}

NYTimes Loves Hebrew (National), Scottish Felons Love Lox, and Other Newsbits

The New York Times held a rare taste test of a minyan of Hot Dogs, and … Hebrew National’s kosher wieners – while not the longest – came out on top.

The test was a’stringent… the frankfurters were all-beef and were all cooked on a gas grill until well browned… and judges had to first eat the dogs sans buns. The judges? Sam Sifton, Melissa Clark and Julia Moskin. (those three are worthy of a meme). Of the ten, Hebrew National placed among the top two “favorites.”

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Someone not eating kosher frankfurters is Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.

He visited Israel this week, and brought with him special Jewish treasures from Kerala.

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Also in The Times was a story of an Israeli couple who went on a search for a floor-through apartment in Manhattan. Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger both worked for Haaretz in Israel; and then both attended grad school in the Boston suburb of Cambridge, and scored jobs with Rem Koolhaus’s cool design shop. Can they find and occupy a flat for under $1 million?

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The apartment they purchased does not have a pool.

But speaking of pools, Mark Oppenheimer, the host of a podcast named Unorthodox, had a full page opinion essay in Sunday’s New York Times on the topic of integrated swimming in public pools. Oppenheimer recalls that as a child in Massachusetts, he and his white friends swam at the JCC pool, while his non-white basketball friensd swam in the public park’s pool. He calls for the growth of public integrated swimming. Of course, he will most likely continue to use his neighbor’s pool, but for the rest of us, he would like to see more public pools.

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And speaking of going in the water, Leil Leibovitz writes in TABLET that today, July 5, is “J Day”, which honors the release of the film JAWS, and honors things – like sharks, or the leaders of a dyke march in Chicago or Pride in Durham, NC – that Jews fight against. (note: The News & Observer reports that NC Pride apologized this week to its Jewish supporters and members for scheduling their Pride parade and events during Yom Kippur on September 30, 2017)

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In a shocking story out of Florida, a professional mixed martial arts fighter who happens to be affiliated with Chabad was murdered Monday evening in Boca Raton. Aaron Rajman, 25, was attacked in his house and killed. West Boca Tai Chi, a martial arts school, wrote that he was a “young man, with his huge heart, and quick smile.”

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In other sad news, a Jewish school in East London was destroyed by fire. Over 100 personnel fought a raging blaze that engulfed the Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass School. It is run by members of the Belz Hasidic community and served over 560 pupils.

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In happier news, kosher food sales are rising in Scotland. The Scotsman reports that after watching episodes of Orange is The New Black, over 110 inmates at HMP Edinburgh said thay were Jewish and demanding kosher meals. This emulates a subplot in the TV series and female prisoners. Around 13 per cent of the 870-capacity jail’s population is currently on a kosher diet, which is four times more expensive than the regular menu, according to a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland (HMIPS).

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And in even happier news, U.S. President Donald J. Trump retweeted an item by Jacob Wohl, who reportedly runs an investment fund.. sort of. Talking Points Memo reports that the young man (also called a wunderkind) and his Montgomery Assets have been investigated by several agencies for defrauding investors. So big deal, so was Bernie Madoff.

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