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
While most of the ultra-Orthodox residents of the North and South London neighborhoods affected by the recent rioting in the city have heeded rabbinic directives to stay indoors and out of harm’s way, some young Hasidic men did not last Saturday night. And what they were doing has given rise to some nasty finger pointing against the Jewish community.
Were these Yeshiva bochers out burning buildings, torching cars or looting stores? No, they were standing on the streets of Tottenham handing out bread (Challah, reportedly) from cardboard boxes to people around them.
But someone filmed this activity and posted it — oddly set to classical music — on YouTube, under the title “Tottenham Riots Conspiracy.” Then, as might be expected, anti-Semitic vitriol started flowing in the comments section. The poster of the video insinuated that these Jewish men were literally feeding the burning anger of the rioters. “Why are Jewish community members giving out fresh bread to the rioters? Why are they encouraging more violence and fuelling them?” he or she wrote.
The Swedish queen has wrapped up an investigation into her father’s alleged Nazi past, concluding — perhaps a bit conveniently — that one of his 1939 business deals was helping, not exploiting, a desperate German Jew.
Rumors have long swirled about the history of German-born Queen Silvia, whose father, Walther Sommerlath, was said by some to have joined the Nazi party in 1934. The queen reacted angrily last year to the Swedish broadcast of a documentary about her father, which suggested that he had participated in Hitler’s so-called “Aryanization” of seized Jewish assets. She changed course in May, saying she would look into the allegations.
The results of her investigation, released today, suggest that her father acted nobly — at least in her interpretation. In findings released to the Swedish media, the queen says her father purchased a Berlin factory owned by a German Jew, Efim Wechsler, so that Wechsler could flee Germany for the safety of Brazil. The deal included giving Wechsler ownership of property, including a coffee plantation, owned by the Sommerlath family in Brazil.
It’s been quite a while since you’ve been able to assume that someone wearing jewelry or other adornments with Jewish symbols or Hebrew writing is Jewish.
Just think about all those Kabbalah red-string bracelets around the wrists of celebs like Madonna, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. And what about Justin Bieber’s new Hebrew tattoo he got while in Israel? (Okay, it says “Yeshua,” which means Jesus. But hey, it’s still in Hebrew.)
Unlike us, these stars did not get their Jewish bling from their bubbes (didn’t we all get our first Chai and Magen David necklace from our grandmothers?). In most cases, though, they did get it from Jews or in relation to a Jewish experience.
But that, however, is not always the case. This month’s American Way magazine (available online or in the seat pocket in front of you) features a close-up shot of actor Elijah Wood sporting a hard-to-miss silver band imprinted with “Im lo achshav aymatai” (“If not now, when?”) on the ring finger of his right hand.
For the first time in Israel, a court has ruled that the eggs of a deceased woman may be extracted and saved. The decision by the Kfar Sava Family Court this past Sunday was in relation to the case of the late Chen Aida Ayish, a 17-year-old from the Sharon region, who died of severe injuries sustained in a car crash. She was declared brain dead last Wednesday.
Ayish’s family agreed to have her organs harvested for transplant, and requested from the court that the eggs be extracted from her ovaries at the same time. The eggs were frozen, and the court has issued no further decision as to their possible future use.
The family had initially requested that the eggs be fertilized with sperm taken from another dead body, but the court rejected that request. Ayish’s parents have made no specific statement as to why they wanted their daughter’s eggs extracted, but it can be inferred that they may be hoping to produce a grandchild from them at some point.
Are Jews more anxious because we believe in a vengeful God? A new study suggests that might be the case.
“Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital have found that those who believe in a benevolent God tend to worry less and be more tolerant of life’s uncertainties than those who believe in an indifferent or punishing God,” according to the Health24 web site. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
The McLean Hospital paper reports data from two separate studies, Health24 reports. One questioned 332 subjects, including Christians and Jews, recruited from religious web sites and religious organizations. The trial found “that those who trusted in God to look out for them had lower levels of worry and less intolerance of uncertainty in their lives than those who had a ‘mistrust’ of God to help them out,” according to Health24.
A lot of people don’t like Kanye West — which apparently makes him feel like Hitler.
“I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street and people look at me like I’m [expletive] insane, like I’m Hitler,” the rapper and awards-show hijacker told fans last night at a concert in England. “One day the light will shine through and one day people will understand everything I ever did.”
The Hitler comparison drew “light boos” from the crowd, according to a write-up in Australia’s Telegraph.
Another living link to the Holocaust was lost last week when the last surviving man to have worn the pink triangle — sewn onto concentration camp uniforms to signify homosexuality — died at the age of 98.
The New York Times reported that Rudolf Brazda, who had been imprisoned in Buchenwald, died in Alsace, France, where he had lived since the camp’s liberation, in 1945.
It was only in May 2008, “when the German National Monument to the Homosexual Victims of the Nazi Regime was unveiled in Berlin’s Tiergarten park — opposite the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe — that Mr. Brazda became known as probably the last gay survivor of the camps,” the Times said. “Until he notified German officials after the unveiling, the Lesbian and Gay Federation believed there were no other pink-triangle survivors.”
Forget the usual slate of Israeli politicians - the country’s next prime minister could be Roseanne Barr.
So says the comedian, who announced her unlikely candidacy on yesterday’s “Tonight Show.” After announcing that she would also seek the American presidency, the former “Roseanne” star added the Israeli premiership as a “two-fer.”
“I’ve got to solve all the world’s problems,” she told Jay Leno.
To cheers from the audience, the former TV star outlined her U.S. agenda, which includes eliminating taxes and legalizing marijuana.
Barr, on the show to promote her new Lifetime reality series, didn’t elaborate on her plans for the Middle East. That’s probably a smart move for her candidacy, since the comedian, who has a Jewish background, has treated the issue with something less than nuance in the past. In December 2008, shortly after the start of Israel’s Gaza war, she declared that the country “is a NAZI state” on her blog.
The role that launched Barbra Streisand has been recast — and it didn’t go to the Jewish heir apparent.
The next Broadway production of “Funny Girl” will star Lauren Ambrose as Fanny Brice, the real-life Jewish comedian whom Streisand played during the show’s original 1964 Broadway run.
The role, which earned Streisand a Tony nomination and later an Oscar for the film version, has been the source of considerable speculation in recent months, as the search has intensified for the star of the new staging. Bartlett Sher, the Tony-winning director of the new show, has said he was looking for an “unforgettably thrilling voice… a once-in-a-generation talent [with] excellent comedic timing.”
Former news anchor Rick Sanchez, who was fired by CNN last fall after implying that Jews control the media, has completed the next step of his professional comeback.
The ex-cable host is developing a syndicated talk show that will shoot in Florida, TVNewser reports. The program will be shot in both English and Spanish, and Sanchez, who will own a stake in the show, is currently looking for a female co-host — possibly an actress. More details should be known later today, when the TV site will release an interview with the former news anchor.
Israeli researchers look poised to make nightclubs safer. They have developed a sensor that detects date rape drugs in drinks.
Fernando Patolsky and Michael Ioffe of the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University have developed a sensor that detects changes to optical signals caused by drugs such as GHB.
In a summary of the research sent to journalists the university claims 100% accuracy for the test. The researchers were aided in their research by bartenders, who mixed popular cocktails of 15 types. Blind testing was then carried out: 50 glasses in total (distributed across the 15 varieties of drink) were randomly spiked with date rape drugs, with the researchers unaware of which glasses contained the drugs. In the experiment, the system detected the drugs in all drinks.
The researchers have patented all elements of the system. They now hope to miniaturize the system for mass production and produce a device no larger than the head of a pin, making it possible for clubbers to check their drinks without their dates noticing.
With the crowds in the streets of Israel chanting “Mubarak, Assad, Bibi Netanyahu!,” the Shmooze knew it couldn’t be far behind: a July 14 Revolution-themed Noy Alooshe remix.
What Alooshe did to Muammar Gaddafi (who can forget “Zenga Zenga?”), Israeli Kadima party politicians like Tzipi Livni and Dalia Itzik, and a variety of Israeli and American celebrities and pop singers, he has now also done to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In his “Bibi — Shake Shake” video, he does a fine job of poking fun at the Prime Minister’s recently expressed confidence that the kinds of popular uprisings associated with the Arab Spring could never happen in Israel.
For all the distrust that supposedly separates them, American Jews feel a lot of solidarity with their Muslim counterparts.
That’s the stereotype-defying implication of a new poll by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, which shows that American Jews express more understanding for American Muslims than any other U.S. religious group.
Eighty percent of American Jews believe U.S. Muslims are loyal to the country, placing them behind only Muslims themselves (93%), and far ahead of the next most sympathetic religious group, Catholics, 59% of whom see American Muslims as loyal.
The cheese may be kosher. But treatment of workers hasn’t been.
That’s the message a group of rabbis took Tuesday to the Midtown headquarters of a hedge fund that owns a kosher-cheese processor accused of retaliatory firings against employees who fought for overtime pay.
Crain’s New York Business reports a delegation of rabbis was turned away at the front entrance to a Lexington Avenue office building when they tried to enter, “Michael Moore-style,” to demand a meeting with executives at Apax Partners. The private equity firm owns Israeli-based kosher cheese giant Tnuva Food Industries.
You’d think a Jewish scientist would avoid making racial generalizations about noses, but that hasn’t stopped an Israeli professor from doing just that.
Abraham Tamir, a chemical engineering professor at Ben-Gurion University, has published the results of his study of nearly 1,800 noses, based on both photos of living people and works of art. (Although Tamir’s primary work focuses on other topics, he teaches a class on the relationship between science and art.)
Tamir’s proboscis probe proves (supposedly) the existence of 14 types of Caucasian noses, which include the turned-up or “celestial” nose, the Roman and the hawk varieties. MSNBC’s “Body Odd” blog notes the prevalance of “the fleshy nose, which is large and prominent,” in Israel. (In some households The Shmooze can think of, this is referred to affectionately as a “nose with character.”)
The ultra-Orthodox city of Modiin Illit is getting its very first Internet café after receiving rabbinical approval, Ynet News reports. The venture, called Gilad Net, represents the latest foray of the ultra-Orthodox into the World Wide Web, which has previously been decreed an “abomination” by some Rabbis.
What’s being served at Gilad Net represents only the most “kosher” of the Internet - Rabbinic approval for the venture was dependant on the installation of content-control filters on the café’s computers. Only certain websites, such as Gmail, Ikea, and the pages of government ministries are available for perusal. However, this limited access is more than enough for Gilad Net’s client base, owner Yehuda Weisfish told Ynet. He insists his business is intended for “people who don’t want to bring a computer into their home and don’t need Internet on a daily basis… people who need the Web to access emails, bank accounts, HMOs and government ministries.” Which means that those who want to read the Shmooze will have to go elsewhere.
After almost three weeks of non-stop media attention the protesters camped out in Tel Aviv’s “tent city” have been called many things, good and bad. But likening them to the Biblical spies is a new one.
In this interview firebrand grandmother Daniella Weiss, leader of radical settlers, appears to present the protesters as the modern version of the ten spies who famously gave the Children of Israel a negative report about the Land of Israel. The protesters’ negativity echoes the negativity of the spies, she claims. They “are lamenting, people are complaining, people see all the bad sides of life instead of seeing the prosperity of the Land of Israel.”
Amazingly, in her analysis the country’s political leadership against which the protesters are demonstrating is also a modern incarnation of the spies. “Today we have a beautiful land,” she said. “Everything is prosperous, we have a good economy and all the reasons in the world to be satisfied. Yet the leaders want to cut the land in two and this influences many people.” Weiss was referring to fact that some government ministers are in favor of a two-state solution.
The revelation that Irish Senator David Norris’s former lover, Jewish-Israeli pro-Palestinian activist Ezra Yitzhak Nawi, was convicted of statutory rape of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in 1992 may have torpedoed Norris’s bid for his country’s presidency.
The openly gay Norris has been up front about his former sexual relationship with Nawi, as well as about their continuing friendship. However, he has not yet commented directly on the revelation about Nawi, nor about a clemency letter he wrote on official Irish parliamentary stationery on Nawi’s behalf, calling his former lover a “good and moral person.”
Israelis are known to be impatient, and when it comes to how fast they are moving to establish business relations with the new country of South Sudan, the stereotype is holding true.
Israeli companies seeking contracts in industries such as agriculture, security, medicine and infrastructure are being welcomed by the leadership of the world’s newest nation. Under-the-radar support given to the Christian South Sudanese rebels by Israel in recent years is helping to smooth the way to the quick establishment of economic ties. South Sudanese rebel leader John Garang was even treated for an eye injury in an Israeli hospital.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, the old saying goes. But it meant tragic consequences for an Israeli gangster. Crime boss Francois Abutbul, whose casino-owner father was murdered in 2002, was himself gunned down Sunday at a central Israeli gas station, Haaretz reports.
Abutbul, known as “Francois the Great,” was released from prison last December after serving about half of a 22-month sentence for domestic violence, JTA reports. The “scion of an Israeli crime family” was shot by two men who approached his car on a motorcycle and then sped away.
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