Political Analyst, Yale Artist in Residence, Blogger, Jewish Joke-Teller and Dry Bones Cartoonist.
Kirschen was born in 1938 in America. He grew up in Brooklyn, was graduated from Queens College in 1961. He studied Art but became a cartoonist. Writing and drawing funny greeting cards and gag cartoons. His work is included in several "Best Of" Playboy anthologies.
In 1968 the Playboy cartoonist became an anti-Vietnam War political activist and founded a local Democratic Party Club. He was then elected delegate to the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. He also began doing Zionist cartoons for radical and underground Jewish Student activist newspapers.
These cartoons then became syndicated by the Jewish Student Press Service.
In 1971 he moved to Israel, changed his first name from Jerry to Yaakov, and in 1973 began drawing a daily editorial strip called Dry Bones, which has become internationally syndicated and is known as Israel’s Political Comic Strip. Kirschen is a member of both America’s National Cartoonists Society and the Israeli Cartoonists Society. The cartoonist is an entertaining and popular speaker, combining Jewish Joke-telling with political analysis. He has, in parallel with his career as a cartoonist, been an innovative computer game designer and inventor. His company LKP ltd. has done work for major computer and game companies both in Israel and in the U.S. A number of his breakthroughs in the area of Artificial Personality and Artificial Creativity were covered in major stories by journals such as the NY Times, LA Times, etc.
In 1993 his graphic novel, Trees …the Green Testament, was published. It was an attempt to tell the history of the Jews and of the Land of Israel from the viewpoint of the Trees of Israel. The Wall Street Journal reported in a front page story that the book was being received by some as a work of “Prophecy” and the cartoonist was being called a “Prophet”. The first printing of 40,000 was sold out, there was never a second printing, and the book became a legendary underground classic. In 2011 Kirschen would decide to make an eBook of Trees available to all for free.
In 2005, Kirschen created the award-winning “Dry Bones Blog” (drybonesblog.com). In the last Jewish/Israeli Blogosphere (JIB) Award Competition, the Dry Bones Blog was voted the Best Overall Jewish Blog of the year. The popular site also took the gold for Best Jewish Humor Blog, Best Political/Current Events Blog, Best Jewish Culture Blog, and Best Pro-Israel Advocacy Blog.
In 2009 the Dry Bones cartoon celebrated its 36th year in The Jerusalem Post. Kirschen's political and social commentary has been reprinted or quoted by Forbes, the New York Times, the London Sunday Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Time Magazine, LA Times, Associated Press, CBS, CNN, and others. Dry Bones is now syndicated internationally and is a regular feature in 40 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. The award-winning and popular Dry Bones Blog (DryBonesBlog.com) began in 2005. It publishes annotated Dry Bones cartoons daily
In 2009, Dry Bones cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen was made a “visiting fellow” and “artist in residence” of Yale University’s Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism (YIISA).
In 2010, Yale published Kirschen’s ground-breaking working paper entitled “Memetics and the Viral Spread of Anti-Semitism through “Coded Images in Political Cartoons”. The paper identifies anti-Semitism as a behavioral virus, isolates its three viral strains, and reveals its use by totalitarian movements in their attempts to conquer the West.
In October of 2010 Kirschen presented his revolutionary findings at Yale in a presentation called “Secret Codes, Hidden War”. The “Hidden War” is the war against free and Democratic societies. The “Secret Codes” are the codified and virally spread anti-Jewish libels used in that war. Like the red spots on the skin of a sick child, the presence of these codes in political cartoons should be seen as symptoms of a deeper sickness. For self-protection, democratic societies should deal with the sickness as Disease Control problem.
In 2011 Kirschen presented his YIISA “Secret Codes” findings to the annual meeting of the “Conference of Presidents” in Jerusalem.
In May of 2011 Kirschen plans a major U.S. speaking tour for the month of May. The tour content will combine his newest Yale “Secret Codes” findings with the latest News and other jokes. The Tour is sponsored by Z Street and Young Israel.
Download Yaakov Kirschen's color photo - Download Yaakov Kirschen's black and white mug shot photo
Click on dated titles below to display each column.
8/11/2011 What New Depression?
7/21/2011 The Cloud
7/13/2011 Banning Circumcision is Simply Banning Judaism
7/7/2011 Thoughts About The Flotilla