My Benjamin Netanyahu Story March 8, 2012Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion, wildlife, Zoos.
Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Central Park Zoo, Politics
My friends are now rolling their eyes and saying ‘Nooooo – not the Benjamin Netanyahu story AGAIN!’ But since he is back in the news as the Prime Minister of Israel some stories just need to resurface. So here goes –
Time: March 2001
Place: The Central Park Zoo
Background: As a long time volunteer Zoo Guide in the education department at the Central Park Zoo I was asked ‘if I minded’ giving a tour to the recently ousted Prime Minister of Israel and his young family. Did I mind? Did I mind? (We Jews like to repeat ourselves). Heck, no. I was thrilled.
Story: So after the formal introductions, Bibi, his wife, their two young sons, two undercover Israeli agents, two under cover NYPD officers and the head of security at the Central Park Zoo and I took off for an informal tour of the Zoo. The boys were excited, the Netanyahu parents seemed relaxed and the under cover officers were tense. I was trying to look cool, calm and collected. The only Hebrew I could recall was ‘shalom’ and how often can you say that on a zoo tour?
Meat of the story: As we toured the upstairs close-up gallery in the tropical rain forest we stopped at the tarantula exhibit. I spoke for a very short while about tarantulas. The boys and Bibi were fascinated by the creepy crawly critters.
I say to Bibi – “Do you have tarantulas in Israel?”
Without skipping a beat, looking straight into my eyes, Bibi replied – ‘”Only in politics”.
Oh yes, he was good. Very good. I just wish he were not such a hawk. Oh well. That is my Benjamin Netanyahu story. The above photo was taken of us by Tom, the head of Zoo Security. I told Tom at the time that if the photo did not come out – I would have to kill him.
Grandma and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Tragedy March 26, 2011Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion.
Much has been written about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy that happened 100 years ago this week. 146 lives were lost. It was the beginning of a strong labor movement in NYC and many laws were changed to protect workers.
My grandmother, Anna Osipow Goldberg worked at that factory. She did not go to work the day of the fire. Why, you may ask? I never got a straight answer to that question. By the time I was old enough to understand the consequences of that tragic day, my grandma was consumed by what we called in those days, ‘senility.’ It was probably Alzheimer’s Disease, but that word was not in the lexicon in way back then. My grandma was a tough, stern, unsmiling, woman. She did not want to talk about her childhood in Czarist Russia, she did not want to talk about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory – in fact – she did not want to talk of much at all. Whenever she wanted to speak, it seemed to me as a child, that she spoke in Yiddish. I think I assumed she did not want us ‘kids’ to know what she was speaking about.
All these years later – I wish I had asked the right questions. I sure would like to know why she never smiled. Maybe she was thinking about all of those lives lost – I do not know.
Hanukkah Shmanukkah Redux December 1, 2010Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, Jewish Stuff, Photography, Religion, Videos.
1. First off, they are not the same thing. Hanukkah is NOT a Jewish Christmas.
2. Jewish people do not have to wear awful sweaters with menorahs or dreidels on them as a substitute for those wacky Christmas outfits that get pulled out of mothballs once a year.
4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. Sigh – like most things Jewish, you get lots of choices and opinions. Does it have a ‘C’, 2 ‘N’s, some K’s? What letter does it end with? There are more than 20 different spellings of the Jewish Festival of Lights and, of course, no one has told us which is the definitive spelling. You know the old adage about the number of opinions amongst Jewish people all depends upon how many Jews are in the room. Here’s the current list of the way you can spell this Festival of Lights. Channuka, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukah, Chanuko, Hannuka, Hannukah, Hanuka, Hanika, Hanukah, Hanukka, Hanukkah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, Khanukkah and Khanike. Sometimes even Xanuka (but that spelling seems too much like Xanax to me). The basic problem is that it’s translated into English from a five-letter Hebrew word meaning “consecration,” which lacks the gutteral, rolling-in-the-throat opening sound. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has “Hanukkah” as the main entry, with “Chanukah” as another option. The Associated Press Stylebook, considered the spelling bible by most newspapers, also goes with “Hanukkah.” The New York Times uses ‘Hanukkah’. The Daily News uses “Chanukah,” although other versions are used. The bottom line is you cannot misspell this word.
6. Hannukah has a very small carbon footprint. We use candles and do not have a surging electric bill from decorating the house with a million light-bulbs.
7. Hannukah songs are not that great. Christmas songs are terrific. The consoling news is that most of the popular Christmas songs have been written by Jews.
8. Most Christians do not have a clue what any of the Jewish holidays mean. They get them all mixed up. “Is this the one where you eat Matzoh”? “Is this the one where you don’t eat at all”? The fun part of being Jewish around Hannukah is that I can make anything up and my gentile friends will believe me.
9. Jewish people do not have a Hannukah bush. It is a menorah – not a candelabra (Liberace had a candelabra).
10. And finally, this just cracks me up. Richard Lewis said “Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call”
11. Okay, okay – so I have 11 Top 10 thoughts. We used to go to the movies and eat Chinese food on Christmas. Now a lot of other non-Christians have caught onto the idea and the movies are very crowded on Christmas. Maybe I will go to the zoo this year.
Eight Gifts of Hanukkah song:
Chipmunk Chanukah –
– So tonight is the big night. We bring out the Menorah and light the first candle at sundown. Factoid about my Menorah. Years ago, I saw a Martha Stewart show where she said if you put your Menorah in the freezer for awhile, the wax will chip right off of it. It was a good thing. Martha probably did not have in mind what I did after that. I now store my Menorah in the freezer all year long. It is a good thing and makes me smile every time I open my freezer. Now where did I put the dreidel? Where is the Hanukkah gelt? Where should I display the menorah? Is anything going to catch fire after I light the candle? Does my box of Hanukkah candles contain the correct number so I am not short candles? Do I have any matches? So many questions and only eight nights to figure it all out. A very Happy Hanukkah to one and all!
Still one of my favorites – Marley The Hanukkah Dog Sings Oh Hanukkah
Movie Review: Holy Rollers May 26, 2010Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Movie Reviews, Movie Trailer.
Tags: drug mules, Hasidim, Jesse Eisenberg, Jewish, Movie Review: Holy Rollers
add a comment
Movie Review: Ajami February 12, 2010Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Movie Reviews, Movie Trailer, Photography.
Tags: Movie Review: Ajami, Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film
add a comment
Latkes and Holly December 25, 2009Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Dogs and cats, Jewish Stuff, Photography, Religion, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
Tags: Cnetral Park Zoo, Holly, Klezmer, Latkes, Newyorkology, Pneguins, Rainforest Alliance, What's a Jew to do on Christmas Day
add a comment
Christmas falling on a Friday changes everything for this Jewish gal. I normally avoid going to the movies on Christmas Day because the theater is filled with everyone else who has nothing to do including those who believe in Islam, Shinto, Taoism, Church of Scientology, The New Age Movement, Wiccans, Divine Light Mission, Hare Krishna Movement, Transcendental Meditation, Festivus celebrators, The Unification Church, Buddism, Falun Gong, Jainism, Hinduism, Parsis (Zoroastrianism), Sikhism and Sai Baba.
So what am I going to do today? Fridays are my usual day to volunteer at the Central Park Zoo. The Zoo is open and assuming the weather holds, will be packed with people. I have a scheduled booked tour for 10 people. My visitors won the donated Zoo tour in an auction for the Rainforest Alliance and since they are Jewish – are delighted to visit the Zoo on Christmas Day.
– So what else can you do today? You can take a walk, go to a zoo or aquarium, call your Jewish friends (most likely they’re home too), read a book, bake a cake, fill in those important dates in your new 2010 calendar, look ahead for when the High Holy Days fall this year (I have already done that), plan a trip (I am doing that now), clean up your messy desktop and burn some CD’s, clean out a closet, read those e-mails you have been saving and before you know it, the day is over and tomorrow we are back to normal.
– Newyorkology has a fine list of things that are open in NYC today. Guess what? The Jewish Museum is open as is the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
– The (Jewish) Christmas Song – What’s a Jew to do on Christmas Eve? Should I take a sleigh ride? They say yuletide carols being sung by the choir. Who is Carol? And what’s a yuletide?
– The following super popular Christmas time songs were all written by Jewish composers. Go figure?
1. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) was written in 1945 by Mel Tormé and Robert “Bob” Wells
2. White Christmas by Irving Berlin
3. Let It Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! was written by the songwriting team of Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.
4. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Holly Jolly Christmas by songwriter, Johnny Marks.
5. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Jewish composer, George Wyle.
6. l’ll Be Home For Christmas by Walter Kent, who wrote the music, and Buck Ram, who co-wrote the lyrics with Kim Gannon.
7. Silver Bells was written by Jay Livingston, who wrote the music, and Ray Evans, who wrote the lyrics.
8. Santa Baby was mostly written by Joan Ellen Javits (born 1928).
– Another ‘what’s a Jew to do on Christmas Day’:
– It’s Hard to be a Jew on Christmas:
– This video still cracks me up:
– Return to the great Jewish themes of outsider-ness & redemption with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”— in Yiddish! The greatest klezmer Christmas song ever!
– Finally – I just love this video:
Movie Review: Invictus December 15, 2009Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Movie Reviews, Movie Trailer, Politics.
Tags: Clint Eastwood, Joel Stransky, Matt Damon, Nelson Mandela, rugby
add a comment
|Movie Review: Invictus
Alternate Title: Against All Odds
Story: There is nothing wrong with a feel good film that also has important historical significance and just happens to appeal to the masses. Director Clint Eastwood knows how to make these movies and is counting on his fan base and earned appeal to get people into the theaters for this inspirational, uplifting film. It was written by Anthony Peckham and is based on the book “Playing the Enemy” by John Carlin.
It is 1995 and recently elected Nelson Mandela is desperately trying to bring together a troubled nation after the nightmare of Apartheid. The Springboks are a rugby team loved by white South Africans and hated by black South Africans. Along with Mandela’s idea for national reconciliation and forgiveness he decides that uniting the country around this sports team is worth the effort. The film revolves around this Herculean task.
The film gets bogged down in a few too many side stories and a bit too many sappy visuals, that at times, seemed cloying, obvious and sanctimonious. That said – I am sure the masses who see this film will fall for its evident appeal and actually tear up. We did not.
I know nothing about rugby and after seeing this film only learned that you have to throw the ball backwards or sideways. The film spends the last 20 minutes in the throws of the World Cup final game and I got a bit tired of the grunting, weird pile ups and other sporting stuff.
Should you see this film? Why not? Who does not like stories that inspire with heart and who does not like watching Morgan Freeman do his thing.
Watch the trailer here:
Acting: Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela hits a home run. He captures his style, grace and spirit perfectly. Matt Damon as team captain François Pienaar is always good – period.
Trivia: Joel Stransky kicked the winning goal in the 1995 game. For a profile of him read this article from Jewish Week.
The poem, Invictus was written by William Ernest Henley in 1875 and was inspirational to Nelson Mandela while he was in prison. Here is the poem:
Out of the night that covers me,
Predilection: I have always been fascinated by the politics in South Africa.
Critters: Some street dogs.
Food: Tea and cookies
Sex Spectrum: None
Soundtrack: Often soaring by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens;
Opening Titles: None
Theater Audience: About 20 other people and us.
Sappy Factor: 2
Quirky Meter: 0
Squirm Scale: The idea of Apartheid is very squirmy.
Drift Factor: I did not drift but it did get a little long and sappy at times.
Predictability Level: High
Tissue Usage: 0
Oscar Worthy: No – but the award shows just love Clint Eastwood and who doesn’t like Morgan Freeman?
Big Screen or Rental: This is one for the big screen.
Length: Too long at 2 hours and 15 minutes.
LOBO HOWLS: 7.5
Twist and Shout December 10, 2009Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
Tags: Barney Frank, Hanukkah, John Yoo, Jonathan Turley, Obameter, Orrin Hatch, torture
1 comment so far
Remember my obsession with torture, torture memos and John Yoo, the author of of the torture program in the Bush Administration? Guess what? The Obama Administration is defending him in Court. Holy Bad Idea! Jonathan Turley discussed this issue with Keith Olbermann on Countdown last night. You can watch that appearance here. You can read the entire article from Turley’s blog here.
‘The Obama Administration has filed a brief that brushes over the war crimes aspects of Yoo’s work at the Justice Department. Instead, it insists that attorneys must be free to give advice — even if it is to establish a torture program. If successful in this case, the Obama Administration will succeed in returning the world to the rules leading to the war crimes at Nuremberg. Quite a legacy for the world’s newest Nobel Peace Prize winner.’
– Those of you that are getting upset with the Obama Administration (like me) need to check in at the Obameter every now and again. It is in my blogroll or you can check it out here. It is a good way to keep track of campaign promises kept and those not kept.
– Barney Frank of MA took aim at critics of a bill aimed at reforming the nation’s financial regulations. To those complaining about the size of the 1,279-page bill, Frank had this to say: “Now, one of the odd things is…‘The bill’s too big.’ I don’t know whether that means it was too much to read, or too heavy to carry, or some really short ones can’t see over it when they’re sitting down. I don’t know what the problem was. This notion that the value of a piece of legislation is inversely related to its size is rather odd.”
Oh boy. Tomorrow night is the first night of Hanukkah. Seen this? Orin Hatch? Oy Vey