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  • bagel

    "A leavened, firm, doughnut shaped roll" (JPS)

  • bar mitzvah

    Jewish coming-of-age ceremony/celebration for a 13-year-old boy; the boy who has come of age.

  • Borscht Belt

    region in the Catskill Mountains with many summer resorts frequented by Jews, especially in the mid twentieth century

  • bupkis


  • challah

    "The braided egg bread that traditionally is eaten on almost every Jewish holiday and [the Sabbath]" (JPS)

  • chutzpah

    guts (positive)

  • Diaspora

    "The term for Jewish communities and their residents who live outside of the State of Israel" (JPS).

  • fatootsed

    enervated, played out, knackered, terminally fatigued

  • gefilte fish

    minced sweet or sour fish, cooked in balls or a log and sliced. [lit., "stuffed fish"(JPS), since the chopped fish used to be placed back in the fish for cooking.]

  • gesundheit

    Health. (Bless you) - said in response to a sneeze.

  • glitch

    flaw; slight problem in a process

  • goy

    a nation, but not the Jewish nation

  • hanukkah

    The winter-time festival that commemorates the rededication of the Temple after the Maccabean revolt in the second century B.C.E. (lit. "dedication")

  • Hasid

    A disciple of a rabbi, not only a member of a Hasidic group.

  • Haskalah

    19th century Jewish Enlightenment, in which modern philosophy and literature entered Jewish consciousness

  • hoo-ha

    interjection of admiration or astonishment

  • Kabbalah

    a Jewish mystical work, sometimes used as a catch-all term for Jewish mysticism. "The Jewish mystical tradition" (JPS)

  • kibbitz

    "To socialize aimlessly...To carry on a running commentary" (Rosten)

  • kibbitzer

    Someone who "gives unasked-for advice ... especially as a bystander-observer at a game (bridge, poker, checkers, chess)." (Rosten)

  • kibbutz

    "[Israeli agricultural] collective" (Glinert) Most settlements in Israeli which originally began as kibbutzim now function as regular municipalities.