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The Great Speeches – the Six Million Accusers by Gideon Hausner

It was a cloudy morning on April 11th 1961, when a gaunt, thin haired man in a suit and dark glasses entered the shielded glass booth at “Beit HaAm” auditorium in Jerusalem. The audience was rustling. The man sat down with a slight twitch in the corner of his lips. Television cameras focused on his […]

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Sigd – The Ethiopian Jewish Day of Covenant

The origins of Sigd, the unique holiday of the Beta Israel community, are vague. One version dates back to the 6th century and the ending of the Jewish-Christian war during the reign of Gebre Mesqel, King of Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia. But the earliest mention of Sigd in writing is from the 15th century at […]

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The Japanese Wallenberg – Chiune Sugihara

In the years since World War II several diplomats have been honored as Righteous of the World for their effort to rescue Jews from their inevitable death and the hand of the Nazis. Visas and travel documents were the most obvious survival methods for many Jews. But the story of Japanese vice consul to Lithuania Chiune Sugihara […]

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Dalí and Judaism – A Mysterious Relationship

There is an open debate regarding Salvador Dali’s attitude towards Jews. Due to his initial sympathy to Hitler and his decision to live in Franco’s Spain. But in 1968, Dalí published a 25 print edition, in 250 copies, paid by the Shorewood Publishing and Israel Bonds to celebrate Israel’s 20th anniversary. Works that eventually extended […]

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The Great Speeches: “The Perils of Indifference”, Elie Wiesel

“Fifty-four years ago to the day, a young Jewish boy from a small town in the Carpathian Mountains woke up, not far from Goethe’s beloved Weimar, in a place of eternal infamy called Buchenwald.” These were the opening words of “The Perils of Indifference” by Elie Wiesel – a holocaust survivor, author, philosopher and intellectual. […]

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The Story of Gaby Aghion – Founder of Chloé Fashion House

Jewish success in the fashion industry is well documented – from generations of textile traders to modern day fashion icons like Donna Karran, Ralph Lauren and Isaac Mizrahi. But the story of Gabrielle Hanoka is somewhat different. The Parisian fashion legend out of Jewish Egypt. She was born in Alexandria and commerce was never foreign […]

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Czech Torahs and the Quiet Resistance of the Central Jewish Museum of Prague

By Rachel Druck Simchat Torah is a holiday that celebrates the Torah and the Jewish people’s continuous connection to it. In honor of the holiday, below is the story of over 1,000 Torah scrolls that were saved from destruction. Walking through the new Synagogue Hall at Beit Hatfutsot, it is clear that while Jews throughout the world may […]

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Your Incomplete Sukkot Rough Guide

From the Thanksgiving connection, through your psychological analysis, recycling and how all of this has to do with Iraq – Here are Five less-known facts about the third Holiday of the Jewish calendar. The Iraqi-American connection In pre-independence North American colonies Jews would follow an old Iraqi custom of preparing fashioned birds out of hollow […]

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Six countries you would not believe had a Jewish Prime Minister

Jewish involvement in politics is well documented – and Jews have risen to the Prime-Ministerial rank in several prominent nations with significant communities.These include France, Italy, Russia, Ukraine (currently) and Hungary. But here are somewhat more surprising cases: Jews who became leaders of small nations. Some of which are very small communities.   Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics […]

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The Untold History of “Kol Nidre”

The Trial of the Talmud On June 12th, 1242, dozens of wagons led by horses came across a main square in Paris, each loaded with thousands of volumes of the Babylonian Talmud. Crowds of people who already heard the rumors were filling the squares and streets, headed by an apostate Jew called Nicholas Donin, who […]

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The Myth of the Vampire Jew and Blood Libels

“For hours the black-haired Jew boy, diabolic joy in his face, waits in ambush for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood and thus robs her from her people … The end is not only the end of the freedom of the peoples oppressed by the Jew, but also the end of this parasite […]

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Oy Vey: 8 Jews That Owe the World some Apologies

Jews have contributed to humanity in many noble ways – from science to art and culture. But with Yom Kippur upon us, and the spirit of remorse, we should also mention those who made less admirable contributions – some of the biggest Jewish criminals of all time. Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein    Arnold Rothstein, nicknamed “the […]

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6 Rosh Hashanah-Themed Clothes You Need for the Holiday

The High Holidays are just around the corner (Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Wednesday, September 20 and ends on the evening of Friday, September 22). Time to reflect, time to reconnect to your Jewish roots and heritage. Oh… and explore out all the funny, witty and sometimes hilarious High Holidays t-shirts from around cyberspace. […]

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Send A Shana Tova Card to your Loved Ones!

Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner and it’s time to send some virtual Shana Tova cards, the Jewish New Year greetings, to your loved ones, friends and family members, as it been done throughout history. We at Beit Hatfutsot have accumulated A dozen of historical greeting cards from different historical periods and all corners […]

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Back to the School – The Jewish way: A Look Back on 120 Years

There are not many uplifting moments in Jewish life more than the first day of school. From the Yeshiva to the Kibbutz, from the Americas to North Africa. Eastern Europe or Middle Asia, In Israel or the United States to ghettos and communities living under oppression – the child’s education is an encompassing experience of […]

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Jews and Money in Anti-Semitic Views

In 2013 world-renowned rock star and BDS enthusiast Roger Waters managed to upset the Anti-Defamation League after a performance in which he featured Stars of David alongside dollar signs. The ADL claimed that Waters employed an ancient despicable anti-Semitic stereotype. Indeed, the display was hateful, but how ancient was its message, really? Like many anti-Semitic […]

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Bollywood’s Jewish Superstar Actresses

Much has been written about Jewish history of Hollywood. But this is a bit more surprising. Jews played a major role in the early days of the equally vibrant Indian cinematic industry – Bollywood. Particularly prominent was a group of Jewish actresses who captured the imagination of Indian audiences with their charm and beauty. One […]

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The Jewish Stories of the Titanic

Making only one ill-fated voyage, the story of the Titanic, has captivated the imagination of the public for more than 100 years and has been the subject of numerous books and films. Following are five anecdotes regarding the Jewish angle of this famous tragedy.   1. It is no surprise to learn that there were […]

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Jewish Women in Traditional Dresses

Jews have been involved in textile and fashion as a business for many generations. This has obviously impacted the wonderful diversity found in Jewish traditional dresses. Here is a collection of Jewish traditional dresses throughout the 20th century. 1. Tunisia, 1930 2. Romania, 1910 3. Morocco, 1944 4. Greece, 1920’s 5. Algeria, 1956 6. Serbia, […]

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Images from ever-changing Tel Aviv

Always enchanting, always changing, our beloved Tel Aviv – the world’s youngest metropolitan – transforms in front of our eyes. Here are some nostalgic Tel Aviv photos from our historical database, with their 21st century matching images. 1. The Beach of Tel Aviv, 1960’s. Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld. Beit Hatfutsot, the Oster Visual Documentation Center, the Sonnenfeld Collection […]

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Does it Really Sound Better in Yiddish?

“Well, It sounds better in Yiddish” is the old age excuse for failed humor – but what about some all-time music classics? Can they possibly sound better in Yiddish? We picked up some good examples, for you to judge!   The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night Justin Bieber – Love yourself Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah […]

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Bastille Day: Jewish France in Light and Shadow

Concerning both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, at the center of major historical developments, the Jewish history of France is as diverse as the French nation. It spans from the enlightened to the cruel, from the progressive to the tragic. Here are some defining moments in French-Jewish history. Happy Bastille Day to all! 1. ‎1040-1105 – […]

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4th of July! The Most Historical Early Synagogues in the United States

The Most Historical Early Synagogues in the United States The United States is by far the most important Jewish diaspora of modern times.  The great immigration from Eastern Europe in the late 19th century was in retrospect critical to the survival of the Jewish people. Nicknaming their new country “The Golden Medina”, Jews flourished in […]

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10 Jews that have Reached the Highest Achievements in Sports

Jewish mothers may want their offsprings to be lawyers or doctors – but here are some Jews that scaled the highest pinnacles in sports. Don’t Forget to follow the Maccabiah in July 2017. Wimbledon Tennis Title Born In Bayonne, New Jersey, Dick Savitt taught himself Tennis and never took a lesson in his life. He […]

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Museum Week 2017

The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutost is once again proud to be part of Museum Week – a worldwide social media project including museums, galleries and archives from around the world. Last year’s museum week generated more than 600,000 tweets that were seen nearly 300-million times. This year’s program is devoted to […]

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Anne Franks’ 88 Birthday

Although she tragically lived only 15 years, Anne Frank has had a profound influence on humanity. Her diaries,  with her beautiful articulation of feeling and emotions during her time in hiding, have become a symbol of Human spirit. For her 13th birthday, Anne Frank received a book she had shown her father in a shop […]

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Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan! Highway 76 – Dylan’s Jewish Moments

The exhibition Forever Young – Bob Dylan at 75 is on display until January 2018 Highway 76 – Dylan’s Jewish Moments Born Robert Zimmerman to a Minnesota Jewish family with routes in Russia, Lithuania and Turkey, Bob Dylan’s career epitomizes the wandering Jew. Exploring and researching spiritual directions Dylan has grown far and then close […]

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Modigliani’s Sephardic Jewish Background You Didn’t Know About

“I want to be a tuneswept fiddle string that feels the master melody, and snaps…” Amedeo Modigliani, the Sephardic Jewish-Italian painter and sculptor, was born in Livorno, a port city known as refuge for those persecuted for their religion. It was home to a large Jewish community including Modigliani’s great-great-grandfather, Solomon Garsin who found refuge […]

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Hava Nagila Around The World

10 Hava Nagila Choir Performances The tune for the famous “Hava Nagila” originates among Sadigur Chasidim in the Ukraine – and the unique scale can be found in Transylvanian music. It is now probably the most recognized Jewish tune throughout the world. South Korea, Busan Harmony Choir   Iran   Turkey, State Polyphonic Choir   […]

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When Golda met Barbra

Barbara Streisand and Golda Meir were two of the world’s most famous women in the 1970’s. As Streisand launched her block-buster career, Meir was the third woman in history to become a leader of a democratic country (and the first such leader not to be related to a previous male leader of the country). Despite […]

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When Israel celebrated 12

Got to see these! Horses, flags, fireworks and female soldiers. When Israel celebrated 12 Israel is 69 this week, proud, successful and beautiful – but  not that young! In fact more than 2/3 of the United Nations member are younger sovereign states. This is a good time to remember it’s glorious teens, with stunning photos […]

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Run, Rabbit, Run

By: Yair Achituv & Rachel Druck Passover haggadahs, like the Passover seders themselves, have striven to engage readers as they recite and reenact the story of the birth of the Jewish people. While the haggadah text may remain constant, haggadah illustrations have been visual tools that have drawn in readers through the centuries. While the individual […]

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Jewish Languages Around the World

While Hebrew was the language of the Bible, it has been the main spoken language by Jews only for relatively short periods. Judaism was strongly influenced by Aramaic and local dialects based on local languages have served Jews for many centuries. Here are the most common Jewish Languages:  Judeo – Aramaic Jewish Aramaic was the […]

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Keep calm… the best Seder shirts on offer

No Passover is complete without your Seder-friendly t-shirt. Apparently, Moses told the Israelites: “Keep Calm – I’m Going to Split The Sea”. Here are some of the funniest Seder shirts we found.   Darth Seder        Looking for my other half       Matzo Pocket T-shirt        What happens at […]

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Five Jewish Comedians

5 Jewish Comedians in America READ ALSO: Inside Out and Outside In: Jewish Humor and the Jewish People, by Rachel Druck “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul” goes an old saying- and the proud tradition of Jewish comedy in Europe continued full force in America. Here are five Jewish comedians […]

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6 Things you didn’t know about Albert Einstein

6 Things you didn’t know about Albert Einstein It’s the 138th birthday of the world’s most iconic scientific genius. Here are 6 facts about the extraordinary man that reshaped science. Einstein is also one of the most popular figures in our “Heroes” exhibition for children and families.   Einstein and the violin Einstein’s mother, Pauline, […]

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The Jewish Gangster in the “Golden Land”

Meyer Lansky – The Jewish Gangster in the “Golden Land” This is the story of a Jewish boy, Meyer Lansky, who emigrated from a small town in Poland, reinvented himself in New York’s Lower East Side, founded the National Crime Syndicate, broke some Nazi bones and aided his Jewish brothers and sisters in forging a […]

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6 Jewish women who won the Nobel Prize

6 Jewish women who won the Nobel Prize It’s international Women’s month and let us mark it with six Jewish women who won the Nobel Prize. A true inspiration to every girl – and every parent. Beit Hatfutsot Nobel Price Website   photo: German Fuentes pavez Ada  Yonath Ada E. Yonath  is an Israeli crystallographer best known […]

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Stations in Bob Dylan’s spiritual journey

5 Jewish stations in Dylan’s spiritual journey   @Regrann from @maybens – #BobDylan #ForeverYoung #bhmuseum A post shared by Museum of The Jewish People (@beithatfutsot) on Feb 27, 2017 at 3:38pm PST Bob Dylan’s spiritual identity search has taken a long journey – including a period in Christianity. But he completed is his journey as […]

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Rashi: the Man and the Stories

Rashi: A late born son who illuminated the world Born on February 22, 977 years ago in Troyes, France. Shlomo Yitzchaki, generally known by the acronym Rashi, was a medieval French rabbi and author who lived in Worms, Germany. Acclaimed for his ability to present the basic meaning of the text in a concise and […]

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Jews and Alcohol

Can you guess what was main occupation of Jews in Eastern Europe during the 18th and the 19th century? It was inn keeping. They used to lease inns and distilleries from non-Jewish land owners and noblemen – and with time became experts in this business. A well known Jew in the Alcoholic beverages business was […]

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Jews and Aviation

Decades before the Israeli air force’s reputation skyrocketed, and Moshe Hadar coined the slogan “aviation is for the very best”, causing young ambitious Israelis such as Ron Huldai, Avihu Ben-Nun, Dan Halutz and Ilan Ramon Z”L to strive for a flying career, a link between the Jews and airplanes already existed. However one name in […]

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Jews and the Environment

by:  Rachel Druck American Jewish organizations in New York City, Falls Village, CT, and Berkeley, CA that work to promote environmental awareness and activism within a Jewish context The Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat, the “New Year of the Trees,” places a particular emphasis on the relationship between Jews and the natural world. As the world […]

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Tu Bishvat: From New Zealand to Poland

Jews and the Environment – CLICK HERE Tu Bishvat: From New Zealand to Poland Way before environmentalism, way before green politics and ecological awareness – the Jews had “Tu Bishvat” (which means the 15th of the month of Shvat). Celebration the connection between man and our planet’s flora.  You can enjoy these Tu Bishvat photos […]

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Stars of David – 10 Jewish Hollywood Icons

Hey Mel Gibson, you may have been right! Jews have done well in Hollywood. Here are 10 of the greatest Jewish icons in the Hollywood hills – on the screen or on the set. Harrison Ford gained worldwide fame for his starring roles as Han Solo in the Star Wars film series and as the […]

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Jewish Nobel Prize Laureates

Jewish Nobel Prize Winners At least 185 people of Jewish persuasion or Jewish origin have won the Nobel prize – which is more than 20% of the total amount of winners. Remarkable for an ethnic group less than 0.25% of the world’s population. Explanations of this extraordinary success are many but at least Albert Einstein […]

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5 memories of the Jewish Kitchen

It is often strange to see a restaurant or a cookbook portrayed as “Jewish food”. Jewish food is as diverse as Jewish people – Indian and Moroccan spices as well as Russian or Polish influences. But Jewish food – everywhere – a labour of love. Students in cooking school, Jerusalem, Israel, 1960’s Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld […]

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10 Hollywood Stars You May Have Not Known Are Jewish

Jews are often associated with Hollywood pioneers, manager and producers. But here is a list – not ranking – of some of Hollywood’s most  glamorous and talented Jewish actresses: Zsa Zsa Gabor Zsa Zsa Gabor was a Hungarian-American actress and socialite. Her parents were both of Jewish ancestry. While her mother escaped Hungary during the […]

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Great Jewish Commanders

5 legendary Jewish non-Israeli military commanders Throughout history there have been many inspiring Jewish military commanders – from antiquity, through the struggle against the Nazis, pre-state Israel and the modern I.D.F. Here we meet other legendary Jewish military commanders – from several nations. John Monash – Australia General Sir John Monash GCMG, KCB, VD (27 […]

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Festival of lights goes upscale – Meet the world’s most expensive Menorahs

The World’s Most Expensive Hanukah Menorahs The Hanukkah spirit around the family Menorah is truly priceless. For something a bit more fancy you may need your credit card.  (top photo: Reddish Studio)     1.  A rare menorah from 18th-century, Ukraine Jonathan Greenstein is a prominent dealer and auctioneer specializing in Judaica . And as demand […]

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Spinoza – An Unlikely Jewish Hero

Spinoza Baruch Benedict (1632-1677) Last week was Spinoza’s 384th birthday. The story of this incredible thinker is part of our groundbreaking children-friendly “Heroes” exhibition Baruch Spinoza was a philosopher born into a Jewish Dutch family of Sephardi/Portuguese origin. He widely credited with laying the foundations for the 18th-century Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern […]

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Embrace Ladino!

El Dia Internasional del Ladino – International Ladino Day El Dia Internasional del Ladino has been celebrated since 2013 Originally Proposed on Ladinokomunita, the largest online correspondence circle in Ladino, In 2013, it was endorsed by Yitzhak Navon, the fifth president of Israel and director of the National Authority for Ladino in Jerusalem. Originally spoken in […]

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Leonard Cohen’s 5 Great Jewish Moments

Leonard Cohen – His 5 Jewish Moments Leonard Cohen, The Jewish-Canadian poet-singer who died last week, was deeply influenced by his Jewish identity. Here are five beautiful Jewish moments in Cohen’s journey. 1. 1973: Leonard Cohen performed for Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War. He said : “I’ve never disguised the fact that I’m Jewish and in any […]

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The Most Precious Jewish Manuscripts

Jews are often nicknamed “people of the book” – and accordingly some of the most ancient and treasured written materials in the world are Jewish. Here are some of the rarest and most important manuscripts to Judaism. 1. The Dead Sea Scrolls The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of some 981 different texts discovered […]

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U.S.A. 2016 ELECTIONS

Voting in the Polls, Voting in the Pews: The Prayer for the Welfare of the Government Jewish communities express their connection to their governments By Rachel Druck On November 8, 2016 citizens of the United States of America will vote for their next president, as well as for a number of local and state representatives. […]

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Oy vey – 5 Jews that Started Other Religions

 5 Jews that Started Other Religions Judaism is one of the world’s most ancient existing religions, but ironically also one of the world’s smallest. Reasons for this are varied and often tragic – but here is another: Jews that founded other religions! 1. Jesus The founder of Christianity was born at Yeshua in the year […]

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The Jewish Paradise

The Jewish Community of Maui, Hawaii / Prof. Bernard Katz A retired Professor of Marketing and Advertising. Prof. Katz contributed this article to the website of Beit Hatfutsot. Mention to friends that you would like to visit the Hawaiian Islands and they will probably have the typical image in their minds: tropical breezes, palm trees, […]

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7 Common Questions about Jews – a new book by Shmuel Rosner

Who are the Jews? Do we have a role in the world? A new book published by Beit Hatfutsot and Kinneret Zmora-Bitan is attempting to answer seven of the most fundamental questions that almost all Jews ask themselves, both in Israel and out of Israel The book is the result of a cooperation between the […]

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Sandy Koufax, Yom Kippur and all that

A Sporting Symbol of Multiculturalism The four-time Cy Young Award winner who sat out game 1 of the 1965 World Series due to Yom Kippur and later pitched two complete-game shoutouts to secure the title for the LA Dodgers With the baseball post season overlapping the Jewish High Holidays it is always a pleasure to […]

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Tashlich: Coming Together and Casting Off

Does your community have an interesting Tashlich custom? Tell us about it! racheld@bh.org.il by Rachel Druck It can be difficult to find customs that contemporary Jews have in common with each other: something that any Jew, whether Ashkenazi or Sefardi, Orthodox or Reform, from a community in Australia or a community in India or community in […]

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Shana Tova Cards – a Short History

Shana Tova greeting cards are a surprisingly ancient tradition – dating back to 14th century Germany and preceding Christmas cards by nearly 500 years! They were initially the privilege of the rich, until the introduction of postal stamps and post cards in the 19th century popularized the custom. Following is a rare collection of Shana […]

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SHANA TOVA – Happy New Year 5777!

Setting up a Sukkah, decorating with the four species, performing a Tashlikh (casting away sins), or fasting on Yom Kippur – Jewish high holidays ceremonies from around the world View 18 unique photos from our collections: Children holding the four species. New York, USA, Sukkot, 1950’s: Girl reading a book about Rosh Hashana, Israel, 1950’s: […]

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Amy Winehouse: Rewind

Amy Winehouse, the Jewish-British musician accomplished a lot in her tragically short life. Including two chart topping studio albums, “Frank,” and “Back To Black,” which won five Grammy awards. They re-entered in Billboard’s Top 10 catalog shortly after her death. “Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait” is an original exhibition about Amy Winehouse, curated by the […]

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The Refugee Doctor Who Inspired the Paralympics

How Ludwig Guttmann fled from twisted Nazi race theories to restore hope and self-belief in people with disabilities Treating many war, Guttmann fundamentally disagreed with the commonly held medical view on a paraplegic patient’s future. Thanks to him, a small Archery event for disabled athletes turned to 4,300 athletes from 161 nations competing at the Rio Paralympic Games Ludwig Guttmann fled […]

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Jewish Family Names

What’s in the name? Family names are a quite modern phenomena – becoming widespread only the recent 200 years. They were created as a means to distinguish between people in a time where communities grew and national registries were formed. With trades and location being the main source of names – but heritage rights or […]

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Back To School

People of The Book It’s September and school is back. Few things bond Jewish communities throughout centuries and diasporas more than the bond of learning and commitment to education. Here are some school related images from our collection at the Beit Hatfutsot open databases   1. Pupils in a religious school, Israel, 1950’s   2. Jewish […]

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Jews and the Olympic Rings

Hundreds of Medals: A Proud Jewish Tradition Since 1896 Learn about the great athletes like Alfred Hajos, Mark Spitz, Agnes Keleti, Harry Isaacs, Dara Torres and more It has been another great Olympics for Jewish athletes worldwide. Gymnast Aly Raisman captured the hearts of millions winning gold with Team USA in gymnastics and a brilliant silver medal in […]

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Framing the Story

The “Framing the Story” series interlaces past and present, an old and ongoing story, while commemorating and reviving particular moments in time. The photographs are products of the G2G: Generation to Generation program, a nationwide initiative run collaboratively by the Ministry for Social Equality, the Ministry of Education and Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of […]

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Nine most common mistakes regarding Judaism

Stubborn presumptions are embedded deep in us, even if they contradict apparent facts. As professional myth smashers striving to deliver the Jewish story as accurately as possible, we hereby reveal the most ten common mistakes. Enjoy! Eve did not eat an apple according to the Hebrew text in Genesis, Eve did not eat an apple, […]

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Zuzanna Ginczanka / by Rachel Druck

Zuzanna Ginczanka – The lasting power of poetry Zuzanna Ginczanka was a remarkable poet who managed to produce her most impressive work under desperately difficult circumstances. Though her poetry is largely unknown, particularly among English and Hebrew-speaking audiences, it has proved to have a lasting power that even Nazi oppression, and Soviet suppression, could not crush Early […]

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JEWISH MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD

“אצא אל השוק המפשיל שרווליים אלך מתנודד בין צבעיו הדולקים סחרחר מיינו, מראשו בשמיים מאש הקללות של מוכרות הדגים” (נתן אלתרמן) שוק דגים, שוק זהב, שוק בדים, שוק פרחים שוק בשר, השוק השחור, שוק שבועי ואפילו שוק לילי – שווקים תמיד היו חלק בלתי נפרד מחייה של העיירה היהודית הכפרית הקטנה, או של הרובע היהודי […]