The Shmooze

Hasidic Gangnam Style

By Renee Ghert-Zand

While you were eating latkes…

A bunch of Brooklyn Hasidic men went totally Gangnam Style at a wedding. Their version is in Yiddish and English instead of Korean, and there’s no “sexy lady” involved—neither in the lyrics, nor on the dance floor. The video is quite a sight to behold:

The late Amy Winehouse’s house in London’s Camden Square sold at auction for £1.98m. The singer died in the house, and her family had been having trouble selling the property, which had been sitting vacant since July 2011.

Eight Jews ranked among “The World’s Most Powerful People” according to Forbes: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is at No. 6; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at No. 16; Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are at No. 20 together; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at No. 23; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is at No. 25; Bond fund manager Bill Gross is at No. 51; and Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman is at No. 45.

When Israelis searched for women on Google this year, the one they searched for most was model Bar Refaeli.

Jewish Basketball fans have been keeping an eye on Aaron Liberman, a walk-on at Northwestern. The 6’10” Orthodox Jew from L.A. plans to wear his kippah on the court once he gets over a bad case of shin splints.

Craig Ferguson didn’t ask Mayim Bialik about her divorce, but he did make her uncomfortable by commenting on how sexy the sheer sleeves of her dress were.

It was reported that Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman’s long marriage may not actually be over. The couple is apparently trying to work things out.

Veteran Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch on December 9, 1916, turned 96.

The “Nice Jewish Guys” 2013 calendar has been made available in time for the Holiday Season.

And it looks like the Hanukkah videos are still rolling in. We can now add to our 2012 list these fine examples:

The full “Heiffer at Hanukkah” video with Mark Feuerstein and Ed Asner. This one, about the importance of giving tzedakkah (for instance, to Heifer International) at Hanukkah-time, makes a lot more sense than the short clip of Feuerstein praying while dressed up as a cow (you can see that one in our Hanukkah video roundup from last week):

Matisyahu’s official video for his “Happy Hanukkah.” All proceeds from the sale of downloads of the song will go to Hurricane Sandy relief:

The Ein Prat Fountainheads“iHanukkah-Apple Style” digital short that’s a take-off on the way Apple rolls out its new products:

The incomparable Lipa Schmeltzer’s “Believe in a Miracle.” The performer calls it “an enthusiastic anthem to the Festival of Lights”:


Celebs Tweet for Hanukkah

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
President Obama tweeted for Hanukkah.

‘Tis the season to be tweeting. Celebs (Jewish and non-Jewish alike) took to the Twittersphere to send their Hanukkah greetings or to enlighten followers about the holiday. Here’s what some of them had to say in 140 characters or less:

President Barack Obama: From our family to everyone celebrating Hanukkah, Chag Sameach.

Lena Dunham: Happy Chanukah! Or, as we like to call it in my family, Hanukkah.

Joan Rivers: Why do we celebrate Hanukkah for eight days? Because it takes everyone that long to figure out how to spell it correctly.

David Frum: Looking forward to tonight’s brief Hanukkah truce in the War on Carbs.

Alicia Silverstone: Kicking off 8 days of vegan Hanukkah recipes with vegan latkes 2 ways! ‪http://bit.ly/veglatkes

Rachel Zoe: Happy Hanukkah to all my tweeters who are celebrating tonight! xoRZ

Prime Minister David Cameron: I wish the Jewish community in the UK and across the world a happy and peaceful Chanukah

Leonard Nimoy: Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate. Shalom to everyone. LLAP

Marlee Matlin: Let the light of the first night tonight bring you happiness, peace and fun with family and friends. Happy Hanukkah!

Matisyahu: Lit the menorah last night in SF…let them play music from my iPhone & forgot to turn off the ringer…

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: So nice to join Chabad of Weston and light our hometown menorah on the second night of Hanukkah

Andy Borowitz: Hanukkah is the most American holiday because it’s a celebration of burning oil that we don’t have.

Sarah Palin: Todd and I and our family wish a very Happy Hanukkah to all throughout the world who gather this week to celebrate…

Senator Harry Reid: I wish all celebrating Hanukkah a Chag Sameach. In nights ahead, may the candles you light shine as brightly as our future

Hoodie Allen: Happy Hanukkah to all my peoples

Marie Osmond: Happy first day of Hanukkah to all who celebrate.

Congressman-elect Joe Kennedy III: Chag Sameach to all those celebrating Hanukkah around the world. Wishing you a joyous and peaceful holiday with your friends and family.


Hanukkah Videos Galore

By Renee Ghert-Zand

We almost thought we weren’t going to have a selection of new Hanukkah videos to share with you this year. Particularly stressful was our waiting to see if the Maccabeats would come out with something. We waited and waited, and finally, they released their original “Shine” a mere two days before the first candle was to be lit. What a relief! We could never be ready to celebrate a Jewish holiday without a new Maccabeats video to go with it.

It seems like everything was very down to the wire this year. We’ll give everyone the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to Hanukkah’s coming early in December, thus shortening the production period. But as we’re going to press, we’ve seen and heard nothing new from the Ein Prat Fountainheads. Very distressing.

So, let us recommend the following Hanukkah videos for your viewing pleasure…or displeasure, depending on what kind of holiday cheer you are looking for:

Here is that new video called “Shine” from the Maccabeats. It is an original composition and it theme is the promotion of the Bone Marrow Registry and the importance of being tested.

Michelle Citrin’s “Hanukkah Lovin’” is quickly emerging as a favorite this year. The singer wins you over in the first bars of this sweet and sultry jazz ballad about lighting some sparks during the holiday. Not to mention that she looks very fetching in her “Spinster Chanukah” sweater.

StandFour, a break-off group from The Maccabeats (these guys have graduated from Yeshiva U.), gives us “Eight Nights,” a parody mashup of “Some Nights” by Fun, “Die Young” by Ke$ha, “Live While We’re Young” by One Direction.

Six13, with a little help from their fans, bring us their frum pop version of “Haneirot Halalu.”

In the new “Bubala Please” videos, “two angry, misunderstood gangsters” named Luis and Jacquann show us—using extremely foul language— how to make latkes and decorate a Hanukkah bush. These videos are most definitely not to everyone’s taste, no matter how the latkes are made.

Matisyahu performs his new holiday song, simply titled “Happy Hanukkah” on the Tonight Show. All proceeds from the sale of the song (online only) will go to Hurricane Sandy relief.

Engineering fans will enjoy this video made by Technion students in Israel demonstrating the Rube Goldberg machine they made to light the menorah this year. For the real geeks among us, there is also the behind-the-scenes video.

The Pella Singers bring us this “8 Nights of Hanukkah” mashup that we think is about Jewish Americans showing solidarity with Israel. Actually, once we see in the end credits that it was produced by StandWithUs, then we are sure that is what it is about.

We get a tour of Jerusalem via rollerblades in this fast-paced new Hanukkah video from Aish.com.

If you like watching middle-aged guys pretending to be youthful hip-hop artists, then L.A.’s Ohr HaTorah’s “No Latkes” is for you. It seems that good latkes are a real deal breaker for these guys.

Let Rabbi Daniel Brenner sing to you about how he digs “A Minor Holiday” —Hanukkah—in a major way.

Rockazion shot their roots reggae version of the Hanukkah classic “Who Can Retell” against the backdrop of devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in Long Beach, New York.

Y-Love offers a Hanukkah blessing of inclusion in this PSA he made—in Yiddish—for Keshet, the Jewish LGBT advocacy and education organization.

This has got to be the weirdest new Hanukkah video out there. It’s of actor Mark Feuerstein dressed in a silly cow costume rapping the Hebrew “Ve’ahavta” prayer for a Heifer International holiday fundraising campaign. At least, that’s what we think this trippy video is.

And what would Hanukkah 2012 be without a little Gangnam Style? Here’s a video showing an impressive Hanukkah-themed light display, set to the song none of us can get out of heads, put on by the Herman family of Los Angeles. Also, the 7th and 8th graders at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, California shine in that awkward yet cute middle school kind of way in their “Hanukkah Style” video.


Honey Boo Boo's Israeli Fan

By Renee Ghert-Zand

As we learned earlier this week, Adam Levine doesn’t care much for Honey Boo Boo. But others clearly feel differently. Barbara Walters named the child beauty pageant contestant and reality TV star one of 2012’s Most Fascinating People. She also has an admirer in Adi Segal, who lives in Israel. Segal recently wrote Honey Boo Boo a letter thanking her for keeping everyone cheery while rockets were flying in from Gaza. It appears to be a gag letter, but Honey Boo Boo was very obliging and posted a photo of herself holding the letter and the inflatable hammer decorated with an Israeli flag that Segal sent her.

It looks as though there is nothing that Fran Drescher does not carry in her purse. Take a look and see.

Here’s an engaging video of the talented and lovely Kate Hudson and Lea Michele battling it out to “All That Jazz” on “Glee.”

And here’s a music video of a completely different genre. Drake teams up with A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar for “F–kin’ Problems.” It’s not to everybody’s taste.

Sarah Michelle Gellar reunited with her “Buffy” co-star David Boreanaz at a holiday event in L.A. benefiting L.A. Family Housing, an organization that helps families transition out of homelessness and poverty. Tori Spelling was there en famille, as well.

The first ever comedy issue of Vanity Fair, guest edited by Judd Apatow, hits newsstands in January. Here’s a sneak peek at one version of the cover featuring Paul Rudd and the rest of the cast of Apatow’s new film “This Is 40.” There are two other versions of the cover—one with Maya Rudolph, Jim Carrey, Amy Poehler and Will Ferrel; the other with Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld.

“New Girl” parodies abound. First there was “Jew Girl,” now there is “Old Girl”—featuring a grouchy retiree named Muriel Rosenberg who is not at all like the “adorkable” Zooey Deschanel.


Kate Middleton Buzz

By Renee Ghert-Zand

It seemed that everyone was reacting to the news yesterday that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant and hospitalized because of extreme morning sickness. Ivanka Trump tweeted kind wishes for the royal pregnancy, while Zach Braff took a more humorous approach in expressing his congratulations.

And while we’re mentioning Ivanka Trump, here’s a photo she tweeted from her appearance yesterday on “The View.” That’s a gigantic photo of her young daughter Arabella projected behind her.

Court documents filed by Mayim Bialik on November 21, the day she announced she was divorcing her husband Michael Stone, indicate that she is seeking joint physical and legal custody of their young sons Miles and Frederick.

Rachel Weisz won the 2012 Best Actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle for her work in “The Deep Blue Sea.”

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was given last Thursday the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Public Service Award. “Ehud, thank you for your friendship, and your dedication to the shared dream of a safer and more secure future for Israel and the United States,” said Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to Barak, who recently announced he is retiring from politics.

Alanis Morissette took some time to visit the Kotel after arriving in Israel to give the final concert of her “Guardian Angel” world tour.

Newly released photographs of Albert Einstein’s brain are providing clues to how its unusual features may have contributed to the scientist’s genius.

We’ve already told you that Lena Dunham is one of Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainers of the Year. Now get the scoop on how the stylists gave her a Twiggy-inspired look for the magazine’s photo shoot.

Howard Stern will be back for a second season of “America’s Got Talent.”

We were all excited about Lenny Kravitz signing on to play singer Marvin Gaye in a new biopic, but now we hear that Gaye’s son (who was once Kravitz’s classmate) is none-too-happy about the project.

We could be wrong, but we have a sneaking suspicion that few people would take real issue with Adam Levine’s recent statement to GQ that “Honey Boo Boo is the DECAY of Western civilization.”

Eggnog is apparently the secret weapon for getting Ellen Barkin’s character on “The New Normal” to be nice. We wonder if latkes or sufganiyot do the trick, as well.

And while we’re on the subject of the holidays, here’s a menorah arts & crafts project you probably won’t see being done at your local Jewish school. Let’s just say that it’s a little too hygienic.

And finally, we have the latest celeb sightings: Ashley Tisdale, Johnny Galecki and friends chilling at a Lakers game; Adrien Brody making an entrance at the CNN Heroes: All Star Tribute in L.A. on Sunday; Kate Hudson having a busy day in New York on Monday; and her mother, Goldie Hawn, carrying her own pillow as she gets off a flight at LAX.


The New 'Girls'

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Okay, we all know this is what you’ve been waiting for. Here’s the trailer for the new season of Lena Dunham’s “Girls,” which will begin airing January 13.

Entertainment Weekly has announced its Entertainers of the Year list. The MOTs on it are hot young stars Lena Dunham, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Max Greenfield (with his “New Girl” cast mates). The young-at-heart Mandy Patinkin (as a member of the “Homeland” cast) also made the cut.

Celebs from near and far came to Washington, D.C. this past weekend to celebrate with Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova as they received the Kennedy Center Honors.

In case you haven’t heard, Jeffrey Katzenberg was awarded an honorary Oscar for his charity work.

As if the girls in the audience weren’t screaming loud enough, Drake made a surprise appearance on stage at Justin Bieber’s Toronto show Saturday night. Want proof? Here’s the video.

In baby news: Harvey Weinstein, 60, and wife British fashion designer Georgina Chapman, 36, are excitedly expecting their second child together (Weinstein has three daughters from a previous marriage); Fred Savage and wife Jennifer have still not decided on a name for their new son born last week.

Talk about meta. Appearing on “The Soup” on E!, former child star Danielle Fishel played former child star Lindsay Lohan playing former child star Elizabeth Taylor in a “Lizdsay Taylorhan” spoof of Lohan’s panned recent portrayal of Taylor in a made-for-TV film.

Everyone’s been talking so much about Paul Rudd’s performance in “Grace” on Broadway that some have failed to take note that Ed Asner is also in the production. “It’s exciting and I’m intrigued,” the veteran actor said about being back on stage.

“The X Factor” announced its final six contestants, and guess who’s in the number one spot? It’s the 13-year-old powerhouse Carly Rose Sonenclar. We are so rooting for you, Carly!

Matthew Broderick like older movies with a slower pace. Here, he explains why his favorite film is the 1936 comedy “My Man Godfrey” with William Powell and Carole Lombard.

Marissa Jaret Winokur tells her fans how she lost 60 pounds in seven months. Sounds like she took the tried and true approach: healthy eating, moderate portions, and exercise.

Renaissance man James Franco will have multiple films at Sundance, including one he co-directed.

Adam Lambert made an impression at the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong last week.

Super-health-conscious Gwyneth Paltrow surely doesn’t eat hamburgers. Or does she? Apparently her friend chef Jamie Oliver convinced her to eat a hamburger, French fries and drink a milkshake while riding on a roller coaster when she guest starred on his new show.

The outrageous Chelsea Handler never fails to amuse. This time she dressed in a skimpy bodysuit to resemble Christina Aguilera to make country singer Blake Shelton feel more at home on her talk show (Aguilera and Shelton are co-mentors on “The Voice”).

In case you have just not been able to get that yellow dress Amber Tamblyn wore at her wedding to David Cross back in October out of your mind, let her explain to you whey she chose it.

Happy 67th birthday, Bette Midler! Yes, you read that right. The Divine Miss M is already 67! Until 120!

In recent celeb sightings we have: Halle Berry wearing necklaces made by Abayudaya Jewish women in Uganda; Lea Michele posing at the Hollywood Foreign Press and InStyle’s Golden Globes event; Liev Schreiber biking around New York with his little boys; Paula Abdul and boyfriend John Caprio holding hands in Beverly Hills; Rachel Weisz bundled up and talking on her cell phone in New York; and Jake Gyllenhall just looking good.


'Bachelorette' Does It Under Chuppah

By JTA

getty images

Last season’s TV ‘Bachelorette,’ Ashley Hebert, and a Jewish construction manager from New York, J.P. Rosenbaum, were married in a Jewish wedding ceremony.

The couple married under a chupah during an outdoor ceremony on Saturday in Pasadena, Calif., according to reports.

ABC will air a two-hour wedding special on Dec. 16.

The couple became engaged on the finale of the seventh season of “The Bachelorette” in August 2011.


Least Influential Jews

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Amanda Bynes

We’re heading into the end of the year, so it’s time for GQ’s list of the 25 least influential people of 2012. When it comes to this distinction, the tribe is represented by troubled starlet Amanda Bynes (ranked #2!), Oscars host Billy Crystal, “The Newsroom” writer Aaron Sorkin, and actor Adam Sandler.

There are only eight contestants remaining on “The X Factor,” and 13-year-old phenom Carly Rose Sonenclar is in the lead. With Sonenclar’s amazing rendition of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” she continued to impress the audience and the judges, including Simon Cowell who joked that he would have to disqualify her for being an alien (because how could a young teenage human have such a powerful, soulful voice?).

Fran Drescher is a cougar and proud of it. The 55-year-old actress told HuffPo in a video interview that, with her high energy level and contemporary tastes, she’s really only interested in dating younger men. She’s doing her best to impose some limits, and says she’ll try to stick to guys who are no more than 10 years her junior.

A couple of new bundles of joy have entered the world. Fred Savage and wife Jennifer welcomed their third child, a boy. Judge Judy (Scheindlin) now has a complete jury with the arrival of her 12th grandchild, a little girl born to her son Gregory and his wife Laurie.

Daniel Radcliffe has made it into the Sundance Film Festival for the first time, with his drama “Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays poet Allen Ginsberg. The film about the Beat Generation will compete in the U.S. dramatic competition at the festival in January.

What does Gwyneth Paltrow do when she can’t find a one-shouldered yoga top she likes? She collaborates with an exercise wear company to make one that she can sell exclusively on her Goop website.

Alison Brie demonstrates her talent for dancing the Charleston during her sexy photo shoot for Nylon Guys.

Logan Lerman joined some other young actors for a panel discussion at The Variety Studio: Awards Edition event in L.A.

Lisa Edelstein is going from “House” to “House of Lies.” She will have a guest starring role on the latter, a Showtime program with Don Cheadle.

Comedic actor Jack Black is girding himself in advance of his being roasted by the Friars Club this coming April. “Anyone could really take me to pieces. I’m not gonna give any ammunition away,” he said. “I regret having ever agreed to it, but I’m going to go through with it.”

Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning were seen strollingtogether in New York’s Soho neighborhood. This, of course, means the two are dating. Or not.

Take a look at this fab video stylist Rachel Zoe put together with pop duo Karmin for Coach.com.

Marissa Jaret Winokur, who usually devotes her blog to reflections on her recent major weight loss, focused her latest post on the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.

HuffPo feels it necessary to point out that celebrity siblings have inherited some beauty genes, too. In a slideshow of handsome brothers and pretty sisters of people famous for their good looks, we see: James Franco’s younger brother Dave; Scarlett Johansson’s twin brother Hunter; and Kate Hudson’s older brother Oliver.


Bob Saget's Dirty Humor Book

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Bob Saget

You may remember Bob Saget as Danny Tanner on “Full House,” but he’s actually not always as clean cut as that. In fact, he has a “dirty humor” book coming out in 2014 showcasing “the full monty of [Saget’s] crazy self.”

Who knew that Scarlett Johansson has always aspired to be a weather girl? We certainly didn’t. In any case, her dream came true as she was given the opportunity to pinch hit on the Today Show for Al Roker, who had laryngitis.

In case you haven’t already heard, Stevie Wonder has cancelled his performance at the upcoming annual Friends of the IDF gala fundraiser in Los Angeles, claiming that his role as a U.N. “Messenger of Peace” is incompatible with his appearing at the event.

It will be the TIME editors who ultimately choose the magazine’s Person of the Year for 2012. But in the meantime, the public was able to weigh in with its votes of “definitely” or “no way” on 39 candidates for the honor. Among them are Sheldon Adelson, Michael Bloomberg, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jon Stewart. The Algemeiner reported that once the votes were tallied, Netanyahu came in fourth in the “no way” category, just behind dictatorial Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad. Adelson fared even worse, coming in second on the “no way” list.

In the meantime, the cover of the latest issue of TIME features a portrait of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi taken by Israel photographer Nadav Kander.

Chelsea Handler gave fellow comedienne Whitney Cummings some helpful (not!) advice for preparing to host her new E! talk show, “Love You, Mean It,” which Handler is producing.

Remember those reports that the Trump kids staged an intervention with The Donald in an attempt to get him to stop trash talking the President on social media? Well, Ivanka Trump says that no such meeting with dad happened. “I totally respect @realDonaldTrump ‘s opinions & right to articulate his views, which is what I would have told @nydailynews if they’d called me to fact check their false story,” she tweeted.

Shia LaBeouf, who was seen hanging out in Hollywood in cut-off shorts, is apparently in a rebound relationship with “Nymphomaniac” co-star Mia Goth.

Adam Levine made it plenty clear in a weird tangential rant while on “The Voice” that he and Maroon 5 will not be playing The Roxy any time soon. The singer claims the group was dissed when they played there a while back as the opening act for Michelle Branch. “Ummm, what was that about? cc: @adamlevine,” the famous L.A. venue posted on Twitter in response.

Did you catch the photo of then-very young siblings Abigail, Robin, and David Pogrebin (children of Letty Cottin Pogrebin), with Marlo Thomas in The New York Times marking the 40th anniversary of “Free To Be You And Me”?

Self-proclaimed “Jewish Adventurist” Andy Cohen caught his first big one on a fishing trip in New York Harbor for Tom Colicchio’s “Hooked Up” show.

Go behind the scenes with Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe on the making of their new British mini-series, “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” which is based on a novel by Soviet Russan writer Mikhail Bulgakov.

Watch a sneak peek of Lisa Edelstein’s guest starring gig on the new CBS Sherlock Holmes drama “Elementary.”

Demi Moore most definitely has a thing for young men. Moving on from her broken marriage with Ashton Kutcher (who we all know is now dating Mila Kunis), Moore has been spotted cozying up to 26-year-old art collector Vito Schnabel, son of artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel.

Is this the new winter look? Both Lenny Kravitz and Amanda Bynes were photographed wearing super-sized knit scarves—though each was wearing the cold-weather item differently. Kravitz appeared to be trying to make a fashion statement while practically being swallowed by his, while Bynes used hers as protection against the paparazzi.

Other celeb sightings include: Jesse Eisenberg tooling around New York on a bike (where is helmet?!); Bar Refaeli doing some holiday shopping in Berlin with her dad prior to her appearance on a German television show; Tori Spelling sharing her family’s Thanksgiving photo; and Jack Black cheeringon the Lakers as they lost to the Pacers.


Aly Raisman on Dancing With the Stars

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Aly Raisman

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman and the rest of the Fierce Five gymnastics team appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” in a show of support for Team USA member Shawn Johnson, who is competing with partner Derek Hough. Raisman and the others donned lacy black leotards and flashed big smiles as they took part in Johnson’s freestyle routine.

Oh yeah. Lenny Kravitz will portray “Sexual Healing” singer Marvin Gaye in a film that will be made next year. The biopic will focus on Gaye in the early 1980’s when he was trying to fight his addictions and return to a successful singing career, before being shot to death by his father in 1984.

In other casting news, rumors that Warner Bros. wanted to cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Batman in the upcoming “Justice League” were quashed by the actor’s representatives soon after they hit the gossip and entertainment news sites.

A couple of big name musical artists are showing their support for Israel. Alanis Morissette will play a concert at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Theater on December 3, and Stevie Wonder will headline the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gala in Los Angeles on December 6. The annual fundraising event is hosted by Cheryl and Haim Saban.

Watch host Adam Lambert ham it up — and shatter a lot of glass — in a couple of cute promos for “VH1 Divas,” which will air live on December 16.

Mazel tov to Daniel Radcliffe, who has finally joined the world of social media — but notably not the Twittersphere. The actor opened a Google+ account as “an outlet for accurate information” about himself.

Lea Michele graces the cover of the January 2013 issue of Flare magazine, in which there is a story about her new album, her penchant for getting tattoos, and her love for boyfriend and Glee co-star Cory Monteith.

50 Cent recruited Eminem and Adam Levine for feature vocals in the video for “My Life,” the lead single off his new “Street King Immortal” album.

In celebrity sightings we’ve got: Matthew Broderick accompanying son James to school; Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman taking their 2-month-old daughter, Olive, for a doctor’s visit; and ScarJo going to dinner with her new boyfriend Romain Dauriac, and at a photo call for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” which will start previews in New York on December 18.

And to get us in to the Hanukkah spirit, we have: a brand new mashup video by StandFour, a quartet of former members of the Maccabeats; and these hipster-ish Hanukkah sweaters by Geltfiend. Watch this amusing video to learn about the genesis of this new-yet-retro seasonal attire.


Amy Winehouse Biopic?

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Mitch Winehouse

Mitch Winehouse, father of late singer Amy Winehouse thinks George Clooney would be the perfect actor to play him in a biopic about his daughter. Some have urged Winehouse, who is trying to make the film happen, to consider Lady Gaga for the role of his daughter, but Winehouse doesn’t think Gaga quite cuts it. “She’s the same as Amy – she’s a nice kid, very nice young lady. She still can’t play Amy though,” he insisted.

Mila Kunis may be in Italy to shoot a movie, but it’s also a Roman holiday for her and her honey Ashton Kutcher. The couple has been repeatedly spotted strolling and dining. It’s curious, though, why Kutcher is holding a plate in a photo taken outside a restaurant where the pair ate. Could it have anything to do with his supposedly keeping kosher as part of his —but not Kunis’—Kabbalah practice?

Can’t wait until the January 13 season 2 premiere of Lena Dunham’s “Girls”? Click here for a bit of a sneak peek.

Ivanka Trump and her brothers Eric and Donald Jr. apparently staged an intervention with their father, Donald Trump, before the election early this month to try to get him to stop his libelous tweeting against President Obama. Obviously, they weren’t too successful.

Looking for that perfect Hanukkah gift for the Elizabeth Taylor or Barbie doll fan—or both—in your life? A new Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds Barbie doll is now available for $150. It wears a glamorous white 1950’s style dress with a red HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon pinned to it and comes with a replica of a White Diamonds perfume bottle, sunglasses, and a script, among other accessories.

You can’t always get what you want. In Steven Spielberg’s case, that would be the opportunity to direct a James Bond film. No hard feelings, though. Spielberg said he liked the latest Bond flick “Skyfall” and plans on seeing it a second time.

Harvey Weinstein is none too happy with the NFL Network’s pulling of an interview with “Silver Linings Playbook” star Bradley Cooper, calling it an act of censorship. The network did not like references to gambling on NFL games in the movie, which Weinstein co-produced.

Jason Segel, who played Jason in “Knocked Up” is back as the same character in Judd Apatow’s “This Is 40.” And as you can see, he has the hots for Debbie, the character played by Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann.

In TV casting news, Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner play Zooey Deschanel’s parents in “New Girl,” Roseanne Barr will appear in “Portlandia,” and Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel have officially signed on to return as Cory and Topanga in Disney’s “Boy Meets World” spinoff.

Nikki Reed is on the cover of Zooey magazine and shares openly about the pain her 2003 indie film “Thirteen” caused her family.

Shia LaBoeuf has split from his girlfriend of two years, Karolyn Pho. The breakup was reported to be due in large part to the actor’s agreeing to perform real-life sex scenes in the new Lars von Trier film, “Nymphomaniac.”

Daniel Racliffe, Rashida Jones, and “Twilight” screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg will take part in the Whistler Film Festival in British Columbia, Canada next week.

Read what “This American Life” host Ira Glass had to say in a sit down with The Hollywood Reporter, and what “Happy Endings” star Adam Pally told HuffPo in one of its “no-filter” interviews.

British actress Dinah Sheridan died on Sunday in England at age 94.

And finally, in celebrity sightings we have: Lea Michele and boyfriend Cory Monteith returning to Los Angeles from Vancouver; Bethenny Frankel rocking a white bikini; and Justin Bartha hanging out at the park with his cute little dog. Mitch Winehouse, father of late singer Amy Winehouse thinks George Clooney would be the perfect actor to play him in a biopic about his daughter. Some have urged Winehouse, who is trying to make the film happen, to consider Lady Gaga for the role of his daughter, but Winehouse doesn’t think Gaga quite cuts it. “She’s the same as Amy – she’s a nice kid, very nice young lady. She still can’t play Amy though,” he insisted.

Mila Kunis may be in Italy to shoot a movie, but it’s also a Roman holiday for her and her honey Ashton Kutcher. The couple has been repeatedly spotted strolling and dining. It’s curious, though, why Kutcher is holding a plate in a photo taken outside a restaurant where the pair ate. Could it have anything to do with his supposedly keeping kosher as part of his —but not Kunis’—Kabbalah practice?


Larry David Remembers Thanksgiving

By Renee Ghert-Zand

While you were eating turkey…

Celebs ate turkey, too. However, some like Natalie Portman, Alicia Silverstone, Dianna Agron, Julianna Margulies, and Lea Micheledid not (they’re vegetarians).

Larry David treated us to his animated reminiscences of Thanksgiving in Brooklyn with his family.

Joan Rivers tweeted about delivering Thanksgiving meals to the homebound, watching the Macy’s parade, and the thoughtful seating arrangements at her table.

Anne Hathaway and new hubby Adam Shulmantook their dog for a walk in New York, and Shia LaBoeuf strolled with his “Nymphomaniac” co-star Mia Goth in L.A.

Rashida Jones joined Jimmy Fallon in performing a catchy holiday-themed medley parodying popular songs by One Direction, Rihanna and Psy’s Gangnam Style, among others. The bit about spinning the dreidel on Hanukkah was set to Flo Rida’s “Whistle.”

Bob Saget enjoyed the holiday together with old buddy John Stamos, who starred with him in the 1990’s sitcom “Full House.”

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Mayim Bialik Plans Divorce

By Forward Staff

getty images

Actress Mayim Bialik and her husband, Michael Stone have announced plans to divorce after nine years of marriage.

The “Big Bang Theory” actress, known for her adherence to so-called “attachment parenting,” blamed the split on “irreconcilable differences.

“After much consideration and soul-searching, Michael and I have arrived at the decision to divorce,” she wrote on her blog at Kveller, a Jewish parenting website.

The couple has two sons, 7-year-old Miles and 4-year-old Frederick.

The former “Blossom” star insisted that her unusual parenting style, which includes sleeping in the same bed with the children, had nothing to do with the couple’s trip to Splitsville.

“The hands-on style of parenting we practice played no role in the changes that led to this decision,” she wrote. “Relationships are complicated no matter what style of parenting you choose.”


Humor in the Burst Tel Aviv Bubble

By Renee Ghert-Zand

It is clear from social media posts from friends and relatives in Israel over the past week, that many are using humor as a way of dealing with the very serious missile attacks from Gaza and strikes against Hamas by the IDF.

Tel Aviv is the best inspiration for comedic material right now. The Bubble (as Tel Aviv is known), targeted by rockets for the first time since the 1991 Gulf War, has been burst. Last Thursday, “Fajr-5” checked in to Tel Aviv on Facebook on the “Postim m’zuyafim” (Fake Posts) Facebook page. The first comment on that was from “Iron Dome,” who wrote, “How is it that I didn’t see you?”

On November 18, a funny phony Israeli radio broadcast titled, “Galgalatz in solidarity with the residents of the South,” skewered the self-absorbed Tel Aviv mentality. The announcer kept mispronouncing the names of cities and towns in the southern part of the country, even reading “Ashdod” as “EshDavid.” True, he was probably reading from an un-vocalized text, but still…

And it is no surprise that we already have a “Sh*t Tel Avivians Say When a Siren Sounds” video. Watch as these Tel Aviv hipsters try to sexily pick one another up in the stairwell as they listen for the “boom,” ignore a siren by either going back to bed or doing their makeup, boast about reading news about the war only from liberal sources, and most importantly — refuse to give up a parking space no matter what.


Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' Tribute

By Renee Ghert-Zand

With his new movie “Lincoln” playing in theaters nationwide, Steven Spielberg paid tribute to the 16th President by giving the keynote speech at a ceremony at Soldiers’ National Cemetery commemorating the 149th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

It looks like recently separated Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman can still be friends. They both attended DeVito’s niece’s recent wedding, where they managed to sit together and appear to get along.

Check out Andy Cohen impersonating Donald Trump on the Wendy Williams Show. We love the toupe.

We didn’t expect it to be long before Scarlett Johansson had a new beau following her break up with Nate Naylor. Her latest squeeze is a Frenchman named Romain Dauriac, whom she may have met through Fuzi Uvtpk, the French tattoo artist who recently inked the actress with a “Lucky You” horseshoe design.

Speaking of couples, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis apparently enjoyed an authentic Italian spaghetti and meatballs dinner in Rome, where Kunis is shooting a film.

Barbara Walters is set to announce her “10 Most Fascinating People of 2012” list on the air on December 12. She’s shared that boy band One Direction, actor-director Ben Affleck, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Olympic champion gymnast Gabby Douglas, “Fifty Shades of Grey” author E.L. James, N.J. Governor Chris Christie and jack-of-all-trades funnyman Seth MacFarlane are on the list. She’s, of course, keeping mum on the three most fascinating people until the big reveal.

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Taylor Swift is Blue (or is it Red?) over Jake Gyllenhaal

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Every time Taylor Swift comes out with a new song about a broken romance, the public is quick to speculate as to which former boyfriend she is referring to in the lyrics. Well, the guessing is over when it comes to “All Too Well,” a track off her new album, “Red.” It’s about Jake Gyllenhaal, who dated and dumped Swift in late 2010.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and husband Freddie Prinze, Jr. named their new son Rocky James. As far as we understand, Rocky is not a nickname.

Isla Fisher says she and husband Sacha Baron Cohen are thankful for the uniquely American holiday that falls in late November. Isla is particularly grateful that her hubby no longer wears his Borat mankini. The Australian Fisher and British Baron Cohen plan to fly with their daughters to London to be with family over the holiday, which is not celebrated across the pond.

Anne Hathaway and new hubby Adam Shulman were spotted buying stuffed animals and picture books for children affected by Hurricane Sandy. They are clearly not only a cute couple, but also a thoughtful one.

Of course, there is news (and more than just one item) about James Franco. First, he’s directed an R.E.M. video featuring Lindsay Lohan. Second, he made an appearance at the Rome Film Festival on Friday. And finally, Vanessa Hudgens shot her first sex scene with Franco (it’s apparently a steamy threesome), and she says she never wants to do that again—in general, not just with Franco (at least that’s what we think she meant).

Jennifer Aniston and fiancé Justin Theroux honored buddy Ben Stiller at the 26th American Cinematheque gala at the Beverly Hilton last week. “He is adorable. He’s sensitive. He’s shockingly ripped,” Aniston told the audience during her comedic tribute. “And if you don’t believe me, I’d suggest pulling out your iPhone and Google-ing ‘Stiller Hawaii beach.’ Trust me, it’s intense.”

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What a Boob! Kardashian Deletes Gaza Tweet

By JTA

getty images
Kim Kardashian

Reality television star Kim Kardashian apologized for tweeting about the Gaza conflict.

Kardashian apologized after two tweets in which she first told her followers she was “Praying for everyone in Israel,” and then tweeted that she was “Praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!”

Kardashian later deleted both tweets and issued an apology: “(A)fter hearing from my followers, I decided to take down the tweets because I realized that some people were offended and hurt by what I said, and for that I apologize,” the statement, published on her blog, said in part.

The statement continued: “I should have pointed out my intentions behind these tweets when I posted them. The fact is that regardless of religion and political beliefs, there are countless innocent people involved who didn’t choose this, and I pray for all of them and also for a resolution. I also pray for all the other people around the world who are caught in similar crossfires.”


Trump Divorcee's Kosher Tips

By Michael Kaminer

The last thing writer Judith Newman expected to get from Marla Maples was a lesson in kashrut. But as the journalist notes in The New York Times, Maples – better known as Mrs. Donald Trump #2 – is a “kabbalista” who apparently keeps strictly kosher.

For her one-on-one with the Times, Maples “had made a reservation at Prime Grill in Manhattan and texted, ‘Let’s wear hats!’ Only when I got there did I realize the steakhouse was kosher,” Newman writes.

“I don’t eat dairy,” Maples tells her, “So this is a great place to be if I want to eat meat, because they don’t mix milk and meat here.”

It’s quite an about-face for the 49-year-old who got embroiled in “one of the biggest sex scandals of the 1990s” when she confronted Ivana Trump on an Aspen ski slope. Maples’ famous line: “Are you in love with your husband? Because I am.” Maples was 24. Maples and Trump divorced in 1999.

Maples made more headlines back in 2004 when she joined boldface Kabbalah devotees like Madonna on a tashlich pilgrimage to Israel. “Israel is the heartbeat of the world,” she told the Jewish Journal at the time while “holding a bottle of kabbalah mineral water, marketed by the Kabbalah Centre for its spiritual properties.”

Maples continued that incorporating kabbalah teachings in her life has made a real change. “It’s helped me live without so much chaos, it’s helped me deal with anger,” she said. She added that, if celebrities wish to address their own spiritual lives, they are “as deserving as anyone else.”


The People Chose

By Renee Ghert-Zand

The People’s Choice Awards nominees have been announced, and there are quite a few MOTs among them. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been nominated for favorite movie actor. Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller were nominated for favorite comedic movie actor, while Jake Gyllenhaal was on the list of favorite dramatic movie actors. Andrew Garfield was nominated for favorite movie superhero for his role as Spider-Man. In the favorite on-screen chemistry category, we have Garfield and Emma Stone in “The Amazing Spider-Man” and Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner in “The Avengers.” Lea Michele got a nod in the favorite comedic TV actress category, and Ginnifer Goodwin was on the list of favorite dramatic TV actresses. Barbara Walters, Chelsea Handler and Ricki Lake were recognized in various talk show host categories. Adam Levine was nominated for favorite celebrity judge, and Drake was on the list of favorite hip-hop artists. Mila Kunis and ScarJo grabbed two nominations each: ScarJo for favorite movie actress and favorite face of heroism (for her performance as the Black Widow in “The Avengers”), and Kunis for favorite movie actress and favorite comedic movie actress.

The 2012 National Book Award nominations were also announced this week. Among the nominees are Anne Applebaum (non-fiction), Alan Shapiro (poetry), and Steve Sheinkin (young people’s literature).

Mayim Bialik dished on her Kveller blog about attending the L.A. premiere of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.” You can read here about everything from her too-tight vintage dress, to her 4 ½ inch heels, to the confiscation of her cell phone, to her crying at the sight of Weird Al Yankovic.

Sarah Jessica Parker, in a fashion forward set of mouse ears, posed with Minnie Mouse to celebrate the lighting of Barney’s Disney-themed holiday window display in New York.

It’s nearly impossible to get Joan Rivers to shut up, but that is precisely what Showtime is trying to do. The network has sent her a cease-and-desist letter to get her to stop promoting her upcoming “Don’t Start With Me” special. Does Showtime not get the gist of the show’s title?

Carly Rose Sonenclar, 13, continues to blow away almost all of the competition on “The X Factor.” Having been voted into the #2 spot by the public last week, she killed with her rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” on Wednesday night.

Harvey Weinstein is putting on a big show for Hurricane Sandy relief on December 12. Among the performers will be Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, Alicia Keyes, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, and The Who.

Lea Michele was into sharing embarrassing stories with Jay Leno this week. She told him how a dog once ruined her spray tan by peeing on her, and how she accidentally gave her boyfriend Cory Monteith raw eggs to eat for breakfast.

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Chelsea Handler Feud

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Chelsea Handler

There is apparently a feud going on between Today’s Talk hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and Chelsea Handler. It all started when Handler called in sick at the last minute before a scheduled guest appearance on Gifford and Kotb’s show. Funny thing is she showed up feeling just fine on another show and at a red carpet event the same day.

Jonah Hill was very excited to learn that his buddy and “21 Jump Street” co-star Channing Tatum was declared the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. Take a look here to see just how excited.

James Franco has been nominated for a National Entertainment Journalism Award for his Huffington Post blogs.

And speaking of James Franco, the trailer for his new film, “Oz The Great And Powerful,” has been released. Franco plays the Wizard, and Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams play the witches Evanora, Theodora and Glinda respectively.

And speaking of Mila Kunis, she was spotted Monday at LAX heading out of town sans Ashton Kutcher.

Elizabeth Banks and husband Max Handelman welcomed a son, Magnus Mitchell Handelman, who was born by surrogacy. The couple already has a 20-month-old son named Felix.

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