Soshi Games Tumblr
(JTA) — How would Shoshanna Shapiro, Zosia Mamet’s Jewish American Princess on crack (literally, sometimes) from “Girls,” fare at the Olympics? “Shoshi Games 2014” helps get your imagination going.
The anonymously created Tumblr superimposes Mamet’s face onto shots of different athletes, complete with Shosh-esque quotes as captions. Think lines like “Curling? I’ve been doing that since my bat mitzvah,” and “Are we going to a Drybar? #helmethair.”
Good stuff, mysterious Tumblr genius.
Shirley Temple in 1988 // Photo by Karen Leon.
Shirley Temple Black — who died at 85 on February 10 — may have indirectly helped my mother and me get a visa to America.
I became a Shirley Temple fan after seeing her in “The Little Colonel” in pre-war Warsaw. For weeks I ran around singing “Polly Wolly Doodle” in a Yiddish-Polish-English gibberish. During the bombing of Warsaw I grabbed my Shirley Temple doll as we fled our firebombed building — a doll my mother later traded for food and shelter. In Soviet-occupied Vilno [Vilnius] in 1940, I saw her in “The Little Princess” in which her character searches for her missing father. It was just after my father had been arrested by the Soviet NKVD (precursor to the KGB) and his whereabouts were unknown.
I corresponded with her during her tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana (1975), but did not meet her until June 1988 at an American Booksellers Association Convention in Anaheim, California, where she was feted as author of her autobiography “Child Star.” It was a banner year for celebrity authors that included Ladybird Johnson, Natan Sharansky, Charles Schulz, Jane Russell, Shirley MacLaine, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Theodor S. Geisel (a/k/a/ Dr. Seuss) E. L. Doctorow, Betty White, and U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast, Mary Lou Retton that was capped by extraordinary parties including (“Scruples”) author Judith Kranz’s then $50,000 party held at a hangar at the John Wayne Airport.
But it was meeting Shirley Temple who was mobbed by fans at her autograph session that has remained an indelible memory. She stopped to listen as I told her how she might have unwittingly been instrumental in my coming to America. I also sang a fragment [English version] of “Polly Wolly Doodle” that got her laughing.
When after V-E Day in 1945, at which time my mother’s and my “Duration of the War” visas in Canada expired, we were informed by the government that we were being repatriated to Poland! We did not know where my father was — or if he was even alive. Our families had been exterminated in the Warsaw Ghetto and by Einzatzgruppen [execution squads] in what is now Belarus. There was no one and nothing to return to.
My mother ordered me: Shreyb Mrs. Roosevelt. (write to Mrs. Roosevelt!). “Bist meshuge?“ — “Are you nuts?” — I countered. “Write! and tell her our plight!” she insisted. I wrote a 14-page handwritten letter — which I was informed is now at the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Archive stating, “I want to come to America because of Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Shirley Temple.”
A week later, my mother and I were called into the U.S. Consulate in Montreal and were greeted with: “So you are the little girl who wrote to Mrs. Roosevelt who wants to come to America because of Shirley Temple!” He showed me the letter in our dossier. A cousin in Chicago provided affidavits for us.
Mrs. Black smiled, shook my hand warmly, wished me luck and continued signing autographs.
She was a light during some of my darkest moments.
(JTA) — Change of plans for all parents hoping to get your kids to bed early on Oscar night: According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Frozen” star Idina Menzel will perform “Let It Go” at the ceremony Sunday, March 2.
“Let It Go” is nominated for best original song, up against “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “The Moon Song” from “Her” and “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2.” Pharrell Williams will take the stage to perform that last one, which means your evening just got even longer.
In the meantime, watch this clip of the Oscar-nominated song being sung in 25 languages. Hey, where’s the Hebrew version?
Three Jews walk into a Christmas movie…
This actually isn’t a joke. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen have announced that they are working on an “Untitled Xmas Comedy,” directed by Jonathan Levine.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the most Jewish of Christmas films will tell the heartwarming tale of three childhood best friends who reunite in New York City for their annual tradition of going out on Christmas Eve.
The third lead role has yet to be cast, but fingers crossed for another member of the tribe!
Sam Rubin needs to go back to sensitivity training.
The Jewish KTLA anchor, who once called out Mel Gibson on his anti-Semitic remarks, committed a major faux-pas yesterday when he confused Samuel L. Jackson with Lawrence Fishburne on-air.
It all started with Rubin asking Jackson, who stars in the upcoming “Robocop,” what the reaction to his Super Bowl ad was like, the New York Daily News reported.
“What Super Bowl commercial?” Jackson asked. (For reference, this is the Kia commercial that Lawrence Fishburne — Morpheus from “The Matrix” — starred in.)
Rubin can be seen looking off-camera clearly embarrassed. He awkwardly tried to diffuse the situation, but Jackson would have none of it.
“Memory! Memory! ” was the tattoo of Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat’s discourse at the 56th Leo Baeck Award Dinner and Lecture at the Center for Jewish History.
He was presented with the Leo Baeck Medal by Michael Blumenthal a past Chief White House Domestic Policy Advisor (1977-1981) and (1993-2001) Deputy Secretary of the Treasury now CEO of the Jewish Museum in Berlin who dubbed Eizenstat “a poster boy for unusually able public officials.” In his hour long address: “The Future of Jews: How Global forces are impacting the Jewish People, Israel and its Relationship with the United States” Eizenstat covered divestment and boycott of Israel, revival of Jewish life in Germany, plight of the world’s 500,000 Holocaust survivors — many below the poverty line and anti-Semitism in the Moslem world…and more.
Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era issues during the Clinton administration, Leo Baeck Institute Director William Weitzer singled him out as “One of our most effective advocates for Holocaust victims and their heirs.”
Among his distressing anecdotes, Eizenstat recalled a British acquaintance he met in Israel telling him that one of her daughters — a teacher — was advised by her principal not to let her students know she was Jewish and was told by her professor at Bristol University: ‘Isn’t it odd that no Jews were killed in the 9/11 attack.’” My instant reaction was to remember my friend Herman Sandler a president of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic who perished on 9/11.
It seems the lions at the Copenhagen Zoo enjoyed a little kosher treat this weekend.
Yes folks, that’s right: Marius the giraffe was kosher.
The 18-month-old giraffe was euthanized on Sunday because of a duty to avoid inbreeding. Reuters reported that Marius was given his favourite breakfast of rye bread and then shot.
And by euthanized, we mean “Marius” was skinned and dismembered in front of children, and then fed to the zoo’s lions.
According to Kashrut.com, there are certain misconceptions about how kosher of the long-necked mammal actually is. But rest easy — you won’t be feasting on giraffe around the Shabbat table any time soon. Although the giraffe is a kosher, it is not slaughtered because it is not known where on the neck to perform the shechitah (ritual slaughter).
WARNING: the video below contains scary and graphic images not fit for children — Oh wait.
Well O.C. fans, here you were comforting yourself with the thought that Seth and Summer lived happily ever after, and Adam Brody had to rip your heart out, slice it up and feast on it.
Brody, who played the Jewish and adorkable Seth Cohen, told Nylon that his character probably would have died in the seven years since “The O.C” breathed its last.
“If I had to predict, I’d say Seth Cohen is dead,” Brody said. “I think he’d be going down to Mexico and probably had a bad car accident. It wasn’t any fault of his own, but yeah, knowing what I know now about Seth and his poor decision-making, that’s my guess.”
As the A.V. Club points out, that wouldn’t be too far off the “O.C.” plot path, whose ditches were strewn with bad decisions, drug overdoses in Tijuana, and yes, death by car crash (RIP Marissa).
But don’t bust out the Sandy Cohen bagel and schmear of self-pity just yet. Brody added that even in death, there’s an upside for Seth.
“I mean, he’s probably hanging out in heaven watching Jimi Hendrix and Lou Reed live,” he mused. “He’s probably getting the best concert ever!”
Veteran actor Leonard Nimoy, best known as Spock in the 1960s television series “Star Trek” and a string of feature films that followed, said he was “doing OK” after being diagnosed with lung disease and urged fans on Thursday to quit smoking, by tweeting this message to his 810,000 followers:
Smokers, please understand. If you quit after you're diagnosed with lung damage it's too late. Grandpa says learn my lesson. Quit now. LLAP.ampmdash; Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 6, 2014
In Nimoy’s case, the actor said, he was diagnosed despite having quit smoking 30 years ago.
The 82-year-old actor added he was “doing OK. Just can’t walk distances,” and he signed off with “LLAP,” an abbreviation of his character’s trademark phrase, “live long and prosper.”
Nimoy first revealed in a Twitter message posted last week that he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, a severe lung ailment that the U.S. surgeon general has concluded is linked to smoking.
Representatives for the actor did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for further comment.
Nimoy, a native of Boston, has become synonymous with his role as Spock, the fictional half-human, half-Vulcan first officer and later commander of the starship Enterprise, in the television and film versions of “Star Trek.”
He most recently appeared in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” last year, and is a celebrated figure among the franchise’s loyal and avid fan base.
Spotted: A mannequin dressed as a Holocaust victim on display at L.A. Jock in West Hollywood, California. Oy.
But there’s more to the striped uniform and yellow star than meets the eye.
The display is meant as a symbol of protest ahead of a rally tomorrow against Russian president Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay policies, according to Racked.com.
“Putin’s Russia is Hitler’s Germany,” the store manager told Racked.
Nir Zilberman, the store’s Israeli owner who decided to put up the mannequin, is reportedly the descendant of survivors; his great grandparents were killed in the Holocaust.
“This isn’t supposed to be offensive, this is part of our history, and it sends a very clear message to stop the hate,” Zilberman was quoted saying.
The Russian government has been the target of harsh criticism in recent years for its anti-gay policies, with some arguing that the Sochi Olympics, held this month in Russia, should be boycotted. Hate crimes directed against gays have surged in recent years.
Some, however, found the mannequin display offensive, Racked reported.
“[It’s] more shocking and in poor taste” a reader told racked. “I’m just puzzled why a visual merchandiser would go that route.”
(JTA) — The latest on the Woody Allen saga: His son Moses Farrow has spoken out in his defense in an interview with People magazine.
Moses says he doesn’t believe Allen molested his sister Dylan Farrow.
“Of course Woody did not molest my sister,” says Moses, who is estranged from Farrow and many of his siblings and is close to Allen and Soon-Yi. “She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him. The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces. My mother was conveniently out shopping. I don’t know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother. Pleasing my mother was very powerful motivation because to be on her wrong side was horrible.”
Moses, a family therapist, goes on to accuse Mia Farrow of going into “unbridled rages” when angered, and of frequently hitting him.
Mia Farrow recently took to Twitter to respond to the allegations that she could have coached Dylan:
I love my daughter. I will always protect her. A lot of ugliness is going to be aimed at me. But this is not about me, it's about her truth.ampmdash; mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) February 4, 2014
Dylan responded by sticking to her story, and denying that her mother ever poisoned her against her father or resorted to corporal punishment.
“I will not see my family dragged down like this,” she adds. “I can’t stay silent when my family needs me and I will not abandon them like Soon-Yi and Moses. My brother is dead to me. My mother is so brave and so courageous and taught me what it means to be strong and brave and tell the truth even in the face of these monstrous lies.”
You may not have followed the Super Bowl, but chances are you’ve heard about the dead animal gracing Joe Namath’s back during the coin toss.
Namath’s fur coat comes to you courtesy of one Marc Kaufman, owner of Marc Kaufman furs, who apparently provided the former Super Bowl III hero with the Men’s Fur Coyote Parker when he dropped into the store last week, the New York Daily News reported.
He looked at it, and he said, ‘Wow,’” Kaufman told the Daily News. “He put it on. He turned around. He had a big grin on his face.”
The price for this pelt worthy of “American Hustle”? A cool $3,000.
Kaufman’s other A-List clients include fellow tribe-member Drake, and P. Diddy. According to the furrier, business is up since Namath’s appearance, with orders coming in from as far away as Dubai (to counter the freeze of air-conditioning, perhaps?).
Despite his exclusive clientele, Kaufman admitted he was excited to see Namath don one of his creations at Met Life Stadium.
“Everybody loves Joe,” he said. “He’s an icon.”
“We love the Forward!” Marian Scheuer Sofaer and Abraham Sofaer exclaimed in tandem when I was introduced to the husband-wife honorees at the American Numismatic Society’s 2014 Gala at the Waldorf-Astoria.
During our reception chat, the Sofaers confided, “Our favorite column is ‘Philologos.’ We’ve been Forward readers since we knew [about the paper]…. But, let’s talk later when we get back home [to California].”
The dinner notes informed: “Abe realized that coinage provided a unique opportunity to explore the rich cultural history of the Holy Land. Their collection includes coins from the early Persian period of the fourth century BC through the Macedonian, Seleucid, Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab States to the Crusaders of the 13th century — a period of 1700 years…. Coins as manifestations of political and economic policy as well as religious and dynastic ideology which open a unique window on the past and present.”
Marian Scheuer Sofaer and Abraham Sofaer // Credit: Karen Leon.
Mrs. Sofaer, a Bryn Mawr College and Columbia law School graduate, boasts credentials that include New York City Asst. Corporation Counsel in the Affirmative Litigation Bureau from 1982-1985. She later represented families whose property in former East Germany had been confiscated by the Nazis and also co-produced the award-winning documentary “Poumy,” about an Alsatian-Jewish woman’s role in the French Resistance during World War II.
Mr. Sofaer — a Yeshiva University and NYU School of Law graduate — is the George P. Schultz Distinguished Scholar and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, whose work focuses on the power over war within the U.S. government and on issues related to international law, terrorism, diplomacy and national security. His most recent book is “Taking on Iran: Strength, Diplomacy, and the Iranian Threat.” An irrepressible spirit, during dinner, backed up by the band, Mr. Sofaer took the microphone to sing the lyrics to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
Catching up with Mr. Sofaer in California he told me “I was born in Bombay, as was my mother. My father was born in Rangoon —my mother’s father was born in Burma — of the same Baghdadi background. I came to America when I was 14.”
He recalled his meeting with David Hendin, coin curator of a coin collection of New York’s Jewish Museum…”being introduced to Yaacov Meshurer, chief of Archeology and Numismatics at Israel Museum who taught me about coins and the history of the Holy Land…. and so I started collecting.” His first purchase was a shekel of the first year of the Jewish Revolt against Rome in 66/67 CE.
As benefactors of the American Numismatic Society, the Sofaers have donated part of their Holy Land collection — some 5000 coins — as a lasting legacy in the United States and in Israel with access scholars from both countries to study and publish. In 2013 The ANS published the two-volume catalogue “Coins of the Holy Land.”
When I asked Mr. Sofaer when his unlimited energy and joie-de-vivre, he replied: “I exercise. I walk every day. We have a gym in the basement, I married a young woman.”
(JTA) — We didn’t think it was humanly possible, but Natalie Portman has gone and inspired us yet again. This time, The Times of Israel reports, the actress, director, and adorable mom has donated money and clothing to Syrian refugees via Operation Human Warmth.
The initiative is the result of several Israeli organizations—the youth group Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, the social and education organization Dror-Israel, and Israeli Flying Aid, a global humanitarian organization–coming together to collect winter supplies for those displaced by the civil war in Syria.
Portman, who who is currently in Israel working on her directorial debut, an adaptation of Amos Oz’s novel “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” learned of the project through Israeli friends.
“When I heard about Operation Human Warmth I felt deeply moved and compelled to get involved,” she said in a statement. “In the middle of a brutal winter, these children have no shelter and their lives are in serious jeopardy from the cold. I am proud to take part in an operation where Israeli youth of all backgrounds are taking action to help out those whom need it most.”
Portman is no stranger to the whole mitzvah thing. The Israeli-born do-gooder has served as an ambassador for the microfinance organization Finca, supported environmental causes, and encouraged teenage girls to pursue careers in science. Have we mentioned how much she inspires us?
On a recent segment of “The View,” Barbara Walters aggressively defended Woody Allen against the sexual abuse allegations put forward by adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in a recent open letter to the public.
I know Mia, I have a good relationship with her,” Walters explained. “But I’ve been with Woody many times with his two daughters, he’s got almost a twenty-year-old marriage…I have rarely seen a father as sensitive, and as loving and as caring as Woody is to his daughters. I don’t know about Dylan, I can only tell you about what I’ve seen now, that it’s a good marriage and that he’s a loving, caring father.”
Jenny McCarthy tried to weigh in, arguing that she (Dylan) “has nothing to gain in coming out and saying this.”
Barbara would have none of it. “Supposedly, she’s very angry,” she responded. “But she’s doing it now because he’s up for an award, so the question is does your personal life interfere with the award?”
True or not, it’s clear that everyone is struggling with the idea. Watch the heated debate below:
Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone. It’s time for the take-away: The Broncos really need a hug. Bruno Mars was meh. This was possibly the most Jewish Super Bowl of all time.
If the whole SodaStream/Scarlett Johansson debate, and the availability of a game-time knish (for a whopping $6, mind you) didn’t tip you off, all you had to do was follow the ads. Here are some of the lessons we learned from some of our top Jews this year:
1. Bob Dylan wants you to buy American.
2. Bob Dylan wants you to buy Chobani. (Also, Mandy Patinkin voice-over!)
(JTA) — The rumored Seinfeld reunion finally happened! Teased in a spot during the Super Bowl, Jerry Seinfeld’s latest episode of his web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” featured Seinfeld and Jason Alexander reprising their roles from the hit show.
A decade and a half later, George is still just as easy to dislike, especially if you’re the Wassersteins. Turns out George ruined their last Super Bowl party with his overzealous cheering and master bathroom antics. George and Jerry hash this out, old married couple style. Plus, thanks to a visit from everyone’s favorite nemesis, we get to hear Jerry say “Newman!”
Dare we say it was more exciting than the game itself?
Dylan Farrow has renewed her allegations of sexual abuse against Woody Allen, this time, in her own words.
In an open letter published on Nick Kristoff’s New York Times blog, the adopted daughter of Allen and actress Mia Farrow (who now goes by a different name), repeated her claim that the director sexually assaulted her when she was just seven years old.
“What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”
The letter had scarcely been posted that reactions started to surface on Twitter:
To share in this way is courageous, powerful and generous. Please read: http://t.co/RKKREFB8hMampmdash; Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) February 1, 2014
Still processing, tho my voice is not what matters here. In case you still haven't read it: http://t.co/iyAakMLPEwampmdash; Tavi Gevinson (@tavitulle) February 1, 2014
Brave and empowering http://t.co/sd0Z18m5xfampmdash; Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) February 2, 2014
Quite a gender gap in reaction to Dylan's essay. Many men are denouncing me for publishing it; many women thanking me for the same.ampmdash; Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) February 2, 2014
I've loved his movies and cited them over the years but I don't want to contribute any more to a culture that tells survivors of abuse that-ampmdash; Tavi Gevinson (@tavitulle) February 1, 2014
-their voices do not matter or tells white men that you can sexually abuse a child and still be celebrated worldwide for your work.ampmdash; Tavi Gevinson (@tavitulle) February 1, 2014
In her letter, Dylan appealed directly to the actors appearing in Allen’s movies, asking them not to turn a blind eye:
“What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?
Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.”
The allegations against Allen resurfaced in a 2013 Vanity Fair profile of Mia Farrow, in which the 28-year-old Dylan described the abuse.
Allen, 78 has always denied the allegations. He and Farrow split up in 1992.
A tribute to Allen at the Golden Globes and an Oscar nomination for “Blue Jasmine” have re-awakened the discussion about whether or not the iconic director is in fact a child-molestor.
During the Golden Globes ceremony for the Cecil B. DeMille Award, presented to Allen by Diane Keaton, his estranged son Ronan tweeted:
Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?ampmdash; Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 13, 2014
Amar’e Stoudemire may have spent a little too much time around Israeli kibbutzim.
The New York Post reports that the New York Knicks player has bought a 190-acre farm in Hyde Park, Dutchess County.
According the Post, Stoudemire talkes about his new farm on a new MSG show, “In the Kitchen With,” which launches on February 7.
No details yet on whether or not Stoudemire plans to build a house on the property. Maybe he just wants an organic farm to grow vegetables for his upcoming cookbook, “Cooking With Amar’e — 100 Easy Recipes for Pros and Rookies in the Kitchen.” Co-written with personal chef Max Hardy, the book will be released in May. ‘
Let’s hope there’s a good recipe for brisket a la Amar’e.
How do you make Craigslist less creepy? Call in Alison Brie.
The Jewish “Community” and “Mad Men” actress was on Jimmy Kimmel, where the comedian had her read a series of “Missed Connections” entries out loud. They seemed almost romantic.
For those of you who have a life, Missed Connections, as described by Kimmel, are “messages from people who met or saw someone they were attracted to, but for whatever reason didn’t get their number.”
Cue mood music.
[h/t The Daily Dot]