Israeli Tactical School Offers Home and Self-Defense Courses in Rockville, MD

tactLearn more about classes here.

For decades the state of Israel has faced terrorist attacks on her own soil and abroad. These challenges pushed Israel to develop advanced counter-terrorism techniques widely recognized and adopted by her allies around the world.

One example of the perfection of the Israeli techniques can be found in the response to the Rome and Vienna International airports twin attacks carried out by eight members of the “Abu-Nidal” Palestinian terrorist organization in 1985. The attacks took place by the check-in counters of El-Al (Israel’s national airline). In the Rome incident, four of the terrorists, disguised as passengers, approached the check-in area carrying  AK-47 “Kalachnikov” and grenades in their suitcases. The attacks in Rome and Vienna were coordinated and started at the same time, killing Israelis and civilians from other countries. Hundreds of people scrambled; others lay on the floor wounded or worse. Still, not everyone ran away: three Italian policemen present on the scene returned fire using their beretta pistols. Unfortunately, they missed the terrorists and instead added more passengers to the list of casualties.

“Moshe”, an Israeli secret service agent stationed in Rome, noticed the shooting and immediately reacted.  It took him 20 seconds to kill three of the terrorists and seriously injure the remaining one. Other members from his team came running from other parts of the terminal to help out, but it was all over by the time they arrived.

After an autopsy was conducted, it became clear that the four terrorists had all been neutralized by this one single agent: only bullets fired by agent “Moshe” were found in the  bodies of the terrorists. In the bodies of passengers and other civilians, AK-47 bullets (used by the terrorists) and 9-caliber ones (used by the Italian policemen) were found. For more on this, read here.

Home and self-defense is a serious business, and if you don’t believe it, talk to Tomer, 39, a former Israeli secret service agent and commanding officer who served two decades as a team leader in the Israeli special forces and as chief security officer in the Israeli foreign office.  “Our Israeli counter-terrorism techniques fit perfectly with home and self-defense challenges and better than any other techniques available for civilians”. Tomer, who now teaches in Rockville, hopes to give his students the set of skills and mindset needed to avoid, prevent and react to any challenge and any scenario.

“Israeli tactical school classes are for responsible citizens who want to be sure they know what to do in case of a dangerous home or self-defense situation,” says Tomer, who especially enjoys teaching beginners.  ”I love showing them that they can do it.”

“We don’t just teach how to shoot without missing, we teach students the point-shooting technique, meaning: shooting without relying on eyesight,” says Tomer. “Even in the beginners class we implement the mindset and skills to fight and take the initiative; we teach to make correct decisions, how to surprise and deceive, and to attack only when the moment is right. We teach not to hesitate but to act aggressively. Constant repetition and skill reinforcement help develop the muscle memory and confidence required to react. You don’t need to be black-belt or a Navy seal to do that.”

Tomer says he teaches across the board. “I teach people in different age groups, men and women alike,” he says. “The program courses combine shooting and Krav Maga as one concept: if the gun is not effective, we use our hands, legs and any other object we have to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We offer a gun-disarm-and-use-it-against-the-attacker workshop, and you don’t need to have a gun to participate. For gun owners, we have a special program that takes them from beginner level to home and self-defense room clearing. We also train federal employees on how to defend themselves during missions in middle eastern countries, and we offer rape prevention and security consulting, training and assessments for private companies and law enforcement agencies.”

For more about us, you can can click here:
Videos of the program:


Behind the Scenes of Renewal: A Film About Art and Ecology

Still Yael and Micha BOPWhether it be a dance concert at Tel Aviv’s sophisticated Suzanne Dellal Center or a folkdance jam under the stars in the fields of the Galilee, in Israel there is always something going on in the world of dance.

As a journalist with a passion for Jewish history, and a former contemporary dancer myself, I find the emergence of Israeli contemporary dance over the last two decades particularly thrilling. I have written extensively about Israeli choreographers and covered their work both in Israel and internationally. In 2010, I had the opportunity to meet Jerusalem’s Vertigo Dance Company.

Vertigo, like many Israeli dance groups, demonstrates an intense, visceral approach to movement. Grounded in a combination of folk, classical, and modern dance, these artists have created a distinctive canon of choreography and have a powerful desire to explore their complicated society through movement.

Noa in Rehearsal Day 3Vertigo is a family – literally. Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al the founders and co-directors are husband and wife, and the rehearsal director and Vertigo dancer Rina Wertheim Koren is Noa’s sister. Family dynamics bleed into the choreography, and the pieces often explore the themes of community, romantic relationships, and spirituality.

One of Vertigo’s most unique qualities is its interest in social issues. They have choreographed pieces about humanity and technology, the challenge of disability, and in recent years have made tremendous inroads toward environmental sustainability. In 2006, the company created the Vertigo Eco-Arts village, an arts center located on Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Hei, where they and their families also reside.

P1010301Vertigo’s unique approach to environmental sustainability, blending dance and ecology, inspired me to make my documentary film Renewal. My film examines the connection between art and environmentalism, and explores Vertigo’s methods of dance, education, and social activism. In Israel, a country still going through so much cultural growth, Vertigo exemplifies the continued rejuvenation of art, culture, and the human spirit in the Holy Land.

I teamed up with Israeli dance cinematographer, Elad Debi, and we filmed Renewal last October on location in both Jerusalem and the Eco-Arts Village. Our schedule was both exhilarating and exhausting, many shooting days started before 6 am to capture the best angles of the sun, and did not finish until late into the evening.

P1010145Dance is particularly exciting to film – the movement can be short, quick, and punchy or unravel slowly. A slight alteration in the angle of the dancer can change the whole frame.

Shooting in Israel is a similarly unpredictable adventure. While we were lucky to film just two weeks before the November rocket attacks, one shoot was interrupted by a military drill and we had to be careful to film in between the sounds of overhead planes.

Dance is one of Israel’s most expressive art forms, and it engages people worldwide regardless of language. Renewal is an opportunity for new audiences to learn about a unique and powerful aspect of Israeli culture, and gain new perspectives on dance and environmentalism.

Click here to learn more about Renewal and see the trailer.





Silent Prayer Interrupted by Silent Daydreaming

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2013_08_07_09_50_19HIGHLAND PARK, Ill (@TheComedyNews) – Benjamin Feinberg’s experience at Friday night services at Congregation Beth Ra’ash began as any other— hand shakes and hugs with familiar friends, cookies and wine with the newcomers, and a seat in the center pews (not too close to the bimah, not too far).

Feinberg’s focus took a nose dive, however, about two thirds of the way through the service when the it was time for silent prayer.

“Please pray silently, and we will then continue on page 43,” the Rabbi announced.

Feinberg could only seem to pray for a good 8-10 seconds before he began to daydream random obscure thoughts.

“I pray for Bubbi to heal,” he said in his inner monologue. “I pray my sister gets accepted to Stanford Business school—gosh my ass really hurts.   These pews need to be renovated.  When my middle school was renovated, I smoked a cigarette with one of the construction workers during recess.”

Feinberg sighed and gazed around the sanctuary.

He continued silently, “for the Shabbat dinner, I really hope to sit at a table with Claire Birnbaum. She’s lookin cute.  Oy but I bet angry Mike will try to sit with me.  He’s always in a mood and complains about work. They better serve falafel here, but I don’t have any breath mints, maybe I should —-”

“Please join us on page 43,” announced the Rabbi, concluding the silent prayer part of the service.

Feinberg could only shake his head at another squandered opportunity to pray silently on Shabbat services.

Feinberg’s Bubbi made a full recovery from her hip surgery. His sister got wait-listed by Stanford Business School. Feinberg also finally got Claire’s phone number while they both shared a table with angry Mike.

Brian Fishbach is a writer and comedian.  You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at, and enjoy his late-night jokes at Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.


Converge with Our Community

Adrianne and the Spring 2013 NeXus cohort at the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes on Good Deeds Day.

Adrianne and the Spring 2013 NeXus cohort at the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes on Good Deeds Day.

Last fall, I got an itch to get more involved in the young Jewish community life of DC, but I really didn’t know where to start.  I asked friends about organizations that they are involved in, went to various events ranging from social to intellectual, and did some research on what I call the “alphabet soup” of Jewish organizations in DC.  A friend told me about NeXus, a program run by Young Leadership by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and that it would give me a window into the Jewish community. He said it would show me how to build a role for myself, and I decided to go ahead and sign up.

I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, but NeXus is an amazing program!  Not only did I meet about 20 other similarly excited and motivated young Jewish adults, but I learned about how I could make a difference and rise into a leadership role in any organization that I chose to put my efforts towards.  We learned about how to tell our story to get others engaged and interested.  In one of my favorite sessions, we worked with adults with special needs on Good Deeds Day in March, doing arts and crafts and helping to make their day a little brighter.  We also heard from young leaders who are involved in Federation, a local Hillel, a social entrepreneur who started her own organization, and the CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.  They all urged us to be smart and engaged young leaders, and reminded us of the importance of being involved and active in our communities.

Because of what I learned, heard and experienced in NeXus, I decided to apply for and was selected to be a board member of a Jewish organization’s DC Young Professional Chapter where I will help lead my peers in support of Israel and Jewish relations with members of other faiths and ethnicities.  Without that push from NeXus, I may not have made that leap to apply in the first place. In addition to taking this step forward in my life, I also met 20 awesome new friends who I look forward to continuing to build relationships with!

Young adults in the Washington, DC Jewish community, have the opportunity to make an impact. NeXus is an interactive program that will teach you about the work of The Jewish Federation, further develop your leadership skills and introduce you to other leaders in the DC Jewish community. For more information and to register, visit Spaces are limited and people have already started registering! Have specific questions? Need more information? Contact Jaclyn Gurwitz at 301-348-7354.



What’s in a Number? – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 71)

UntitledWhen I quit my job as an economist at Fannie Mae in March of 2011, I thought my days of analyzing credit scores were over.  I had to pore through spreadsheet after spreadsheet of credit data, among other financial data, to assess whether the borrower would likely be able to pay back his or her mortgage or instead default on it, which would put the burden back on Fannie Mae.  (For anyone who knows about the subprime mortgage crisis, you already know the outcome of that one.)

But in my current career as a dating coach, it’s as if credit scores have followed me, saying, “Bwahaha – we’re not done with you yet!”  But how?  Why?  It’s simple – just as a credit score is an excellent indicator of a person’s ability, or inability, to pay a mortgage, it’s also a fairly good indicator of how someone has dealt with money as a single person, which may thereby indicate how that person may deal with money as part of a “we” instead of an “I.”

But is asking someone’s credit score gauche?  I would say so!  In fact, in all the years of dating that I’ve experienced, no one has ever asked me that.  We have talked about salary, debt, and savings, so the quality of my credit could certainly be inferred, but no one has ever come right out and asked, “What’s your credit score?”  That seems almost as rude as asking a woman’s weight!

Do people even know their scores?  Perhaps some do (I know mine from a car purchase last year), but the rest would need to go to sites like or (which even has a mobile app!) to get their credit score.  Our generation quantifies everything anyway – FuelBands, Klout scores, Twitter followers – so I guess it only makes sense that this should be added to the ever-growing list.

Are people less likely to delve into a serious relationship with a person whose credit is less than stellar?  The research says yes.  In a personal interview with Ken Chaplin, Senior Vice President of, I learned that in a survey of 1,000 people aged 30 to 49, almost half of the respondents (48%) have discussed their credit score with a romantic prospect or partner, with 39% having discussed it within the first year of the relationship.  In addition, both men and women worry that they would be negatively affected by a partner’s poor credit score, and women are significantly more likely to factor credit scores into their dating decisions, often over looks or sexual chemistry!

Even the NYTimes, in an article last December entitled “Even Cupid Wants to Know Your Credit Score,” discussed whether someone’s low credit score should serve as a deal-breaker in a relationship.  The choice is obviously a very personal one, but just like we may prioritize religion or education in finding a partner, it’s up to us to determine how important such things are in our dating lives.  How far you go to find out, though, is another story.

Would I recommend asking someone his or her credit score?  Not a chance!  If you’re going to be in a long-term relationship, I would, however, recommend discussing your views on money and whether they are in sync or at odds, in addition to any other potential deal-breakers you may have, like religion and education (as mentioned above), number of children you’d like to have, etc.  How you rank these things is completely up to you, and perhaps a kind heart and the ability to work on spending habits together will trump a 520 credit score every time.

Feel free to post comments about whether you have been asked or have asked someone’s credit score.

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.


The Fruits Of Our Labor

Cooking_Israel_puzzle_recipeSee pictures from this event here.  This article was also posted on The Israel Forever Foundation blog.

I recently had the opportunity to Taste Israel at Home, hosted by The Israel Forever Foundation! The event featured guest chefs Nir and Guy from Puzzle Israel, an organization devoted to exposing people and educating them about Israeli cuisine and culture.

Immediately upon walking into the event I was pleased to note the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables on each table. Everything looked so ripe and delicious; it felt like I was walking around the shuk in Jerusalem.

I was immediately greeted by the hosts of the event and made to feel welcome and at home. We were given a few minutes to socialize around the room, to meet and greet both old and new faces, and nosh on the delicious snacks and wine that The Israel Forever Foundation had graciously prepared. Nir and Guy then introduced themselves and told us how they founded Puzzle Israel and about their life in the Galilee region.

The founding of Puzzle Israel was a mutual dream for both of them and they have travelled to many different locales worldwide to expose people to Israeli culture.

Cooking_Israel_RecipesAs Jews, we place a great deal of value of our ability to connect to something through food. In our culture, Rosh Hashana is symbolized by apples dipped in honey, Chanukah by latkes, and Passover by Matzoh.

No matter how secular or religious a Jewish person may be, food is a shared cultural marker that all Jews recognize and identify with and can bond over. Food is intricately tied with our culture, and Israeli food, which is a mixture of the native cuisines of the diverse hodgepodge of immigrants to Israel, is a perfect example of this idea.

Israeli food symbolizes where our ancestors came from as well as our ability to adapt to living in the diaspora but yet retain our own individual identity as Jews. It is a representation of both our past and future.

Like the Jewish people, Israeli cuisine is capable of change and evolution. Most people equate Israeli food with hummus and falafel, but advancements in technology, new immigrants, and exposure to new cooking techniques have broadened Israeli cuisine and wine to include many new dishes that include local ingredients and a signature Israeli flair.

Puzzle_israel_chefFollowing introductions it was time to cook. The head chef, Nir, was super friendly and enthusiastic about the food we were making. We began with what all good meals should begin with—bread, specifically focaccia.

“Stick your hands in the dough, I want you all to feel what dough should feel like!” he exclaimed. We all tentatively stuck our fingers in the dough, not exactly sure what we should be feeling besides sticky, but the experience made us laugh. Then, the finished dough was brought out and we studded it with lots of garlic, rosemary, and Israeli olive oil.

Following the focaccia (and a thorough hand washing), we began cooking the first course of the meal. We started making stuffed mushrooms, followed by a roasted red pepper soup, a delicious chopped salad filled with fresh beets, mango and red cabbage dressed with a pomegranate balsamic dressing, eggplant roulade stuffed with meat, and my personal favorite– a nectarine fruit crumble.

Puzzle_Israel_recipesNir walked around the room giving us tips about how to make the food extra flavorful and to improve our cooking techniques. As our food began cooking under close supervision by Chef Guy, we had a short course on Israeli wine from Andy of The Wine Harvest.

Then, it was time to try our food, and it was hard to contain our enthusiasm as Chef Guy began bringing out all of the delicious food we had made. We ate to our hearts’ content, and then some, drank with gusto and enjoyed the fruits of our labors.

What a wonderful event and I was thrilled to learn new cooking techniques and recipes from the land of Israel! I cannot wait to try these Tastes of Israel at Home! B’Teavon!



Interested in hosting a Cooking Israel event?  Contact The Israel Forever Foundation today!

Try these delicious recipes from Puzzle Israel.


Masa Israel Featured Internship: Law Assistant, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA)

As an intern for JCPA you will gain hands-on experience and learn about the inner workings of international law. You will conduct research, assist with administrative duties, write footnotes for international law research papers, and assist with arranging speakers for special events.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is a leading independent research institute specializing in public diplomacy and foreign policy.


Young Jews, Muslims break Ramadan fast together in DC

iftar1An organization called Jews and Muslims DC (JAM DC) was invited to an Iftar dinner at the Embassy of Bahrain. JAM DC was started by a group of Jewish and Muslim young professionals who wanted to come together through social, educational, cultural, and service activities, and to build bridges between the two communities. Over the past several years, the group has volunteered together at soup kitchens, held dinners and other social events, held a Q&A panel about religious practices in both faiths, organized interfaith Passover Seders and Iftars, and attended a documentary screening about the rescue of Holocaust survivors by Albanian Muslims. Attendance is extremely popular, at times with over fifty group members present, and events often sell out within a few hours of announcement.

At the meetings, Jewish and Muslim young adults are able to learn about each other’s history, culture, and religious practices. Additionally, young professionals make new friends and network for career advancement.

iftar2I participated in several of the events held by the group over the past year, and I was very impressed with the warmth and the openness of the members. I have learned many new things about the Islamic faith, and I was also able to teach others about the practices in Judaism. Thus far, discussions about politics have appeared limited at these meetings, as they seem more geared towards fostering mutual understanding and acceptance. Learning about each other first will, undoubtedly, make these future discussions more productive. At one dinner meeting, I sat with a young Palestinian teacher who looked remarkably similar to me. Cautiously, she began to tell me about her concerns with the political situation in the Middle East. Although I disagreed with some of what she said, I could understand many of her points and I was glad that I had the opportunity to sit down and speak to her.

iftar3This week, at the Embassy of Bahrain, we were greeted with a beautiful Iftar feast in honor of breaking the Ramadan fast that included traditional Bahraini cuisine. Unfortunately, the Bahraini Ambassador, who happens to be a Jewish woman, was unable to be present as she was at the White House Iftar. Nevertheless, we were welcomed warmly by other embassy staff and taught about the unique culture of Bahrain. I learned that Bahrain was actually mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and that writing and poetry are a very important component of the Bahraini culture, a leader among book publications in the Middle East. Also, because it was the 15th day of Ramadan, we learned that it was also a special holiday for Bahrainis— Gergoan. On Gergoan, children wear traditional embroidered clothes and engage in a sort of trick-or-treat for sweets, nuts, and clothes. Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat spoke about Ramadan as a time to connect to the divine, to be considerate of our personal spiritual needs, and to build bridges between all humanity – be they Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or anything else. He also said that Muslims fast to remember that poverty still afflicts a great percentage of the world’s population, and that they need our help.

The evening was a beautiful and unique experience. We made new friends, learned more about each other’s culture, and we look forward to our next interfaith Iftar in two weeks at the Embassy of Qatar.


Masa Israel Featured Internship: Communications Fellowship, Hila: For Equality in Education

The fellowship at Hila is flexible and can be shaped by your strengths and interests, as well as the organization’s needs. Possible tasks include helping maintain and update the English website, working on the quarterly newsletter, translating documents from Hebrew to English, and assisting in the organization of staff events.

Hila is an Israeli NGO working in grassroots education reform. They advocate for student and parents’ rights in education. Their work involves fighting privatization of the school system and tracking; illegal parent fees; unfair placement in special education classes; and unsuitable resources, staff and/or facilities.


Jewish Cartoon Spotlight: Kyle Broflovski from “South Park”

Kyle Broflovski photo courtesy: Comedy CentralOur first Jewish cartoon spotlight, Kyle Broflovski, is one of the four main characters from Comedy Central’s all-time most successful show, South Park.

Kyle has appeared in every episode since South Park first aired in August 1997.   He is distinguished from the other main characters by his green hat and orange winter coat.  Kyle is also modeled after the show’s co-creator Matt Stone who was raised Jew(ish) in Littleton, Colorado.  He sports a Jewfro similar to that of Stone before the stress of 237 episodes left him with a scaled-back do.

That Jewfro gets temporarily coiffed into a Pauly-D style in the show’s fourteenth season, when we learn that Kyle’s Jewish mother is originally from New Jersey.

Gerald Broflovski, Kyle’s father, is an attorney and is always seen wearing a kippah–at home, in the courtroom, and even in the hot tub.

Kyle also has a younger brother Ike, who was born in Canada and adopted into the family.

We get to meet Kyle’s cousin from New York that he can’t stand:  Kyle Schwartz.  Schwartz’ neuroses and raspy voice are likely modeled after Jewish filmmaker Woody Allen.

At all times during the year, a menorah can be seen displayed in the living room of the Broflovski home.

Kyle’s Jewish identity has been featured prominently in several episodes:

“Mr. Hankey” (S1E9)  In the winter of South Park’s first season, Kyle laments feeling ostracized by his town as he sings “It’s Hard to Be a Jew on Christmas”.

“Jewbilee” (S3E9):  Kyle takes his non-Jewish pal Kenny to a Jewish scouting camp.

“The Passion of the Jew” (S8E3):   Kyle confronts Mel Gibson about false depictions of Jewish people in his film, The Passion of the Christ.

“Jewpacabra” (S16E4):  Kyle experiences Passover as his malicious cohort, Eric Cartman claims that the eight-day festival is a threat to Easter egg hunts.

Cartman is Kyle’s primary nemesis on the show.  Often the voice of ignorance, Cartman taunts Kyle and is quick to use Kyle’s religion as a pejorative.  While Cartman’s outlandish and intentionally offensive characterizations of Kyle have become more gratuitous over the years, by the denouement of each episode, Cartman is duly punished for his anti-semetic school-yard slanders.

Kyle and his fellow South Park characters do not age on the show, although they did graduate from third grade to fourth grade in the fourth season.  It might be nice to see what happens when Kyle finally gets Bar Mitzvah-ed.

While there has been no indication of this, we will have to wait and see what adventures Kyle is up to with his buddies when South Park’s 17th season premiers on September 25.

Reruns of South Park are aired every day on Comedy Central.  Also, while it is not on Netflix, you can watch every episode of the show on their official website,

Brian Fishbach is a writer and comedian.  You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at, and enjoy his late-night jokes at Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.


High Holidays 2013

Charlton-Heston-Moses-10-commandmentsIt’s that time of year again- do you know where you’re attending services?  To make it easier, we’re compiling High Holiday service options in one place.  Anything sold out has a strikethrough. If you know of a service we haven’t included, or see one on the list that is sold out, please email We’ll be continuing to update this page, so check back often.

Monday, August 26th:

Erev Rosh Hashana – Wednesday, September 4th:

Rosh Hashana (1st day) – Thursday September 5th:

Rosh Hashana (2nd day) – Friday, September 6th:

Kol Nidre – Friday, September 13th

Yom Kippur, Saturday, September 14th

Evening/Neilah, Saturday, September 14th

Looking for discounted tickets? The JCC can help!


Moment Magazine


Check Out the New Gather the Jews Bottle Opener Keychains!

These high quality bottle opener keychains are sure to (help) quench your thirst! Available for $2 each at tonight’s happy hour!



Bring Smiles and Supplies to the Homeless with Midnight Mitzvahs

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 1.37.56 PMHave you ever walked past a homeless person and thought, “I’m too busy right now” or “I wish I knew how to help.”  Well look no further! Join Gather the Jews to kick off Midnight Mitzvahs on August 13th and we hit the streets to give out smiles and supplies to some of the 6,500 homeless people of DC.  We will start with a brief training and sandwich making session at GWU Hillel at 7:30 and will hit the streets by 8:15. Register here!

There is a $5 cost to participate. Your $5 will go towards purchasing the supplies we will hand out during the night.

Things we will be handing out (feel free to bring some to donate):

  • Cold Water
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Sunscreen
  • Socks (in the winter)
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Homeless Resource Cards

Register Here!


Alternatives to Celebrating the Royal Baby’s Birth This Week

WillKateBaby_1527748gThe yet-to-be-named Royal Baby is not even a week old, but is already featured in more photographs and news articles than most of Kings and Queens before him combined.  Even a Google search of “royal baby prince william kate middleton” turned up 561 Million results.

Still, roughly 124,657,534 people on this planet had a birthday this week that in some way or another, was overshadowed by news of the birth of the offspring of a British Monarch.

While many people rightfully appreciate the nachas beaming from the faces of new parents Prince William and Kate the Dutchess of Cambridge, many people are irked by the over-hyped spectacle—often citing that the three-day-old Prince will be living a life of nepotistic privilege.

Alas, if you are looking to celebrate the birthday of someone this week, here is a list of people, past and present, who deserve to have a piece of the celebratory cake.

And since this article is being composed for a a Jewish publication, every birthday guy and gal featured is Jewish.  Dayenu.

July 21st Birthday
1903:  Roy Neuberger – Some people bankroll elections, some people bankroll drug cartels.  This guy bankrolled modern art awareness from the 1930s until his death in 2010–yeah, he lived to be 107 years old.

July 22nd Birthday
1947:  Albert Brooks – This Academy Award-nominated voice-over actor has been featured in such prolific works as Finding Nemo  and The Simpsons.  Most recently, Brooks received over 20 nominations and awards from various film festivals for his performance in the film Drive.

July 23rd Birthdays
1971:  Joel Stein –  When he’s not writing a cover story for Time Magazine, you can find his weekly features in the back pages of the famed publication.  The curiously humorous writer also released his first book last year about his adventurous quest to become a more “manly” father:

1973:  Monica Lewinsky – You know the story.

1989:  Daniel Radcliffe – He IS Harry Potter.

July 24th Birthday

1965:  Doug Liman –  This film director has brought us an eclectic variety of features such as the comedy Swingers and the suspenseful thriller, The Bourne Identity

July 25 Birthday
1923:  Estelle Getty – Before she became Sophia on The Golden Girls, the late Estelle Getty performed in Yiddish theater and comedy in the Borscht Belt.

July 26 Birthday
1965:  Jeremy Piven – In addition to playing the hot-headed super agent Ari Gold on the HBO hit series Entourage, Piven self-identifies as a “Jewish Buddhist”.

July 27 Birthday
1972:  Maya Rudolph – This Saturday Night Live was not only the the love interest in a popular Lonely Island digital short, she also got down and dirty in the streets in the 2011 comedy hit, Bridesmaids.

Brian Fishbach is a writer and comedian.  You can read Brian’s weekly satire news articles at, and enjoy his late-night jokes at Join The Comedy News’ Facebook page for updates.

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