ROUND-UP: Seven Jewish Stories You Might Have Missed

This is the first of a new regular feature, rounding up some of the more interesting and left-field Jewish travel and culture stories from around the world. Click on the hyperlink in each paragraph for the full story. Enjoy!
-The Wandering Jew-

THE CITY THAT JOEL BUILT

KIRYAS JOEL, USA – a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to help complete a documentary on the lives of the Satmar Orthodox community of Kiryas Joel. The film, entitled “City of Joel” is $18,000 short of its target at the time of writing, with a month of fundraising to go. Click the link here to watch the trailer, then if you want, check out the campaign page and make a donation here.

Screenshot from the City of Joel documentary kickstarter.
Screenshot from the City of Joel documentary kickstarter.

MATISYA-WHO?

HAWAII, USA – If I’m allowed to pick favourites, then this story is mine.  The formerly-Orthodox reggae sensation Matisyahu walked into a bar in Maui, Hawaii, last week, to find a busker singing his hit single “One Day”. Matisyahu, these days seen sporting long blond hair, joined in, only revealing his identity at the end.


RAISED FROM ROUEN

ROUEN, FRANCE – A structure believed to be Europe’s oldest Jewish building has been allocated half a million dollars towards its preservation after it fell into disrepair. The modestly-titled “Sublime House”, thought to be a 12th century Yeshiva, was discovered fourty years ago underneath the car park of Rouen’s courthouse.

Maison Sublime, Rouen. Credit: Rouen Tourism
Maison Sublime, Rouen. Credit: Rouen Tourism

GHETTO JUSTICE

VENICE, ITALY – As part of the 500th anniversary celebrations of the world’s first Jewish ghetto, United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presided over a mock appeal brought by Shylock, the Jewish moneylender from Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice”, in the city’s Scuola Grande di San Rocco (pictured below).

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where the mock appeal took place. Credit: www.scuolagrandesanrocco.org
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where the mock appeal took place. Credit: http://www.scuolagrandesanrocco.org

PEOPLE’S MUSEUM OF GIUDEA

FONDI, ITALY – A new Jewish Museum has opened in the Giudea quarter of the town of Fondi, between Rome and Naples. Fondi is one of many Italian towns to have entirely lost its Jewish community after they were expelled in the late 15th century. The museum is one of several to have opened in Italy recently, amid a rebirth in interest in Italian Jewish culture, even as the Jewish community itself continues to shrink.

La Giudea, the historic Jewish quarter of Fondi. Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Gobbler
La Giudea, the historic Jewish quarter of Fondi. Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Gobbler

JEWISH SITES TO CZECH OUT

CZECH REPUBLIC – Sunday, August 14th will be the inaugural “Day of Jewish Monuments” in the Czech Republic. For the occasion, over 40 Jewish sites, including synagogues and cemeteries, will be opened to the public. The sites are only a fraction of the almost 600 synagogues and cemeteries in the Czech Republic today, although if it is succcessful, perhaps in future years it will be expanded.

Main Synagogue of Prague.
Main Synagogue of Prague.

ONE FOR THE KLEZBIANS

LONDON, UK – Ever wanted to learn to play klezmer music? The Jewish Music Institute of London is hosting its annual “Klezfest” from August 15th to 19th, offering budding musicians the chance to learn a new musical style. Learning klezmer music is guaranteed to make you a favourite among Ashkenazi Jewish grandmothers everywhere. And in case you needed any more convincing, here is the klezmer version of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” that you didn’t know you needed in your life…

Liked this article? Tell your friends! Didn’t like it? Tell them anyway, there’s no such thing as bad publicity! -The Wandering Jew-

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