Looking back on the terrible time that was 2020 isn’t easy. There has been so much pain, but there has also been joy. And J. has been there to cover it all. Here is a list of the 10 most popular local stories on our site this past year. Politics, Covid, astrology, and hey — is anyone watching Israeli TV?
Antisemitism abounded online this year, especially conspiracy theories involving George Soros, driving big traffic to every story of ours that mentions him. But this one, about the real story of the Hungarian Jewish philanthropist and antisemites’ boogeyman du jour, came out on top.
Israeli TV and Israeli actors have been more and more in the spotlight among English-speaking viewers in recent years. This list certainly reflects that, with pieces from our TV columnist Esther D. Kustanowitz on “Fauda,” “Unorthodox,” “Shtisel” and others.
We covered the effects of the pandemic on the Bay Area Jewish community extensively — but nothing captured our readers’ attention quite like this Q&A with a straight-talking virologist who impressed on us that the vaccine is hardly the end of the fight against Covid.
For some lighter pandemic fare, readers turned to this one about the family of KALW reporter Eli Wirtschafter creating a hilarious quarantine-themed “Fiddler on the Roof” parody. We’d recap some of the best lines, but, well — just watch it for yourself:
“Fauda,” the intense Israeli spy show that has become a sensation in the U.S., was back with season 3, which our reviewer said was full of the “dramatic tautness and moral murkiness we’ve come to expect from previous seasons.”
Two competing exit polls reported differing results, prompting us to look into the history of the Jewish vote and how American Jews really voted in November.
In perhaps our most shocking local story of the year, an East Bay Jewish doctor was killed in a random shooting spree in the Sierras. He was described by those who knew him as an avid outdoorsman who was “humble and easygoing.”
The march of Israeli TV content continues. In this one, Esther D. Kustanowitz suggests a few lesser-known series to check out.
Shortly after Oakland native Kamala Harris was selected as Joe Biden’s running mate, we asked longtime Bay Area Jewish leaders who know her what they think of her.
This last one is a late-breaking contender. It’s last week’s installment of AstroloJew, our Jewish astrology column. People got really excited about the whole “Great Conjunction” thing.