City Pages had a fabulous article last week, “50 Reasons to Love Minneapolis/St. Paul,” and it really struck a chord for us. What are the reasons we love Minneapolis/St. Paul? There are too many to count. But that got us thinking – what are 50 things we love about being Jewish in Minneapolis/St. Paul?
We started the list (in totally random order), and thought that perhaps you might be able to help us think of a few more. What do you love about being Jewish in Minneapolis/St. Paul? Add your thoughts to the comments.
- Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company or any number of our other awesome, local theaters that produce shows with Jewish themes or by Jewish playwrights.
- Cecil’s Deli. Say no more.
- Heidi and Stuart Woodman, The old Heidi’s, and the new one.
- The weird sister city thing. Jews on Minneapolis never go to St. Paul, and vice versa. Except for work. But that doesn’t count. Okay, yes, it bugs us, but we love it too, because it makes us laugh. A lot.
- The Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival. Because that movie about the Israeli sumo wrestlers last year rocked.
- Yum! restaurant. Because it’s run by Jews and kids can run around freely without freaking people out.
- We’re The Frozen Chosen. (and we’re claiming the label for ourselves – even if Toronto Jews say the same thing).
- We almost have a Jewish Art Museum of Minnesota. Paige Dansiger is working on it. And we love her for it.
- Magen Tzedek, the kosher and just food label was born here. Thank you Rabbi Allen, JCA, and the whole crew for making that bubble up and go national.
- Our 2008 high-drama senatorial race (and recount) between two Jews – name another Midwest city where that would happen. Oh, and all politics aside, some of us think it’s pretty cool that we have a former SNL cast member for a senator.
- Zumba at the Minneapolis JCC. With Leslie.
- Minneapolis Federation Young Leadership’s Bat Mitzvah party. A heck of a party every year, and for a great cause.
- TC Jewfolk (can we say that? Is that cheating?) And while we’re at it, we love that we’re in a city that has supported Jewish news media since 1912.
- Cool, under 40 Jews who are shaking it up and keeping it fresh: Rabbi Avi Olitzky at Beth El, Raysh Weiss founder of the Uptown Havurah, Rabbi Jared Saks at Temple Israel…(We can’t list them all, so let us know your mentions in the comments below!)
- MinnPost.com, a fabulous source of political news run by some of our favorite Jews.
- Famous Jewy foodies Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl and Andrew Zimmern.
- Brochin’s. Best Judaica around. Got a great challah plate there last year.
- Bob Dylan. Even though he doesn’t feel Jewy.
- Breadsmith challah. Almost as good as Zayde’s. Almost.
- The Coen Brothers. Especially “A Serious Man.” Especially the first 5 minutes of the movie that you only “got” if you were Jewish.
- Jdate.com. Because you know everyone on it. Unless they’re from the “other side of the river.” See #4. Did you hear the one about the guy whose first set of matches included his sister?!
- We’re so creative. Our Middle Eastern restaurants are named Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Holy Land. See a theme?
- We live in a city that’s not afraid to engage in interfaith dialogue. Like these ones.
- We have very own archives run by the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest.
- Even though our Jewish community isn’t exactly huge, it’s not so small either. We were tempted to make fun of some really non-Jewy states, but even Montana has a Chabad house these days.
- We have gorgeous synagogues filled with some pretty awesome people. And with plenty to choose from, there’s a smorgasbord of options to get your learning/davening/schmoozing fill across the spectrum of Jewish observance.
- Shish Cafe on Grand Ave in St. Paul. Because the owner (originally from Jerusalem) is known to wish patrons a “shabbat shalom” on Fridays if he knows you’re an MOT.
- Neighborhood House, started by Jewish women over 100 years ago, and assisting immigrant and underprivileged populations ever since.
- No sales tax on clothes is kind of a JAP’s dream.
- Fabulous JCCs on either side of the river.
- Jewish Heritage Night with the Timberwolves and our chance to kick some Guinness World Record-breaking, dreidel-spinning butt.
- Lewis Black’s Minnesota Winters.
- Our football team is owned by a guy named Zygi. Yeah, he’s Jewish.
- J-Pride: The Twin Cities’ GLBTQ Jewish group.
- All of the amazing TC Jewfolk who will keep filling up this list in the comments below!
Because you know everyone in the theater when you go to the movies on Christmas Eve.
Two multiple-author publishers of Jewish books. Now *that’s* support of Jewish literature in the Twin Cities.
Since no one else is adding to the list, I’ll throw out another:
Our Jewish 3rd baseman finished 3rd in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting this year.
How in the hell could you NOT list the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis???? I guess you never went there, but let me tell you–it is the most unique and yet MOST UNAPPRECIATED jewish thing in this part of the country. It is by far the one thing EVERYBODY takes for granted, when that is the last thing they should be doing!
Furthermore, let me add that mr zimmern and the coen brothers are both about as “not so jewy” as dylan. The coen brothers have long ago gotten the hell out of dodge and only came back long enough to film a serious man and then leave again as soon as possible.
Just for the record, mr zimmern is a wonderful person, and Yum is way overpriced in my humble opinion.
How about adding that nice jewish boy who makes the horseradish flavored referent vodka to your list?
If you’re going to put Yum on your list, you may as well go all the way and list Fishman’s as well.
I love this list! I think Israeli-dance legend Shira Schwartz should be on this list too!
#21 had me laughing out loud! So true.
And I would say, although wildly over-priced, Fishman’s cinammon challah is also great.
Also, the new chabad house on the umn campus is reason to rejoice! They’re great people.
Personally, I love how warm and inviting the community is (for the most part). I’ve never found myself alone for any holiday and if I’m alone on shabbat, it’s purely by choice.
Max Sparber at MinnPost.com took this a bit further, awesomely:
Minneapolis’ crime boss in the middle part of the 20th century, Kid Cann, was Jewish;
Hollywood actor Ron Perlman, who plays Hellboy, graduated from the University of Minnesota;
The song “Funkytown” was written and produced by Steven Greenberg, a Jew from Minneapolis;
The bundt pan was invented by Nordic Ware for Minneapolis’ chapter of the Hadassah;
Minnesota’s unjustly neglected contribution to underground film, Sarah Jacobson, graduated from Edina High School and lensed or set “I Was a Teenage Serial Killer” and “Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore” here — both desperately in need of a revival.
Thanks for including me in #14! I’d add Sara Rice and Amy Ariel and the folks at Noazim, Mount Zion’s 20s/30s.
How could we miss
I’m going to weigh-in. How about Rabbi Joe Black (now in Denver) and Mark Bloom who’ve created, together and apart, a wonderful library of contemporary Jewish Music?
Rockin’ Rabbis under 40? Thou shalt add Rabbi Michael Latz of Shir Tikvah!!
Thanks for the Federation shout outs! Show us how proud you are to be Jewish in Minnesota on Dec. 8 as we try and break the world record for spinning dreidels with the MN Timberwolves! More online at http://www.jewishminneapolis.org.
Yippie for recognizing Rabbi Jared Saks!!!
How about the amazing educational system we have for Jews as well, in particular the Amos and Celia Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School, with it’s amazing teachers, and extrememly warm and welcoming front office staff. They have great programs and my kids end up surpassing me with their Hebrew and Jewish studies knowledge. In particular, I have to mention Ethan Tarshish (the Admissions Assistant), who does everything and more, there is nothing this guy won’t do to help. Or Helen Siegel, who has an amazing way with kids and problem solving. Ethan and Helen are just two of many examples of the above and beyond service this school employs to it’s kids and families. Love this school
NOAZIM, the unique and wonderful 20’s and 30’s group is number 1 on my list.