Love It. Fear It. Smear It.
Is 'Halachic' Going Mainstream?
Sitting Shiva for Spot?
A 'Crazy' Look at Paris Strip Palace
Boycotting Israel and My Olive Tapenade
From Esperanza to Shprintze
Israeli Gas Masks Help Get You High(er)
Was Adolf Hitler Leader or Follower?
Why My Daughter Isn't Bilingual — Yet
Preaching Lost Art of Fermentation
'Homegrown' Story of West Coast Jews
Remembering Mike Wallace
Sisters in Skivvies on the Lower East Side
An Anthem for LGBT Youth
Jewish Gangsters at the Mob Museum
Mayim's Most Important Role
‘Cabaret’ Comes to Tel Aviv
A Transsexual at Yeshiva University
'Strange' Evolution of Legendary Song
Kehinde Wiley Paints Israelis in Color
Nudge, Nudge. Wink, Wink.
Sweating in the Cleveland Schvitz
Berlin Film Festival Gets Serious, Mostly
Addicted to Aggadah
Why Do Men Write All the Baby Manuals?
Jewish Oscar Winners, From Allen to Zinner
Cleveland Rocks — Not Really
Raised Christian, But Jewish by Birth
Be My Israeli Valentine
The Jew and Hitler's Bug
Academy Awards Slideshow
Oscar Wins for ‘The Artist’; ‘Footnote’ Shut Out
The Jewess of 'Downton Abbey'?
The Allure of the Burka
Who Will Light Up Jewish Kids Lit?
Leonard Cohen's Old Whine in a New Bottle
Stephen Colbert vs. Maurice Sendak
X-Rated Dispute in Knesset
A Fraught Journey To Judaism
Bringing Real Bagels to the Motor City
Saying Mazel Tov in Mandarin
Strange Origins of David Cronenberg's 'A Dangerous Method'
How Jews Stayed in Good Spirits During Prohibition
The Word 'Jew' Has Fallen Out of Favor
Last Song of Hitler's Favorite Crooner
Making Foodie Resolutions for New Year
For the Glove of the Game
Adrienne Cooper Embodied Progressive Spirit
TV Ripped My Son From Reality
How Authentic Is ‘Porgy and Bess’?
Sandra Bernhard Shows Her Softer Side
Gimme Some New Time Religion
Tintin and the Anti-Semites
Gimme Some Old Time Gossip
Jewish Cookies Santa Would Love
The Hanukkah Bush and Christmas Dreidel
After a delay of several months, the Chilean miners are officially on their way to Israel.
The 33 miners — who captivated much of the world last year with their rescue after spending 69 days trapped underground — will make the trip between February 23 and March 2. The visit, announced today by Israel’s tourism ministry, will include stops at the country’s major Christian sites, as well as the Dead Sea, Masada, Caesarea and Tel Aviv. The miners will attend a reception hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, and the trip even has an official name: “The Pilgrimage of Thanks in the Holy Land.”
If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, teen pop star Justin Bieber should consider himself very, very flattered. Israel, whose tween girls last week demonstrated their website-crashing love for the Canadian singer, now have their own homegrown version to worship.
Yair Danor, a 15-year-old from the Tel Aviv suburb of Ra’anana, is enjoying his own rise to musical stardom, with a strategy and look taken straight from the Bieber playbook. Sporting a hairstyle strikingly similar to Bieber’s signature cut, Danor established himself through YouTube and Facebook before getting signed by a profesional label. As with his slightly older predecessor, the response to Danor has been ecstatic — Israeli news Web site Mako today described the phenomenon as “hysteria.”
For parents of young children, finding a good babysitter can be as important to quality of life as having food and shelter. But said quest is not always so easy. A young mom in Tel Aviv found that out while unsuccessfully seeking a nanny for her 7-month-old son. Undeterred, she has now taken to more creative means to find good help.
Shlomit Havron has made a YouTube video (in Hebrew) of her urgent plea and has offered to reward the person making the right babysitting shidduch a considerable NIS 1,000 (nearly $300) finder’s fee — in cold, hard cash, no less. (Check out the video below.)
Apparently Havron needs this nanny for her baby pronto. She is giving viewers exactly one week to help make her child care woes disappear.
There was drama in the West Bank involving soldiers and Palestinians this morning, my military sources tell me. But for once it was of a happy kind.
Just before 2 a.m. an expectant mother started early stage labor. There were no Palestinian ambulances in the area, so a call went out to the Israeli military for assistance.
The IDF sent an ambulance, which, after traversing a long dirt track to the woman’s home in the Jordan Valley, reached her. The driver and paramedic, Gilad Nesher, 20, carried her on a stretcher to the ambulance.
For Washington’s alt-weekly City Paper, it was a clever, if childish, way to indicate a deep dislike of Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder. For Snyder, it was “blatantly anti-Semitic,” his lawyers say. And now, the wealthy Washingtonian is suing City Paper for an unflattering article whose accompanying photo was “defaced by a schoolyard scribble of horns, a unibrow and a kind of devil beard,” The New York Times reports.
Snyder and his lawyers “brought out the big guns on this charge,” the Times wrote, “enlisting the Simon Wiesenthal Center to demand that City Paper apologize for the image, which it said was ‘associated with virulent anti-Semitism going back to the Middle Ages.’” But heavyweight First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, retained by the City Paper team, called the lawsuit “so self-evidently lacking in merit and so ludicrous on its face that it is difficult to imagine that it was commenced for any reason but to seek to intimidate,” The Times reported.
La Scala, the Met … and increasingly, Masada.
The former Roman fortress near the Dead Sea is continuing its emergence as a magnet for world-famous opera stars, with Andrea Bocelli announcing plans on Thursday to perform there this summer. The Italian tenor will sing at the base of the historical landmark on June 12, singing a selection of arias as the closing act of Israel’s International Opera Festival.
Proceeds from the event - which will feature accompaniment by the Rishon Lezion Symphonic Orchestra -will go to the Or Association, which supports residents of the Negev Desert and Galilee.
An upcoming Brad Pitt movie will shine the Hollywood spotlight on at least one lucky Israeli actress.
Marc Forster, the film’s director, has been in Israel this week to cast one of the story’s supporting roles - a female Israeli soldier who recounts her experiences during a major recent war.
The twist, as far as the Middle East is concerned, is that the combatants in “World War Z” aren’t Israelis and Arabs, or Sunnis and Shiites, but humans and zombies. The story’s Israeli character is just one of several survivors interviewed by a United Nations representative.
At the entrances to Israeli hospitals, like public buildings across the world, there are often electronic doors which open when the sensor is set off. No problem – except for observant Jews on the Sabbath, as operating the doors is deemed Sabbath transgression.
The Haredi newspaper Yated Ne’eman reports that the Health Ministry, which is controlled by the Haredi United Torah Judaism party, has “decided to allocate hundreds of thousands of shekels” to solve the problem. It is going to “install systems with a timer designed to leave electronic doors open during Sabbath.”
What was that bright white light that descended on Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock early last Friday? An alien spaceship? Proof of a “regional galactic governance council”? An Israeli drone?
The Internet is still abuzz with speculation about the mysterious object, which separate video clips captured as it traveled downward toward the Dome of the Rock, paused, then rapidly shot back into the sky before dawn. Hundreds of thousands have viewed the images on YouTube (see below) and elsewhere, offering theories about the light that range from the skeptical to the extraterrestrial.
Fresh off this week’s announcement of one international project, Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman is signing up A-listers for another.
The director of 2009 Oscar nominee “Waltz With Bashir” is putting together the cast for his first Hollywood movie, a sci-fi thriller called “The Congress.”
The film’s new cast members reportedly include Harvey Keitel and Paul Giamatti, the latter of whom won a Golden Globe last month for playing the prickly Jewish protagonist in “Barney’s Version.” The pair will star alongside Robin Wright, with the film set for release next year or in 2013.
Well it’s about time. Movie-star Adam Sandler was awarded the 2,431st star on the Hollywood walk of fame yesterday. Actors Henry Winkler and Kevin James roasted the funnyman, who was accompanied by his wife Jackie, and daughters Sadie and Sunny.
Sandler is best known for films such as “Happy Gilmore,” “Big Daddy” and “Mr. Deeds.” The actor, comedian and producer, who was born to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, thanked his family for giving him the support he needed to succeed.
The youngest-ever winner of a Best Actor Oscar has lent his talents to a beer commercial set to debut this Super Bowl Sunday. Adrien Brody, whose performance as Wladyslaw Szpilman illuminated Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Szpilman’s autobiography “The Pianist,” will play a 1960s nightclub crooner in a spot for Stella Artois beer.
Making his debut as a singer, Brody will reportedly moon over a character called “Stella” in keeping with the beer’s campaign theme, “She Is a Thing of Beauty,” Adweek reported.
A press release from the company portrayed the beer commercial as a career breakthrough for Brody, who’s also toiled in ads for Schweppes and Coke. “It’s an incredibly creative concept. There’s humor, and there’s a very hip, musical quality to it,” Brody said in a statement, Adweek said. “It also pushed me past my own comfort lines with singing because I’d never done that before. That was very exciting.”
Jon Voight is a Chabadnik at heart, or so he declared at a cornerstone-laying ceremony in an east Jerusalem neighborhood.
A long-time Israel supporter, the American Academy Award winner and star of films such as “Midnight Cowboy” is visiting the country with likely Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
Hebrew seems to be the language of love for Guy Ritchie and girlfriend Jacqui Ainsley. According to Hello magazine, the ex-Mr. Madonna and Ainsley speak to each other in Hebrew when they are out in public and want to keep their conversation private.
Ritchie is already fluent in Hebrew (at least he got something out of his marriage to Kabbalah-following Madge). But Ainsley told Hello! she’s been studying the language every day. “Initially it was difficult as the characters are so vastly dissimilar to English characters and there are two alphabets to contend with. I believe you can learn anything you want if you are determined — one hour a day can go a long way,” she said. To that we say: Tov meod!
No sooner did the New York Post report that Mr. Chelsea Clinton — otherwise known as Marc Mezvinsky — had quit his hedge-fund job to become a “ski bum” than chatter about the couple’s marriage started burning up gossip sites. The investment banker “is forgoing work at New York-based hedge fund G3 Capital to hit the slopes for a few months in Jackson Hole, Wyo.,” the Post wrote. Only at the end of the item did the Post’s Page Six column note that “the happy couple lives — albeit separately while Marc hits the slopes — in an apartment on Fifth Avenue that Mezvinsky bought in 2008.”
For celeb site Hollywood Life, that sentence spelled possible doom for the young power couple. “This is definitely a bad sign,” a Beverly Hills psychologist named Dr. Carole Lieberman told the site. “He seems to be struggling under the pressure of being a husband, especially knowing that Chelsea wants a baby … The first year of marriage is supposed to continue the honeymoon as long as possible.”
Just a few days ago, we reported on the mischievous behavior of some Knesset members, spraying air freshener around the chamber while claiming that former Labor Chairman Ehud Barak’s creation of a new party “stinks.” And they aren’t the only lawmakers whose conduct has been raising eyebrows. Back in October Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon decided that he needs to start running manners courses for lawmakers to avoid blundering behavior abroad. Now, as Ayalon’s carrot method for improving standards gets off the ground, the Knesset’s Ethics Committee is going for more of a stick approach.
It plans to institute a fine for lawmakers who curse or speak rudely to a colleague in the plenum – a month’s salary, which comes out at almost $10,000. It still requires final approval by the committee, and one wonders if it will pass – after all, forcing lawmakers to think before they open their mouths would seem to spell the end of a longstanding element of the Knesset’s culture.
Following “New York, I Love You” and “Paris, I Love You,” Israel’s capital has been tapped to serve as the third city in the star-studded film series. Assuming it follows the model of the previous films, “Jerusalem, I Love You” will tell a dozen short love stories written, starring and directed by major names in Israeli and international cinema. The film’s foreign participants are still being lined up, but Nrg.co.il, the Web site of Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper, reports that top Israeli writers including Amos Oz, Etgar Keret and A.B. Yehoshua will contribute stories, and the film’s directors will include Ari Folman and Joseph Cedar, Israelis whose previous films have received Oscar nominations.
Based on the earlier installments, producers no doubt hope to line up major overseas talent for the movie, which is scheduled to be released next year. Participants in the New York and Parisian films featured eclectic casts ranging from Natalie Portman and Juliette Binoche to Ethan Hawke and Orlando Bloom. Participating directors have included Oscar favorites including Joel and Ethan Coen, Anthony Minghella and Gus Van Sant.
Bieber fever has hit Israel.
Tickets to the country’s first-ever Justin Bieber concert went on sale Thursday evening - but remained available for only a few minutes before leaan.co.il, the ticketing website for the Tel Aviv show, crashed due to overwhelming traffic.
Bieber, the Canadian pop singer with a tween fan base more rabid than Old Yeller, announced the concert at the start of December part of his My World Tour.
Jesse James is one mixed-up guy. Just days after photos emerged of him smiling as a passenger in his car gives a [Nazi salute] (http://blogs.forward.com/the-shmooze/135003/), news broke that Sandra Bullock’s philandering ex-husband recently visited Israel.
James — who was previously snapped wearing a nazi cap and giving a “Sieg Heil” salute — visited the Jewish state for an upcoming episode of his History Channel show “Jesse James Blacksmith.” During the episode, James, who is the CEO of West Coast Choppers, studies under the tutelage of Uri Hofi, an Israeli man known as “the world’s greatest blacksmith.” (Hofi does his world-renowned blacksmithing from Kibbutz Ein Shemer in the Shomron.)
Jesse James — the much-reviled, philandering ex of Sandra Bullock — sure looks happy in photos that appear in Us magazine this week. Unfortunately, he’s grinning as a passenger in his car gives a Nazi salute.
Us, which last spring published a 2004 snapshot of James donning a Nazi cap and giving a “Sieg Heil” salute, says “new, similarly disturbing images involving James [were] posted on Facebook by ex-employees of his company, West Coast Choppers.” In one photo, “James grins and sits in a convertible alongside a pal” who gives the infamous straight-arm salute; “another image features a children’s book character, Flat Stanley,” dressed as Hitler, Us reports.
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