The Shmooze

Woody Allen Gets Snubbed for Father’s Day

By Margaret Eby

Getty Images
Woody Allen

Mia Farrow and Woody Allen’s son Ronan Farrow had quite the Father’s Day dig for his estranged dad this year. On Sunday, Farrow posted his greetings on Twitter: “Happy father’s day – or as they call it my family, happy brother-in-law’s day.”

Apparently, Woody’s scandalous marriage to his adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, for whom he left Mia when Ronan was just five, still stings 20 years on. (Get it? If Soon-Yi is Ronan’s step-sister, than her husband must be…um…) Mia Farrow echoed Ronan’s sentiments, re-tweeting the statement with the comment “Boom.”

Read more


Shia LaBeouf Bares All in Music Video

By Hannah Rubin

Getty Images

Dancing to a slow electronic beat, Jewish actor and former Disney channel star Shia LaBeouf spends his latest film venture alternating between tighty-whities, ladies’ stockings, and his good ol’ birthday suit.

Sigur Ros’s latest Icelandic pop ballad “Fiogur Piano” features the scantily clad LaBeouf, replete with pony-tail and beard, alongside ultra-blonde (ultra-shiksa) co-star Denna Thomsen. The two are depicted as a pair hopelessly tangled up in an addictive romance.

Read more


Scribe vs. Scribe on Soccer Field

By Assaf Gavron

In the shadow of the Euro 2012 soccer championship, a smaller yet more intellectually profound sports event, took place last week in Haifa.

Israel hosted the so-called Authors’ Euro, an international tournament of national soccer teams consisting of writers and poets. For three days, German, Italian and Israeli authors battled for the cup. In between, they shared stories, participated in readings and panel discussions (and, of course, guzzled beer) while watching television as their “real” national teams fought for their own trophies.

The European Writers’ League has been in existence for about a decade. Teams of scribes from different countries started meeting and playing each other in the hope of fostering cultural exchange, increasing literary awareness and, of course, fulfilling lost childhood dreams of becoming soccer stars.

The Israeli team was founded by yours truly in 2008, following an invitation by the German team to play in Berlin. The response to my call was impressive. Among those traveling to Berlin in May of that year were striker Nir Baram (whose novel “Fine People” in English translation is due from Knopf next year); winger Avi Shilon (whose biography of Menachem Begin will be published this fall by Yale University Press); successful pop musician and novelist Yali Sobolin in midfield; and the author of “Almost Dead” (HarperCollins, 2010) — that’s me — in defense.

We were badly beaten there, but the event (hosted by the German Foreign Minister) was so successful, that as soon as we returned to Israel, we started plotting the replay. That December we invited the German and the English writers’ teams to a tournament in sunny Tel Aviv, in which we beat both teams and won the cup. A year later we travelled to London and were badly beaten again, in the pouring rain.

Read more


Babs Gives $10 Million for Women’s Heart Health

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

On June 14, Barbra Streisand opened her home and her wallet for women’s heart health. Tired of gender inequality in cardiovascular disease research, Streisand hosted a fundraiser dinner for the cause under a tent on the property of the Malibu home she shares with her husband, James Brolin.

Joining Streisand were many of her showbiz friends, some of whom paid as much as $100,000 per couple to support the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Streisand herself donated $10 million toward the establishment of the research and treatment center. The Los Angeles Times reported that she has also solicited additional $1 million gifts from celebrities such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, media mogul Barry Diller, designers Diane von Furstenberg and Ralph Lauren and financier Ronald Perelman.

Read more


Jewish Celebs Honored for Paramount's 100th

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Paramount Studio on Marathon Street in 1943

In the heyday of the Hollywood studio system, it was customary for the studios to assemble their stable of stars for a photographic group portrait. Being that this year is Paramount Pictures’ 100th anniversary, the studio thought it appropriate to resurrect this traditional practice.

On January 13, 116 of Paramount’s greatest living talents gathered at historic Stage 18 to pose for a wide-angle group photo to mark the occasion for posterity. Following a red carpet arrival, the formally dressed actors, producers and directors — along with a few Paramount/Viacom execs — took their places on the specially arranged set.

Read more


Tiki Barber Headlines Einstein Medicine Benefit

By Michael Kaminer

Getty Images

Tiki Barber, the retired football legend who now makes his living as an NBC “Today” correspondent, was the big name at an inaugural benefit last night for a newish junior fundraising arm of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Barber and Aussie VH1 host Jason Dundas joined about 500 guests — mostly twentysomethings in body-hugging mini-dresses and slim suits — at New York’s Tribeca Rooftop for a splashy, $150-a-ticket evening. For that price, guests got multiple open bars, a massive sushi station, Middle Eastern kebabs and wraparound views of Manhattan at sunset. What’s Tiki Barber’s connection to Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Shmooze asked? “Traci [Lynn Johnson] and I came out to support our friend [and Einstein Emerging Leaders head] Kyle Widrick. I think it’s great what he and the other members of the Einstein Emerging Leaders are doing to raise funds and awareness for a really worthy cause, CERC,” Barber said.

The evening’s beneficiary is the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Einstein; it emerged $100,000 richer after the event, a publicist told the Forward.


Drake and Chris Brown Brawl Over Rihanna

By Margaret Eby

Getty Images
Rihanna and Drake in 2011

A hip-hop beef went from the airwaves to the front page this week after rapper Drake and R&B crooner Chris Brown and their entourages got into a very public bar fight. At around 4 a.m. on Thursday at club W.I.P. in SoHo, the two chart-topping singers came to blows over Rihanna, with whom both have been romantically connected. According to The Daily News, the fight began over a gesture of goodwill.

Both stars were celebrating the birthday of Ne-Yo’s manager Javon Smith when the famously ill-tempered Chris Brown sent over a bottle of champagne to Drake’s table as a peace offering. Drake reportedly sent the bottle back with the note: “I’m still f—ing Rihanna.” The ensuing melee left Brown with a chunk of skin torn off his chin. His bodyguard and an Australian tourist were also injured. Reports differ on what actually happened. Drake denies involvement in the fracas, but today Brown claims that he has physical evidence against the Jewish rapper. Video has emerged of the fight as well, though the play-by-play remains inconclusive.

Read more


Lindsay Lohan To Act Opposite Jewish Porn Star

By Samantha Malone

Getty Images

Lindsay Lohan and Jewish porn star James Deen nailed it. The chance to star in the upcoming film “The Canyons,” that is.

Lohan, who is currently shooting “Liz & Dick,” the Elizabeth Taylor biopic for Lifetime, will work alongside the popular Jewish boy next door in a contemporary thriller that promises a plot filled with power struggles, sex and success. The co-stars will play two of five young adults trying to find their way in modern day Los Angeles.

Read more


Anastasia Michaeli: Gay People are Miserable

By Nathan Jeffay

First it was scuffles and water fights in Knesset; now it’s homophobia. Anastasia Michaeli just doesn’t seem to get the conventions of normal inoffensive behavior.

You probably remember the model turned politician from the ugly saga in January when she threw a cup of water at Israeli-Arab lawmaker Raleb Majadele during a Knesset discussion. Or maybe from even earlier, when in 2010 she physically threatened another Arab lawmaker, Hanin Zuabi, a participant in the Gaza flotilla, who was talking about the activist voyage.

Read more


Adam Lambert Tops ‘Sexiest Men in Pop’ List

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

When it comes to sex appeal, it looks like Jewish pop stars have it. How else can The Shmooze account for the fact that three out of the 10 men on Billboard’s “sexiest men in pop” list are members of the tribe?

Billboard polled 600,000 readers, who let it be known that the sexiest male musician out there is — get ready for it — Adam Lambert. The guy is on fire these days, what with being the sexiest singer du jour, plus having recently made it to the number one spot on the Billboard chart when his new album “Tresspassing” sold 77,000 copies in its first week (beating out Adele, no less).

Read more


Andy Samberg To Star in BBC Series

By Margaret Eby

Getty Images

After seven seasons with Saturday Night Live, Digital Short darling and Jewish feminist Andy Samberg decided to leave the show earlier this summer. But Samberg fans shouldn’t fret. It won’t be long before his affably goofy face fills your screens once more — even if you don’t go see him in Adam Sandler’s latest vehicle, That’s My Boy.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the “Lazy Sunday” star has already landed a new gig in England.

Read more


Mom Helped Kid Paint Swastikas

By Eileen Reynolds

Jon Lovitz via Twitter

When Jon Lovitz tweeted his outrage over an anti-Semitic act of vandalism in Southern California this April, his ire was directed primarily at a group of teenage girls he called bullies. Lovitz’s friends, parents of a teenage daughter, found feces left on their doorstep and swastikas and the word “Jew” painted in maple syrup in the yard. They believed that perpetrators were classmates from their daughter’s school. A neighbor had caught the vandalism on a surveillance camera.

Now justice is being served — and it looks like this isn’t just a case of teenage bullying. Catherine Whelpley, a Southern California mom, is being charged with aiding in the crime. She allegedly drove her daughter and two other girls to and from the crime scene, as well as to a second home where they’re also accused of committing vandalism.

Read more


Gilad Shalit To Report on NBA Finals

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Former Hamas captive and recently discharged IDF soldier Gilad Shalit has just landed his first post-army job — and it’s a plum one.

A long-time sports fanatic (he’s especially fond of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team), Shalit will be the new sports commentator for the leading Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot. Israel’s Channel 2 News reported today that Shalit will write a regular column, and that his first one will be on the NBA championship.

Read more


Italian Soccer Star Taunted By Racist Fans

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

As many had feared, racism has reared its ugly head at Euro 2012. Italian football star Mario Balotelli was subjected to non-stop verbal abuse during the Italy-Spain match earlier this week at the Arena Gdansk in Poland.

The Mirror reported that 300 Spanish fans made monkey chants at Balotelli, and that the stewards (ushers) thought this was “funny.” A sports photographer who was on the scene said, “I was sat behind the goal with all the Spanish fans behind me and they were involved in monkey chanting and laughter and mockery whenever Balotelli was on the ball.”

Read more


Joan Rivers, Condo Board President

By Eileen Reynolds

Getty Images

She’s known by Mrs. Rosenberg to residents of the building on East 62nd St, near 5th Ave., but she refers to herself as “the scary lady upstairs.” She once hired a “Jewish voodoo priestess” to scare off a ghost. Her apartment is a $29.5 million penthouse decorated in the style of “Louis XIV meets Fred and Ginger.”

Could the Shmooze be describing anyone other than Joan Rivers? Of course not. Rivers, the New York Times reports, is one of a very few celebrities to serve on co-cop and condominium boards in New York City, and in her role as president, the bawdy comedian is serious as a heart attack.

Read more


Natalie Portman Hits the Town With Aleph

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

If you go by paparazzi photos and gossip reports, then it appears that Natalie Portman dined in at least a couple of restaurants in Los Angeles last week.

First, the Enquirer let everyone know that the actress stopped in for lunch at Flore Vegan, an organic vegan restaurant on W. Sunset Blvd in Silverlake, with her almost one-year-old son Aleph. With little Aleph crying up a storm, the midday meal didn’t go very smoothly.

Read more


‘Jerry Maguire’ Kid Shows Off Star of David Tattoo

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Little Jonathan Lipnicki, the child actor the Shmooze fondly remembers playing opposite Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger in the 1996 hit film “Jerry Maguire,” is all grown up. Now 21, Lipnicki is totally ripped. Who could have imagined that little elf with spiky blond hair and round glasses turning into a piece of beefcake.

But he has, indeed, turned out to be very muscular, and he is proud about showing off his bod — and also the fact that he is Jewish. If you stop staring at his six pack for a minute, you’ll notice a big Star of David tattoo on the left side of his torso.

Read more


Bethenny Frankel Kicks Off New Talk Show

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

In her latest project, reality TV star Bethenny Frankel is shifting the focus from what she has to say to what other women have to say…sort of. Her eponymous talk show, which begins airing today on FOX, will be about women (some celebrities, some not) talking about their lives.

But don’t worry that Frankel is going to fade into the background. “If we’re talking about something, I’m of course going to give my input as to my experience with that topic,” she said. “It’s not about me telling about my life. It’s about me learning about other people, and women learning about each other’s lives. It’s going to be a conversation. Of course I’m going to be in that conversation.”

Read more


David Arquette Celebrates Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem

By Nathan Jeffay

Noam Moscovitz/Flash 90
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch (left) with David Arquette

Mazel tov to actor David Arquette! Today, just 28 years late, he celebrated his bar mitzvah.

Arquette is in Israel at the moment, filming for his Travel Channel show Mile High, also known as Trippin’. As part of his tour he went to the Western Wall this morning and attended a bar mitzvah ceremony that took place there.

Then staff at the Western Wall asked him if he ever celebrated his bar mitzvah. When he said no, they fixed one up pronto with the help of the site’s rabbi, Shmuel Rabinovitch. Arquette was called up to the Torah, and like every good bar mitzvah boy, put on tefillin. A source at the Western Wall tells the Shmooze that it was a moving ceremony. You can see some footage of Arquette at the wall over at Ynet.

Read more


Paul Simon Mistaken for Neil Diamond

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

It’s conceivable that someone might mistake Paul Simon for the other Paul Simon. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past half-century, then you could possibly think someone was talking about the late politician Paul Simon, rather than about the Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter and one half of Simon & Garfunkel.

But apparently it’s not the bow tie and horn-rimmed glasses wearing non-Jewish senator that some people have confused with the 70-year old musician. Instead, it’s another Jewish singer of similar age that they have Paul Simon mixed up with. To the Shmooze’s ear, their music does not sound much alike, so we wonder if it’s the fact that each of them has been married three times that makes people confuse one with the other.

Read more


Would you like to receive updates about new stories?






















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.