Evan Kaufmann: A Cultural Hat Trick

Evan Kaufmann answering questions after a game in 2011

Walter Rathenau, Foreign Minister of Germany during the Weimar period, once referred to Berlin as “Chicago on the Spree”; I guess that makes Chicago “Berlin on Lake Michigan.” Given that, one would think moving from one city to the other would not be a huge deal, besides all the bureaucratic red tape that goes along with any international move.


As a Jewish-American, my new address is downright controversial. Fellow Jews usually look at me like I just told them about my baptism plans. “You’re moving WHERE?!” Non-Jews look less horrified and more concerned for my safety, lest I end up in a time machine. “You’re sure you want to go THERE?!”

Constantly defending my interest in German culture and language is tedious, so I decided to enlist a buddy to take some of the pressure off of me. His name is Evan Kaufmann, a fellow Jewish Midwesterner (born in Minnesota), making a life in Germany. That life being one of a professional hockey player: first for the DEG Metro Stars, and now as part of the Nuremberg Ice Tigers. While he’s been playing for Germany since 2008, his story hit the US media this year, creating a fresh round of debate about his decision.




Apple pie is the ultimate dessert. This recipe takes a classic and literally wraps it up and serves it with a modern twist. The outside is crunchy and the inside is deliciously sweet.

5 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup of apple cider
1 package of eggroll wrappers

Combine diced apples with cinnamon and sugar. Place in pan with apple cider and cook until tender. Place 1 tablespoon apple mixture in center of eggroll wrappers and roll as directed on packaging. Bake in oven on 350′ for 15-20 minutes until crispy on outside. Serve with powdered sugar and ice cream.

~ Recipe submitted by Nina Safar


If Israel strikes Iran alone, she will stay alone

I think that if we do this alone we’ll dig ourselves into a hole we won’t know how to get out of
I think that if we do this alone we risk the alliance with our only true friend in the world – a superpower at that.
If we do this alone at a time when the entire Arab world is in flux we’ll be playing into the hands of the Arab street
Forget what the rulers say in private [that they would love us to hit Iran]
The street will be turned against us by those very same Arab rulers who privately hope we go it alone. That way they get to see their two main enemies bloody each other: Israel and the Shiite Iran.
If we do this alone, the Arab states will get their own nuclear weapons, and they’ll blame our aggression for it, not the Iranians.
If we do this alone we’ll take the heat off Bashar Assad – at a critical moment in time – just as the world is focused squarely on his barbarity
If we do this alone we’ll go to war with Hezbollah, Iran and possibly Syria. READ MORE


Geltfiend Chanukah Sweaters! do you like what you see?


Hava Nagila Goes For The Gold

Aly Raisman, 2012

If I were so inclined, I’d title this entry “Oy-lympics,” but I’m afraid I would lose blog execution points for terrible puns, so I digress. Yesterday at the Women’s Floor Event Final in London, Aly Raisman of Team USA struck gold. Her impressive score of 15.600 was made sweeter by the choice of music for her routine: “Hava Nagila.” The NBC commentator mentioned the homage to her Jewish heritage as she walked triumphantly off the floor, as did Bob Costas in an interview with the Olympic champion later that night. Though, frankly, her hyper and adorable parents, who were spotlighted fidgeting throughout the Games, were quite the homage themselves.

Raisman is certainly not the first Jewish gymnast to represent the US and win gold. Kerri Strug famously secured the team gold in 1996 with her wobbly, but completed vault on an injured ankle. Coincidentally, it was Raisman on floor who was the last competitor for Team USA during the Team Finals. This time around, however, it was less dramatic as the gold was a given due to major falls by the Russians on beam and floor.

I love watching gymnastics regardless of the heritage of the athletes of course, but the fact that I can hear the US national anthem play because of Raisman’s “Hava Nagila” performance adds a special sense of pride to the victory. On a personal athletic note for Raisman, with her gold in Team and Floor, she becomes the third US gymnast, joining Shannon Miller (gold in Team and Balance Beam, 1996) and fellow teammate Gabby Douglas (Team and All-Around, 2012), to bring home two gold medals in a single Games; she also is the first ever American woman to win gold on Floor. Mazel Tov!


In gymnastics news from other countries of Jewdyssee note, Team Deutschland finished in a disappointing 7th in the Men’s Team Finals, but was redeemed by Marcel Nguyen’s brilliant silver medal All-Around and Parallel Bars performances and Fabian Hambuechen’s silver medal Horizontal Bar routine, adding to the bronze he got in Beijing. Team Israel was represented once again by Alexander Shatilov, who placed 6th in Men’s Floor and 12th in All-Around.


tour in the making!! where do YOU want to see us swing???


Noch nicht gesehen? Dann ab ins Kino Oma & Bella gucken




sounds familiar!



I’m really psyched about this track I did with Y-LOVE’S which features Israeli artist ONILI. It’s definitely the perfect track to re-introduce Y-Love as the first gay rapper to come out of the closet mid-career.

Read the exclusive article in OUT MAGAZINE.




Media darling Lana Del Rey undergoes a facelift to her exalted album titled single “Born To Die,” by the emcee/producer duo of Kyle Rapps and Diwon. Originally consisting of haunting string quartets and weighty percussion, Diwon’s production overhaul adds a sampled violin progression coupled with a “golden era” influenced drum track. Lyrically, Rapps takes a walk on the wild side with verses that detail both his drive towards success while confronting a past checkered by substance abuse. “Rap was criminal music before it got pretentious, son I’m not a profit, I just like to drop a gem inside a sentence.”
world premiere on PIGEONS & PLANES.