VideoJew Jay Firestone was at the dueling demonstrations in front of the Israel Consulate on Wilshire Blvd. Tuesday night and filed this report:
They may not be the fastest or strongest, but that didn’t stop one West Coast synagogue from aspiring entry into The Guinness Book of World Records.
On the second night of Chanukah, the Santa Monica Synagogue attempted to set a new world record: Most Dreidels Spinning Simultaneously.
The group, which attracted both children and adults, gathered between Arizona Street and Santa Monica on the Third Street Promenade and waited for the potentially historic event to take place. Santa Monica Mayor Ken Genser officially opened the ceremony, proclaiming, “Santa Monica is now the dreidel spinning capital of the world!”
The synagogue needed at least 542 spinners to break the previous record of 541, set in 2005 by Temple Emanuel of Cherry Hill, N.J.
In accordance with Guinness’s strict regulations, Santa Monica Synagogue Rabbi Jeffrey Marx directed volunteers to not only keep an official tally, but also to enforce the strict rules for event, which require one dreidel per person and that all dreidels must spin simultaneously for 10 full seconds. Any type of dreidel was acceptable, regardless of whether the miracle took place ‘there’ or ‘here.’
But on the promenade’s cracked and creased pavement, spinning a dreidel for 10 seconds proved harder for the less experienced spinners. Ultimately, the effort fell short of its goal, only 336 dreidel spinners hit their 10-second mark.
Marx said he was nevertheless pleased with turnout, but added a of caution to New Jersey: “We’ll be back next year to try it again.”
Jamie Sneider's calendar, the video
Cheesecake might be a crowd-pleaser when it comes to desserts, but for calendars the appeal is slightly more limited.
The trend that started with barely there pinups in World War II has become so acceptable in recent years that it's served as a fundraising vehicle for various charities, inspiring the PG-13 film, “Calendar Girls.” These racy, tongue-in-cheek calendars are also an inspiration for Jamie Sneider, whose photos appear on every page of the “Jamie Sneider: Year of the Jewish Woman” calendar for 2009.
Most of the photos feature Sneider, dressed in bikini bottoms, swapping her top for matzah balls, challahs, bagels, black-and-white cookies and other culinary Jewish favorites. In addition to filled champagne flutes for New Year's Day and Chinese takeout boxes and movie popcorn for Christmas, the calendar also takes an irreverent approach to the Jewish holidays, including Tu B'Shevat (two seedlings) and a strategically placed etrog and lulav for Sukkot.
“I wanted to celebrate the Jewish woman in a way that we might not think of her, but to also celebrate the religion in a unique way … and to get a couple chuckles,” Sneider said.
In contrast to Hollywood producer Adam Cohen's “Nice Jewish Guys 2009,” featuring marriageable professionals with their clothes on, Sneider doesn't portray a nice Jewish gal as much as she does a nice Jewish stripper. Still, the for-profit calendar and its more than 60 images were carefully planned to assure the accuracy of each religious reference.
“Even though it's a comedic calendar, it could not be amateur. It had to look professional and beautiful,” she said.
The total cost to produce 1,000 calendars and several posters — $18,000.
The money was a family investment, she said. Her parents were a little surprised but were ultimately happy that Sneider “was getting back into [her] religion in a unique way.”
Unique is definitely the word. The month of March features a classic Purim charm: two groggers and a poppyseed hamantaschen that requires a double-take. April offers Sneider as human seder plate with a sexually provocative question for the second night: “Guess where I hid the afikomen?”
The calendar also includes Hebrew dates, religious holidays (some secular included), a glossary of Jewish terminology and the weekly Torah portion.
A native of Wayland, Mass., Sneider isn't just skin, bones and baked goods. She earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts with honors from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts at the Experimental Theatre Wing, has worked as an actress for “Late Night With Conan O'Brien” and performed solo shows throughout New York City.
Shortly before leaving New York, she started a humor blog, Reluctantly Moving to L.A., which she still maintains, even though she now resides happily in Los Angeles.
The blog was actually the starting point for the calendar, Sneider said. After receiving an overwhelmingly positive response to her photos, she decided to make her idea a reality. Since the release of her calendar in mid-October, Sneider has made a television appearance on the KTLA “Morning Show” and done a radio interview on Sirus' Playboy Radio channel.
Although “Jewish Woman” will undoubtedly offend people, Sneider doesn't think it crosses a sacrilegious line.
“We only used symbols of celebration as opposed to religious items for the photo shoots. If anything, it's an ode to my religion and completely expresses my love of Judaism,” Sneider said. “Hopefully, this calendar can encourage people to express their identity more openly.”
For more information about the “Jamie Sneider: Year of the Jewish Woman,” visit
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS… JEWS
I just want you for my own More than you could ever know Make my wish come true All I want for Christmas is… Jews
I wont ask for much this Christmas
I dont even wish for snow Just want a Jew who runs show business Speilberg, Stiller Ari Gold I will make a list and send it Of my choices for St. Nick Seinfeld, Zach Braff and Jon Stewart Are the boys with a big schtick. Cause I just want them here tonight Holding on to me so tight Ill take Zac Efron too all I want for Christmas is Jews.
Menorah lights are shining
So brightly everywhere And the big box office Makes Jews millionaires They may have killed our savior Thats not the best behavior Thats ok he rose again three days later and now Im an active J-dater
Oh I dont want a lot for Christmas
Gentile boys are such a bore Goldman, Weissman, Cohen, Levy These are names that I adore Oh I just want a chosen one Hebrew boys are so much fun Make my wish come true Baby all I want for Christmas is Jews
Comedy trio HotBox is behind the video:
HotBoxComedy Style: Stand-Up Joined: February 07, 2007 Last Sign In: 2 hours ago Videos Watched: 586 Subscribers: 48 Channel Views: 2,469
HOT BOX is a comedy variety show starring stand-up comedians Julia Lillis, Claudia Maittlen-Harris and Melissa McQueen. The show is kind of like that Rosie O’Donnell variety show… only funny. And fewer fat chicks. We’ve got sketches, stand-up, videos, singing (off key), dancing (out of sync)…
Basically, there is so much awesome stuff in a Hot Box show that we better watch out or we might get hijacked by Somali pirates.
You may have seen/heard HOT BOX at/on…
– MTV – 2008 Edinburgh Fringe – 2008 Los Angeles Comedy Festival – 2006 New York Underground Comedy Festival – National Lampoon Radio – Maxim Radio – drinking at a bar near you
Captain Smartypants, a Seattle Men’s Chorus Ensemble, makes the Yuletide fun in Home For the Holidays. Visit the Seattle Channel website for more great shows like this. www.seattlechannel.org
We don’t know anything about YouTube user
Birdman445 except that she posted the most kvell-worthy version of ‘Chanukah, O Chanukah’ we’ve ever seen.
There are lots of (localized) versions of this video out there—apparently produced by Chabad in NYC and customized by local Chabdniks. This version promotes Chabad of Conejo’s Chanukah party. It’s a parody/homage, based on will.i.am’s phenomenal ‘Yes We Can’
There are lots of ‘drashim about Chanukah, the candles, the Menorah and the Maccabees. Sinai Temple’s Rabbi David Wolpe offers a new and fascinating look at the significance of the ceremonial candlelighting.
Parents.tv shows you a fun way to get in the Chaukah spirit with this homemade menorah.
Episode of the classic 50’s TV program “The Goldbergs”, taken from then final season. ‘Member of the Jury’
How to be a Jewish Son—or—My Son the Success!
The David Susskind Show 1970 Season 12 : Ep. 7 |1:36:46 | with Mel Brooks, David Steinberg, George Segal, Stan Herman, Dan Greenburg and Larry Goldberg.
From New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV.com):
And on a lighter note… How does it feel to be both Chinese and Jewish? Our Israeli team talks to a young woman from Kaifeng, China who belongs to both of these ancient cultures. Here’s her story.
We caught up with Jin Jin and her father, Mr. Jing, at the airport. He spent the holidays with her, here in Israel, and now he is returning to China.
[Jin Jin, Kaifeng Jew]:
“When I was a little child, my father always told me, ‘you are Jewish, you should go back to Israel,’ so I said, ‘ok, I am Jewish, I should go back to Israel.’”
Jin Jin has been living in Israel for the past two years and learned to speak Hebrew. She can now translate Jewish scri ptures into Chinese, to help the Jewish community in Kaifeng.
[Jin Jin, Kaifeng Jew]:
In Israel it’s according to the mother, but in China it’s according to father. So, since my grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather is Jewish, so my father is Jewish and I am Jewish.”
Like all religious Jews ,Mr. Jing wears a Tsisit under his shirt and a Kippa on his head. He shows us his Kippaand explains.
[Mr. Jing, Jin Jin’s Father]:
“Here it says Kaifeng in Hebrew. Here it says Kaifeng in English. It’s handmade!”
So how is it possible that Jin Jins ancestors were Jewish? We went to see Michael Freund to find out. He specializes in locating descendants of Jews around the world and helps them return to Israel.
[Michael Freund, Chairman, Shavei Israel]:
“There was a Jewish community in Kaifeng for over a thousand years. Jews first arrived there around the eighth of the ninth century, along the silk route. They settled in Kaifeng which at the time was one of the imperial capitals of China. And over the centuries, a Jewish community in every respect, took root there.”
Back at the airport, it’s time to say goodbye.
[Jin Jin, Kaifeng Jews]:
“I think my father is right, there is a land that God promised to us. Yes, it is our home.”
NTD, Ben Gurion Airport, Israel.
Category: People & Blogs Tags: NTD NTDTV News Home Chinese Jewish Kaifeng China ancient cultures airportholidays Israel Hebrew religious Jews Kippa
The spirited, eclectic Happy Minyan of L.A. davening Hoshana Rabba concluding Sukkot. Guest chazans, New York’s Yehuda Green and Lazar Wax, lead and deliver the cantillation.
Writer (and singer)
Hannah Friedman stayed up all night to bring us this song.
The classic Yiddish folk song
‘Rumania, Rumania’ provides the inspiration for this pro-Obama music video
VideoJew Jay Firestone goes native in this episode of VideoJew’s VideoGuide to Los Angeles
VideoJew Jay Firestone scrapes the phony tinsel off the facade of Tinsel Town and uncovers the real tinsel. Mmmmm, tinsel!
Dining, shopping, living, praying—VideoJew Jay Firestone shows you how it’s done Los Angeles-style.
From the YouTube page:
Miri Ben-Ari, a Grammy Award-Winning violinist, originally from Israel, dedicates her rendition of the National Anthem titled Stand With Me, a music video in support of the Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Barack Obama.
Supported by Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons and fashion designer Marc Eckó, Ben-Ari introduces a new musical approach to capture the spirit of the American people before the 2008 Election Day while hoping to influence fans among the Jewish community.
Ben-Ari states At this time of economic crisis, we need leadership that can bring change to our country while capturing the essence of the American Dream. Coming to America as a new immigrant, poor and without my family helped me to better understand and appreciate the American dream.
Directed by: Kenzo Hakuta & Miri Ben-Ari
Exec. Producer: Howard Mark Offenhutter
VideoJew Jay Firestone is back with the second ‘volume’ in his VideoGuide to L.A. This week—driving. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 15