#jews
Community: An Exercise in Knowing Your Audience

That is all.

A Ruckus for Sukkos

If you’re in Butler and were wondering why people are happy outside your window, look no further than Low Plaza where over a hundred happy Jews are dancing with torahs. It’s the last night of the harvest holiday of Sukkot, and revelers are linking arms, singing and rejoicing over the crops they have reaped this season over restarted torahs (simchat torah). Huzzah! Bwoggers are on the scene, pictures to follow. 

Bwoglines: Out With The Old Edition

smart carQueens seizes the chance to tear down a Great White Oak older than Columbus before tree-hugging hipsters make Astoria the new Williamsburg (NYT). 

The football team learns to protect their balls (Spec). 

New York Senators side with Obama and want Bloomberg out (NY1). 

Empty pockets force Columbia to abandon its dreams of conquering Morningside (Spec).

Yarmulkes come back in style as Bryant Park replaces the Fashion Week tents with a Sukkah (CityRoom). 

 Yankee Stadium hosts an open Victoria’s Secret casting call, teenage boys everywhere declare it the Happiest Place on Earth (HuffPo).

 

Bwoglines Just Can’t Believe Kids These Days

freaks and geeksBarnard girls just can’t decide who they want to be president — lets hope no one demands a recount (Spec).

Rich people are getting old men arrested for trying to save cats (NY Post).

Columbia students are allowed to go places no one else gets to go, but not on the South Lawn (Spec).

Super Size Me be damned, Moms claim that McDonald’s is actually good for you (NY Daily News).

“It’s just a cultural thing”: H&H sells more bagels on Yom Kippur than on any other day of the year (NYT).

 

News Jews Can Use

Now that’s a rhyme. Really though, two items of interest to our Chosen friends have made it into the ol’ inbox (full disclosure: Bwog’s current editor is a Papist). First, the lost amongst you no longer have to rely on your wandering skills to find the nearest synagogue. Columbia students Ron Gejman and Jacob Andreas have created an app that tells you the nearest synagogue, and also lists other useful info like denomination, size, contact info, and so forth. On campus, they’re both CULPA admins, so you know the app will be quality.

On the other hand, if you’re just feeling peckish for some Flex-infused food, Student Services’s Michael Novielli announced earlier today that Cafe Nana (a Kosher restaurant on the second floor of the Hillel Kraft Center) will be accepting the world’s slowest credit card by the time students return in the fall. Ballin’.

- JCD

Cruisin’ for a Seder

If you were not aware, Passover 5769 (double take? gentiles should read that “Passover 2009″) will begin at precisely 7:28 PM tonight, and will run until next Wednesday the 15th.

But, unlike JTS students, we don’t get the week off, so Jewish students may not be able to go home for a family seder. If you’re in the market for a replacement seder or relevant event with Kosher for Passover foostuffs, Bwog would not recommend wandering campus unguided – very few such events exist.

There are two true seders to be found tonight, both at 8:30 PM. One will be held at the Chabad Center on at 625 W. 113th (between Broadway and Riverside). Hillel will also hold a large seder dinner in the lower level of the Hillel center at 606 115th (between Broadway and Riverside). You should have pre-registered if you expected to attend either, naughty naughty, but if you arrive early there may be space left, and both are completely free with a CUID.

Chabad will also host a second seder tomorrow night at 8:45 PM if you miss out, and Hillel will be hosting a “Queer/Feminist seder” on Sunday at 7:30 PM, in the second floor cafe. Bwog isn’t quite sure what would make a seder queer or feminist, but the brave among you will certainly find out.

Bwog is sad to inform you who are keeping Kosher for Passover, and you who are not, that we found no Matzo in John Jay today. But, if you want to have prepared sit-down Kosher for Passover meals this week, you can still sign up for them at Hewitt, space allowing.

If you’re Jonesin for some Matzo ball soup, Morton Williams makes an oily variety, but it is almost always available in good stock. They even have a Kosher for Passover menu you can order from. But if you’re gonna go to that trouble, you might as well go to West Side.

This Week in Procrastination: Six Weeks Left

It’s the final stretch.  Post-break, you might have time for a few distractions.

 Photo via mycaricatures.co.uk

Monday

Society, Toleration, and the Jews: Ira Katznelson, professor of political science and history, will discuss toleration “as an alternative to persecution.”  Sounds good to us.  6:15 PM @ Low Rotunda.

Tuesday

Brinkley, Foner, and Stiglitz: Capitalism is in crisis.  How will it affect our politics?  Probably the same way every other economic crisis has: protectionism.  7:30 PM @ 309 Havemeyer.

Indian Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati: Interpreting the country’s relatively new constitution in favor of broad human rights.  5:00 PM @ 101 Jerome Greene Hall.

Wednesday

New York City at 400: Representations of the island through time; part of a year-long celebration of a really old city.  7:00 PM @ Deutsches Haus 420 W. 116th St

Thursday

Free screening of Defiance: Hosted by Ferris Reel.  7:30 @ Roone Cinema.

Unexpectedly Dancing in Boise: A CC senior’s thesis has gone off-broadway.  TRF, 8:00 PM @ The Producer’s Club Theatres, 44th St. between 8th and 9th Ave.

Friday

Chowdah: Brand new, sexy material.  9:00 PM @ Wien Lounge.

Happy Sukkot!

sukkotRight outside Lerner, the Lubavitchers are here! A caravan to bring you Orthodox cheer. The Sukkah Mobile may seem somewhat queer, but they come in peace–that much is clear.

L’Chaim! Bwog Celebrates the High Holidays and Good Food

In celebration of the beginning of High Holidays, Bwog offers a roundup of the city’s finest nosh purveyors.  Spice up your Rosh Hashanah spread with some alternatives to Zabars.



Russ and Daughters


If Westside’s lox doesn’t do it for you, then head to the Lower East Side for delicious smoked salmon in addition to a wide selection of other fish, including stable, sturgeon and other standbys. The prices are high, so order carefully. This is also a great place to stock up on more affordable treats like tsimmis, kugel and herring.





Barney’s Greengrass


Barney’s claims it’s the city’s sturgeon king, but Bwog disagrees; your best bet is a Corned beef and sliced onion triple-decker. Prices tend to be high — $12 for a sandwich — but you’re getting a lot of meat.

(more…)

Gay Jews Love Theory, Conferencing

A quiet, relatively reserved oasis in Lerner’s weekend Dance Marathon and Egg and Peacock craziness rests on the 5th floor, adjacent to the Satow Room. The National Union of Jewish LGBTQ Students, or NUJLS. 

Bwog caught up with Zach Scholl, 21, who traveled from LaGuardia College by way of D.C. to attend the group’s annual meeting. It’s was Scholl’s first year at the conference, which has been in existence since the mid-90s and was held last year in St. Louis.

Since Friday, the group has been in Lerner in workshops—discussing everything from “religious texts to queer people in the Torah,” according to Scholl—and eating Shabbat dinner (separate dinners for conservative, orthodox and reform Jews).

White poster-board hung outside the Satow Room with the sentence: “At NUJLS I discovered…” And though the conference (and learning!) isn’t quite over, markers were provided for attendees to finish the phrase.

Answers included, “Sarcasm will only get you so far” and “It’s cool to be a Judith Butler fanatic.”

TheatreHop: XMAS 2 The Secular Spectacular

While you were celebrating the last day of classes in Butler or 1020, Bwog theatre critic Ginia Sweeney attended the late viewing of XMAS 2: The Secular Spectacular. Although the show’s run began and ended last night, Ginia shares her thoughts. Photos by Lydia DePillis.

I’ve been so wrapped up in the end of the semester that I almost forgot how quickly Christmas is creeping up on us. You can bet that the cast and crew of XMAS 2: The Secular Spectacular, which showed twice last night in Roone Arledge Auditorium, haven’t forgotten. The student-written, directed, and produced musical seeks to reveal the origins of that blockbuster holiday, as Judy Maccabee (Madeleine Stokes C’08) tells her children the story of a shake-up back in her teen years at Polar High School.

I went to the later showing and considering it was 11pm on the day classes ended, it was unsurprising that much of the audience members had already commenced their Monday night drinking. This would explain the loud guffaws at almost every attempted joke.

Some amount of kitsch is always appreciated, but XMAS was campy to a fault. It was filled with too many lackluster performance and musical numbers. It’s clear a lot of work went into this production, and some of it paid off: there were several hilarious lines and well performed characters. Overall, though, the show was no where near as clever as it thought it was, and was irritating and uneven. (more…)

Mano Eat Mano

In an attempt to recreate the magic of Coney Island’s 92-year-old tradition, kosher frat Alpha Epsilon Pi hosted a hot dog eating contest that was a real sausage fest. In fact, that’s what they called it: “Sausage Fest.” Justin Vlasits filed some photos and an account of what went down. 

AEPi’s hot dog eating contest began with a hail of smack-talking, much of it from AEPi junior Michael Drabkin. Freshman Kevin Elder, however, took it up a notch with a self-designed T-shirt proclaiming “Joey Chestnut Who?” referring to this year’s Nathan’s world champion who scarfed down 67 dogs on the way to a new world record.

dogs

aaronAt the last minute, Sausage Fest mastermind Aaron Goldman (right) entered the fray, deciding a showdown with only three contestants would be worse than the stomachache he’d get from several quickly devoured hot dogs plus his recently consumed lunch — a Spicy Special.

(more…)

Making a list…

dfgdWe got distracted in all the weather-related excitement, but if you did read the Times this morning, you may have noticed a full page ad headed by none other than Lee Bollinger–he became the poster child for academic freedom after protesting a British teachers union boycott of Israeli universities a few months ago, and now the American Jewish Committee is gathering signatures in support of his statement. The ad ran with 286 schools, including some heavy hitters: almost all the City Universities of New York, most major state universities, Princeton, Cornell, Georgetown, the University of Pennsylvania, and dozens of other schools nestled comfortably in U.S. News‘ top 100. 

The interesting part, then, is who didn’t make the list. Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, Amherst, Williams, Duke, Stanford, and Brown were nowhere to be found. Eighteen other schools–including NYU, Temple University, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins–signed on since the ad ran today, so presumably the silent ones have had a chance to reconsider. And in any case, the story broke at the end of May, which means that the AJC has been scuttling around since then gathering signatures.

What gives?

- LBD

Summer Reading: The Yiddish Policeman’s Union

In which recovering V-Show writer Rob Trump reflects on Michael Chabon’s latest effort.

sdfIn 2002, Michael Chabon lashed out against the modern short story, claiming that publications like The New Yorker are filled with nothing but the “quotidian, plotless, moment-of-truth revelatory story.”  He did this in a McSweeney’s compendium, no less, giving the hipster literati two things to think about: 1) What the hell does “quotidian” mean? and 2) Whatever it is, it sounds pretty bad, so what should be done?  The answers to these, via the internet and Chabon, respectively, are “everyday or commonplace,” and “learn something from genre fiction.”  Genre fiction, if you can’t guess, is fiction that conforms to an established genre—science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, etc.  To paraphrase: your Tuesdays with Morrie would be a lot more interesting if the old fart’s death turned him into a flesh-eating zombie, and you and a double-barreled shotgun were the only things between his bloodlust and your family.  Put this way, I think we can all agree.

Chabon’s first foray into genre fiction, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, is also his first book since 2001’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, so expectations are high. And some aspects of Yiddish really deliver, starting with its premise: Yiddish is a hardboiled crime murder mystery set in Sitka, Alaska, taking place in the present day but in an alternate history timeline where Sitka became a refuge for Jews during World War II. (more…)

What They Find Funny Across Amsterdam


What? You’re not already sick of the amateur parodies of SNL’s “Special Christmas Box” that have been pollinating YouTube for months? You want to see law students pretend they have an iota of creativity by donning fake beards and Orthodox Jewish outfits to present you with boxes full of…Bagels with Lox? That’s the theme of the featured hit for this year’s Law Revue (get it?), “A Special Finals Care Package” (keep them coming…)

For those who haven’t caught on, the Revue is a sort of V-Show equivalent bred among the huddled masses yearning to breathe free in Jerome Greene’s claustrophobic library (Bwog enjoys waving to them enroute to EC, hoping to get some response). This year’s title (referencing said library, and indicating writers who just can’t seem to pun enough): “Arthur Diamonds are Forever”.  

-CJS