7 Classic Christmas Songs Written By Jews

From ‘White Christmas’ to ‘Winter Wonderland,’ some of the most famous songs of the season are by members of the Tribe. Yes Jews call themselves part of a tribe. That is a significant difference between Christians and Jews.

American Jews were prominent in the songwriting business of the 20th century, and even if they didn’t celebrate Christmas, they were happy to write for the popular Christmas market. Below are some of the most famous Christmas songs written by Jews. The link will enable to see the singers and her the songs on Youtube.

By the way have you noticed that orthodox Jews have Santa Claus like beards. Could it be that Santa Claus is really a religious Jew?

“White Christmas”

Irving Berlin

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

Johnny Marks

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Johnny Marks

“Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”

Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne

“Silver Bells”

Jay Livingston and Ray Evans

“The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

Mel Torme

“Walkin’ In a Winter Wonderland”

Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith

Last Known Jew Leaves Afghanistan

Most of us know there is a large Jewish population in the United States, Canada, and France but did you know that there is a Jewish community in 99 countries. The last known member of Afghanistan’s Jewish community has just left the country.

Historical evidence suggests Afghanistan was once home to a sizable Jewish community. It reached 40,000 in the mid-19th century and began declining around 1870 with the passage of anti-Jewish measures, according to the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, a nonprofit group. Most of the remaining members of the country’s Jewish community left following Israel’s creation in 1948 and then in 1979 after the Soviet invasion, the group said. The last Jew just left that country on the first day of Rosh Hashana, September 6. He was the caretaker of the synagogue in Kabul.

Zebulon Simentov, the last known Jewish person living in Afghanistan, closes the window to the synagogue he cares for in his Kabul home on August, 29, 2009.

I knew two Jewish people who were born in China.  Their families had left Europe in the 1930s as Hitler started his campaign against Jews.  I know a lady whose family was ejected from Egypt by their dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The Berman Jewish DataBank at Stanford University list all the countries with Jewish residents.  Twenty of those 99 countries have only about 100 Jews.

Why am I obsessed with this subject you may ask.  My father moved our family into a community where anti-Semetism was prominent.  I promised myself I would only live in a community where there is a prominent Jewish population.  The article about the last Jew in Afghanistan on CNN web site prompted me to post this.    

Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana starts tonight at sundown.

Rosh Hashanah, literally meaning “head [of] the year”, is the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, literally “day of shouting or blasting.” It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days specified by Leviticus 23:23–32 that occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.

It is Hebrew Year 5782.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple

I assigned myself the project of photographing the interesting buildings of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.  The photo collection includes office buildings, theaters, and places of worship.  Thus far I have a collection of photos in what is generally called the mid-Wilshire area that primarily is also called Koreatown.  I have photos of the property once known  as the Ambassador Hotel, that should have been preserved, the Wiltern Theater and the Bullock’s building (a famous upscale department store now long gone).  It has taken three trips to the area and as I am quite old the walking has been difficult.

Included in that area is the Wilshire Boulevard Temple (Jewish Reform).  The doors were locked and tours are by appointment only according to the temple’s website.  It is an enormous structure topped by a large a  Byzantine revival dome.  Today’s Jewish community primarily lives in West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley although most areas of the city do have synagogues.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple serves as the third home of the Congregation B’nai B’rith, which was founded in 1862 and is the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles. The congregation left each of its first two synagogues, both located downtown and both now demolished, as its size grew and as the city moved westward. The congregation purchased property at the corner of Wilshire and Hobart Boulevards in 1921.

At the time, the Mid-Wilshire area was an upper-class suburban enclave with great commercial promise, sometimes called the “Fifth Avenue of the West.” Religious organizations of all denominations followed their members here as they moved west from downtown, and most of the churches were grand and impressive.  That accounts for the fact that other religious organizations also build beautiful churches in that immediate area.

Because the immediate surrounding community is now primarily Korean and Hispanic the synagogue has decided to retain the facility but provide services for the non-Jewish. The community outreach has been recognized by local leaders, who hope it will become a model for other organizations as well.

The photo of the exterior is mine.  The interior photo posted by the temple.

Baskin Robbins – 31 Flavors

Did you know that Irvine ‘Irv’ Robbins (1917-2008), co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, opened his first ice cream store using money he saved from his #BarMitzvah! Born in Winnipeg to Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Robbins grew up working in his father’s ice cream parlor in Tacoma, Washington. He always finished the day happy and loved making others happy. After serving as an army sergeant in World War II, Robbins opened the Snowbird Ice Cream parlor in 1945 in Glendale, CA. In 1948, he joined forces with his brother-in-law Burt Baskin and the legendary Baskin-Robbins was born! Contributor: Jill GoltzerPhoto: Baskin-Robbins.

I post this because my parents were born in Winnipeg the children of Eastern Jewish immigrants who came to Canada between 1900 and 1905.

“My Unorthodox Life”

“My Unorthodox Life” on Netflix based on reality. Netflix’s ‘Unorthodox’ went to remarkable lengths to get Hasidic Jewish customs right. Wow! This is really interesting as I am Jewish. The difference between this lady and me is that we were reform Jews who rarely lit Friday night candles and only went went to a synagogue on high holidays. Even my grand parents from Europe weren’t all that religious.

The story about the woman depicted in this Netflix movie is explained in an article in the Los Angeles Times.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-07-14/netflix-my-unorthodox-life-julia-haarthttps://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-07-14/netflix-my-unorthodox-life-julia-haart
A woman in a scarlet blazer and white platform heels steps out of a luxury car

The deepening American Jews’ divide on Israel

by Samuel G. Freedman, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, is the author of nine books, including “Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry.” The views expressed in this commentary are his own. This commentary appeared on cnn.com

The Trump-Netanyahu bromance deepened American Jews’ divide on Israel.

A few weeks shy of 54 years ago, as Arab armies massed on its borders vowing extermination, Israel launched the preemptive attack that set off the Six-Day War. In that sudden transformation from looming genocide to military triumph, American Jews rallied behind the Jewish state as never before — with unprecedented cash donations and public demonstrations.

The spectacle of the Diaspora’s largest Jewish community mobilizing around the Jewish nation set a model to be repeated during the 1973 war and the suicide bombings of the second intifada in the early 2000s. When Israel was in trouble, American Jews spoke in a single voice.

Measured by that benchmark, the response of American Jewry to Israel during its current battle with Hamas represents a striking departure.

Two of the Jewish people serving in the US Senate — Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Jon Ossoff of Georgia — have taken leading roles in calling for evenhanded American policy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue and for an immediate cease fire, respectively. And the liberal Jewish lobbying group, J Street, has provided important political support for politicians, whether Jewish or not, to criticize Israel’s relentless bombing of Gaza in response to Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel without the risk of being smeared as being anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.

At the level of daily Jewish life in America, experts sense a distinctly muted mood. “There’s a fairly dramatic lack of urgency,” Dr. Kenneth Wald, an emeritus professor of American Jewish culture and society at the University of Florida in Gainesville, told me in a telephone interview. “I’ve been on our local Jewish Federation board for 20-something years and nobody has jumped up and said, ‘We’ve got to run an emergency campaign for Israel.’ It struck me that there’s an absence of calls for mobilization. And in shul last Shabbat, our rabbi, who does not normally talk about current affairs, gave a very nuanced talk — the need for us to stop thinking about the other as the other.”

It would be a historical mistake to view the American Jewish stance during this war as an anomaly. Despite the surges of mass grassroots advocacy for Israel during times of existential threat, the seeds of dissent took root during what might be described as volitional conflicts like the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the first intifada in the late 1980s.

Americans for Peace Now, one of the earliest hubs of American Jewish dissidence on Israeli militarism, took both its name and inspiration from the Israeli organization founded in reaction to the Lebanon war. Then, the revelation of secret peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian delegations in the Oslo process of the early 1990s gave American Jews permission to voice support for a two-state solution without being disparaged as disloyal. And, as early as 2001, the scholar Steven T. Rosenthal was warning of the “waning of the American Jewish love affair with Israel.”

And this trend is started to reflect in the polling of American Jews. A newly-released survey of American Jewry by the Pew Research Center found that, as of 2020, about one in five American Jews say the US is too supportive of Israel. Meanwhile, those who say the US is not sufficiently supportive of Israel declined to 19% — down 12 points since 2013.

There can be no doubt, however, that the relative estrangement accelerated due to the flagrantly divisive roles played by former President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A year before Trump won the election, Netanyahu defied the second term American President, Barack Obama, by taking an invitation from Republican leaders to denounce Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran before a joint session of Congress.

Once in the White House, Trump essentially gave Netanyahu everything for nothing. He moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, reduced American diplomatic engagement with the Palestinian Authority — all without asking the Israeli prime minister to make genuine concessions to the Palestinians.

Whatever happened to Jared Kushner’s peace plan?

Then the so-called Abraham Accords brokered by Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner brought Israel diplomatic relations with four Muslim nations — Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco — in return for the meager promise to pause new annexation in the West Bank. More treacherously still, the accords reinforced the notion on the right-wing in both Israel and America that somehow the century-long Palestinian national movement had all but disappeared.

We now know how self-deluding that fantasy was.

For all of Trump’s seeming courtship of American Jews based on his “bromance” with Netanyahu, he won only about 30% of the Jewish vote in 2020 — a proportion well within the norms for Republican presidential candidates over the past 50 years. And the Pew survey found only a minority of those polled approved of Netanyahu’s performance (40%) and considered Trump friendly to American Jews (31%).

Which, actually, should come as no surprise. For both Trump and Netanyahu, the moderate and liberal majority of American Jews were never their real audience. Rather, it was evangelical Christians. Ron Dermer, formerly Netanyahu’s ambassador to the United States, recently was caught saying the quiet part out loud at a conference hosted by the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon: “People have to understand that the backbone of Israel’s support in the United States is the evangelical Christians. It’s true because of numbers and also because of their passionate and unequivocal support for Israel.” As for American Jews, not only are their numbers much smaller, he said, but they are overrepresented among Israel’s critics.

Americans for Peace Now, one of the earliest hubs of American Jewish dissidence on Israeli militarism, took both its name and inspiration from the Israeli organization founded in reaction to the Lebanon war. Then, the revelation of secret peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian delegations in the Oslo process of the early 1990s gave American Jews permission to voice support for a two-state solution without being disparaged as disloyal. And, as early as 2001, the scholar Steven T. Rosenthal was warning of the “waning of the American Jewish love affair with Israel.”

And this trend is started to reflect in the polling of American Jews. A newly-released survey of American Jewry by the Pew Research Center found that, as of 2020, about one in five American Jews say the US is too supportive of Israel. Meanwhile, those who say the US is not sufficiently supportive of Israel declined to 19% — down 12 points since 2013.

There can be no doubt, however, that the relative estrangement accelerated due to the flagrantly divisive roles played by former President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A year before Trump won the election, Netanyahu defied the second term American President, Barack Obama, by taking an invitation from Republican leaders to denounce Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran before a joint session of Congress.

Once in the White House, Trump essentially gave Netanyahu everything for nothing. He moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, reduced American diplomatic engagement with the Palestinian Authority — all without asking the Israeli prime minister to make genuine concessions to the Palestinians.

Then the so-called Abraham Accords brokered by Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner brought Israel diplomatic relations with four Muslim nations — Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco — in return for the meager promise to pause new annexation in the West Bank. More treacherously still, the accords reinforced the notion on the right-wing in both Israel and America that somehow the century-long Palestinian national movement had all but disappeared.

We now know how self-deluding that fantasy was.

For all of Trump’s seeming courtship of American Jews based on his “bromance” with Netanyahu, he won only about 30% of the Jewish vote in 2020 — a proportion well within the norms for Republican presidential candidates over the past 50 years. And the Pew survey found only a minority of those polled approved of Netanyahu’s performance (40%) and considered Trump friendly to American Jews (31%).

Which, actually, should come as no surprise. For both Trump and Netanyahu, the moderate and liberal majority of American Jews were never their real audience. Rather, it was evangelical Christians. Ron Dermer, formerly Netanyahu’s ambassador to the United States, recently was caught saying the quiet part out loud at a conference hosted by the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon: “People have to understand that the backbone of Israel’s support in the United States is the evangelical Christians. It’s true because of numbers and also because of their passionate and unequivocal support for Israel.” As for American Jews, not only are their numbers much smaller, he said, but they are overrepresented among Israel’s critics.

By aligning Israel with both the Republican Party and the Christian right, Netanyahu tacitly associated it with a series of positions on American domestic issues that are anathema to the preponderance of American Jews who reliably vote Democratic — outlawing abortion, rolling back gay rights, eradicating Obamacare, suppressing voting, and, of course, attempting to seize power through insurrection.

By turning Israel into a partisan wedge issue, and alienating many American Jews in the process, those cynical siblings — Trump and Netanyahu — ensured that when the time came for Israel to need bipartisan support and a united front of American Jews neither would be readily available anymore.

All Problems – Blame the Jews

It is a classic haters scenario.  All problems in the world are to be blamed on the Jews.

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene in 2018 speculated that the Rothschild family may have used a laser beam from space to start a devastating California forest fire, as a means to profit from it.

The Republican Jewish Coalition said the latest revelation about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories embraced by Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene are “indefensible and unacceptable.”

In this instance it is part of the QAnon conspiracy theory group.

The best thing we can do is laugh at Greene’s nonsense.

Jews in Space  may refer to: List of Jewish astronauts; “Jews in Space“, a short segment in the 1981 film History of the World, Part I