Love It. Fear It. Smear It.
Is 'Halachic' Going Mainstream?
Sitting Shiva for Spot?
A 'Crazy' Look at Paris Strip Palace
Boycotting Israel and My Olive Tapenade
From Esperanza to Shprintze
Israeli Gas Masks Help Get You High(er)
Was Adolf Hitler Leader or Follower?
Why My Daughter Isn't Bilingual — Yet
Preaching Lost Art of Fermentation
'Homegrown' Story of West Coast Jews
Remembering Mike Wallace
Sisters in Skivvies on the Lower East Side
An Anthem for LGBT Youth
Jewish Gangsters at the Mob Museum
Mayim's Most Important Role
‘Cabaret’ Comes to Tel Aviv
A Transsexual at Yeshiva University
'Strange' Evolution of Legendary Song
Kehinde Wiley Paints Israelis in Color
Nudge, Nudge. Wink, Wink.
Sweating in the Cleveland Schvitz
Berlin Film Festival Gets Serious, Mostly
Addicted to Aggadah
Why Do Men Write All the Baby Manuals?
Jewish Oscar Winners, From Allen to Zinner
Cleveland Rocks — Not Really
Raised Christian, But Jewish by Birth
Be My Israeli Valentine
The Jew and Hitler's Bug
Academy Awards Slideshow
Oscar Wins for ‘The Artist’; ‘Footnote’ Shut Out
The Jewess of 'Downton Abbey'?
The Allure of the Burka
Who Will Light Up Jewish Kids Lit?
Leonard Cohen's Old Whine in a New Bottle
Stephen Colbert vs. Maurice Sendak
X-Rated Dispute in Knesset
A Fraught Journey To Judaism
Bringing Real Bagels to the Motor City
Saying Mazel Tov in Mandarin
Strange Origins of David Cronenberg's 'A Dangerous Method'
How Jews Stayed in Good Spirits During Prohibition
The Word 'Jew' Has Fallen Out of Favor
Last Song of Hitler's Favorite Crooner
Making Foodie Resolutions for New Year
For the Glove of the Game
Adrienne Cooper Embodied Progressive Spirit
TV Ripped My Son From Reality
How Authentic Is ‘Porgy and Bess’?
Sandra Bernhard Shows Her Softer Side
Gimme Some New Time Religion
Tintin and the Anti-Semites
Gimme Some Old Time Gossip
Jewish Cookies Santa Would Love
The Hanukkah Bush and Christmas Dreidel
As of right now until 11:59 p.m. on December 5, you can now vote for your picks for the People’s Choice Awards.
In other fun news, the show will be hosted by TV’s second famous broke women (you know, because “Girls”…): Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, stars of “2 Broke Girls.”
It happened! Beth and I are hosting the 2014 People's Choice Awards! Voting starts now! Get in there #peopleschoiceampmdash; Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) November 5, 2013
So, click on your current obsession and tune in Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m. on CBS.
Rocker Lou Reed, the frontman of the 1960s band The Velvet Underground who died last week, left his estate to his wife and his sister, according to a will filled in a New York court.
The performer, whose solo songs include “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Perfect Day,” died of liver disease at the age of 71. He underwent a liver transplant in April.
Reed’s wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, will receive most of the estimated $15 million estate, including their New York apartment, a home in East Hampton, New York, and all the singer’s personal property.
Reed and Anderson married in 2008.
“The bulk of his estate is in trust for his wife, 75 percent. The other 25 percent is in trust for his sister,” said Reed’s lawyer, James Purdy.
Reed’s sister also received a $500,000 bequest. Reed said in the will, filed on Monday, that he hoped she would use a portion of the money to care for their elderly mother.
Brooklyn-born Reed formed The Velvet Underground with musician John Cale as an experiment in avant-garde rock and was managed early on by pop artist Andy Warhol.
Reed has been widely credited with expanding the lexicon of rock music with provocative lyrics that chronicled androgyny, illicit sex and drug abuse.
The band heavily influenced rock music in the 1960s and 1970s and was an inspiration for punk art.
If you’ve had to search for anything on Google today (which, let’s face it, you probably have), you have most likely encountered the Google Doodle honoring Raymond Loewy:
There’s nothing like a little girl talk to get one through the worst of times.
In the December issue of Elle (which she covers), Lea Michele describes how Kate Hudson was her shoulder to cry on in the aftermath of boyfriend and co-star Cory Monteith’s sudden death.
“I called her and said, ‘I don’t know where I’m going to go because my house is swarmed [with reporters].’ She was like, ‘Oh, you’re going to stay at my house.’ Like it was nothing.”
But Michele wasn’t the only one sleeping over: “She let my family stay there, and any of my friends. She made sure that in the refrigerator were my favorite juices,” Michele toldElle. “I’ll never really be able to thank her, truly, for what she did for me.”
Monteith died in July at the age of 31. The coroner’s report ruled that the cause of death was “mixed drug toxicity,” ie — an overdose of heroin and alcohol. According to Michele, the two had been dating on the down low since the first season of “Glee.”
It’s very hard,” she said, referring to life without him. “You have to be very strong to come out of this alive, but I think by doing the best for myself, by showing that you don’t have to lose yourself, maybe someone else will feel some sort of strength or comfort.”
For more, check out the new issue of Elle. Michele offered readers a sneak peak via Twitter on Monday:
Spotting N.Y.C. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as I arrived at the Grand Hyatt for the October 28 Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation Gala, I felt very safe.
Petite sexpert, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, perennial photo-op magnet and a former sniper in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, managed to be photographed with Federal enforcement groupings that included some very tall members of the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, former First Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge as well Patriot Award recipient John Catsimatidis CEO of The Red Apple Group and actor Stephen Baldwin.
Richard Kendall founder and CEO of the three-year old foundation told the 600 strong assemblage: “Our core mission is that when a federal agent is tragically killed in the line of duty, our foundation provides immediate grants—often within 24 hours—cutting through red tape and helping people the moment they need help—because we are family.”
Introducing Lifetime Achievement Award recipient former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge recalled that when he was First Secretary of Homeland Security “I had a portrait made. A former cabinet secretary told me, ‘that’s what happens to you when you are in public service — first they paint you in a corner, then they frame you, and then they hang you.’”
Every week, Rabbi Yael Buechler paints her nails. Only, unlike most of us, she isn’t on the prowl for the new Essie obsession.
Every manicure has a purpose: to represent that week’s Torah portion.
“I started doing nail art designs back when I was in middle school, long before nail art was in fashion. One of my earliest designs was Israeli flag themed nails for an Israel rally,” Buechler explained over email. “Throughout high school and college, my weekly manicures for the Torah portions and Jewish holidays became a personal way for me to connect to my Jewish learning.”
The result is Midrash Manicures, a website where the 27-year-old graduate from the Jewish Theological Seminary shows off her designs and new nail decals, available for purchase for those unwilling (or too unskilled) to spend an hour on their nails each week — the Ten Plagues have never looked so good.
Buechler also uses nail art as a teaching tool: her day job is as the Rabbi-in-Residence of the Lower School at the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester. She also offers educational workshopsin synagogues, day schools and summer camps.
“Students in my classes first study a text from the Chumash with their Chevrutah (learning partner) and they then work with [them] to paint each other’s fingernails.”
Though only the girls actually paint their nails, Buechler pointed out that more and more of the boys are intrigued by the process, and follow along with their classmates.
In honor of Thanksgivukkah, Buechler came up with a design worthy of this extra festive hybrid-holiday. The Forward’s own Maia Efrem got to experience it for herself:
Novelists Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss are listing their opulent century-old Brooklyn brownstone for a cool $14.5 million, the Daily News reported.
The Park Slope townhouse, located on Second Street right next to Prospect Park, was built in 1902 for the heirs to the Woolworth fortune.
It has six bedrooms, a backyard, a conservatory on the third floor with Tiffany stained glass windows, and its own dedicated parking space.
You may now melt into a puddle of jealousy.
Brownstoner reports the couple bought the plush single-family residence for $5.75 million in 2005.
Other big recent Brooklyn sales include the nine-bedroom former home of Jennifer Connelly and Paul bettany, which sold for $8.45 million in 2008, and Truman Capote’s old single-family home in Brooklyn Heights, which sold last year for $12 million, the Daily News said.
What do you call a website that offers viral Jewish video, all the time?
Pittsburgh-natives Dovid Taub, DovBer Naiditch and Sruli Broocker have come up with an answer: Shmideo.
Tagged as a place that offers “Awesome content for awesome Jews,” and approved by the BJA (the Board of Jewish Awesomeness), Shmideo seeks to carve a space for content that is both appealing to all types of viewers, while retaining a meaningful Jewish core.
“My wife has coined the term ‘spectacularly imaginative Jewish content,” said Taub. “There’s a lot of Jewish websites that have a lot to offer but aren’t fun or engaging and can be threatening for that reason. And [then] there are some websites that are irreverent and fun, but doesn’t have enough Jewishness in it.”
If you thought being named global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors was just another title for Drake, think again.
The Canadian Jewish rapper just released a promo video for the basketball team’s new season, and it is seriously inspirational stuff. Check it out:
Hollywood is a veritable treasure trove of overly expensive and elaborate costumes come Halloween time, but also some of the most fun. Here are a few of the best costumes Jewish celebs have donned this year and in years past:
An ultra-Orthodox sect has banned its Yeshiva students from eating soy products on the basis that the levels of estrogen found in soy beans could turn the men gay, the Haredi World newspaper reported on Tuesday.
School officials are concerned that eating anything containing soy, even just one a week, “can cause unwanted arousal,” and “accelerate sexual maturity.”
While soy beans are known to be a high-level source of phytoestrogen, and consuming huge quantities of soy can have “feminizing effects” on some men’s bodies, eating soy products has not been proven to turn people change people’s sexual preferences.
The Gur Hasidic dynasty, which originated in Poland, is known for having some of the most extreme restrictions on sexual practices in the Jewish world. For example Haredi media outlets reported in August that Gur Rabbi Avraham Binyamin Zilberberg had prohibited physical contact between men, such as shaking hands, for fear that such intimacy might “awaken the evil inclination” and “cause him to have thoughts of misbehavior,” Ma’ariv reported at the time.
Leaders of the group could not be reached for comment and it was not immediately clear where the yeshiva is located.
Apparently, creating a rabbi-shaped dildo isn’t the most controversial thing British comedian Shed Simove has done.
In fact, it’s what he chose to name the sex toy that’s giving him a headache. According to Haaretz, Simove is being sued by sex mega-store owner Ann Summers, who thinks that “Rampant Rabbi” is a little too close to her own brand of fun, called the “Rampant Rabbit.”
The vibrating Jewish religious leader — which offers “the modern Jewish woman a religious experience” — is part of the “masturpieces” collection, a new line of sex toys designed by Simove. Other gems include “C*nt Dracula” — pretty self-explanatory— and Buckingham Phallus, bearing the royal visage of Queen Elizabeth II.
Offensive? Simove doesn’t think so. “I am Jewish and a fan of laughing at one’s culture,” he told the New York Daily News, when asked if his dildo might offend Jews.
As to whether or not women seeking for the advertised “Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!” reaction will be confused by a one letter difference in “rabbi” and “rabbit,” Simove isn’t too worried. In any case, he will continue to sell his version.
“Aftermath, “ the Polish film by director Wladyslaw Pasikowski, offers that rare phenomenon where fiction is more unsettling than reality, with a macabre Zombie-genre film finale that left me sobbing.
The setting is a post–World War II Polish village where the locals ostracize their own — two brothers — Josek (Maciej Stuhr) who inexplicably “plants” Jewish tombstones — which had been used as road covers — in a wheat field, and his brother Franek (Ireneusz Czop) who returns after years in Chicago. Why the antagonism toward the brothers?
Cinematographer Pawel Edelman so accurately captures the Polish countryside that I could smell the earthy wheat fields near the village. So like those surrounding the shtetl where my family members and their neighbors lie buried.
Following the film’s October 15 preview at Manhattan’s JCC — attended by the film’s producer Dariusz Jablonski, moderator Columbia University film scholar Annette Insdorf later told me how impressed she was with the sold out “well-informed audience. It was,” she said “what I would call the ‘creme de la crème’ of the ‘Polska intelligentsia’ which included Polish Cultural Attache Jerzy Onuch and Polish Consul General Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka.”
Insdorf called on Mordechai Paltiel, who, she explained “is noted for his pioneering work with Yad Vashem in acknowledging Righteous Gentiles… He picked up on something I had said, namely that my own father survived the Holocaust because he and his brothers were hidden by Polish peasants in the woods.” Insdorf added, “”Aftermath” includes no Righteous Gentiles, no character representing the smaller number of Poles who risked their lives to save Jewish neighbors.”
(JTA) — Don’t confuse them with the “Hottest Rabbis” of 2013, for which the Jewrotica website is currently soliciting nominations.
No, these are the “Nice Jewish Guys” of 2014: the stars of a glossy wall calendar produced in partnership with JDate, just in time for Thanksgivukkah.
This year’s gentlemen include Roe (shown caressing a braided challah), Jason (enjoying a hot dog) and Alex, who happens to be actor Howie Mandel’s son.
The Mandel connection no doubt helped the calendar, which has been published annually since 2011, snag a mention on last night’s “Tonight Show.” Jay Leno interviewed the more famous Mandel and chided the calendar-makers for basing it on the Gregorian, rather than Jewish, year.
Neither the selection criteria nor target audience is entirely clear. Are all the guys ISO female and/or Jewish partners? Just how “nice” are they? Is the whole thing meant ironically? And are they aware that few singles under the age of 50 actually look up from their Google Calendar and Outlook-equipped smartphones long enough to consult a wall calendar nowadays?
In any event, each month features several shots of a fully clothed gent, identified by his first name and a brief, minimally proofread, description. January’s Daniel, for example is a “buffed out hockey stud” who “likes to cook, take care of his dog and going to concerts.” March’s John is a “meatloaf-loving martial artist” who is “not a good whistler.” And Kristopher (no explanation for his goyish name) is a student who “claims his nose is his sexiest attribute.”
By now, we expect reality singing talent programs to be emotionally manipulative. It’s all part and parcel of the ratings game, and has been from the very first episode of American Idol, the show that spawned the genre. Without these narratives, after all, how else could so many people be convinced to watch performance after performance of mostly mediocre singers?
But sometimes - in spite of ourselves and our awareness of the corporate marketing machine behind the tear-jerking personal stories of the starry-eyed hopefuls – we are moved. Come on, who couldn’t help feeling great when they saw dumpy middle-aged Susan Boyle blowing away the judges back in 2009 with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” in the YouTube moment that will live forever?
And so it happened again on Saturday night, as the endlessly-hyped Israeli version of the Simon Cowell cash cow “The X-Factor” made its debut. Was it pure coincidence that over the week leading up to its premiere, Cowell both helped raise $20 million for Israeli soldiers and said he was considering learning to dance the hora? Hmmm…
Anyway, the first audition show shot at massive Nokia Stadium was all the franchise is meant to be: big flashy, exciting, star-studded, with the biggest gem in the crown being show host Bar Rafaeli, arguably Israel’s most successful export.
The fare wasn’t anything new or original. We’ve all - even here in Israel - seen it before on American Idol, The Voice and now on the new original Israeli format Rising Star, coming soon to Europe and for which there may be a bidding war in Hollywood even as we speak.
There are so many shows at this point that it’s getting fairly hard to remember which is which.
But some individual performers stand out. On Sunday, it was young Daniel Amit’s audition that stole the show, not necessarily in terms of vocal power, but emotional power. The smiling curly-haired brown-eyed 16 year old stepped onto the stage wearing a T-shirt saying “I am Proudly Autistic.”
Read more at Haaretz.com
Singer and dancer Paula Abdul met in Jerusalem with Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Abdul, former “American Idol” and “X Factor” judge, met Peres Tuesday at the start of a ten-day visit to Israel. She is scheduled to tour sites including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and northern Israel and learn more about Israeli society, fashion, dance, theater and music.
“I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude to be here, I’ve wanted to come for years. My career took me many places and this is my first vacation in almost eight years that I’m actually here to sightsee like a regular tourist. My family was here and they were crying, overwhelmed with joy that I’m here,” Abdul told Peres, his office said in a statement.
“I am sure that wherever you go you will feel the warmth and love of the people of Israel, you will feel at home here,” Peres told Abdul.
She responded: “Everyone told me you’re so sababa and it’s true.” Sababa is an Israeli expression equivalent to awesome.
Abdul reportedly will have a bat mitzvah at the Western Wall during her trip.
Before we fell in love with him (or at least, really respected the power of his beard) as Saul on “Homeland,” Mandy Patinkin was best remembered for saying 13 words: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”
Well guys, sorry to disappoint, but those aren’t Mandy’s favorite words from “The Princess Bride.”
In an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, the actor admitted that he recently rediscovered what he considered the best line in the movie: “I have been in the revenge business so long, now that’s it’s over, I do not know what to do with the rest of my life.”
50ish-year-old Mandy finally understands what 30ish-year-old Mandy meant. The purpose of revenge, in my personal opinion is completely worthless and pointless,” he said in the interview.
Wise words from a wise man.
Watch the clip below:
Lou Reed, rock & roll poet and founding member of the Velvet Underground, died on the same Sunday morning that he taught us all to love (“Sunday Morning.” 1966). As usual, Twitter was the first to know it. Here is how Jewish celebrities reacted:
The one and only Lou Reed, died today at 71.ampmdash; Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) October 27, 2013
Just a perfect day you made me forget myself I thought I was someone else, someone good #RIP LOU REEDampmdash; Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) October 27, 2013
We love you Lou. We love you Laurie.ampmdash; Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 27, 2013
Lou Reed forever defined the beautifully blue Sunday morning. It feels like a wry touch to hear the sad news about him at such a time.ampmdash; B.J. Novak (@bjnovak) October 27, 2013
I think I read that Eno said The Velvet Underground never had a big hit, but everyone who heard them went out and started a band. #LouReedampmdash; Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) October 27, 2013
Oh it’s such an imperfect day. #LouReedRIPampmdash; Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) October 27, 2013
Linger on…ampmdash; Evan Rachel Wood (@evanrachelwood) October 27, 2013
When Anderson Cooper gets a stalker, it’s not just some garden-variety loon. No, the CNN star has been allegedly menaced by a self-described “gay, Jewish, white supremacist” from Queens named Alex Hausner.
According to the NY Daily News, Hausner “unleashed a crazed campaign against Cooper and boyfriend Benjamin Maisani, contacting them repeatedly between January 1 and June 30” of this year. Hausner was arrested in July and charged with menacing, stalking, harassment and aggravated harassment; in late September, he was declared unfit to stand trial by court doctors, the News reported.
Prosecutors claim Hausner “got into the pair’s swanky building and banged on their apartment door with his foot. ‘I swear to f—ing God don’t insult me, I’m going to f— you up,” according to the News. The New York Post also reported that Hausner said, “I can prove from my sources that [Cooper’s] boyfriend has sent people after me… [Maisani] is a thug and a mongrel.” Hausner’s mother, Lori, said her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 12 but “is not violent and believes he was commissioned to protect the popular CNN anchor.” The problems have transformed into a fixation on Cooper, who Alex Hausner believes has talked to him through his television. “He’s got these psychiatric problems. He believes people are telling him to protect Anderson because people are after Anderson,” Lori Hausner told the News.
According to the New York Post, Hausner’s been in trouble before his alleged Cooper fixation, facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for unnamed incidents. An ex-neighbor told the paper “he was a radical – he believed in his [Jewish] religion, and he believed in one race, the white race.”
Hausner is being held without bail at Riker’s Island, where he’s requested protective custody because of “threats”, the News reported last week; he was committed to a psychiatric facility on October 15.
It’s still unclear how long Hausner will stay under psychiatric care before he’s stable enough to face the charges against him.
“It could be a week. It could be never,” Hausner’s lawyer Wendell Cruz told the Post.
“Richard [Holbrooke] was never fooled by Mia’s so-called porcelain beauty,” said journalist Kati Marton, alluding to her late husband, U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, at the October 21 Blue Card Benefit held at The Powerhouse at The Museum of Natural History.
Presenting the Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Social Justice to Mia Farrow and son Ronan Farrow, Marton recalled the ambassador saying “She’s tough and smart.”
“Could anyone else [but Mia] have gotten Steven Spielberg to drop his project helping the Chinese to stage the Olympics…well Mia did! Her role in fighting genocide in Darfur has been amazing and — most remarkable — raising Ronan who, at 15, was hired by Richard.” Turning to Mia and Ronan seated near the podium, Marton said, “After the Vanity Fair piece [which alludes to the possibility of Ronan’s parentage by Frank Sinatra] — which I know everyone in this room has read —Mia has very few secrets left.” But to illustrate “that Richard was fiercely loyal — for the 17 years that we were with him, I was not allowed to see any ‘Woody Allen’ films.”
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