for master, in 2003 at age 86. Known for her inspirational lectures, tiny frame and ability to get everyone from naval officers to housewives into contorted positions during her classes at a D.C.-area Gold’s Gym (where she began teaching at age 81), Blue stood on her head daily until 83 before grudgingly scaling back to a more conservative shoulder stand until her death at 89.
rities including Connie Francis, Leonard Nimoy and Harry Belafonte, who recall how the United States claimed Hava Nagila as its own in the second half of the 20th century (even Elvis took a stab at it).
11. Laugh with the classics Pray that a rainy day in May gives you an excuse to enjoy some classic American Jewish wit on film. Choose any or all of the following for a guaranteed better day: Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I, Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess With the Zohan or Woody Allen’s Purple Rose of Cairo.
12. Visit South Florida Though the old haunts like Wolfie’s and Rascal House only live on in nostalgic anecdotes, one can easily re-create a classic Miami Beach Jewish experience with a little creativity. Step 1. Fly to Miami Beach. Step 2. Change into pastels. Step 3. Play some shuffleboard at North Shore Park and Youth Center. Step 4. Start a mah jongg game at the new JCC. Step 5. Enjoy a bagel and schmear at the 40-yearold Sage Bagel and Appetizer Shop in nearby Hallandale Beach. Step 6. Take a respite from the heat by splashing around in the Atlantic while shrieking “What a mechaya!” Rinse and repeat.
13. Go to therapy According to a 2012 issue of the Journal of Religion and Health, American Jews are significantly more open-minded to therapy and more tolerant of the stigma associated with it than participants in other groups. Jewish openness to psychological treatment shouldn’t come as a big surprise, given Woody Allen’s love affair with psychotherapy and the groundbreaking work of such American Jewish psychologists as cognitive behavior therapy pioneer Aaron Beck and social psychologist Thelma Alper. There’s also the generationslong tradition of Jews dispensing shrewd and practical advice through therapy’s more accessible cousin, the advice column: examples include Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer (aka Ann Landers); Emily Yoffe’s Dear Prudence column on Slate.com; and the Jewish Daily
16. Send the kids to camp Forward’s Bintel Brief, where editors for more than 60 years addressed the profound and humorous quandaries of the Yiddishspeaking immigrant population.
14. Ask questions Do you know your mother’s earliest memory? What about your grandmother’s? Embrace the most Jewish of traditions by asking questions about a relative’s life while he or she is still around to tell his or her stories. Whether it’s a conversation about a wartime experience, being a teenager in 1950s America or how they would like to be remembered, you’ll be thankful you took the time to get an oral history from someone you love. To record an interview, head to the nearest StoryCorps booth. If there’s not one nearby, it’s easier than ever to become your own sound studio: Check out The Next Web’s recommendations for DIY recording. You may even want to ask a son or daughter.
15. L earn about Hava Nagila You’ve danced the hora at hundreds of bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings. But do you really know anything about the song you’ve been dancing to—including the rest of the lyrics following the first two words? See director Roberta Grossman’s documentary Hava Nagila: The Movie, which has been working its way through the domestic Jewish film festival circuit (it was part of the Virginia Festival of Jewish Film in January) and is currently playing in select theaters nationwide. The film traces the song’s evolution from a Ukrainian shtetl to the blockbuster piece that Jewish American Olympian Aly Raisman used in her 2012 floor routine. It includes interviews with numerous celeb-
There truly are two types of people in America: camp and noncamp. If you’re the former, chances are that some of your best childhood memories involve hoarding money for canteen purchases, awkward first kisses and running someone’s underwear up the flagpole. Consider giving your kids the chance to run amok for a summer while also building independence, learning teamwork and maybe even meeting the loves of their lives when they’re not terrorizing the counselors (Ramah has a page on romantic success stories). Go to the American Camp Association and Foundation for Jewish Camp websites to find a good fit. After you’ve shipped them off, indulge in your own nostalgia with Camp Camp, a compilation of essays, letters home and more awkward photos than you can shake a color war stick at.
17. M ake Bob Dylan a birthday cake Embrace all things Robert Allen Zimmerman during his 72nd birthday month. Visit his birth town, Duluth, Minn., for Dylan Days, a lineup of Dylan-inspired activities running May 23–26. While you’re there, drive by his childhood home in Hibbing, Minn. Listen to “The Essential Bob Dylan,” available on iTunes. Read his autobiography, Chronicles One. Watch I’m Not There, the 2007 musical biopic starring six actors as different versions of Dylan (Cate Blanchett won a Golden Globe for her performance). And try to spot the Jewish influences throughout his works, from Highway Sixty One Revisited to his 1961 yodeling in Talkin’ Hava Nagila Blues.
18. G et to know a sports hero That scene in Airplane was an exaggeration: the list of famous Jewish sports legends would fill much more than a pamphlet. Watch last month’s DVD re-release of The Life And Times of Hank Greenberg, a documentary on the “Hebrew Ruth.” Pick up Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame, the recently published compilation of essays on Jewish male and female sports figures edited by Franklin Foer and Marc
Tracy. And check out The First Basket, a documentary about the enormous role played by American Jews shaping the sport of basketball, including the first points scored in the Basketball Association of America (the NBA’s precursor) by the New York Knickerbockers’ Ossie Schectman in 1946.
19. Visit a museum Make time for some structured culture. The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco will unveil its Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsburg exhibit on May 23. The new National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia houses several special exhibitions, including Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges (through June 2), and an enormous permanent collection. The Jewish Museum of New York has Six Things: Sagmeister & Walsh, the first exhibition of the Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh’s newly founded design firm. Plan an adventure to the Kansas City Jewish Museum or the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio. If you need some lead time, the Alaska Jewish Museum will open in July. And, of course, check out the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center in Portsmouth. Go to www.cajm.net for more locations.
20. Get on Twitter If you still need an excuse to start tweeting, follow the Modern Seinfeld feed (@ SeinfeldToday). Started last December by Buzzfeed sports editor Jack Moore and comedian Josh Gondleman, the account has amassed a whopping half-million followers who re-imagine the sitcom’s plot lines set in today’s world. Some more memorable ideas include Kramer’s use of a gay app to meet friends, George getting dumped for texting on the toilet, Elaine’s Pinterest addiction, Jerry getting dumped for not liking Beyonce and Newman’s forbidden romance with the Flowers.com delivery woman. This feed is about anything but nothing.
21. Go to a deli David Sax charted the Jewish delicatessen’s heyday and steady decline in Save the Deli, but he also documented some jewels that are alive and kicking. Work up an appetite while reading and then head to Hymie’s Merion Delicatessen outside Philadelphia, Langer’s in L.A., or, of course, Katz’s in New York. Looking for something new? There’s a fresh crop of delis putting a twist on traditional Jewish comfort fare, such as Wise Sons in San Francisco (try the pastrami cheese fries) and Stopsky’s Delicatessen (latkes Benedict, anyone?) in Mercer Island, Wash., and Kenny & Zuke’s (organic rye bread) in Portland, Ore. continued on page 8
jewishnewsva.org | May 20, 2013 | Jewish News | 7