Monday Media: Jews & Christmas Songs

Did you know that some of the world’s most beloved Christmas songs were actually written by Jews? What’s that all about?

InterfaithFamily.com takes a look at this surprising phenomenon in this article. You can also learn about the Jewish songwriters of Christmas and more at A Kosher Christmas on December 17!

And on the flip side, did you know “I Had a Little Dreidel” was written by a Christian songwriter?*

*No, not really.

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Monday Media: A Genetic History of the Jewish People

Are Jews a people, an ethnic group, or a family? Medical geneticist Harry Ostrer explores this fascinating issue. Still have questions? Ask him in person on December 5!

Monday Media: Woody Guthrie’s America

Like many of you, I sang “This Land is Your Land” as a young child in public school, and always assumed that it was more “Workin’ on the Railroad” than “We Shall Overcome.”  But this iconic song was actually written as a sarcastic response to “God Bless America,” and packs a revolutionary punch–this land belongs to you and me includes everyone, be they black or white, rich or poor, young or old. The blessings of America belong to all of us, not just a select few. This was Woody’s message.

To learn more about “This Land is Your Land” and Woody Guthrie check out this great episode of Studio 360‘s American Icons Series  or Theater J’s upcoming show Woody Sez: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie.

And whether you live near the Redwood forests or the Gulf Stream waters, get out and vote tomorrow!

Monday Media: Barbra Streisand’s Private Vault

Barbra Streisand’s private music vault holds all the master tapes she’s recorded for five decades. Now, she’s sharing 11 previously unreleased songs, spanning a cross-section of her career from 1963 to today, in her new album Release Me.

This track, “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today,”  was recorded in 1971.

“The thing I’m happiest about is that I still have great affection for all these songs,” said Streisand. “They appealed to me at the time…and still do. Listening now, I actually think to myself, ‘The girl wasn’t half bad.'”

Learn all about Barbra’s amazing rise to stardom with biographer William Mann on October 24 at the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival.

Monday Media: Telegraph Avenue

Attention Michael Chabon Fans!!

Check out NPR’s exlusive First Read of Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue.  You can read or listen to an excerpt of Michael’s magnificent new novel (yes, I’ve read it, and no, I’m not exaggerating) here. Below is a sneak peek:

“Hello?” Gwen called, letting herself in the front door. A small black Buddha greeted her from a low table by the front door, where it kept company with a photograph of Lydia Frankenthaler, the producer of an Oscar­-winning documentary film about the neglected plight of lesbians in Nazi Germany; Lydia’s partner, Garth; and Lydia’s daughter from her first marriage, a child whose father was black and whose name Gwen had forgotten. It was a Chinese Buddha, the kind that was supposed to pull in money and luck, jolly, baby­faced, and potbellied, reminding Gwen of her darling husband apart from the signal difference that you could rub the continental expanse of Archy Stallings’s abdomen for a very long time without attracting any flow of money in your direction. “Somebody having a baby around here?” continued on npr.org…

Michael opens the DCJCC’s Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival on October 14. Tickets go on sale September 1–don’t get closed out!

Monday Media: A Minute for the Munich 11

The U.S. Senate doesn’t do much of anything unanimously these days.

But last week they unanimously passed a resolution urging the International Olympic Committee to observe a moment of silence at the 2012 London Olympics for the Munich 11, the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich. Australia, Germany, Canada England have also shown their support.

This past May May the International Olympic Committee rejected an ongoing worldwide petitition, but international pressure on the IOC continues to mount. The Summer Olympics begin on July 27.

Watch this video to learn about the Munich Massacre.

Monday Media: Gail Levin on Lee Krasner

As spring turns to summer, we bring you a final podcast from last fall’s Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. In this talk, Professor Gail Levin discusses her fascinating book Lee Krasner: A Biography.

This first-ever biography of Lee Krasner brings her out of the shadow of her formidable husband, the renowned painter Jackson Pollack. Levin reveals that Krasner was an independent woman of uncompromising genius, as well as a significant artist in her own right. Levin, an art historian and personal friend of Krasner, examines the evolution of a woman whose life was as dramatic and intriguing as her art.

Right click and “save link as” to download as an MP3
Or listen online here

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