The Jewish Bizarre Podcast

From false messiahs to enraged revolutionaries, wrestling rabbis to pornographers, the scandalous to the brilliant, we will explore the highs and lows of the Jewish bizarre. Reboot faculty members Tony Michels and Eddy Portnoy, along with actress/comedian and Reboot Network member Jessica Chaffin will delve into fascinating mysteries as they journey into the strange and chaotic reaches of Jewish history.


Coming Soon!


Tony Michels

Professor and Reboot Faculty

Tony Michels is author of A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York (Harvard Univ. Press, 2005), editor of Jewish Radicals: A Documentary History (New York Univ. Press, 2012), and co-editor of The Cambridge History of Judaism. Volume Eight: The Modern World, 1815-2000 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2017).  He is a professor of American Jewish history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he serves as Director of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies.  Michels is currently writing a book tentatively entitled “To the East Broadway Station: The Russian Revolution in American Jewish HIstory.”  His article on Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers appeared in the Sound Issue of Guilt and Pleasure.



Eddy Portnoy

Senior Researcher and Director of Exhibitions at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Edward Portnoy is Senior Researcher and Director of Exhibitions at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.  Eddy received his Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary. His dissertation was on cartoons of the Yiddish press. He also holds an M.A in Yiddish Studies from Columbia, having written on artists/writers Zuni Maud and Yosl Cutler. His articles on Jewish popular culture phenomena have appeared in The Drama Review, Polin, and The International Journal of Comic Art. In addition to speaking on Jewish popular culture throughout Europe and North America, he has consulted on museum exhibits at the Museum of the City of New York, Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme in Paris, and the Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam.

His new book, Bad Rabbi, And Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press is now available here.


Jessica Chaffin

Host of The Kibitz

Jessica Chaffin is an American actress, comedian, and writer perhaps best known as Ronna of the comedy duo “Ronna & Beverly.” Other credits include VeepSpyThe Heat, the animated show Big Mouth, and Search Party.