The Shmooze

Bar Rafaeli's Sex Tape Fundraiser

By Forward Staff

Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli is raising money in a fake (or is it?) Kickstarter campaign to create a sex tape. We’ll let her promotional video speak for itself.


Monday's Shmooze Celebrity Roundup

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Here’s what you may have missed while you were building your sukkah:

Anne Hathaway married her Jewish fiancé, Adam Shulman, in Big Sur, California on Saturday. The ceremony reportedly took place in front of 150 guests, and the bride wore a custom designed gown by Valentino. The affair was planned by Israeli-born Yifat Oren, whose other clients include Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman, who were recently wed by Rabbi Peter Rubenstein of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue — but there has been no word yet as to whether Hathaway and Shulman stood under a chuppah.

Proud mama Barbra Streisand kvelled to Katie Couric that her son Jason Gould is an amazing musician and will perform together with her on her upcoming duet album.

Lady Gaga tweeted thanks to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for defending her in the face of slut-shaming by Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro.

Olympic gymnastics champion Aly Raisman and her gold and bronze medals grace the cover of Pulse magazine, a publication for the Jewish British teens set.

Steven Spielberg revealed for the first time that he was diagnosed just five years ago with dyslexia, and that he has struggled his entire life with the learning disability.

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Friday's Shmooze Celebrity Roundup

By Renee Ghert-Zand

There was lots of buzz yesterday about a new collaboration between writer Adam Mansbach and actor Samuel L. Jackson. You may recall that the latter did a popular audio version of the former’s wildly popular picture book, “Go The F-ck to Sleep.” Well, now, it appears to have dawned on them to tell America to “Wake the F-ck Up” and vote for President Obama in November. The ad they created is sponsored by the Jewish Council for Education and Research, the same super PAC that recently put out Sarah Silverman’s “Let My People Vote” video.

The spoofs on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s use of a visual aid looking a heck of a lot like a Looney Tunes ACME bomb during his speech to the U.N. Assembly Thursday just keep on coming.

Apparently Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have been doing more than just hugging and kissing in New York (while Kutcher and his ex, Demi Moore, have yet to file for divorce a year after breaking up). According to Us Weekly, Kunis accompanied Kutcher to Rosh Hashanah services at The Kabbalah Center. Being separated (by gender during the services) was hard on the couple. A witness reported that the two rushed into each other’s arms the minute the praying was over.

Thursday was a big day for Amanda Bynes. She pled not guilty to two hit-and-run counts, and was also offered a job as a correspondent on VH1’s pop culture show, “Big Morning Buzz Live.”

Openly gay chart topper Adam Lambert says he usually prefers to stay away from politics. However, he is speaking out about marriage equality. Calling it a human rights issue, the singer said he wants to fight the fear he believes motivates marriage equality opponents in order to make a better future for LGBT youth.

Don’t think you could possibly read another thing about the Emmys…or about Mayim Bialik at the Emmys? Just in case you can, here is The Big Bang Theory actress’s own blog post about what she wore and how she felt that evening.

Jeremy Piven is on the charity auction block. Bidding on lunch with the actor at the Soho House in Los Angeles closes today at 3 p.m. EST on. All proceeds go to two organizations, one of which is Peace Thru Sports, whose mission includes fostering friendship and cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian children.

Tori Spelling is home from the hospital after emergency surgery for post-c-section complications.

Stacy London, host of TLC’s “What Not To Wear” has opened up about her past struggles with anorexia and compulsive overeating.

In disappointing news for Gazan football fans, Hamas has announced it will block all coverage of Spain’s Super Classico soccer game between Barcelona and Real Madrid next month because Gilad Shalit was extended and accepted an invitation to attend.

The upcoming comedy, “The Guilt Trip,” appears to play into Jewish stereotypes, but it still looks like a fun ride with Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen as mother and son.

Her pipes don’t quite measure up to those of 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar, but KISS rocker Gene Simmon’s daughter Sophie Tweed-Simmons, 19, advanced to the next round of The X Factor.


In Defense of Jake Gyllenhaal

By Simi Lampert

Part of being a journalist is correcting the injustices in this world, and I’m here to do just that for someone who’s been needlessly and heedlessly mistreated for so long that he has become nearly forgotten. I’m talking, of course, about Jake Gyllenhaal.

The puppy-eyed actor, so fabulously crushable as recently as two years ago in “Love and Other Drugs,” has been recently overshadowed by men like Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon Levitt in everything from chick flick roles to the part of my own heart devoted to actor crushes. Is this fair? No. Are these men any greater than the ever-adorable Gyllenhaal? Gosling may have sharper abs (okay, he definitely has sharper abs) and Gordon Levitt may have a permanent and irresistible twinkle in his eyes, but does that negate the deep blue of Gyllenhaal’s eyes? It does not.

Gyllenhaal not only has the major qualifications of leading men — charm and the ability to look good with his shirt off — but he has those secondary characteristics as well. He has acting range (I’ve never seen Brokeback Mountain but I would imagine the skills needed for that were quite different than those in Donnie Darko, or that ridiculously hilarious stoner movie, Bubble Boy) and he can, apparently, even transfer those skills to the stage.

Today, Gyllenhaal is starring not only in new action movie “End of Watch,” (which started September 21) but is also premiering on Broadway in the new play, “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet” (opened September 20).

So let’s bring the spotlight back to a man who deserves it. Let the teenage girls of America once again hang posters of this glorious male upon their bedroom walls. Let him return to his former state of objectification. And let such important discussions of his facial hair as that mentioned here get greater acclaim than they have until now.


Thursday's Shmooze Celebrity Roundup

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Mazel tov to Sarah Michelle Gellar and her husband Freddie Prinze, Jr., who welcomed a baby boy in Los Angeles last week. The couple also has a 3-year-old daughter, Charlotte Grace.

Ivanka Trump and her “chic family apartment” are on the cover of the October issue of Elle Décor. The cover story features picture-perfect rooms designed by Kelly Behun. Trump, 30, lives in the Park Avenue apartment with her husband Jared Kushner and their baby daughter Arabella Rose.

Daniel Radcliffe was partying hard with members of the Dublin Minors celebrating their win of the All-Ireland Championship in Gaelic football. And all this time we though Quidditch was his game.

The Coen brothers are reportedly bringing Fargo to the small screen. Really? You betcha.

She’s a professor, a writer and also a former Secretary of State. But who knew that Madeleine Albright was also a drummer? In case you missed it, Madame Secretary was on stage jamming during the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums Competition and Gala Concert at the Kennedy Center.

A former consultant to Roseanne Bar’s failed Green Party nomination campaign has accused the comedienne of failing to pay her for work done earlier this year.

Gwyneth Paltrow, looking lovely in dressed-down chic, lent her support to a Stand Up To Cancer event at the Savoy hotel in London on Monday. Earlier this month the actress, who lost her father Bruce Paltrow to cancer, took part in a telethon for the same organization in Los Angeles.

Entertainment Weekly has some wild and wacky photos of Max Greenfield’s “New Girl” character Schmidt posing as a Jewish assassin, Mark Zuckerberg, and Samuel L. Jackson, among other characters. The pictures all have something to do with Schmidt’s trying to “rebrand” himself in the series’ season two premiere airing this week.

Lady Gaga has a friend and defender in Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Countering Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro’s slut-shaming of the singer for smoking a joint on stage, the New York City mayoral candidate complimented her for being a “social justice activist and a real leader for marriage equality in this country.”

Actor-writer-producer-director Bob Balaban, who has a new children’s book coming out, talks New York with New York magazine. His all time favorite New Yorker? The late Nora Ephron.

The second video from James Franco’s new band, Daddy, is now available. It’s a duet sung by Franco and Motown legend Smokey Robinson


New Frum Fashionista Reality Show

By Samantha Malone

Tobi Rubinstein Schneier has plenty of faith to go around. The ex-wife of rabbi Marc Schneier, who was caught in a major cheating scandal, Schneier has made some major improvements in her life and career in the past two years, according to an article in the New York Post.

The fashionista has a new reality TV show called “The House of Faith N’ Fashion,” which follows Schneier as she juggles her designer aspirations and her new(ish) responsibilities as a rabbi since she was ordained in January 2012 by the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute rabbinical school. She focuses on how her faith shapes her life as a free and independent woman. To her, being Orthodox does not mean just being a wife and a mother, it means having the strength to stay true to herself.

Schneier hopes to launch a House of Faith N’ Fashion line after the first season of the show wraps up. As an Orthodox Jew who is also interested in fashion, Schneier represents a group of women who hold strong to their beliefs while forging their own path. She is the only woman in her family not to wear a sheitel, she wears pants (jeans no less!) and takes her career aspirations seriously, “I was no longer the wife of a rabbi — so I became the rabbi!”


Tuesday's Shmooze Celebrity Roundup

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Sunday’s Emmys were a font of Shmooze celebrity news. First off, Mayim Bialik made Jewish moms and dads everywhere kvell at the awards ceremony on Sunday night when she gave a shout out during a red carpet interview to popular parenting blog, Kveller.com.

Did you notice that “Two Broke Girls” star Kat Dennings was slouching all evening at the Emmys? Apparently, it was to ensure that her ample bosom did not pop out of her über-low-cut stunning scarlet strapless gown. “No matter what I do they’re there, so…‬,” the actress joshed. Denning’s date, boyfriend Nick Zano’s main assignment was to prevent a wardrobe malfunction. “He has been alerted to the possibility of emergency and he’s always primed and ready,” she said.

Gideon Raff, the original creator of the Israeli series “Hatufim,” on which Showtime’s “Homeland” is based, was on hand to receive the Emmy for the best writing in a drama series. He accepted it along with Alex Ganza and Howard Gordon, the American show’s executive producers.

In her acceptance speech for the award for outstanding actress in a drama series, Claire Danes showed off her guttural pronunciation skills as she acknowledged her co-star Mandy Patinkin. “Challah!” she exclaimed after mentioning Patinkin’s name. Was this some inside joke? Or maybe a reference to the round variety of the traditional Jewish bread we eat on the High Holidays? Speculation abounded on Twitter.

In other news, the Jewish Council for Education and Research’s “Let My People Vote” video ad starring the Sarah Silverman has quickly topped the political charts.

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s PDA fest continued this past weekend. The pair were spotted canoodling in various spots around the Big Apple.

Israel is expecting visits from Chuck Norris, who accepted an invitation from Likud MK Danny Danon, as well as from RedFoo (the guy with the big hair and oversized glasses) of the recently broken-up LMFAO.

Full frontal? No prob. Max Greenfield, who plays Schmidt on “New Girl,” says he’s ready and willing to portray Christian Grey in the upcoming film version of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

In sad news, it was announced that Bonnie Franklin has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Gen Xers, in particular, will recall that Franklin, 68, played mom to Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips’ teenage characters on the “One Day At A Time” sitcom from 1975 to 1984.

Finally, as the Day of Atonement descends upon us, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres are making a conciliatory gesture…at least for Kol Nidrei. The two will pray together on Erev Yom Kippur at a Jerusalem synagogue close to the President’s official residence.


A Bad Date With Ehud Olmert

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Ehud Olmert
This month it was Israeli-British journalist Mira Bar-Hillel’s turn to write for the “I Once Met” column in The Oldie magazine, a UK publication aimed at a more mature audience. The timing couldn’t have been better, because she chose to write about her one — and only — date with disgraced ex-prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert.

Bar-Hillel writes that she would be happy to see Olmert, who was also at one time mayor of Jerusalem, behind bars for his corrupt behavior while in office. Unfortunately for her, she will not see her wish come true, as Olmert has managed to avoid a trip to the slammer after trials for two different corruption scandals. He was sentenced on Monday in Jerusalem District Court only to one to three years probation and was given a $19,000 fine in one case. Earlier this year he was acquitted on charges in the other.

Even during this season or repentance, Bar-Hillel can recall nothing positive to say about the young Olmert she went out with on a blind date set up by mutual friends in 1969. She describes him then as “a thin chap with thinning hair, for which he seemed too young, and terrible acne, for which he seemed too old.” Even his apparent intelligence was not a turn-on. She doesn’t recall whether he was wearing any aftershave, but “there was about him a stench of raw ambition which I found overwhelming and fatally unattractive.”


Monday's Shmooze Celebrity Roundup

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Claire Danes, who won an Emmy last night for her portrayal of CIA agent Carrie Mathison on “Homeland,” wows in a Tel Aviv fashion spread in the New York Times’ fashion magazine. In Israel to shoot scenes for the show, she posed in designs by Vanessa Bruno, Emporio Armani, Comme des Garçons, Louis Vuitton and others on location in Jaffa and the oldest neighborhoods in Tel Aviv.

Speaking of the Emmys, Mayim Bialik may have been freaking out before the ceremony, but she sure looked great in her flowing red gown that matched her long flowing coiffure. It’s too bad she didn’t win for best supporting actress in a comedy series, but at least she got a nice profile in the New York Times last week.

And speaking of photo shoots, here ) is a smoking hot one of Rashida Jones in Flaunt Magazine.

Vanessa Redgrave, who denounced “Zionist hoodlums” in her 1977 Oscar speech, will play a Holocaust survivor in the off-Broadway production of “The Revisionist,” a new play by “The Social Network” star Jesse Eisenberg.

People Magazine’s fashion editors named Gwyneth Paltrow the world’s best dressed woman for 2012.

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A Sneak Peek at 'Girls'

By Simi Lampert

For those of us who consider Lena Dunham’s “Girls” the latest necessary TV addiction — don’t deny it, this includes you — the release of a trailer (below) four months before the next episode is nothing but a tease. A cruel, mocking tease that we’ll nevertheless indulge in for the sake of seeing something — anything — that gives us a clue as to what’s coming up in the second season.

The last episode of Season 1, which was nominated for five Emmys, certainly left us hanging: Hannah was mugged and stranded on Coney Island; Marnie wants to ditch her perfectionist attitude and makes out with a chubby stranger; Jess just got married; and our resident JAP Shoshanna is — drumroll please — about to lose her virginity.

Unfortunately, we don’t get much out of this 32-second-long clip, which mostly showcases close-ups of the four main characters. The most exciting second is 0:09 — are Hannah and Marnie, supposed ex-besties, sitting next to each other? — but otherwise, a few seconds of facial expressions is only enough to make us want to see more. Which, I suppose, is the intention the girls behind Girls had all along.


Friday's Shmooze Celebrity Roundup

By Renee Ghert-Zand

There’s lots to report for those who just can’t get enough news about Natalie Portman. Fans who take a keen interest in the actress’s choice of scripts learned that producer Tom Hanks is eyeing her for a starring role in his movie version of Erik Larson’s bestselling “In The Garden of the Beasts.” Those who appreciate Portman for the political stands she takes noticed that she was sporting a “Women’s Rights” hand stamp as she got off a flight on Wednesday at LAX. She was returning home from New York, where she attended a fundraising event for President Obama. Finally, mommy Natalie was spotted spending quality time yesterday with little Aleph.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told an audience at the University of Colorado Law School that she predicted that gay marriage would come before the Supreme Court this term.

You may already know that Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly are getting ready to rumble, but did you know that Eliot Spitzer is planning to square off with Glenn Beck in a debate next month, as well?

American history buffs will be excited to know that Steven Spielberg has been invited to speak at Soldier’s National Cemetery as part of Dedication Day, an annual event honoring President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It is no mere coincidence that Spielberg’s appearance at Gettysburg on November 19 falls in the same week that his new film, “Lincoln” is to be released nationwide.

Readers of yesterday’s Shmooze Celebrity Roundup know of the trouble Amanda Bynes is in. She, however, maintains she’s “doing amazing.” She denies drinking and driving and says she’s had it with acting in LA and is heading to New York to start a fashion design career. In the meantime, Bynes was kicked out of an exercise class on Tuesday night for exhibiting bizarre behavior.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reportedly recently held a secret meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. It is unclear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was aware of the meeting before it took place. And all this time we thought Emanuel was dealing with nothing but the recently ended teacher’s strike in his city…

It looks like Ralph Lauren is finally acknowledging that plus-size women also deserve to buy into his fashion fantasy world. Robyn Lawley announced on “Good Morning America” that she has been chosen as the first plus-size model for Lauren’s brand and will star in its new campaign. We should note, however, that the plus-size Lawley is all of a size 12.

Mandy Patinkin talks about his new and old television roles in a new profile in New York Magazine.

Andy Samberg’s new 6-part BBC comedy series, “CUCKOO,” premieres next week. You can watch a sneak peek here.

Hot on the heels of news that Tori Spelling was rushed to hospital for surgery for emergency post-cesarean section complications came word that she has sold her Malibu home for $2.3 million. She and her husband Dean McDermott have been living on the 1.73 acre property, which has a chicken coop, horse corral and organic garden and orchard, with their three children. It seems that with the arrival of their fourth in August, they need more room.


Happy New Year, Gangnam Style

By Simi Lampert

The Jewish New Year is the time for Jews everywhere to look inward and ask those meaningful questions: What does God want of me? Have I been the best me? What exactly does Gangnam actually mean?

The Internet can’t answer all these, but thankfully, it can provide us with Gangnam Style, a Korean pop song gone viral, as well as hundreds of Gangnam Style riffs and spoofs. In a Jewish tradition dating back to the very inception of time — or, at least, YouTube — a Jewish singer has picked up the song and turned it into a nice Jewish song. This time, aptly, it’s about Rosh Hashanah, and the singer is Eric Niederman, a comedian from New York. He calls the song “Rosh Hashanah Style.”

Niederman’s song had only gotten 9,000 views in its first four days — compare that to the original song’s 221 million views in two months — and got mixed reviews in the comments (recent comments include “ur a disgrace” and “EPIC!”). Of course, it’s hard to match up to the bizarrely hilarious horse-riding dance moves of Psy, Gangnam Style’s Korean singer, and his catchy lyrics (the only discernable words of which are “Heyyyyy sexy lady!”) and you can’t blame a guy for trying.

When you’re done with that, make sure you see Britney Spears rockin’ the horse dance in stilettos with Psy and Ellen DeGeneres. It’s sure to start your year off right.


Tiny Israel Town Makes Big Soccer Splash

By Elliot Olshansky

With a population of just over 23,000, the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona doesn’t often get a chance to stand out on the map of Israel. On Thursday, however, the city’s Israeli Premier League soccer club took a big step towards putting its hometown on the map in Europe.

This past spring, Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona, won the league title, marking the first time in nearly three decades that Israel’s champion didn’t come from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Haifa.

After a long bid towards qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage fell just short this summer, Kiryat Shmona opened play Thursday in the second-tier UEFA Europa League, playing to a 1-1 away draw with Spanish club Athletic Bilboa.

Kiryat Shmona is one of two Israeli clubs in the Europa League group stage, joined by Hapoel Tel Aviv. Hapoel, known as “The Workers,” opened up Europa League play at home on Thursday against the defending champions, Atlético Madrid, dropping a 3-0 decision at Bloomfield Stadium.

Despite the mixed results, one can argue that competing in Europe in and of itself represents a win.

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Shmooze Celebrity Roundup

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman

Pixie-coiffed Anne Hathaway accompanied her fiancé Adam Shulman to Rosh Hashanah services on Monday. The paparazzi documented a lot of PDA on the couple’s way to IKAR at the Westside JCC in Los Angeles.

Hathaway and Shulman weren’t the only ones doing some New Year’s smooching. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher were spotted locking lips in New York’s Central Park, also on Monday.

Another celeb couple caught by the paparazzi used the moment to do some guerilla marketing for charities close to their hearts. Upon leaving a restaurant at which they had lunched, Andrew Garfield and his girlfriend Emma Stone held up signs with a message drawing attention to organizations they feel deserve more attention than they do.

Amanda Bynes is out of jail on her own recognizance for her April DUI arrest, but she is in a lot of trouble for a number of serious driving offences. A judge, who denied a DA’s request that a $50,000 bail be imposed on Bynes, has warned her there will be severe consequences if she breaks the law again. The actress’s parents have moved from Texas to Southern California to keep an eye on her.

“Glee” star Lea Michele is the new face of French cosmetic company L’Oreal.

When Sarah Silverman wants to get rid of her gum while walking the red carpet, she just takes it out of her mouth and hands it to the nearest guy. On Tuesday night at the “Condé Nast Travelers” “Visionaries” awards, that just happened to be Adrian Grenier—who tactfully put it in his suit pocket.

“The Big Bang” cast graces the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly. But where’s Mayim Bialik?!

On Sunday, Ryan Braun drew a standing ovation as he hit his 200th career home run, but the Mets still lost 3-0 to the Brewers.

According to Forbes’ newly released annual list of the 400 wealthiest individuals in the U.S., New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is $3 billion richer now than he was just half a year ago.

There’s a new young Jewish would-be singing star to cheer for. Thirteen-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar of Westchester, N.Y. wowed the judges at her The X-Factor audition with her rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” and advanced to the next round.


Amid Holidays, Israel Wins Baseball Opener

By Elliot Olshansky

getty images

The history of Jews in baseball is inexorably tied to the High Holidays, with the stories of Hank Greenberg attending Rosh Hashanah services in Detroit in 1939 before playing for the Tigers (with rabbinical approval) and Sandy Koufax’s refusal to pitch the first game of the 1965 World Series on Yom Kippur standing out as two of the most famous moments in Jewish baseball history.

During these Days of Awe, an unlikely team will look to add its own chapter to that legacy.

With a 7-3 win over South Africa on Wednesday night in Jupiter, Fla., the Israeli national baseball team opened the qualifying rounds of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Roger Dean Stadium will play host to the qualifying tournament between Israel, South Africa, Spain and France, with the winner advancing to the 16-team main tournament in March, along with three other qualifiers (powerhouse baseball nations like Japan, the Dominican Republic and the United States are pre-qualified for the event).

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Gilad Shalit's Rosh Hashanah Message

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Rosh Hashanah can be a busy time for all Jews, but Gilad Shalit’s family has had even more going on than most.

First, Gilad Shalit’s older brother Yoel wed his girlfriend of three years, Ya’ara Vinkler. They stood under the huppah last Friday afternoon at Kibbutz Beit Oren in the Carmel region of northern Israel. “We’ve waited for the happiness of this family for a long time,” wedding guests told Ynet. Yoel and Ya’ara met during the campaign to free Gilad from five years of Hamas captivity (he was released on October 18, 2011 in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners), and announced their intention to marry last April.

Also this past weekend, Gilad published his first op-ed piece — a personal reflection for the New Year — in Yediot Aharonot. “…Most of all, I believe Rosh Hashanah symbolizes new opportunities,” he wrote. “For me, the past year has been the year in which I went back to living like regular people do. I returned to my family, I went back to having a social life and I rehabilitated myself, both physically and mentally.”

Shalit shared that, for him, the highlight of the past year — other than being freed and reunited with his family — was his being able to meet the athletes in the locker room at the NBA Finals in Miami, even getting sprayed with the celebratory champagne.

The former captive warns that fate can turn on a dime, and that the best way to deal with life’s vicissitudes is to see the glass as half full. If something bad does happen, “You must overcome. Crying won’t help. And always remember that it is possible to get out of any bind,” he wrote. “This is true for many things — diseases, injuries or crises. There is no point in regretting what happened; you must look to the future and think of the next stage of your life.”

Shalit admits that his life this past year has been rather extraordinary and public, and added that he expects to revert to a much more private existence in the future.

Judging by the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ Shalit’s op-ed received online, it would appear that many people were glad to read what he wrote and see a photo of him dribbling a basketball on the cover of Yediot’s “7Days” supplement. Blogger Noam Reshef, however, gave voice to those who think Shalit should have disappeared from the public eye many months ago. He thinks that all this exposure — even a Rosh Hashanah reflection — is far too painful for the hundreds of Israelis whose have to deal with the fact that the murderers of their loved ones are now walking free as a consequence of Shalit’s release.


Stephen Colbert's Atone Phone

By Curt Schleier

Scott Gries
Tevye the Milkman is not the only one to believe in tradition. Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report does, too. As has become his High Holiday custom, Colbert is happily prepared to accept apologies from Jews who have wronged him. To make that easier, he has set up a toll-free Atone Phone. Here’s how he explained it earlier this week:

“To quote your Jewish pope, Moses, revenge is a dish best served Kosher. That’s why I am once again offering my Atone Phone hot line. If you’re Jewish and you gave me tsuris during the year 5772 just pick up the phone before Yom Kippur and dial 1-888-667-7539.”

That will likely be easier to remember if you think: 1-888-OOPS-JEW. Unfortunately, the cost of a toll-free line — even one with so noble a purpose — is prohibitive. So to help defray the cost, he’s had to share the number with several other companies.

So you’ll have choices when connected. Press 1 and you’ll be connected to 1-888-MOPS-KEY, a consumer help line for discount janitorial supplies. Press 5 and you’ll get 1-888-NORS-LEZ, a sex chat line featuring lesbians of Scandinavian descent.

Best to press 2, which will be answered by a recording of Mr. Colbert, himself, inviting apologies and pointing out that some of the most creative ones will be aired on his show. The competition is stiff. His first call came from Ira Glass, host of public radio’s This American Life. Glass apologized for not having Colbert on his program. “You are America,” he tells Stephen. Polite as always, Colbert tells Glass “I watch your show, too.” When it’s pointed out that This American Life is on the radio, Colbert explains: “I turn the sound down and watch the radio.”

Glass, of course, sneaks in a plug for his film (he produced it and co-wrote the screenplay), Sleepwalk With Me. And he quickly assures Colbert that he didn’t call for a cheap plug: “I called you to wish you l’shana tovah, Happy New Year, and what better way to celebrate than by watching the Sundance-winning movie I produced called Sleepwalk With Me.”


Chelsea Handler Bitten by Sea Lion

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler recently told viewers of her “Chelsea Lately” talk show on E! that she had an uneventful summer…except for the fact that she was attacked by a sea lion. The comedienne was bitten on her left leg while paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean.

“If there was ever a woman who was born to get up to ridiculous nonsense, it was probably Chelsea Handler,” wrote one blogger upon hearing of the incident. Knowing that some might suspect this was just part of her schtick, Handler reportedly lifted her skirt to show off the bandages she is still wearing on the wound. “You don’t believe me? These medical stickers are real!” she exclaimed.

Handler, 37, recounted exactly how it happened that “suddenly a rogue sea lion leaped up and viciously attacked my leg.” She had apparently been paddle boarding with a few friends, but got separated from them at some point. She fell off her board and noticed a sea lion that had been following her. When the animal looked her straight in the face, she said she immediately sensed she was going to be attacked. “F-ck! I’m like, I know I’m going to get bitten by a sea lion! Of course I would! Who else would get attacked?” she recalled thinking.

Fortunately for the comedienne, she had been on safari and remembered her guide having told her to make a lot of noise should she ever be attacked by an animal. “So I’m in the water with one arm in the paddle board and I [squawked] and it worked!” Handler said. “It really worked.”

Although sea lions do not commonly attack humans, there have been reports of people being bitten by them in the waters off the West Coast. A spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center in San Francisco warned, “People should understand these animals are out there not to attack people or humans. But they’re out there to survive for themselves.” Sea Lions, which range from 100 to 300 kilograms and have large, sharp teeth, should be left alone.

Another celeb learned this lesson the hard way. Earlier this year, Shakira reported on her Facebook page that while she was in vacationing in Cape Town, South Africa, a sea lion jumped up out of the water and attempted to bite her as she tried to take a close-up picture of it.


Fashion Week: Calvin Klein's Runway

By Alyson Krueger

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Models at Calvin Klein’s Spring 2013 show.

Calvin Klein’s Spring 2013 line was on display last week at the New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Klein has one of the most recognizable and profitable brands in the world, but he started off with very little. Born in the Bronx to Jewish Hungarian parents, Klein started his fashion line by opening a coat shop in 1968 with his childhood friend, Barry Schwartz. He had some formal training — Klein attended the High School of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology — but legend has it that Klein’s success began when a buyer from the then-popular department store Bonwit Teller accidentally landed in his workroom and placed a $50,000 order. Now, Klein has a lucrative company that designs eye wear, fragrances, jeans, lingerie and underwear, on top of its women’s and men’s clothing lines.

Klein has succeeded by making mundane clothing, such blue jeans and underwear, sexy. It’s hard to forget Klein’s ads, which show stunning men and women posing seductively in only underwear or jeans.

Klein’s show last week did not disappoint. One woman wore a nude-colored sparkle dress that fit her so perfectly it was as if she were covered in glitter. Another showed off a soft pink ball gown that Cinderella could have worn to meet Prince Charming. There were more casual looks, too: women wore short white dresses, tailored suits and yellow sun dresses.


Fashion Week: Ralph Lauren's Runway

By Alyson Krueger

Getty Images
Ralph Lauren at Fashion Week.
Yesterday Ralph Lauren displayed his newest collection at the New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Lauren epitomizes the American dream, both in his preppy American clothing that proudly display the polo horse and rider logo, and with his own story. The designer was born in the Bronx in 1939 to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants. His original name was Ralph Lipschitz. He studied business, served in the army and changed his name before entering fashion with no formal training in 1967 when he opened a tie shop. By 1997 Lauren oversaw a publicly-traded fashion empire, which still thrives today with a sports and home furnishings outpost in addition to its men’s and women’s clothing line.

You can find the Ralph Lauren logo at almost any preppy sport. The ball boys at the US Open wear brightly colored matching Ralph Lauren gear. Nacho Figueras, the insanely good-looking Argentinian polo player, is the face for the company’s black line and proudly displays his clothes while he gallops on horses. A recent edition of Ralph Lauren Magazine showed models fox hunting, skeet-shooting and playing croquet, all while adorned in the designer’s hats, breeches and dresses.

Yesterday’s show displayed the same classic looks. Models marched in pencil skirts, button down blouses and black berets. They also displayed long, sparkling red and white ball gowns, adorned with black top hats. But perhaps the most exciting part of Lauren’s show was the A-List crowd that included Olivia Wilde, Jessica Alba and Ryan Lochte, the Olympic swimmer. “Ryan Lochte just bent down to kiss Anna Wintour in the front row,” tweeted the Daily Beast.


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