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The Kosher Beatles feature

The Kosher Beatles

As The Beatles: Get Back streams on Disney+, Nathan Abrams considers the Beatles’ Jewishness. As we know, beetles are not kosher but maybe the Beatles are. Let’s put this in context. Liverpool, where the Beatles hail from, has been a magnet for Jews since the eighteenth century. According to JCR-UK, there have been over 20 […]

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Ridley Road

Joseph Finlay reviews the history and politics of Ridley Road and prays there is not a second series. Before September 2021 I didn’t know I needed a BBC drama about British Jews fighting fascists in 1960s London. And having seen all four parts of Ridley Road — I’m still not sure I do. As a […]

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Jews & Brews

Martin Elliot Jaffe discusses the history and joys of Jewish coffee house culture. ‘One cannot attain presence of mind without the aid of coffee’. These words of Italian Rabbi Hezekiah Da Silva from the early 1600s fueled my immersion into the rich Jewish role in the rise of European coffeehouses and the cultural, political and […]

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Tikkun Olam in a Frying Pan

Michal Nahman tells us about the Bristol-based Mizrachi food project. As a kid, it felt like our family was an odd and outlandish mixture. I’d hear my dad’s Ladino intermingled with my mum’s family’s Romanian in our Israeli home in a lower middle-class suburb of Toronto. ‘Ach Patron del mundo’, my dad would plead, as […]

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A Jewish Magician Among the Spirits

Efram Sera-Shriar remembers Harry Houdini’s investigations into spirit and psychic phenomena at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1926, the famous American magician Harry Houdini (née Ehrich Weisz) participated in a series of congressional hearings to determine whether ‘fortune telling’ should be made a criminal offence in the District of Columbia. For many observers […]

nuseum Art feature

A flashy new diamond

Sue Fox visits the revamped Manchester Jewish Museum and bemoans the lack of storage for an umbrella and raincoat. My father, Jack Fox, who was an insurance broker, had his office in St Marks Lane, Cheetham Hill. There was a kosher slaughterer/ chicken shop and Mr Perlman the greengrocer in the narrow alley, On a visit back […]

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The Jewish Jaffanator

Nathan Abrams considers the Jewishness of a new flavour of Maryland Cookies. I have just discovered Burton’s chocolate orange range of its Maryland Cookies brand. Named the ‘Jaffanator’, their tagline is, ‘I’ll be snack’. To be fair, as I have written previously, despite the name, there is nothing Jewish about Jaffa oranges that take their […]

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Benjamin Franklin and the Parable against Persecution

Shai Afsai explores how Benjamin Franklin’s parable has a Jewish source. According to Ben Franklin’s correspondence with Benjamin Vaughan, the inspiration for two of his parables was taken ‘from an ancient Jewish tradition.’ One of these parables — commonly referred to as either the Parable against Persecution or as Abraham and the Stranger — is […]

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The Real-Life Inglourious Basterds

Nathan Abrams reviews a new book about the true history of those Jewish commandos who fought against the Nazis and helped to win World War II. The idea that Jews went like sheep to the slaughter during the Holocaust is a common one. But a spate of recent books is challenging that idea. One of […]

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Jews and Dogs

To mark the release of Cruella, Nathan Abrams reflects on the relationship between Jews and dogs. Even though I own two of them (or they own me), Jews and dogs are widely believed to be an oxymoron. Consider the Yiddish proverb, ‘A Jew with a dog? It’s either not a Jew or it’s not a […]

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