OBAMA’S NO ‘OGRE’: Brooklyn’s right-wing Jewish Press hasn’t been too keen on Barack Obama. So perhaps it’s something of a victory for the Democratic presidential hopeful that this week’s Jewish Press editorial concedes that Obama “is not some ogre with a hidden anti-Semitic agenda.”
MEL BROOKS SPEAKS: The New Jersey Jewish Standard chats with the great Mel Brooks, who talks about his Jewish identity, and explains that “it’s good to be a Jew.”
CROSSING DELAWARE: The Baltimore Jewish Times chats with Jack Markell, Delaware state treasurer and gubernatorial hopeful.
BACK TO WORK: The Cleveland Jewish News speaks with a native Ohioan who was shot by a Palestinian sniper while accompanying his boss, Israeli public security minister Avi Dichter, and a group of Canadian Jews near the Gaza border. “It was important to me to get back to work. [My injury] was played up in the Palestinian press as a huge success because they were able to hit an adviser to a senior security minister who has put a lot of their guys in jails and in graves,” says 28-year-old Mati Gill, who was shot in the thigh. “I wanted to show them that this isn’t going to keep me from going back to work.”
STRIKING SENIOR: The St. Louis Jewish Light profiles 94-year-old Sam Fox, “the oldest bowler in the St. Louis Senior Olympics.” Fox recalls when he first started going to bowling alleys after attending hockey games with friends. “It was a great place to meet girls,” he explains.
JACKIE MASON BOMBS: Perhaps organizers of Britain’s Israel at 60 gala celebration didn’t make the smartest choice when they tapped Jackie Mason as a headliner. Indeed, one British rabbi, writing in advance of the event, called Jackie Mason “a terrible choice,” noting that the lofty values contained in Israel’s Declaration of Independence “are far removed from the kind of stereotyping of which Jackie Mason’s work is full.” And, sure enough, the American comic’s ethnically charged shtick didn’t seem to play well with the crowd at London’s Wembley Arena. The Jewish Chronicle’s reviewer wrote that Mason “went down like a lead gefilte fish.” Some attendees who spoke to the J.C. also weren’t laughing along with Mason’s act:
“It was outrageous, racist and not very politically correct. I was embarrassed,” said Hannah Kleinfeld. “I couldn’t bare it,” said Donna Sherrington, 31, of Hampstead. “I didn’t want to watch. I can’t believe people still say things like that.”
WAR ON WANT — AND ON ISRAEL: War on Want, a British anti-poverty group, has taken up the Palestinian cause, backing a rally that featured a video message from Hamas bigwig Ismail Haniyeh. London’s Jewish Chronicle has the story.
OPENING ORTHODOXY: London’s Jewish Chronicle speaks with Simon Hochhauser, president of Britain’s main Orthodox body, the United Synagogue. Hochhauser is running for reelection on a platform of promoting women’s equality in lay leadership roles and allowing individual synagogues greater financial autonomy.
SMOOTHER THAN HITLER?: Jewish groups were outraged by a South Korean cosmetic company’s TV commercial that used Nazi imagery and referenced Hitler to promote its skin-care products. The idea behind the campaign was to illustrate the product’s “revolutionary” benefits. While the ad campaign was eventually yanked, the Jewish Times Asia reports that “the battle is far from over.” “The use of Nazi and Hitler themes is becoming increasingly more common throughout the Far East,” the paper explains. “In the past year, there have been reports of Nazi themed bars and eateries, clothing lines, comic books, advertising campaigns and even a bedding collection.”