Forward Thinking

Rabbi Pinto and the Sheens

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

What do Charlie Sheen’s children, an Israeli gangster, and Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto have in common? They were all at one Los Angeles wedding.

Pinto, who conducted the ceremony, is the kabbalist who was under house arrest in Israel this fall after allegedly bribing a police officer.

The bride was C.C. Fontana, reportedly a former Ford model. Sheen’s kids were apparently members of the wedding party.

And the groom? That would be the Israeli gangster, Hai Waknine, who pled guilty to extortion in U.S. federal court in 2006. The prosecutor in the case called him “a shakedown collections guy.”

The report that puts all three in the same place comes from Posta.co.il, an Israeli news site. According to the site, Pinto wasn’t actually at the wedding, but rather officiated remotely. The language is unclear, and it’s uncertain how that would work. The arrangement could have something to do with Pinto’s legal situation.

The story does not indicate whether Sheen himself showed, or perhaps stayed home sipping tiger blood.

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Jewish Races Among Nastiest in Nation

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

getty images
Howard Berman

Jewish candidates are involved in some of the meanest, dirtiest races of the 2012 election cycle.

There are 435 U.S. House races this fall. Politico picked the ten “nastiest.” Of those, three feature Jewish candidates.

Politico doesn’t divulge its criteria for picking the “nastiest” races. But even an unscientific survey by the wonks at the D.C.-based political website came up with some pretty ugly contests.

Some of the picks are obvious. The California race between Jewish Democratic Congressmen Howard Berman and Brad Sherman has been covered heavily in the Forward.

As our Rex Weiner reported last week, things are really heating up in the San Fernando Valley.

The match-up, until now tense but polite, turned into a fracas when the Berman campaign launched a volley of negative TV, internet and direct mail messages charging that Sherman repaid himself for personal loans to his campaign war chest, plus interest, for a profit totaling more than $461,000 over a 17-year period.

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