Barbra Streisand is among the many celebrities who have issued statements expressing sadness over the death of disco queen Donna Summer. Summer died from cancer May 17 at the age of 63.
Streisand said she was shocked to hear or Summer’s passing and had not been aware that she was so ill. “She was so vital the last time I saw her a few months ago,” Streisand said of Summer. “I loved doing the duet with her. She had an amazing voice and was so talented. It’s so sad.” Streisand was referring to “No More Tears (Enough is Enough),” the hit duet the two singers recorded together in 1979.
In most of the world, leaving a job means exactly that — moving on. In this part of the Middle East, however, it doesn’t seem to mean much. Take, for example, two of the most important Palestinian figures. Does anyone recall that the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat actually resigned last year following the leak of the so-called Palestine Papers? And does anyone remember that, also last year, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad was meant to be making an exit after the Fatah-Hamas unity deal, but he never left and has just had his position renewed after a cabinet reshuffle.
And now we hear of what Natan Eshel is up to. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff, he resigned in February amid scandal — he had admitted sexual harassment of a female staffer and signed a plea bargain admitting misconduct that it was none other than Eshel who brokered the recent unity deal between the Likud and Kadima parties which saved the country from elections. According to Yediot he still has the use of a high-end government car and a cell phone, paid for by the State. Oh, and he is also receiving NIS 40,000 (over $10,000) a month.
Steven Spielberg is the top Jew on Forbes’s list of The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities. The director/writer/producer/studio owner came in at number 10 on the list of 100. Ahead of him were Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Tom Cruise. But coming in behind Spielberg were another 90 celebs, among them a fair number of other Jews.
Among them is former Beatle Paul McCartney (who was reported to be converting to Judaism, so he’s kosher enough for the purposes of our Jewish tally) in the 21st spot. Radio shock jock Howard Stern was ranked at number 30, with film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer coming in at 39th. Further down the list are MOT funnymen Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ben Stiller. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker and reality TV personality Bethenny Frankel pull up the rear in 86th place and 97th place, respectively.
Crossposted from Haaretz
Dozens of Jewish mothers around Britain have been followed in recent weeks by television cameras tracking their daily lives. Their cake-making, homemaking and matchmaking skills will be under scrutiny by a team of experts and when the four-part series is screened on Channel Four at the end of the summer, the Best Jewish Mum in the United Kingdom will be crowned. Bashevis Singer meet Simon Cowell.
The classical yidishe mamma, the stuff of song and literature and a recurring theme in Woody Allen movies, is getting its 21st century makeover. And how else, but on reality TV.
Yosef, spiritual leader of Shas, the Orthodox Sephardic political party, has tackled that hot potato of what, exactly, Judaism says about saving life on the Sabbath. Everyone agrees that religious law lets you break Sabbath restrictions to save a life — but for whom?
Many rabbis, including the late American religious authority Moshe Feinstein, have ruled that, of course, a life is a life and you can save anyone. But Yosef has ruled that it’s Jews only.
Zosia Mamet recently stopped by Conan to answer the question that fans of her HBO show “Girls” have been asking since the series debuted: Is dating in your 20s really as bad as the show makes it look?
“It’s a little worse,” Mamet replied. “It’s pretty f**king bad.” On Girls, Mamet plays Shoshanna, the fresh-faced, overeager “Sex and the City”-obsessed Jewish cousin of the effortlessly cool Jessa. Shoshanna’s most recent romantic excursions have gone incredibly badly, as with her last crush, Matt, a friend from summer camp who refuses to take her virginity. This week, the extent of her love life was watching helplessly as Jessa used Shoshanna’s apartment as a place for a torrid fling with her ex. But despite all that, Zosia thinks the actual dating scene is even worse.
Leonard Cohen humbly accepted the Glenn Gould Prize on May 14 in Toronto, and then promptly gave away the $50,000 that goes with it to the Canada Council for the Arts.
“Thank you so much … how very kind of you to greet me with such hospitality,” the 77-year-old poet, songwriter, singer and author said as he briefly doffed his trademark black fedora. Cohen kept his acceptance remarks short so as to allow maximum time onstage for the musicians who had come to honor him by performing covers of some of his most famous songs. Among them were Illinois country-folk songwriter John Prine, Toronto roots outfit Cowboy Junkies and Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor. Cohen’s son Adam was also there to fete his father, performing “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye” and the 1967 hit “So Long, Marianne.”
Maggie Gyllenhaal was decidedly not hysterical about missing the premiere of her new film on Monday. It wasn’t fear of the paparazzi that kept Gyllenhaal away, but rather her decision (a no-brainer!) to stay home with her newborn daughter, Gloria.
Skipping the red carpet scene at the Hotel Chantelle bash, Gyllenhaal opted for pajamas instead of an evening gown. The Shmooze applauds how the actress has set her priorities, but we are, however, sorry that she missed out on the fun at the party for “Hysteria.” Hugh Dancey, her costar in the sexy comedic romp about the invention of the vibrator, surely missed her as he hobnobbed with guests like Patrick Wilson and Mamie Gummer.
Hold on to your leather, “Happy Days” fans: The Fonz may be coming to Broadway as a porn star.
That’s right — the onetime teen heartthrob Henry Winkler, now 65, is in negotiations to play an aging adult entertainment great in “Performers,” a new comedy by David West Road about the porn industry.
Winkler’s character is loosely based on Ron Jeremy, a…er…giant in the field. The hunky Cheyenne Jackson is slated to play opposite Winkler as an up-and-coming porn performer (read: hot young thing). Evan Cabret will direct the play, which will open in the fall. Robyn Goodman, no stranger to the lewd (she brought the world “Avenue Q”), has signed on as producer.
In what was a surrealistic scene, former Hamas captive Gilad Shalit, smiling and in dark shades, visited the set of “Homeland” in Israel. The Showtime series, about CIA agents working to prevent American Iraq War POWs suspected of being turned by Al-Qaeda from committing terrorism, is based on the Israeli TV show “Hatufim.” The show’s creators have said that Shalit’s saga had been an inspiration for their work in creating the series.
Shalit got to meet actors Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, who play Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson, respectively, as they were filming some scenes for the series’ second season on Yefet Street in Jaffa. Shalit, who was accompanied by family members and some reporters, also met Gidi Raff, the show’s co-creator and executive producer.
Y-Love, the 34-year-old ex-Hasidic hip-hop artist, came out as gay in an interview with Out magazine published today.
Y-Love, also known as Yitz Jordan, was briefly married to a Jewish woman, tried reparative therapy and lived a double-life for many years. But now he is announcing to the world that he is gay so that he can live and date openly as a homosexual, with the aim of finding the right guy to marry.
Gwyneth Paltrow might be the public face of Hugo Boss’s new Boss Nuit Pour Femme perfume, but that doesn’t mean she’s lost her sense of humor. The other day, when she wasn’t busy with an official photo shoot, Paltrow took time to goof around with her pal Rashida Jones. The two ditched the professional make-up chair and did their own make-up and photography. But who knew these actresses would be so purrrfect at it?
When they were finished, Jones tweeted a photo of Paltrow posing in full blue cat-face make-up, with the caption: “At callbacks for Cats: The Movie…” Paltrow then tweeted a picture of her friend’s feline look. Paltrow, pretending to be competitive with Jones, started a faux Twitter catfight. Tweeting about Jones’s more natural red-orange tabby look, Paltrow wrote: “This bitch is hot on my tail for rum tum tugger @iamrashidajones #catsthemovie”.
You can’t say Babs is one to sit around and putter. According to Page Six, beloved funny girl Barbra Streisand may be looking for some new duet partners.
The musical stalwart recently nabbed a contract extension with Sony Music, where executives are asking Streisand to do an album of her old standbys with younger artists. If this gambit sounds familiar, it’s because that’s exactly what propelled Tony Bennett back up the charts with his recent album, “Body and Soul.”
Natalie Portman’s “Black Swan” days may be behind her, but the actress was still the belle of the ball at the New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala on May 10. Not quite a year after the birth of her son, Aleph, Portman looked as slim and elegant as ever in a feminine, tiered Christian Dior gown in navy blue. On her arm, of course, was handsome hubby and ballet great Benjamin Millepied.
This was the pair’s first red carpet appearance since the Oscars, when they made their quiet debut as a married couple. The red Dior dress Portman wore that night reportedly sold for $50,000. The Shmooze wonders how much this one might fetch.
What is “ER” doctor Greg Pratt up to nowadays? Well it seems that he fancies himself as an Israeli fighter pilot. The actor who played him, Mekhi Phifer — also famous for his co-starring role opposite Eminem in the feature film “8 Mile” — is in Israel at the moment, and hanging out where all the celebs go… on an air force base.
He Tweeted:: “We r now headed to the military base. Its about to go down! Me and my dude @omarepps r trying to pilot one of the fighter jets!! Pray for yo.”
Radio host Howard Stern is telling President Obama to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. While so many other celebrities have been praising the president for publicly stating earlier this week that he is personally in favor of same-sex marriage, Stern is criticizing him for not going far enough.
“I wish the president actually had gone further. I wish he said he was going to back some legislation on the national level,” Stern told reporters at a press conference about his new gig as an “America’s Got Talent” judge. However, the shock jock did admit that he did appreciate the president’s “evolving” views on marriage equality. “Okay, this is a good first step,” he said. “It’s a baby step.”
Polish director Roman Polanski’s next film will be a political thriller based on the Dreyfus Affair.
The acclaimed director announced Wednesday that the new film, titled “D,” will reunite the team that produced his award-winning film “Ghost Writer.”
Albert Dreyfus was a French Jewish army officer who was falsely convicted of treason in 1894. In the ensuing 12-year battle to clear his name, anti-Semitism played a major factor.
Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, covered the story for a Viennese newspaper and was inspired by the trial to found an international Zionist organization.
Polanski is a Holocaust survivor, and his escape from the Krakow Ghetto was the backdrop for his 2002 movie “The Pianist.” He has lived in Europe since pleading guilty to statutory rape in 1978.
“I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story,” Polanski told the Los Angeles Times. “In this way one can show its absolute relevance to what is happening in today’s world.”
In case you hadn’t heard, there is going to be a big fundraising bash for President Obama’s reelection campaign tonight over at George Clooney’s place.
No one — well, at least no Democrat — would want to miss that, right? But before you run to put on your party dress, you might want to know what it’s going to cost you to get through Clooney’s front door.
An art piece made by the late singer Amy Winehouse — using her own blood — will be auctioned off at the Cob Gallery in London. The self-portrait, titled “Ladylike,” is part of a collection by Pete Doherty, called “On Blood,” which was on view at the gallery earlier this year.
Doherty, known primarily as co-frontman for The Libertines, as well as for his membership in indie band Babyshambles, is also a visual artist. It has been reported that he was very close with Winehouse, and that he invited her to create an artwork with him. “Amy was on the phone to her dad when she did that [painting]. She said, ‘Dad, I’m with Pete and he’s making me draw with my blood!’ He didn’t like me much, her dad,” Doherty told The Independent in February. The Shmooze can’t imagine why.
Vidal Sassoon, the well-known British hairdresser credited with creating the 1960s “bob,” has died at the age of 84, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Sassoon was born to Sephardic parents in London in 1928. After his father left the family when Sassoon was three years old, his mother, facing extreme poverty, made the difficult decision to place Sassoon and his younger brother in a Jewish orphanage.