? Bit of a reach, but i am a huge Bruce fan and found this piece entertaining. Springsteen, now 71, has just released a new album, which is awesome of course, and there is a lot of spiritual themes around mortality and death (eg Last Man Standing – a tribute to him being the last person from his original band, the Castiles, still alive). I am getting the vinyl version!

–  The Chicago 7 Trial, did Sorkin get it wrong? Jeremy Kagan, got it righter in his 1987 version. Sandy and I just watched it (Amazon Prime) and would agree.

– “Originalism is for Schmucks” or what Amy Coney Barrett could learn from the Talmud – While the country moves steadily toward more secular liberalism, our Supreme Court is now majority Roman Catholic, (6 of 9) while Roman Catholics make up only 20% of the population. Barrett even belongs to a whacko Catholic cult within the cult. Go figure. Be prepared for the worst. 

– Should we give up on family members that support the orange turd? I say, YES, YES, YES!!!! But for a another opinion, read this. (Paul Horwitz, this one had me thinking about you and Jeff)

– Joe Biden and Israel – A true friend and life-long supporter. A good ending for any Jew still thinking the orange turd is better for Israel. 

All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.

October 24, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 33 – The Great “Un-British” Babka Baking Challenge! Are you up for it?

Shabbat Shalom! Hey!


My Babka dough is in the fridge, doing whatever dough is suppose to do i think.  And I am now one step closer to claiming bragging rights to this year’s, and our first ever,  “Great Un-British Babka Baking Challenge”. This is partly a tease to one of this week’s most popular stories which you can read about in the attached. Despite the stresses associated with this week’s news cycle, I found great comfort in the selections in this week’s JNR, and I hope you do as well. I will also find great comfort indulging in the great babka soon to explode from my oven. After all, as the author on the babka piece notes, there is nothing like ingesting 800 calories of babka “sliced thicker than Timothee Chalamet’s neck” to feed, calm and nourish your soul. Amen.  Sandy and I are also finding great comfort and cultural nourishment from a new to us BBC show called “Silk”, available on Amazon Prime. 
One final note, thanks to the hundreds of congratulatory notes on our first anniversary edition! Our staff are still in celebration mode, and anxiously awaiting our swag t-shirt delivery. Stay tuned for more updates on that front. 
Now, onto the news, that everyone has been asking for, courtesy of The Forward:
– Aaron Sorkin’s “Chicago 7” reviewed – Actually, more like a review of Aaron Sorkin, one of my favorite screen writers, so yes,  i guess that makes me a sucker for his over the top liberal righteousness. Guilty. But an excellent piece, worth the read nevertheless. 

– Great British Baking Show screwing up Jewish breads? A must read! Excerpt: “Savor the palpable pit that will form in your stomach and remain there for at least 24 hours.” 

 Orthodox neighborhoods getting slighted on Covid tests – Who would think any Jews would score low on tests?

– Trump messes with the wrong gal – Our own Leslie Stahl (Jewish native of Lynn, Mass) stands up to the orange schmuck on 60 minutes interview

– Even conservative Jews are picking on George Soros? Which only proves that even we, the chosen people, have a few assholes in the tribe.

–  What else can the government do to combat campus antisemitism and anti-zionism? Get rid of the orange turd would be a good start, and that’s on us! Vote!

– A great father-daughter duo podcast born out of the pandemic – Another silver lining in the midst of this corona crap

– Deli food booming during the pandemic in San Fran? Can matzah ball soup, Reuben meatballs, and schmaltz aioli become a mainstay on american menus? Doubt it.

All for now. And hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.

October 26, 2020 – Special Swag T-Shirt Update

Shalom JNR’ers. 
Due to the amazing negotiating by our marketing department and the leverage we are getting from our social media presence, our swag vendor has generously allowed multiple products in one order. So, we are able to offer multiple selections, as long as they are one of the below. If interested, this will be the last call for your selection and size request as I will need to commit the order by the end of the week.
A few notes on sizing: The bodies on all the options tend to run long, so for women it supposedly goes well with leggings and for a few good men, provides a bit more coverage for the belly and a strong fashion statement while on the stationary bike.

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October 17, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 32 – Anniversary Issue!

Shabbat Shalom fellow Hebrews and friends!
I am thrilled to announce that the JNR turned 1 year old this week! In celebration, the staff have worked diligently to launch a new branding campaign, which will surely clog the social media-spheres this week! We are excited to unveil to our loyal subscribers, the following new logo! T-Shirts and other swag available upon request.


In the “you can’t make this shit up” category this week, Trump’s Clown Hall on NBC was a bit of a shit show as expected, but I was actually presently surprised at how articulate Uncle Joe came across and how well he provided real policy (almost wonky) solutions. Of course one of the orange turd’s brilliant advisors claimed it was like “watching Mr. Rogers”, like that’s a real alpha dig or something. The reference to Mr. Rogers reminded me we have a sad anniversary approaching on October 27, the day of the Squirrel Hill shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue just 2 years ago. Fred Rogers lived in the neighborhood. 
Now, on a more upbeat note, the news you have all been clamoring for:
– Interview with Lee Weiner, Last surviving member of the Chicago 7 and writer behind new Netflix film “Trial of the Chicago 7”, just released! – Break out your Abbey Hoffman t-shirts, dust off your dogeared Gerry Rubin “Steal this Book”, and read all about this 81 year old former radical leader.

– Gal Gadot’s favorite prayer – Modeh ani for this wonder woman! She could be my new free pass!

– Miss the good ole days of singing and dancing with the Torah? A few Covid tips for celebrating Simcha Torah during the pandemic

– Lessons learned from the pandemic high holidays – Some practical do’s and don’ts, but let’s hope we don’t have to deal with this next year

– Tired of cooking these days? Here is a great noodle recipe, easy peasy!

– On Culture: Ira Glasser –  dauntless defender of free speech, still at 43 years after Skokie

 Opinion: Haredi should fight Covid, not each other – Amen to that!

– Not such a beautiful day in Mr Netanyahu’s neighborhood  – Balfour street protests growing

All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.

October 9, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 31 – Chaos Theory and A fly in the Ointment – Happy Sukkot!

Shabbat shalom!
The most remarkable part of the VP debate for me was clearly the fly that nested on Pence’s head for about 2 glorious minutes while he nattered on about something to do with law and order. The craziness of 2020 just marches on into more madness. You really can’t make this shit up. I think the last 4 years represent a manifestation of the Chaos theory which in mechanics and mathematics is the study of apparently random or unpredictable behavior in systems governed by deterministic laws.  I pray this chaos will lead to order on November 3rd.  


We welcome 2 new members to the weekly tribe, both long time friends of the family,  Barbara Kramer and Jeff Davis. Shalom!Note to you all, please feel free to recommend others, we are a free and open, but remarkably exclusive group. You are welcome to forward along to others as well. 

Before we get to the News of the Jews for the week, I thought i would share a Sukkoth mitzvah I was happy to be a part of this week. It happened of all places in the Shaws Cobbs Corner parking lot, where i was confronted by an unusual man asking an unusual question: “Are you Jewish? Would you like to do a mitzvah?” Of course I would! Here is a selfie depicting the event i took after saying a few prayers with the lulav and etrog with my new friends.


Now, for the Jew News of the week, courtesy of The Forward:
– Flygate: Talmudic connections to insects annoying leaders? Titus never should have questioned the power of a gnat in the hands of the almighty

– A Jewish Poet gets the Nobel prize for Literature – Mazel Tov Louise Gluck!  Former Pulitzer Prize winner, and recognized poet/writer, it never ceases to amaze me how much Jews have accomplished and contributed to the general good despite being such a small portion of the population. 

– She survived two pandemics and at age 102, still a political activist!  An inspiring story of Beatrice Lumpkin, east European immigrant still fighting the good fight, now focusing her efforts on voter suppression: “Racism lives on, antisemitism lives on,” she said. “It’s always important for Jews to vote.”

– Year round Sukkahs: LA dealing with homeless – “If you won’t build us enough shelters, we will”. Pretty pathetic story of LA’s homeless taking matters into their own hands.

– Our maskless President violating Jewish medical ethics? Skip this one, pretty lame IMHO.

– On Culture: The NHL and Zayde wisdom? A new Flyers draftee has the improbable name, Zayde Wisdom, and no, I am not making that up. He is not Jewish, but he should be.

– A Hasidic reporter standing up for social distancing: hmmm, think it might catch on with the rest of the Jewish nut jobs in Brooklyn and elsewhere? Read all about this self-taught journalist making and writing headlines in Orthodox communities and beyond

All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there.
Brad out.

October 3, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 30 – Get well Mr Orange Turd, but not soon

Don’t know about all of you, but I find myself conflicted in the “wish him well” or not department. My basic humanity instinctively prefers the former, but after almost 4 years of this horrible human showing no sympathy or empathy to anyone but himself, I lean toward the latter. I think David Frum said it best, “Wish him well, but recognize that his deformed spirit will never be well —— and that nothing can be well for the country under his leadership.” Nuf said, I hate even bringing him into the weekly conversation. 

In 2015, this Studio Ya Ya-designed sukkah — one of four at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem — found inspiration in the atrium’s existing flowers and water fountain. (Courtesy of Yarok Yarok Events Design)

Brad and Sandy’s backyard Sukkah
Shabbat Shalom family and friends! I know you have all been very busy building and preparing your sukkahs for the holiday as Sandy and I have been (pictured above), but take a break when you get a chance and read this week’s compendium of Jew News for the week, provided of course by The Forward. So, here you go:
– Who is a Jew? We are the rainbow religion! – Interesting article about Jews of color (10-15% of us!) that raises some interesting questions and observations of the faith. 

– Jewish museums in NY re-opening under Phase 4: good news before winter starts, but still a little unsettling sharing public space – I am not rushing out to any museums quite yet.

– What to cook for Sukkot to celebrate the fall harvest? Ponder no longer, and check out a few suggestions. I am leaning toward the Sharon lower east side knish! (ask me for the recipe)

– Amy Coney Barrett may be a disaster for women, especially working mothers, but she is quite the example of how a working mom “can have it all” – Agree with her or not, you can try and admire her accomplishments. 

–  “Heil honey, I’m home!” How did this 1990’s Hitler with Jewish neighbors sitcom make it on the air? Spoiler alert: it only aired one episode!

– Proud Boys vs Antifa: There is no equivalence, but the media continues to frame it  that way – Read this debate

– “When i hear Trump speak, I hear Hitler again. When i see his rallies, it’s like what I saw in Nazi Germany” – The wise warnings of a 100 year old Holocaust survivor.

– Do the Proud Boys know their anthem was written by a Gay Jew? They probably aren’t reading The Forward, so they may not! Love the Irony here

.- Is it ok to throw a “Cat-Mitzvah” for a beloved pet if you are not Jewish? Hmmmm, or as my daughter-in-law suggests, a “Bark-Mitzvah”?

All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.

September 26, 2020 – The Jew News Review – Quarantine Week 29 – A Jewish American Hero Laid to Rest

Shabbat Shalom.
I am saddened by the loss of RBG, but because of her work and humanity, we should all feel prouder as Jews and Americans. Like all of us, she was not without her faults, but she represented the possibilities and hopes of ourselves and our country. Yesterday, she became the first woman, and first Jewish American, to lie in state at our nation’s capital and most probably the first person to ever be honored with ceremonial push-ups. Today, the orange turd will officially nominate her replacement, essentially giving the finger to RBG’s dying wish, and apparently, most of the country. Please don’t let the republican ghouls stomp on our country and values any longer, and make sure you get everyone you know to vote them all off the planet. 
Culture tip of the week: Apple + begins streaming the new Israeli spy show, “Tehran”. Same head writer as Fauda, but without Noah. Decent reviews, and the trailer looks good!
Yom Kippur begins Sunday evening. May you be sealed in the book of life!
And now, without further ajieu, here is the Jew News in Review:
– Was RGB a new kind of Jew? Her style was more Brooklyn than Brandeis.

– Cancel culture strikes again; Zoom, Youtube other platforms shut down PLO terrorist Leila Khaled – Call me old fashioned, but I still believe in fighting for the right of an asshole to speak their mind.

– From the advice column – Dear Bintel: I forgot to call when his mother died, what should i do now? My advice: Pick up the phone you moron…

– Zoom high holiday services a hit, but not helping the temple coffers – Maybe they should consider pay per view?

– Book Review: “Finding my Father” – if you are looking for something new to read, this might be interesting

– Reach out to family and get them to vote! – A democrat decided to reach out to her republican cousin and talk politics. Good idea!

– From the recipe book: A story about home made lentils and noodles…yummy!

All for now, and hey, let’s be careful out there!
Brad out.