So, you think you know what’s going on in the Jewish world? Test just how closely you followed the year’s news (and remember it) with this end-of-year news quiz.
1. Berlin’s Jewish Museum provoked controversy this year with …
a) an exhibit exploring the origins of the swastika as an ancient Hindu symbol
b) an exhibit featuring Jews sitting in a glass box answering questions from visitors
c) an exhibit featuring selfies taken at Holocaust memorials
d) a panel discussion on whether or not Anne Frank would have been a “belieber”
2. Which of the following was NOT among the findings of the Pew survey of U.S. Jews?
a) Four percent of Orthodox Jews said they had a Christmas tree in their home last year
b) Twice as many Jews said having a sense of humor was essential to being Jewish as those who cited observing Jewish law
c) Fourteen percent of American Jews said they ate gefilte fish at least once a month
d) Seven times as many Conservative Jews as Reform Jews said they can carry on a conversation in Hebrew
3. Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg’s Supreme Court case against Northwest Airlines concerned …
a) too many Sabbath-eve takeoffs near Ginsberg’s home
b) Northwest dropping Ginsburg from its frequent-flier program for complaining too much
c) Ginsburg’s removal from a flight after putting on his tallis and tefillin
d) the distribution of pretzels aboard a Northwest flight that were not strictly kosher
4. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif surprised many when he offered the following public wish:
a) that Jews worldwide enjoy a happy Rosh Hashanah
b) that the Zionist regime soon come to a fiery end
c) that Ayatollah Khameini take him off speed-dial
d) that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “shut up about the Jews and get a life”
5. Jacob Ostreicher, an Orthodox Jewish businessman from New York, was held against his will in Bolivia from 2011 until this December. Under mysterious circumstances, he escaped to the United States and immediately sought the care of:
a) Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn
b) Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles
c) The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
d) Actor Sean Penn
6. Which of the following headlines did NOT accompany a story this year about Jewish mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner in the New York Post:
a) Weiner’s Second Coming
b) Cuomo Beats Weiner … then goes limp
c) He’s Got Some Balls
d) Weiner’s Rise and Fall
7. A 13-year-old Indian-American boy, Arvind Mahankali, won the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the Yiddish-derived word that refers to a dumpling often found in chicken soup. How did he spell it?
8. Which of the following incidents involving former and current Israeli chief rabbis did NOT take place this year?
a) The Ashkenazi chief rabbi used a derogatory term to describe black basketball players
b) The winning choices for new Israeli chief rabbi were both sons of former chief rabbis
c) The Ashkenazi chief rabbi was arrested on suspicion of fraud and money laundering
d) One of Israel’s chief rabbis addressed the Limmud-U.K. conference
9. Hawaii’s lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, was named to replace Daniel Inouye after the senator died last year. In one of his first appearances, Schatz made clear he was not shy about his background when he introduced himself as a “Jewish kid from the state of Hawaii” and …
a) sang Aloha-He in Hebrew
b) accused Republicans of undercutting Israel through budget cuts
c) swore that he had never “treifed it up” at a luau
d) recited the Shehecheyanu
10. When Benjamin Netanyahu met with Pope Francis, what did the Israeli Prime Minister give him?
a) A copy of his father’s book on the Spanish Inquisition
b) A diagram of a cartoon bomb
c) A red string as a good-luck charm with Kabbalistic origins
d) An IDF T-shirt
11. Which of these parties did NOT compete in Israel’s Knesset elections in January?
a) The Pirate Party
b) The Free Love Party
c) The Green Leaf Party
d) The Na Nach Party (Breslover Hasidic)
12. Which of the following did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s household NOT spend more than $1,500 on this year?
a. Ice cream
b. Scented candles
d. The peanut snack food bamba
13. Dor Transilvan, a traditional Romanian folk ensemble, stumbled into controversy this year when…
a) its director revealed he was of Jewish descent
b) it incorporated an Israeli folk dance into an appearance in Transylvania, upsetting the region’s strident Romanian nationalists
c) it performed a Christmas carol on state-run TV that imagined Jews turning into smoke
d) Romania’s highest court upheld its longstanding suit against Sacha Baron Cohen for including one of its unwitting troupes in his 2006 film “Borat”
14. Which of the following was President Obama reported to have done during his visit to Israel in March?
a) At the Kotel, he asked why the women’s section was smaller than the men’s
b) Placed a pebble from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the grave of Yitzhak Rabin
c) Asked where Ariel Sharon was buried
d) Took a pound of dirt from the Holy Land for Michelle to plant in the White House garden
15. Which Israel-related activity has so far NOT been substantiated by Edward Snowden’s revelations:
a) The United States is aware of extensive Israeli spying operations on U.S. soil
b) Israel, Cuba, Russia, Iran and China are the five countries that are the focus of U.S. counterintelligence
c) The NSA and Israel co-wrote Stuxnet, the computer virus that hobbled Iran’s uranium enrichment program
d) Israel is one of several allies that mutually share unfiltered intelligence data with the United States, including names and other sensitive information
16. In July, Martin Indyk, the veteran Middle East peace negotiator, returned to the job and is now steering renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks. He revealed that 15 years earlier, his son Jacob, then 13, designed a screen saver aimed at keeping his computer illiterate Dad on his toes. It read:
a) “When they get on your nerves, imagine Bibi and Arafat in their underwear.”
b) “If not now, when?”
c) “Dad, is there peace in the Middle East yet?”
d) “If you will it, it is no dream.”
17. After Emory professor and rabbi Michael Broyde was forced to resign from a leading Orthodox Jewish religious court after admitting he systematically used a fake identity in scholarly journals, he said:
a) He hadn’t really wanted to be a member of the religious court anyway
b) He had been struggling with multiple personality disorder
c) He was being framed
d) Writing on Torah issues using a pseudonym is an old practice with support from religious sources
18. Which celebrity made which statement concerning Jews?
1) “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.”
2) “It can’t be like this 70-year-old Jewish man that doesn’t leave his desk all day, telling me what the clubs want to hear. I’m going out, I know what they want to hear.”
3) “Most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks … I can’t determine what offends another person.”
4) “I am not going to sit here and say that I hate Jewish people because that is not the case, nor is this about Jews. It is about Hitler and his side of the story that was never told since he was not the victor. All he wanted was to be able to feed his people from the depression, defend his country from being attacked unfairly.”
a) Tila Tequila
b) Miley Cyrus
c) Kanye West
d) Paula Deen
19. Which Jewish celebrity was arrested in Paris before Yom Kippur with a live rooster tied to his penis?
a) Actor Gene Wilder, who was in town filming a remake of Woody Allen’s 1972 film “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask.”
b) Author Jonathan Safran Foer, during a protest of vegetarians against the ritual of kapparot.
c) Dancer Steven Cohen, in an effort to convey a sense of being pulled between his two homelands.
d) Singer Matisyahu, who while waiting to perform kapparot showed that his beard wasn’t all he had shaved.
20. What is Golden Dawn?
a) Jewish actress Goldie Hawn’s new one-woman Broadway show.
b) A Greek neo-Nazi party.
c) Ashkelon’s new basketball franchise.
d) Tzipi Livni’s new political party.
Ready for the answers? Click here.