In a move to reach Israeli youth, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video of himself inviting young people ages 13-18 to propose new ideas and legislative proposals to a special meeting of the Israeli government. But unfortunately for Bibi, it looks like the kids just aren’t that into him or his government.
We’re definitely not talking about a viral video here. Since the clip was posted on YouTube on February 29, it has had only 282 views. The thought of being chosen as one of five people to sit next to the prime minister and present a suggestion for how the government could be doing things differently just doesn’t seem to appeal to the teens. Is it Bibi they don’t like? Or do they just think that sitting around a boardroom table with a bunch of suits is boring and uncool? It’s hard to say. Could be either or both.
Marla Sokoloff’s fans know her from roles over the years on shows like Full House, Party of Five, The Practice and Desperate Housewives. Now she has a new role—that of mother. And Sokoloff is sharing with her adoring public aspects of her private life on a celebrity baby blog she is writing for People magazine.
The actress says she is happy in general to be telling news of her five-week-old daughter Elliotte Anne, whom she had together with her husband music composer Alec Puro. However, in her post from March 14, she emphasized that she felt it was particularly important to share the difficulty she has had with breastfeeding.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s now-famous duck comment has caused a great deal of amusement at his expense, most famously from this animated remix. Now, the venerated British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, has set its best comic writers on Bibi.
“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it? That’s right, it’s a duck. But this duck is a nuclear duck and it’s time the world started calling a duck a duck,” said the Israeli Prime Minister at AIPAC.
A year and a half after her wedding to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, Chelsea Clinton is keeping busy. In addition to her work for the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, she’s also serving as a correspondent for NBC and pursuing her doctoral degree in public service.
And last night, Clinton headed to New York City’s Upper West Side to moderate a discussion between Rabbi Marc Schneier, founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and Imam Shamsi Ali, leader of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York.
The JCC in Manhattan event, framed as a conversation about Islamic relations, was titled “Combating Islamophobia.”
Click to enlarge the photo at right.
Actress Scarlett Johansson says she felt “absolutely violated” by the hacking of her personal email account and the publishing of nude photos she had taken of herself last year.
Speaking out for the first time about the incident, Johansson, 27, recently told Stylist magazine, “It was really terrible; I felt absolutely violated. I wasn’t really aware of how vulnerable all of us are, but I think everybody is just discovering that now, especially with the recent phone-hacking scandals.” The actress was referring to the ongoing and escalating tabloid news phone-hacking scandal in Britain.
There goes the neighborhood. Some residents of Old Greenwich, Connecticut are not pleased to learn that they have been joined by none other than Ruth Madoff, wife of the notorious Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff.
Rumors that Mrs. Madoff had arrived in town were recently confirmed. She apparently moved last October into a modest (by Greenwich standards) house that has either been in her family for years or was purchased for her by her surviving son Andrew, depending on the source. She decided to settle in Greenwich to be close to her son and grandchildren. The Madoffs’ other son, Mark, committed suicide in 2010.
The Israeli press has reported on former Hamas captive Gilad Shalit’s every move since his release and return to Israel last October.
First we were informed of the Gilad Shalit shirt craze, then of his first bike ride and his first visit to the beach. Next we saw him being visited by political VIPs like President Shimon Peres. Before long, he was shmoozing with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on a cold day in Paris and smiling broadly, though a bit awkwardly, as he met with Israeli basketball superstar Omri Casspi.
The official website of Bethenny Frankel — the tireless “reality” self-promoter who most recently chronicled her crumbling marriage on Bravo’s Bethenny Ever After(http://www.bravotv.com/bethenny-ever-after) — describes her as a “bestselling author and natural food chef.”
Now, Frankel apparently wants to add “serious actress” to the list. UsMagazine.com reports Frankel just auditioned for a role in director Michael Bay’s upcoming “Pain and Gain,” based on “the true story of body builders in Miami Beach who headed a kidnapping and extortion ring that went awry,” according to HollywoodReporter.com. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Harris, and Tony Shaloub will star.
We’re not sure what Jewish mystics had to say about Red Bull and Adderall, but actress Demi Moore apparently immersed herself in Kabbalah to stay on track with her recovery from addiction, gossip site TheFix reports.
The approach was not entirely successful; in February, Moore ended up checking herself into “an undisclosed location” from which she finally checked out on Thursday, People.com says. An “insider” tells People that “Demi is in a much better place” and “has been working on herself a lot.”
While pundits pondered the crisis brewing over Iran, Shimon Peres was visiting the house that Shrek built, but not exactly to pitch a sequel to Prince of Egypt, the biblical epic that in 1998 launched DreamWorks Animation.
On the second day of his Hollywood sojourn, the Israeli president used his lunch-time tour Friday of Hollywood’s last free-standing animation studio, at the invitation of DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, to thank an assembled crowd of animators, computer graphics artists and production staff “on behalf of the children of Israel” for the studio’s global box office hits. Half-jokingly, Peres added that the younger generation “believed film actors more than politicians.”
Preparations for the visit had been underway for a month and the Secret Service locked down the 14-acre Glendale campus for the president’s visit, with security gates for everyone passing into the courtyard where Peres gave his address.
A booster for new technologies, Peres got a demonstration earlier in the morning of the computer graphics process behind such Dreamwork’s features as the upcoming Rise of the Guardians and Madagascar 3. Meanwhile, as about two hundred of the studio’s 2000 employees gathered by the courtyard fountain, a couple of production guys in their Kung Fu Panda 2 T-shirts, fondling iPads, tried to recall the last time a head of state had paid a visit; was it the president of Madagascar, back in 2005, when the first Madagascar feature was released, a box office blockbuster that took in nearly $200 million?
When Jason Alexander, the veteran actor from the 1990’s hit TV series “Seinfeld,” met Shimon Peres at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Thursday night, it was, at first, as though he were channeling his old character, George Constanza.
“Happy Purim!” he exclaimed, immediately launching into a comedy routine. Then, commenting on the heavy security on the way in, he said, “I had to give them the names of my rabbi, my cantor—and my moyle…”
It was the last leg of Peres’ visit to the U.S., and for a moment the gathering, organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Israeli Consulate, seemed headed in the direction of yet another Hollywood roast. But Alexander quickly turned serious, paying tribute to the 88-year-old Israeli president by citing the Nobel Prize winner’s oft quoted motto: “Pessimists and optimists die the exact same death but they live very different lives.”
One pessimist in the crowd told the Forward earlier in the evening that she was not entirely an admirer of Peres, whose efforts resulting in the Oslo Peace Accord earned him his Nobel award.
Some celebrities, knowing full well that tabloid reporters like to cook up sensationalist stories, just let the rumor mill churn. But when it comes to the suggestion that she is dating notorious womanizer, gay-basher and producer-director Brett Ratner, Sandra Bullock refuses to go with the flow.
In Touch magazine’s cover this week featured a large photo of Bullock with another smaller one of Ratner next to it. “SANDRA’S RISKY NEW ROMANCE,” screamed the headline, followed by the caption: “Two years after her divorce, she’s finally opened her heart and learned to trust again. But will dating Hollywood’s biggest player end in heartbreak?”
If there’s one Israeli music star who is original and inspirational, it’s Ninet Tayeb.
With all the bland releases of formulaic rhythms on the Israeli scene, she manages to produce music that appeals to typical consumers of this stuff, but also has an interesting and funky twist. She comes from a family of Tunisian origin, and launched her career following success on the Israeli version of American Idol. She has shown the country that Eastern-influenced music in Israel can be classy and doesn’t need to be cheesy, a trap that artists too often fall into.
Now you can enjoy her music, too — in English. She has produced her first English-language album in Liverpool, one-time home of the Beatles, and has just released the first single from it called “I.C.U.”
Apparently, once Kunis gained back the 20 or so pounds that she lost in order to play a ballerina in “Black Swan,” the weight didn’t distribute itself the way she would’ve liked. “When I got down to 95 pounds, I was muscles, like a little brick house, but skin and bones. When I gained it back it went to completely different areas,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I’d be happy if my ass got bigger. All the weight that left my chest went to my side hip, my stomach.”
Broadway producer Eric Nederlander’s divorce from his second wife, Lindsey Kupferman, has brought to light the issue of male postpartum depression. Divorce papers obtained by The New York Post show that Nederlander claimed that it was the baby blues that caused him to physically abuse his wife. Kupferman sought and obtained a restraining order against Nederlander for violent behavior back in 2008.
Some may recall that Nederlander’s first marriage was to Jessica Sklar, who is now the wife of Jerry Seinfeld. Nederlander and Sklar were married for only a month. She filed for divorce upon the couple’s return from their honeymoon and her meeting Seinfeld at a gym.
Harvey Weinstein will be joining Steven Spielberg and Jerry Lewis in the rarified and very small club of Jewish American filmmakers awarded France’s highest cultural distinction, the Legion of Honor.
Although Weinstein’s big push of the French-made film “The Artist” to Oscar glory late last month has him in the headlines lately, it was already on French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s mind to honor the producer in July of last year. The Weinstein Co. reported that it delayed until late last week the release of a letter to Weinstein from Sarkozy dated July 22, 2011 in order to avoid any conflict of interest.
Natalie Portman fans are wondering about her trip on Sunday to a synagogue in Santa Monica, California together with Benjamin Millepied and their infant son Aleph. Did the visit have something to do with the wedding bands the couple were spotted wearing as they walked the red carpet before the Academy Awards ceremony?
The Daily Mail ran photos of Portman and Millepied outside the synagogue, dressed weekend casual, as Portman carried little Aleph in a front carrier. One shot showed Portman leaving the synagogue as a bearded man in a yarmulke and a suit held the door for her. The Daily Mail, referring to it as both a temple and a synagogue, did not identify the specific house of Jewish worship.
Israeli President Shimon Peres may be 88 years old, but when it comes to harnessing the power of social media, he is right up there with the best — and youngest — of them.
AbbaNibi newswire reports that on Tuesday, Peres will be visiting Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley to launch an international Facebook page. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 27, will be on hand to greet Peres and to be the first to “like” his new page. Facebook will also broadcast a live chat between Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and the Israeli President.
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli had her day in court today. This morning she testified in an Israeli court against Sunny, the company owned by Ilan Ben Dov that imports Samsung phones to the country. The case stems from a complaint Refaeli filed against the importer in March 2009, claiming that it used unedited video footage of her without her knowledge.
“It’s not just a matter of money,” Refaeli said on the witness stand. “I even do things for free if it is good for my reputation.” Still, the model is suing Sunny for NIS 4.4 million ($1,163,000) for breach of contract in relation to an ad she filmed for the company in 2006. Refaeli claims that the company used her image for purposes not covered in her contract when it broadcast unedited footage of her on the Tapuz network. The model is upset that the photos “did not undergo any editing to ensure that they would guard her modesty and prevent any insult to her honor.”
Jill Zarin, Real Housewife of New York, is not happy with the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. And, as might be expected, the feeling is mutual.
It seems that Zarin is in a tiff with the Federation over what exactly happened at a women’s charity event sponsored by the organization. Zarin, her sister Lisa Wexler, and her mother, Gloria Kamen, were invited to speak at the event. From the Federation’s perspective, the three women, co-authors of “Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love,” were supposed to give a funny presentation about being Jewish moms. But what ended up happening, according to the event’s organizers, was that Wexler got up on stage and declared that stay-at-home moms are not fulfilled and need to get out and work.