Category Archives: Podcast

Rogers Park – Sukkah’s Falling

The fun holiday that follows Yom Kippur finally gets the attention it deserves. Watch this zany music video by Rogers Park in association with Jewbellish. Sukkahs are falling, Lulavs are flying, and there are some sweet vocal harmonies in this visual treat.

Rogers Park debut music video, “Sukkah’s Falling”.
Follow the band:

Filmed and Edited by: Mendel Katz

Produced and Directed by: Yosef & Mordy

Creative Director: Mordy Kurtz

Song Recorded at: Basement Record Studio

Song Mixed, Mastered, and Engineered by: Dov Gurewicz

Lyrics and Vocals: Rogers Park (Yosef & Mordy)

Instruments: Dov Gurewicz

Song Parody of: Paul McCartney’s “I’ve Just Seen A Face.”


Jewbellish The News: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Jewbellish the News and Mrs. Goldstein finally accept the #ALSIceBucketChallenge… with a little surprise 😉 Read below for our exclusive Hilchos Ice Bucket Challenge laws by Chemi Ding.

Hilchos Ice Bucket Challenge

We’ve received several halachic questions regarding various aspects of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and we will address a number of them here.
What is the biblical source for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?
The verse in Twitteriticus (24:7) states, “And it shall be seventh day, when your friend shall calleth upon you to partake in the ice-water ceremony. You shall surely pour the ice-water on your head, or on the head of thou friend who is close to you. For if you shall not pour, you shall incur the wrath of the Lord the scorn of your social media friends and you shall pay one hundred silver coins to the charity of my choosing. And it shall be for an atonement on your soul.”
I have been nominated. How long do I have to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge?
It depends who you are. For the layman 24 hours is the limit. If you need to arrange a helicopter to dump ice on you while you stand on top of a mountain wearing speedos, the American Council of Rabbis grants you an additional 24 hours due to the great pirsumei nisa (publicity) that you are affecting. If you are Ellen Degeneres, better you should wait as long as humanly possible so that every living celebrity under the sun gets down on their knees and begs and pleads for you to do it while pledging tens of thousands of dollars to ALS.
I have seen many videos of people pouring plain water on themselves. Rabbi, is that allowed?
In short, no. One who pours plain water on himself has not fulfilled his obligation. This prohibition can be derived from a careful, detailed examination of the name of mitzvah: Ice Bucket Challenge. The Rabbis derived that ice must be present in the bucket in order to properly do the mitzvah. Otherwise, they argued, it would just be called “The Bucket  Challenge.” Not very compelling.
Reform says warm water is fine also.
Does the ice need to have a hashgacha (a kosher certification)?
Preferably, yes. That has been the custom of the Hassidim. However, according to Rav Moshe, kerach stam is fine also, the reasoning being that the vast majority of ice in the United States is made of water. Most modern-orthodox bucket dumpers have adopted this ruling. This reasoning would obviously not apply to ice manufactured in third-world countries such as Liberia and Canada. God only knows what they put in their ice.
Reforms says anything will do.
Do I need to be clothed to participate, or can I wear a bathing suit?
While according to the strict letter of the law you do not need to be decked out in a tux and bowtie, people that dump the water while wearing bathing suits may be transgressing the rabbinic prohibition of being really lame. Furthermore, people that do it while standing in a bathtub are just cowardly yutzes.
Alternatively, they are Reform.
Does pouring the water on my head really absolve me of the need to give charity?
If you speak very passionately about the ALS cause before dumping water on your head, your friends will assume that you gave money and then you don’t have to actually do it yourself. Better you should give the money to the schnorer in shul.
Reform says you must donate regardless. You also must donate to AIPAC and JNF.
May the video be filmed in vertical mode?
 Absolutely not. Reform agrees.

Hilchos Ice Bucket Challenge

Video Credits:
Jewbellish The News: Episode #2
Ice Bucket Challenge

Written by: Mendy Pellin with Tafari Gonzales-Aird
Directed by: Mendy Pellin
Produced & Edited by: Tafari Gonzales-Aird
Make-up and Special Effects: Abe Steinberg
Cast: Mendy Pellin – Self; David Earl Jones – Self; Robin Roth – Mrs. Goldstein


The ‘Perfect’ Nazi was — Jewish

“Finding out the perfect Aryan baby is Jewish… PRICELESS!”
– Will Rogers; commenting on this story of irony by The Hollywood Reporter:

It turns out the Nazis’ “perfect Aryan” baby isn’t actually, well, Aryan.

Hessy Taft, the winner of a 1935 contest commissioned by the Nazis in Germany to find the most beautiful Aryan baby, recently revealed that she is Jewish.

Taft, now an 80-year-old professor, told Germany’s Bild newspaper that her parents moved to Berlin from Latvia in 1928 to pursue singing careers, but her father later lost his job at an opera company because he was Jewish and found work as a traveling salesman. In 1935, Taft’s mother took her to Hans Ballin, a well-known photographer, to have the 6-month-old’s picture taken. Unbeknownst to her, Taft’s image soon turned up on the cover of Sonne ins Hause, a Nazi family magazine. Taft’s mother, terrified, asked the photographer about it, and was told that he knew the family was Jewish and submitted the photo to the contest to make the Nazis look “ridiculous.”

“It’s supposed to represent the perfect Aryan baby, but it was me, a Jewish child, on the cover … of a Nazi magazine,” Taft explains in a video interview posted online Tuesday by the USC Shoah Foundation (watch below). It’s believed that Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels chose the image himself. “I can laugh about it now,” Taft said. “But if the Nazis had known who I really was, I wouldn’t be alive.” The image also appeared on postcards used throughout the Third Reich.

While Taft’s father was arrested by the Gestapo in 1938, he was soon released, and the Nazis never learned of the baby’s true identity. The family soon fled Germany and ultimately ended up in the United States. Taft recently presented Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial with the magazine bearing her photo. “I feel a little revenge — something like satisfaction,” she said when making the presentation.

Mendy Pellin: Why This Comedian Cried

A Nation Mourns
A Nation Mourns. (Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)


Today, we take a break from our usual Jewbellishments and laughter to mourn the loss of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad. Our president, Mendy Pellin, wrote this short essay on why he cried and the lesson we should all learn. (We look forward to continue sharing laughs together with our all-new Jewbellish season coming soon.)



Why This Comedian Cried
by Mendy Pellin

What was it about Eyal, Naftali and Gilad that made countless people cry around the world upon hearing of their murder? Unfortunately, I’ve read many news stories of young soldiers patrolling in the West Bank or Gaza that were killed by terrorists. That made me sad. This made me cry. Why?

When I was 18, I toured Israel on a birthright trip. Out of 120 people, I was the only ‘hareidi’ on the trip.

Throughout the trip I became very friendly with Yigal, our Israeli tour guide. I was pretty surprised when he ‘educated’ our bus on the different kind of Jews living in Israel.

When he got to the hareidim, he said that “they are bad for Israeli society because they keep to themselves and live off the government without giving anything back…” Then he continued: “…and the worst kind of hareidim are Chabad. Because they don’t keep to themselves, they go out and take young men and women away from their families and brainwash them. For many families it’s like losing a child.”

After his insightful lesson, I revealed to him that I was part of the ‘worst hareidim’ – Chabad.

His reply: “Mendy, you’re different. You’re… Mendy! I love you!” He did love me. We had a great time on the trip.

I asked him if ever had a Chabad friends. He never had.

I challenged him to pick any Chabadnik and get to know him or her. I told him: “you’ll see that he is also different. He’s… Shmuli. Then get to know another. You’ll see that she’s also different. She’s… Mushkie. And you’ll love them too.”

The reason why I cried today is because over the last 18 days, I’ve gotten to know Eyal, Naftali and Gilad. I’ve seen pictures, watched videos and even learned what sport and instrument they loved. We’ve all got to know them for there innocence and goodness.

These last few weeks have seen secular and hareidi Jews praying and singing alongside each other to bring our boys back home safely. We looked past our differences and focused on our essence.

Growing up, there was one person I knew that was able to look at the essence of everyone he met. To him, we were all equal. We all deserved love and respect from our fellow and our Creator. He’s the Chabad Rebbe and today is his 20th Yartzeit.

If there is one resolution we should make today in memory of our boys that never made it home, it’s to get to really know the person you are uncomfortable with. Focus on their essence. Take the amazing strength that the Rebbe gave to this world to love your fellow as yourself.


Mendy Pellin in Chevron (Hebron), passes by street art of the Chabad Rebbe (left) with Israel’s Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu
Mendy Pellin shoots a scene for a music video in front of a memorial in Chevron (Hebron) for a baby (Shalhevet Pass) that was shot playing in her front yard.
Mendy Pellin shoots a scene for a music video in front of a memorial in Chevron (Hebron) for a baby (Shalhevet Pass) that was shot playing in her front yard.

Break from Comedy: A video Mendy wrote and directed about the plight of the people in Israel: