Pop Culture

Teffilin Barbie and Burqa Barbie: What does it mean to dress dolls?

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Burqa Barbie

Barbie was created in 1959 by Jewish business woman Ruth Handler. She was an Amazonian creation: a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, big-busted American beauty. She loved to drive pink convertibles; her wardrobe and shape-shifting abilities were astonishing. By the 80s, she was highly multicultural and had an endless variety of career paths open to her, from model to mad professor. Nothing is off-limits to ever trail-blazing Barbie, not even tefillin or a burqa.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" -- When Genealogy Meets Reality TV

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After hearing various archivists, historians, and librarians rave or moan about the genealogy TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” I finally got a chance to see it for myself. This show is run by the genealogy database Ancestory.com and takes various celebrities on journeys to discover their roots in an odd blend of reality TV confessionalism and historical inquiry. This is the show that recently helped “Sex and the City’s” Sarah Jessica Parker discover a distant ancestor involved in the Salem Witch Trials.

Vampire Mania: Paying tribute to the original "vamp"

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Theda Bara

We are a country in the grips of vampire mania.

Why We Must Boycott "The Biggest Loser" Casting Call for Jews

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I just found out that NBC's The Biggest Loser is looking to cast Jews in it's upcoming season. The casting agents will be in Boston July 24 and are even offering a handful of "VIP audition passes" through JewishBoston.com.

Jamie Keiles: Teen Writing About Teens

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I already wrote about The Seventeen Magazine Project over on my blog, from the rib?, but I wanted to write about Jamie Keiles, the girl who ran the project, here, because I personally find her to be incredibly inspirational (and, although she does not mention it often or prominently, she also happens to be a Jewess.) She started the Seventeen Magazine Project in May, in whi

When Harry Met Sally: 21 Years Later

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It was twenty-one years ago on July 12th, 1989 that audiences were introduced to characters Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) and Harry Burns (Billy Crystal), who brought the perennial question of whether men and women could just be friends to the big screen in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. It has become one of the most iconic films of the twentieth century with people still watching and talking about the movie today.

Red Hot Yiddishe Mama

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Gwen at New Rep Theatre

On Friday July 2nd, I had the pleasure of watching the New Repertory Theater of Watertown, Ma put on Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas. I'd recently discovered Sophie while watching Making Trouble, and fallen in love with her witty and larger than life personality.

Irna Phillips: the woman behind TV's longest running soap opera

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Creating a wildly popular soap opera full of sensational family drama might be the last thing we’d expect of a nice Jewish woman in 1950’s America, but Irna Phillips proved us wrong! Fifty-eight years ago today, her soap opera Guiding Light first went on the air. The show had already been a successful radio drama since 1937, and it would run until 2009, making it the longest running TV drama in history.

Deconstructing the "Sassy Gay Friend"

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David Levy, writing for JewishBoston.com, recently challenged us at JWA to comment on the gender/sexuality dynamic of the Second City's new video series, "Sassy Gay Friend." He wrote:

There's a long tradition in Judaism of imagining different versions of our favorite stories, from rabbinic midrash to contemporary novels.  Comedy troupe The Second City has thrown their hat into the ring this week with a new Youtube video in their "Sassy Gay Friend" series.

JDate and the pitfalls of Jewish, feminist online dating

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JDate advertisement

Just last week, your grandmother was at Dr. Finklestein's office for her regular teeth cleaning and Sarah, the dental hygenist, told her all about her nephew who just met the nicest Jewish girl on JDate. Can you believe it? JDate! You know, you should really try JDate. You're not getting any younger, you know.

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