Home News International Your morning spiel for Wednesday, Jan. 6

Your morning spiel for Wednesday, Jan. 6

Honest Ed's, Toronto
Honest Ed's, Toronto

News – Diaspora

Toronto’s iconic Honest Ed’s, named for its Jewish proprietor Ed Mirvish, was listed in the Guardian‘s “A History of cities in 50 buildings.” Too bad that the store is closing at the end of this year, though.

Spain compensated Israel’s Ariel University to the tune of US$107,000 after excluding it from a scientific competition for “political reasons.” Madrid-based pro-Israel organization, ACOM, called the decision a “legal victory against BDS.”

In Switzerland, Ehsan Ghaem-Maghami, an Iranian chess player, refused to compete against an Israeli during the 2016 Basel Schachfestival chess competition, in order to “reject the existence of the Zionist state [and] to announce to the world the voice of justice and support for the oppressed people of Palestine.” Or maybe Maghami was just afraid of what the ayatollah would do if he lost to a girl…

The Hebrew Hammer

The Brooklyn branch of Shomrim, the bad-ass neighbourhood watch group that enforces its own brand of Jewish justice, are teaming up with the NYPD to beef up security around haredi neighbourhoods in New York. How awesome would it be if they donned outfits like Mordechai Jefferson Carver?

During an interview with comedian Larry Wilmore, Jewish presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was asked to translate what Donald Trump meant when he used the Yiddish term “schlong” (which means penis) to describe Hilary Clinton’s loss to Barack Obama in 2008. “I think you’ll have to ask Donald Trump for an explanation of that — I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. It was obviously just the Donald being his charming, vulgar self, Bernie. Though it wouldn’t hurt him to take a Yiddish lesson.

News – Israel

Israeli police have released the brother of suspected Tel Aviv gunman Nashat Milhem, who remains at large. Jaudat Milhem reportedly apologized on behalf of his family for the attack, noting that neither he, his father, nor other family members had anything to do with the shooting.

The IDF has stated that the training accident that killed 23-year-old Cpt. Yishai Rosales was due to a “series of errors.” The IDF is currently investigating the incident.

Palestinian leaders are yelling “apartheid” after two Arab passengers with Israeli documents were forced off an Aegean Airlines flight departing from Athens to Tel Aviv, after two Israeli Jews allegedly insisted that they be removed from the plane. According to a spokesperson for the airline, “60-70 people” agreed that the pair be removed as well. Eventually, the men exited the plane and took a flight the next morning.

The Waldorf Astoria, Jerusalem

Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria has been commended by the Conde Nast magazine, after its 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards Survey (including some 128,000 rankings) listed the hotel as the seventh best in the world. Good luck getting a reservation.

The oldest woman to make aliyah in 2015 was a 97-year-old Ukrainian woman, who is settling quite nicely in her new home at Haifa. Enjoy your new life in Israel, Melba Landa!


More and more American soldiers are being introduced to a life-saving piece of medical equipment, an Israeli-invented manual ventilator known as the Pocket BMV. The ventilator has reportedly been used to treat thousands around the world, particularly victims to natural disaster.

Israeli company Beth-El Industries is being lauded for its IsoArk biological isolation units, which protect against deadly or infectious viruses like SARS, Ebola, or swine flu.

Doctors at the New York-based Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women have received an undergraduate research grant to support their study of a potential treatment for bladder cancer. Here’s hoping.

Mexico became the first country to approve a prostate cancer drug developed at Israel’s Weizmann Institute. The technique is currently undergoing an approval process throughout Europe as well.


Israeli venture capital firms raised a total of US$1.02 billion throughout the year 2015, slightly less than the US$1.2 billion raised in 2014. There’s a reason we’re called Startup Nation.


Jerry Lewis in ‘The Day the Clown Cried’

The BBC has released a new documentary detailing Jerry Lewis’ secret Holocaust film, The Day the Clown Cried. The doc includes behind-the-scenes footage of the original movie, and narration from Jewish comedian David Schneider.

Now that you can listen to the Beatles on iTunes and Spotify, the Forward has put together a list of the “ten most Jewish” Beatles songs. Care to guess what No. 1 is?

Sources have confirmed that HBO’s Girls, the comedy from Jewish actor Lena Dunham and Jewish director Judd Apatow, will end after its sixth season. Mind you, is anyone still watching? Broad City is, like, so much better.

Ben Schwartz (you might remember him as Jean-Ralphio Saperstein from Parks and Rec) opened up to Uproxx about playing BB-8 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Knew that voice was familiar.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was promoted by JTA as the Jewish television show you should be watching right now. The comedy/musical features Jewish actor Rachel Bloom, and tons of schtick.


Weather in Toronto is currently -2 C. Will be getting warmer over the next few days.

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