The Shmooze

Caretaker Breaks Finger, Accuses Sara Netanyahu

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

For the sake of his own political career, Benjamin Netanyahu might want to keep his wife away from household workers.

For the second time in less than two years, Israel’s first lady is being accused of serious mistreatment by an employee, an allegation that is now soaring to the top of Israel’s headlines. This time the complaint involves an as-yet unnamed foreign worker, who says she fell during an argument with Netanyahu. “She ran toward me, she came in my direction,” the worker told Channel 2 News, the country’s highest-rated nightly news program. “I got scared and moved back, then fell backwards and broke my finger.”

The dispute allegedly began over financial transfers from an account held by Sara Netanyahu’s elderly father, for whom the domestic worker provides care.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Domestic Workers, Sara Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu, Abuse

Shofar Flash Mob Set for September 18

By Renee Ghert-Zand

iStockphoto

Dust off those rams’ horns and keep checking your Facebook updates and Twitter feeds. There’s going to be a worldwide shofar flash mob on September 18 and you are not going to want to miss it.

Art Kibbutz NYC is hosting “the greatest Shofar-blowing event since Sinai” as a massive call for teshuvah during the month of Elul. To the extent possible, the flash mobs will be coordinated across various global locations. All the flash mobs will be recorded and combined by a composer into an electronic Rosh Hashanah greeting card.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Shofar, Kibbutz NYC, Rosh Hashanah, Flash Mob

‘Israel’s Best Friend’ Dogs Trained To Attack

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Just as we are getting word that the IDF is training West Bank Settlers to handle possible confrontations with Palestinians following the expected vote in the U.N. General Assembly in favor of Palestinian statehood, a rather disturbing video has surfaced about another defense force, the IBF.

IBF stands for Israel’s Best Friend, a non-profit organization that trains dogs for what it calls a “Civilian Attack Dog Unit,” and the “K9 Jewish Legion.” According to the video and the description posted with it on YouTube, the dogs’ mission is to defend Jews specifically against Arabs and Muslims.

That’s a whiff of racism, along with some dog poop, that you smell. As many believe, racism is learned behavior, and it appears that even canines can be taught to be racist.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Dogs, IDF, Israel, Israel's Best Friend, Racism

Why is Rachel Weisz Wearing a Cross Pendant?

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

We’ve noted the recent trend of non-Jewish celebrities and public figures wearing Jewish jewelry. Remember Sarah Palin’s big Magen David pendant and Elijah Wood’s ring inscribed with a quote from Pirkei Avot? Now the Shmooze wonders why Jewish actress Rachel Weisz has started the reverse trend by wearing a cross — and one that costs $6,400.

Weisz, whose full name is Rachel Hannah Weisz and who refused to change her identifiably Jewish name for the sake of her career, can be seen in the Wall Street Journal’s latest glossy fashion supplement modeling menswear-inspired ensembles. The attractive actress looks great in all those tailored pants and jackets, including one outfit comprised of a jacket by Michael Kors, a The Row t-shirt from Barneys and trousers by Pringle of Scotland. The text with that photo also mentions that her bra (noticeable through the sheer t-shirt) is by Dolce & Gabbana and her pendant (that would be the aforementioned cross) is by De Beers.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Wall Street Journal, Rachel Weisz, Jewelry, Fashion, De Beers, Cross

Helen Mirren’s Sparkly Jewish Roots?

By Lucy Cohen Blatter

Getty Images

In her latest film, “The Debt,” British actress Helen Mirren plays retired Mossad agent Rachel Singer. And in a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine’s Andrew Goldman, the Oscar-winning actress (and Dame!) discussed the possibility of having Jewish roots.

When asked if she might be “a secret Jew,” and — like Madeleine Albright — find out later in life that she was actually Jewish, Mirren answered, “I wouldn’t be surprised … My mum came from the working-class East End of London, where the Jewish immigrants began their journey in English society. I’ve always thought I might have either some Jewish or some Gypsy, one or the other,” she said.

When Goldman asked whether she’s ever had moments when she thought, “Oh, I feel very Jewish,” Mirren answered: “My love of sparkle. I don’t think that’s particularly Jewish or Gypsy, but I do have a certain love of sparkle.”

We’re not quite sure what that last part means, but we’d be happy to welcome her to the tribe!


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Madeleine Albright, Helen Mirren, Andrew Goldman, The Debt

Speyer Hosts First Jewish Wedding in 70 Years

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Many German citizens — at least the royal wedding watchers among them — will be caught up in the festivities this weekend of the marriage of two descendents of royal families. Georg Friedrich Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia, and Sophie Johanna Maria, Princess of Isenburg (who are really just private German citizens since the country’s aristocracy was stripped of their titles way back in 1919), will be saying their “I do’s” on the grounds of a former royal palace in Potsdam.

Meanwhile, another notable wedding has taken place recently in the German town of Speyer. There was no royalty involved, but the event did have historic importance. For the first time in 70 years, a Jewish simcha — in this case, a wedding — took place in the ancient city.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Speyer, Geor

'Real Housewife' Not an Anti-Semite, Says the ADL

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

She’s America’s most famous table flipper, but Teresa Giudice is not an anti-Semite.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the “Real Housewife of New Jersey” herself have weighed in on the matter, following a comment on the show’s most recent episode that seemed to suggest the stereotype of money-obsessed Jews.

Though her husband’s facing bankruptcy and forgery charges, Giudice will stand by his side, the reality star announced on Sunday’s episode. That was the gist, anyway, but that’s not how she phrased things on-air. “I mean, my Jewish friends are all, ‘I would have divorced him right away!’ But I’m Italian” were her actual words.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Teresa Giudice, US Weekly, Real Housewives of New Jersey, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Defamation League

Ikea Founder’s Nazi Ties Confirmed

By Michael Kaminer

Getty Images
Shopping carts at Ikea Berlin.

You might want to sit down in your Skrurvska chair before reading this. A new book claims Ingvar Kamprad, the billionaire founder of cheap-furniture behemoth IKEA, “was a member of the Swedish Nazi party and was such a concern to secret service they opened a file on him,” reports the U.K. Telegraph.

While the 83-year-old businessman’s far-right leanings have long been public, a 1943 file proves for the first time that Kamprad “was an active member of Svensk Socialistisk Samling — the successor to the Swedish Nationalist Socialist Workers Party — even his membership number, 4013,” the Telegraph said.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Svensk Socialistisk Samling, Nazis, Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad, Elisabeth Asbrink

Glenn Beck Wraps Up Visit With Rally Near the Western Wall

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

It featured a shofar and showtunes, and unfolded without incident.

Glenn Beck wrapped up his much-debated trip to Israel today with a rally near the Western Wall, where the former Fox News star entered to the blast of the shofar in what at times resembled a religious ceremony. “This is the throne of the Lord,” Beck said of the setting, where 1,700 supporters gathered to hear him express support for Israel and the Jewish people. The audience included both Israeli and American right-wingers, among them settlers and GOP presidential candidate Hermain Cain. Attendees reportedly paid $5,000 for the show, which took place under tight security and was broadcast, according to Beck, at 1,400 venues on four continents.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Glenn Beck, Alan Dershowitz, Israel

Woody Allen Headed To Munich?

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

Holocaust obsessive Woody Allen could be making his next movie in Germany.

The Hollywood Reporter says the filmmaker, currently shooting “The Bop Decameron” in Rome, is in talks to make Munich the scene of his next film. Still enjoying the success of “Midnight in Paris” — the highest-grossing movie in his six-decade career — Allen is negotiating with Bavaria Studios for financing for the film, which would cost $17 million and shoot next summer. The untitled movie would add another country to the list of recent European settings for Allen’s films — among them Shmooze favorites “Match Point” (set in England) and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

Working with Allen would surely be a coup for Bavaria Studios, whose website lists previous collaborators including European-born Jew Billy Wilder, who made a string of classics including “Sunset Blvd.” and “Some Like It Hot” after moving to Hollywood in the ’30s.

The studio also worked with Max Ophuls, whose World War II/Holocaust documentary “The Sorrow and the Pity” is famously discussed by Allen and the title character in “Annie Hall.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Germany, Woody Allen

Tony Blair’s Sister-in-Law is a Pro-Palestinian Activist

By Renee Ghert-Zand

You know that one really embarrassing relative you wish you didn’t have? Well, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has one of those, too.

Her name is Lauren Booth, and she is a pro-Palestinian activist and journalist working for Iran’s English language TV channel. And she happens to be Blair’s sister-in-law (Booth is Blair’s wife Cherie’s half-sister).

It must be more than a bit awkward for Blair, a long-time supporter of Israel and Middle East envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia, to know that Booth was out in London’s Trafalgar Square this past Sunday calling for Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt to march on Jerusalem and liberate it from Israel — a nation she says does not exist.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Lauren Booth, Tony Blair

If Not Illegal Drugs, Then What Killed Amy Winehouse?

By Renee Ghert-Zand

While some are still trying to determine whether Amy Winehouse was a nice Jewish girl or not, others are continuing to engage in ongoing speculation as to the cause of the late singer’s death in July.

Rather than putting minds at ease, Winehouse’s family’s announcement yesterday that tests showed that there were no illegal substances found in her body is fueling even further debate about why she died. And we can expect every expert — not to mention pseudo-expert — to be putting forth his or her forensic theory until the formal cause of death is released to the public in October.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Amy Winehouse

Rick Perry’s Mezuzah

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

First there was the Sarah Palin sheitel. Now there’s the Rick Perry mezuzah.

Los Angeles-based MezuzahStore.com has created a large stone mezuzah in honor of the Texas governor, a tribute that follows Perry’s June signing of a law that explicitly protects the right of state residents to post religious objects outside their doors. The law was a response to a legal case brought forward by a Jewish couple in Houston after their homeowners association demanded they remove their mezuzah.

Described by the Web site as a “Texas style mezuzah,” the piece costs $999 — and, at 26 inches, reflects the maxim that “everything’s bigger in Texas.”

Potential buyers should act fast - for the moment, at least, only one Rick Perry mezuzah has been made.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Mezuzah, Rick Perry

Student Expelled For Abuse of Israeli Flag

By Nathan Burstein

Of all the ways in which people express their contempt for Israel, this is a new one: putting pubic hair on an Israeli flag.

A student at St. Andrews University in Scotland has been expelled for doing just that, during a drunken incident in the room of a Jewish student.

Paul Donnachie, a 19-year-old student at Prince William’s alma mater, will need to enroll elsewhere now that the episode has been ruled a “racist breach of the peace.” The irony — all too familiar in these cases — is that Donnachie fancies himself a crusader for tolerance, saying after the ruling, “I’m a member of anti-racism campaigns, and I am devastated that as someone who has fought against racism, I have been tarnished in this way.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: St. Andrews University, Scotland, Paul Donnachie, Chanan Reitblat

Katy Perry Angers Fans With 'Pray for Israel' Tweet

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

It seems that some Katy Perry fans have proven they can turn “Hot N Cold” at the mere posting of a tweet. While some were getting hot under the collar, others were now giving their once-favorite singer the cold shoulder.

Why? Because, as conservative writer, columnist and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin wrote on her blog today, Perry offered a sympathetic response Monday to a fan in Israel who asked her by Twitter to pray for Israel (presumably because it was under a missile attack from Gaza at the time). “I am! My prayers are for you guys tonight, SHALOM!!!…@katyperry #prayforisrael please pray with us.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Twitter, Michelle Malkin, Katy Perry, Israel

Q&A: 'Hardcore Pawn' Stars Les and Seth Gold

By Curt Schleier

truTV

Slow down, guys — “Hardcore Pawn” is not what it sounds like. It’s actually a hit show for the truTV cable network about third-generation pawnbroker Les Gold and his family, and their 50,000-square-foot business, American Jewelry and Loan.

Located in the tough Eight Mile section of Detroit, the business has customers lining up outside hours before it opens, to hock their valuables. The Forward’s Curt Schleier spoke with Gold, 61, and his son and business partner, Seth Gold, 30.

Curt Schleier: How did you get into this business?

Les Gold: My grandfather opened his pawn shop in the mid-’40s, at Michigan and Fifth…. I was 7 years old when I made my first sale.

Did your grandfather or father push you to get into this line of work?

L.G.: I knew I was going into the same business.… It was my decision to open the first suburban pawn shop in A Detroit area [mall], in Oak Park, a normally Jewish area where I was raised as a child…. It was in transition. The Jews were moving out, and the area was changing.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: TruTV, Seth Gold, Reality TV, Les Gold, Hardcore Pawn

Glenn Beck Gears Up For Big Jerusalem Show

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

Glenn Beck’s back in Israel this week, in a trip that will conclude tomorrow with a program held at Jerusalem’s Davidson Center, not far from the Western Wall. This is the second visit by Beck since the end of his inflammatory run as a host at Fox News, and the first since July, when he was warmly greeted by right-wing members of the Knesset.

Struggling for relevancy in the U.S. since the end of his Fox News show in June, Beck hasn’t drawn significant attention from regular Israelis — despite effusive expressions of support for the country, and his decision to weigh in last week on ongoing social protests across the country. (Ready as usual to employ polarizing, highly questionable language, he compared the mostly middle-class demonstrators to communists.)

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: John Voight, Shmuel Rabinovitch, Jerusalem, Glenn Beck, Fox News, David Center

When Circumcision Becomes Amputation

By Nathan Burstein

iStockphoto

The Shmooze can think of at least one guy who won’t be performing a bris anytime soon.

John Patterson, a doctor at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., is in court this week, facing a lawsuit for amputating a penis during what was intended to be a circumcision. He’s being sued by Phillip Seaton, who’s already reached an undisclosed settlement with the hospital out of court.

Patterson was supposed to circumcise Seaton in 2007 because of “inflammation” — but says he amputated the tip of his patient’s penis after discovering a potentially fatal form of cancer during the procedure.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Lawsuit, Phillip Seaton, John Patterson, Circumcision

Israeli Pop Star Margol’s Mug Shots Leaked

By Renee Ghert-Zand

According to a report by Israel’s Channel 2 News, someone is going to be in big trouble. And it’s likely going to be someone working in the Israeli Prison Authority.

Apparently, someone has leaked mug shots of Israeli singer and celebrity Margalit Tzanani (often referred to in the Israeli press by the nickname Margol) taken at the time of her arrest last week on the suspicion that she blackmailed, threatened and extorted her manager. The possibility that she was also involved in fixing the outcome of the Israeli “American Idol”-style show “Kochav Nolad” has been batted around in the press since her arrest.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Margalit Tzanani, Kovhav Nolad, Israeli Prison Authority, Israel

Jon Voight Visits Terrorism Victims at Soroka Hospital

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

He’s known to many as the father of superstar and international do-gooder Angelina Jolie, but Jon Voight is also recognized as a longtime supporter of Israel. The actor made a Chabad-sponsored trip over the weekend to Israel, surprising victims of last week’s terrorist attacks and the ongoing missile barrages from Gaza with a visit to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva.

Voight told reporters who met up with him at the hospital, on his way to cheer up the critically wounded victims, that this was his third visit to the country, and his second to the South. He specifically mentioned that he had been in Sderot last time and had to take cover there when an alarm sounded, so he knows what the security situation for residents of the Negev is like.

The actor emphasized that Israel needs friends, and that he thought that the U.S. should be Israel’s best friend. He has been a vocal advocate for Israel, having appeared at a rally in Los Angeles last year condemning Turkey’s role in the Flotilla incident, and having written a letter to President Obama accusing the Administration of abandoning Israel.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Soroka Hospital, Jon Voight, Israel, Gaza, Chabad



Find us on Facebook!
  • Yeshiva University's lawyer wanted to know why the dozens of former schoolboys now suing over a sexual abuse cover-up didn't sue decades ago. Read the judge's striking response here.
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • from-cache

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.