> Current Issues > Society’s Top 10 of 2013

December 25, 2013 | by

Revisiting the most popular articles and videos of the year.

Once a year when traffic slows down a bit (just how many of our readers are on vacation and off the grid?) we take a step back and get some perspective on what articles and videos really hit a nerve. This year there were a number of surprises.


The Secret Life of Gershon BurdThe Secret Life of Gershon Burd

Sara Rigler’s poignant tribute about a hidden tzaddik who tragically drowned was read around the world, making it one of the most popular articles ever on Even the Israeli newspaper Haaretz called our office, wanting to do their own article on this incredible family.

Ed Koch’s TombstoneEd Koch’s Tombstone

Rabbi Benjamin Blech, one of’s most prolific writers, captured the Jewish spirit of New York City’s controversial mayor, whose burial triggered his final controversy.

Black Jewish RapperBlack Jewish Rapper

We knew that readers would be enthralled with Nissim Black’s astonishing life story from the gritty underside of Seattle hip hop to becoming an observant Jew. What we didn’t envision was developing a warm friendship with such a mensch.

Learning from ShoshieLearning from Shoshie

When Rabbi Mike and Denise Stern lost their beloved 12-year-old daughter in a car accident, became the platform for the Jewish world to share their condolences and for the Sterns to share Shoshie’s deep and precocious insights about life.

Doni’s Life and LossDoni’s Life and Loss

In the raw, brutally honest article about the life and death of her son, Aliza Bulow gave us a glimpse what it’s like to go through one of life’s greatest challenges.

Ben Affleck on MarriageBen Affleck on Marriage

At the Oscars this popular actor popped the Hollywood bubble by giving an honest assessment that marriage takes a lot of work. Slovie Jungreis-Wolff used this teachable moment to share Judaism’s wisdom on how to create a vibrant marriage.

Rosh Hashanah InfographicRosh Hashanah Infographic created a popular series of holiday-themed infographics – an entertaining, easy-to-digest way to convey a lot of basic information and insights. Also great for sharing with family and friends.

Leaving Lady GagaLeaving Lady Gaga receives submissions from people around the world, and some of them are truly mind-boggling Here’s the story of a young Jewish student who discovered Lady Gaga before she became Lady Gaga, and how he left the music scene to study Torah in a yeshiva.

The Fateful Holocaust SecretThe Fateful Holocaust Secret

Rabbi Shraga Simmons unravels the riveting, moving story of a mother who buried her Jewish identity, and her son’s astonishing quest to reclaim it. A truly unique Holocaust story.

When Death Paid Me a VisitWhen Death Paid Me a Visit

After describing his frightening brush with death, Ephraim Shore was amazed by the avalanche of responses he received from around the world from old friends, acquaintances and strangers who were so inspired by his story.


Get Clarity:'s Rosh Hashanah Music VideoGet Clarity:'s Rosh Hashanah Music Video

A genuine viral hit – with great music, lyrics, dancers, Menachem Herman on guitar and that irresistible kid the mainstream media called a “Jewish Justin Bieber.”

Jtube: An Evening with Nichols and May: The Jewish MotherJtube: An Evening with Nichols and May: The Jewish Mother

When Jewlarious dug up this classic, who would have thought it would go viral? Don’t Jewish mother jokes ever grow old?

Passover: Breaking NewsPassover: Breaking News

We happen to love this sequel to Google Exodus – it’s clever and creative, if we may say so ourselves. It may not be Passover time, but watch it and pay attention to every slide.

The Black Miracle: A Hanukkah/Thanksgiving Poetry SlamThe Black Miracle: A Hanukkah/Thanksgiving Poetry Slam

We wanted to make a different holiday video (without break-dancers!) that celebrates the themes of thanksgiving and of finding light in the darkness. What better way than featuring Nissim Black’s miracle story through an urban poetry slam. We love the film – it’s honest, different and moving (even if some readers want the break dancers again).

Bobby’s Story: Living with Faith after the HolocaustBobby’s Story: Living with Faith after the Holocaust

A moving documentary about Mrs. Eva Bobby Newman, an Auschwitz survivor who shares her faith with the Next Generation.

Controlling Emotions: A Lesson from Angry BirdsControlling Emotions: A Lesson from Angry Birds

This short, animated film brings to life one of Rabbi Noah Weinberg’s core teachings from the 48 Ways. It asks the burning question: Do angry birds have a choice to be angry? It’s a viral hit on youtube.

This is Israel: ResilienceThis is Israel: Resilience

A powerful video featuring Asael Lubotzky, who was critically wounded by Hezbollah terrorists and dramatically transforms himself from victim to healer.

Yom Kippur: Coming CleanYom Kippur: Coming Clean

Charlie Harary is one of the best speakers in the Jewish world, and has the privilege of bringing his inspiring Jewish wisdom to the world.

Tisha B'Av: The Secret to Jewish SurvivalTisha B'Av: The Secret to Jewish Survival

Rabbi Dovid Fohrman is a gifted Torah scholar who has the uncanny ability of making deep Torah concepts accessible to the masses. This video series explores the meaning of Tisha B’Av. If you haven’t already, check out his mind-blowing weekly video on the Torah portion.

Life’s Only Disability: A Bad AttitudeLife’s Only Disability: A Bad Attitude

A young, observant Jew who has skeletal dysplasia sent an inspiring letter to the Baltimore Ravens. ESPN turned his important message into a video. One of the best sermons you’ll hear all year.


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