The Shmooze

Jason Alexander Apologizes for Gay Joke

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Jason Alexander joins the list of celebrities who have publicly insulted gay people.

On June 3, the former Seinfeld co-star tweeted an extended message of apology for calling cricket “a gay sport” while shmoozing with host Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show last week. Alexander wrote that when Ferguson mentioned cricket, he was glad to be able to fall back on an old routine he had done about the sport years ago in Australia:

When Craig mentioned cricket I thought, “Oh, goody — I have a comic bit about cricket I can do. Won’t that be entertaining?” And so I did a chunk of this old routine and again referred to cricket as kind of “gay” — talking about the all white uniforms that never seem to get soiled; the break they take for tea time with a formal tea cart rolled onto the field, etc. I also did an exaggerated demonstration of the rather unusual way they pitch the cricket ball which is very dance-like with a rather unusual and exaggerated arm gesture.

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Bar's Birthday Bikini; Lohan as Liz

By Eileen Reynolds

Twitter.com/@BarRefaeli

A couple of fabulous photos making the rounds on gossip sites caught the Shmooze’s eye this morning.

The first is a birthday gift — from Bar Refaeli to the world. On June 4, her 27th birthday, the model and No. 1 “Maxim” hottie tweeted a playful picture of herself on the beach. In a bikini. With a rainbow. Talk about giving the people what they want!

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Bibi On Rye?

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Funny or Die

What’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doing in a trailer for Adam Sandler’s new movie? And what is he doing in between some slices of rye bread?

These are the lingering questions one has after watching a Funny of Die advertising spot cut by Andy Samberg, who also stars in “That’s My Boy.” The film is about a young teenage boy named Donny (Sandler) who fathers and raises his son Todd (Samberg) until Todd is 18. The immature, deadbeat dad later shows up on the eve of the successful son’s wedding, and all hell breaks loose.

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Drew Barrymore Loves Her New Jewish In-Laws

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Kopelman and Barrymore at the New York City Ballet’s 2012 Spring Gala in May

Mazel Tov! Drew Barrymore tied the knot Saturday with Will Kopelman under a custom-made chuppah at Barrymore’s Montecito, California home. The Kopelman family’s rabbi, reportedly flown in from New York for the occasion, performed the 45-minute wedding ceremony.

Few details an no photos have been released yet, but fashion bloggers have been abuzz with descriptions of the 37-year-old Barrymore’s wedding dress — a long, white Chanel dress pleated in muslin and organza, designed for her by Karl Lagerfeld. It was accentuated by a black satin belt at the waist and had flowers embroidered in organza, muslin, tulle and feathers on the skirt. Barrymore was also wearing Chanel fine jewelry, which is no surprise given that the groom’s father, Arie Kopelman, is a former CEO of Chanel.

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Orthodox ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Fans?

By Michael Kaminer

Widely panned but massively popular, “Fifty Shades of Grey” has become ubiquitous on nightstands and beach bags. But it’s Orthodox Jews who first glommed onto the book’s frisky list of fetishes, according to New York Times Magazine.

David Sax (who also contributes to the Forward) wrote Sunday that Fifty Shades of Grey ”took off in the Orthodox Jewish community before it became a sensation,” citing Vintage Books spokesman Paul Bogaards. And the proprietor of a web site called KosherSexToys told Sax that the perception of frum Jews as asexual is a myth.

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Joe Biden's Daughter Marries Jewish Doctor

By Laura Goldman

Official White House Photo- David Lienemann

Vice President Biden’s daughter Ashley married Dr. Howard Krein, a Jewish doctor from Philadelphia, on Saturday at the bucolic St. Joseph’s of the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, which is the same church where she was baptized. In the official statement released by the vice president’s office, Joe and Dr. Jill Biden said, “We’re happy to welcome Howard into our family, and we wish them all the best in their new life together.”

The wedding ceremony, which was limited to 200 close family and friends of the bride and groom, was officiated by a Catholic priest, Father David Murphy, and a Reform Jewish Rabbi, Joseph M. Forman of Or Chadash synagogue in Flemington, N.J. Forman, a graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Learning in Cincinnati, Ohio, assures the Forward that the ceremony contained the typical elements of the Jewish and Catholic wedding ceremonies.

“A Ketubah was signed. The couple got married under a beautiful chuppah, made of natural branches with a cloth covering,” he said. The wedding ceremony started with the traditional burach habim and included the priestly blessing and the shevai brachot. The groom stepped on a glass at the end.”

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Madonna's Mixed Reviews

By Haaretz

France’s far-right National Front is considering a lawsuit against Madonna over a video she used during her concert in Israel on Thursday night. The clip showed party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead.

While she performed the song “Nobody Knows Me” in Ramat Gan Stadium, Madonna showed a video in which her face was collaged with a number of well-known personalities. The face of Marine Le Pen appeared for a few seconds with a swastika affixed to her forehead before dissolving into a composite character resembling Adolf Hitler.

The concert, which opened Madonna’s 65-city MDNA world tour, received mixed reviews from the international press, which provided extensive coverage - around 80 foreign journalists were here for the performance.

“For a show that was originally billed as a ‘Concert for Peace,’ the opening night of Madonna’s world tour in Tel Aviv, Israel, featured a disproportionate amount of violence,” the critic from The Hollywood Reporter wrote, citing the guns and religious imagery used during the first part of the concert.

For more go to Haaretz.com


Winehouse House To Sell for $4.2 Million

By Margaret Eby

Getty Images

The London pad where the late songstress Amy Winehouse lived is on the market, priced at a cool $4.2 million. The sprawling three-bedroom house in swanky Camden, where Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning last July, had become an impromptu memorial site for the pop star. Winehouse’s grieving fans traveled to the home to leave tributes outside.

According to the New York Post, Winehouse’s father, Mitch, was originally going to convert the house into a center for The Amy Winehouse Foundation, but the location proved inconvenient. Winehouse’s fans have been vocal in their outrage against her father for cashing in on his daughter’s fame so soon after her death. Mitch Winehouse protested on Twitter that the property cost too much to maintain. “Some of you are being stupid,” he wrote, “It costs £25,000 per month to keep house and security.”

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Muhammad Ali’s Grandson’s Bar Mitzvah

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

We’ve called former world heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali “The Greatest,” “The People’s Champion” and “The Louisville Lip.” Now we might want to also call him “Zaidy” — and a very proud one at that.

The boxing news site “The Sweet Science” reports that the Muslim Ali’s grandson recently became a bar mitzvah. The 13-year-old boy, Jacob Wertheimer, is the son of Ali’s daughter Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer and her husband, Spencer Wertheimer.

“I was born and raised as a Muslim,” Ali-Wertheimer said. “But I’m not into organized religion. I’m more spiritual than religious. My husband is Jewish. No one put any pressure on Jacob to believe one way or another. He chose this on his own because he felt a kinship with Judaism and Jewish culture.” Accordingly, Jacob had his bar mitzvah ceremony at Philadelphia’s Congregation Rodeph Shalom on April 28.

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Dr. Ruth To Sell Sexy Low-Alcohol Wine

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

It turns out that Dr. Ruth Westheimer wasn’t kidding when she told me that she was coming out with her very own line of wines.

When I interviewed her at an event at the Jewish Theological Seminary last March, she was talking a mile a minute about latest projects. She mentioned the wine somewhere in between plans for her 84th birthday party at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, on June 5 (she made sure to note that her actual birthday is June 4), and an upcoming play about her life called “Dr. Ruth: All The Way.” Sadly, I didn’t take many notes on what she was saying, other than that it would be California wine. It seems I should have taken her viticulture aspirations more seriously.

Westheimer, a person known for doing things her own way, isn’t coming out with just any wine. The main reason she agreed to become a first-time vintner was that she would be able to sell a wine with considerably less alcohol than usual. While regular wine normally has 13 percent alcohol content, Dr. Ruth’s will have only 6 percent.

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Mayim Bialik Couldn’t Quite Quit Facebook

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Deciding to take a break from Facebook is usually a personal issue — but not in Mayim Bialik’s case. On May 24 the actress declared on her Kveller blog that she was going to stop using social media. But by yesterday, she had already reconsidered and announced that she would be back on Facebook, but with the caveat that she would disable the comment function on her page.

After receiving a particularly bruising beating from commentators, Bialik had decided enough was enough. Why was she getting off Facebook? “Because it’s not working for me. It’s stressful and upsetting,” she explained. “I can’t simply ‘ignore all of those comments’ because I know deep down I’m a great person and ‘who cares what people think anyway?’ It’s about not feeling comfortable being a part of such a discourse anymore.”

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CSI Cast Tours Israel

By Nathan Jeffay

Shahar Azran
Carmine Giovinazzo prepares to board his El Al flight to Israel at JFK International Airport.

Madonna’s concert in Tel Aviv tonight is requiring a mammoth operation by Israel Police. And it seems that officers also have some pretend cops keeping the country safe too. Purely by coincidence, four TV cops are in Israel today.

Detectives Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) and Adam Ross (AJ Buckley) from CSI:NY are touring Israel, together with CSI: Miami actors Jonathan Frederick Togo, who plays Ryan Wolfe, and Omar Benson Miller, who plays Walter Simmons.

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Adam Levine Talks Promiscuity

By Margaret Eby

Getty Images

Strippers, supermodels, and lavish parties might not be the first thing you think of when you see Adam Levine, the falsetto-wielding front man of the pop band Maroon 5. But maybe they should be. His juicy profile in “Details,” which ran on the cover this month, reveals a side of Levine that’s far away from his scrubbed-but-tattooed television persona.

“Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of [women] is because I love them so much,” Levine mused to “Details” writer Craig Marks.

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Israeli Group Mocks Soros and Thomas Friedman

By Nathan Jeffay

Philanthropist George Soros, New Israel Fund President Naomi Chazan and writer Thomas Friedman are the latest targets of the right-wing Israeli satirists who became famous for mocking the Gaza flotilla.

Latma, the group that made We Con The World about the flotilla that approached Gaza two years ago today, have set to music their claim that being a liberal Jew who criticizes elements of Israel’s conduct means… that you hate Israel. Soros, Chazan and Friedman are singled out.

A look-alike of Yariv Oppenheimer, head of the Israeli activist organization, is bitterly mocked. With a neon sign in the background which says “Boycott Israel!!!” he sings: “When Soros handed out cash by the truck, to funds, associations, every shmuck, we were okay, we immediately stressed, that we also hate Israel, every one of us.”

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Jerusalem Post Ranks 50 Influential Jews

By Michael Kaminer

Getty Images
Jon Stewart took #7 on the Jerusalem Post list.

Mazel tov, Benjamin “King Bibi” Netanyahu. You’re officially the most influential Jew in the world, according to the Jerusalem Post’s just-released ranking of the world’s 50 most significant Semites.

And good on you, (Jon Stewart #7). The Post thinks you’ve got more juice than Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (#9) and Eric Cantor (#19) —and all of you rate higher than Shimon Peres (#22) and George Soros (#38).

But the Post’s choices — Canadian rapper Drake at #16? Natalie Portman at #36? — have sparked some good-natured hand-wringing in the blogosphere.

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Teenage Israeli Actress To Play Virgin Mary

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Andrew Brucker, via Wiki Commons

Many Jewish moviegoers will be pleased to know that Mel Gibson has nothing to do with the soon-to-be-produced prequel to “The Passion of the Christ,” and that a young Israeli actress has quite a lot to do with it. Fifteen-year-old Odeya Rush has been cast for the title role in “Mary, Mother of Christ.” The movie will also star major talents Ben Kingsley and Julia Ormond.

The film, which will begin filming in Malta, Jordan and California this August, chronicles the life of the Virgin Mary from childhood through young adulthood. Producers decided not to hire a number of actresses of different ages, believing that Rush is up to the challenge of portraying Jesus’s mother from ages 8 through 19.

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English Soccer Team To Visit Auschwitz

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

In an educational effort to combat the troublesome phenomenon of anti-Semitism and racism in soccer, England’s national football team will visit Auschwitz and other Holocaust-related sites while in Poland next week for the Euro 2012 tournament.

According to the Algemeiner, the team will visit Auschwitz some time between its arrival in Poland on June 6 and its first game (against France) on June 9. The players are expected to light candles along the train tracks leading to the camp, and to sign the guest book there.

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Bar Refaeli Gets Cozy with Shaun White

By Margaret Eby

Getty Images

Looks like Bar Rafaeli doesn’t have that much trouble getting a date after all. Olympic snowboarder Shaun White might have been listening when the Maxim Hot 100 topper complained on Conan that men never approach her. White and Rafaeli were caught canoodling in a SoHo lounge over Memorial Day weekend, according to Fox Sports.

White, known for his shoulder-length carrot-colored locks and nickname “the Flying Tomato,” met Rafaeli outside a club in the wee hours in the morning. A waitress spied them kissing and dancing until 3 a.m., when White chivalrously escorted Rafaeli to a car and not so chivalrously forgot to tip for his VIP table. Though there’s no confirmation from either star’s representative, the two were also seen taking a leisurely bike ride around Central Park on Tuesday. It just goes to show: Every tomato has his day.


More on the Chan-Zuckerberg Wedding

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Chan in Vietnam in 2011

Now that the world knows who Priscilla Chan is, she’s being spotted everywhere — including in a Chinese TV documentary on the country’s police force. Oddly enough, a short snippet of footage of Chan and her husband, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has shown up in the program highlighting how Chinese police use hi-tech methods to fight crime.

Loving a guy — even if all he wears is hoodies — is no crime, so it must be complete coincidence that the image of the couple strolling on the streets of Shanghai last March made it into the film. “There is a serious shortage in China’s police manpower,” the narrator said as Zuckerberg and Chan appeared walking and smiling behind a couple of officers. In China there is probably a severe shortage of people who even know who Zuckerberg is, let alone what he looks like, given that Facebook is blocked there.

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Aaron Sorkin Is Dating Another Kristin

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

We all know that the “Sex and the City” character Charlotte York had a soft spot for Jewish men — or at least for a one named Harry Goldenblatt. Now it seems that Kristin Davis, the actress who played the Carrie Bradshaw pal, has her eye on a particular Jewish guy, too.

Life & Style reports that Davis is dating screenwriter and producer Aaron Sorkin. It appears that Sorkin, who penned the Academy Award-winning film about the rise of Facebook, has been doing a little social networking of his own lately. He and Davis have been “getting together when they can,” according to a source. “They’re a good match for each other,” the source added.

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