Grab a Hebrew or Russian-speaking friend and check out this sweet video released Sunday by Israeli political party Yesh Atid, promoting their proposed civil unions bill.
You might not be familiar with many of the 20 Israeli celebs who appear on screen answering the question, “Why do I support civil unions?” But surely the face of a certain blonde supermodel will ring a bell.
“Because a loving family is the most important thing,” Bar Refaeli responded.
By now, we expect reality singing talent programs to be emotionally manipulative. It’s all part and parcel of the ratings game, and has been from the very first episode of American Idol, the show that spawned the genre. Without these narratives, after all, how else could so many people be convinced to watch performance after performance of mostly mediocre singers?
But sometimes - in spite of ourselves and our awareness of the corporate marketing machine behind the tear-jerking personal stories of the starry-eyed hopefuls – we are moved. Come on, who couldn’t help feeling great when they saw dumpy middle-aged Susan Boyle blowing away the judges back in 2009 with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” in the YouTube moment that will live forever?
And so it happened again on Saturday night, as the endlessly-hyped Israeli version of the Simon Cowell cash cow “The X-Factor” made its debut. Was it pure coincidence that over the week leading up to its premiere, Cowell both helped raise $20 million for Israeli soldiers and said he was considering learning to dance the hora? Hmmm…
Anyway, the first audition show shot at massive Nokia Stadium was all the franchise is meant to be: big flashy, exciting, star-studded, with the biggest gem in the crown being show host Bar Rafaeli, arguably Israel’s most successful export.
The fare wasn’t anything new or original. We’ve all - even here in Israel - seen it before on American Idol, The Voice and now on the new original Israeli format Rising Star, coming soon to Europe and for which there may be a bidding war in Hollywood even as we speak.
There are so many shows at this point that it’s getting fairly hard to remember which is which.
But some individual performers stand out. On Sunday, it was young Daniel Amit’s audition that stole the show, not necessarily in terms of vocal power, but emotional power. The smiling curly-haired brown-eyed 16 year old stepped onto the stage wearing a T-shirt saying “I am Proudly Autistic.”
Read more at Haaretz.com
For her 30th birthday, Meytal Cohen is achieving every struggling artist’s dream — she’s sticking it to her family.
On August 9th, Cohen’s Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for an original album will come to a close. With only three days to go, she has almost doubled her $60,000 goal and has 2,519 backers.
But Meytal Cohen isn’t just anyone. With 391,953 fans as of this morning, the Israeli transplant to the U.S. has more Facebook likes than both President Shimon Peres (162, 625) and model Bar Refaeli (203,642), and trailing only slightly behind Benjamin Netanyahu (460,756), making her what newspaper Yediot Aharonot called “the second most liked Israeli on the Internet.”
For this heavy metal drummer who rose to fame on Youtube — her videos have been viewed over 65,000,000 times — it’s a dream come true.
“It’s very humbling, I don’t know how [it] really happened. I’ve been shooting and uploading, note for note drum covers of my favorite songs/drummers for the last 3 years now,” she told the Forward in an interview. “I feel I have this huge data base of drum grooves and fills, and now it’s time for me to take all that I’ve learned from my favorite drummers and create something new.”
Excitement over her upcoming project aside, Cohen’s enthusiasm stems from newly found support from family members, impressed that she is achieving her dream on her terms.
This wasn’t always the case.
“My dad was killed by a drunk driver while he was standing on the sidewalk when I was in second grade, and my mom raised us all by herself,” she explained. “It was very important to her that we all go study and have a ‘serious profession that you can actually make a living of off’ so she wasn’t happy with[my decision to be a musician]. My entire family consists of lawyers, and doctors and I would get calls on a daily basis asking me if “’I’ve made it yet.’
Their attitudes changed after Cohen made it onto a front page spread in Yehidot Aharonot, one of Israel’s largest newspapers.
“It definitely helped me with my family. Suddenly I was in the newspaper and my mom was [talking about my number of followers] like it was the first time she ever heard it,” Cohen laughed. She said ‘Do you get how much that is? ‘ Like, she’s telling me.“
Cohen first got into metal in high school, when her first boyfriend gave her a mixtape (Aw…). But being a female heavy metal drummer has its ups and downs. On the one hand, the surprising combination is part of Cohen’s appeal to viewers, who see a feisty woman playing an instrument traditionally associated with the John Bonhams of the world. On the other, she often has to push against stereotypes.
“Before I did Youtube I would go to audition and I felt like there was a lot of pressure for me, almost like I was representing the female gender,” she said. “It stressed me out. I didn’t want to play the stereotype and I felt that if I wasn’t good enough I was ruining it for women everywhere. “
As an Israeli, Cohen must also walk a thin line. Though she gets positive comments from fan all over the world, from Europe to South America, she also deals with haters who tell her to “go back to Auschwitz.”
Nevertheless, Cohen says she will push forward and remain vocal about her identity. “I’m proud and always very public about being an Israeli and the fact I served two years in the IDF, she said. “I am who I am, and I’m not trying to hide it. From 3 years of reading YouTube comments, I can guarantee that you can never make everybody happy…so I try to focus on the people that are.”
We would expect nothing less from the second most liked Israeli on the Internet. Bibi better watch out — Meytal Cohen is gaining on him. Fast.
In case you were wondering (on the off chance your brain still works after seeing this picture), the woman kissing Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli is Orna Elovitch, TMZ reports.
The caption reads: “B & O standing on the grass and k.i.s.s.i.n.g”
Move over, Simon Cowell.
Israeli model Bar Refaeli is confirmed to host the upcoming show of Israel’s “The X Factor,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Following a giant success of the Israeli version of “The Voice,” Israel’s Channel 2 bought the rights last year for the FremantleMedia format and the show will debut this fall.
Refaeli is reportedly the highest paid talent on the show, with her salary banking in at roughly 1 million shekel (about $270,000). Other talent on the show include veteran Israeli rocker Rami Fortis, Mizrahi singer Moshe Peretz, and pop star Ivri Lider.
The show’s choice of host comes as no surprise. The 27-year-old model is arguably Israel’s most popular celebrity, topping Maxim’s Hot 100 list in 2012 and making headlines earlier this year after making out with Jewish actor Jesse Heiman in a Super Bowl ad.
Celebrities being the arbiters of good taste when it comes to good deeds and causes, they were out in hordes on the Twitter-sphere to remind us to reduce, recycle, and be better people on this 43rd annual Earth Day.
Happy #EarthDay! What are your plans? How are you going to give back to Mother Nature? xoPampmdash; The Real Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) April 22, 2012
Ah, Instagram. A place where everything glows with the soft light of filters and even your non-Hollywood-celebrity-life can look put together and artsy. So just imagine what it can do for those whose lives are already more glitz-filled than yours.
Kat Dennings looks quirky, Mark Zuckerberg shows off his dog, Amanda Bynes self-destructs, and Bar Refaeli, well, just looks hot. Here are 16 Jewish celebs you should be keeping track of. Forget Twitter, Instagram is where you can really get to know your favorite stars.
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When it comes to tourism, Israel has a lot of things going for it. The weather is almost always perfect, the food is delicious, and the people are good looking. Really, really good looking. So when the Israeli Defense Force objected to an ad featuring Israel’s most beautiful of “beautiful people” — Bar Refaeli — people were understandably confused.
“Created in Israel,” as the ad is titled, is part of an Internet campaign by Israel’s Foreign Ministry that features products and technologies developed in Israel that are used in everyday life. The ad closes by introducing Refaeli as “one of Israel’s most beautiful creations,” according to the Foreign Ministry.
Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, in a letter Sunday to the Foreign Ministry criticized the choice of Refaeli because she did not serve in the Israeli military. Refaeli married a family friend in 2007 in order to avoid conscription and continue her modeling career.
In response, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “Refaeli is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and is widely recognized as an Israeli. There is no reason to bring up the past when it comes to a campaign of public diplomacy of this kind.”
Who knew Bar Refaeli’s outré Super Bowl ad for Go Daddy would have such pucker power? HuffPo ran a piece on all the lucky guys the supermodel has smooched with, as well as another on nerdy Jesse Heiman who got to play tonsil hockey with her in the commercial. Hillel at Stanford University got in on the sexy action, too, by using an image from the televised spot to advertise its upcoming Birthright Israel trip.
Bar Refaeli’s ex-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio was seen last Friday goofing around in a Miami nightclub with buddies Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, Bradley Cooper, and Mel Gibson (yes, Mel Gibson).
Also not on their best behavior over Super Bowl weekend were Drake and his friends, who were so rowdy that neighbors called the cops on them twice.
And in our last Super Bowl weekend-relate item, if Bar Refaeli’s Go Daddy ad wasn’t sexy enough for you, there’s this “2 Broke Girls” promo featuring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs pole dancing.
“Oz: The Great and Powerful” co-stars Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis grace the cover of InStyle’s spring fashion issue. In an interview inside the magazine, Williams says she didn’t know who her now-boyfriend Jason Segel was before she started going out with him.
Watch Max Greenfield tell Anderson Cooper about how “Gangnam Style” is a huge hit with his 3-year-old daughter Lily and her friends.
We’ve all be reading a lot about Lena Dunham lately, but here’s a chance to get to know her boyfriend, Jack Antonoff of the Grammy-nominated band called “fun.”
In not-so-good news for Ricki Lake, her new talk show has been cancelled after just one season.
SodaStream won’t be the only Israeli export fizzing things up at the Super Bowl come February 3. None other than supermodel Bar Refaeli, the hottest woman alive in 2012 according to Maxim, will join Danica Patrick in one of those racy Go Daddy ads we’ve all come to expect during the biggest broadcast of the year.
Patrick, known better for these sexy commercials for the Internet domain name company than for her race car driving career, will be making a record 12th Super Bowl appearance. On the other hand, this will be Refaeli’s first time on screen during the NFL championship game.
The women have just finished filming the spot, titled “Perfect Match,” in Los Angeles. With no more information made available about it, our imaginations are left to run wild about the chemistry between the pair.
In the latest stop of her pageantry tour as Maxim’s #1 “Top 100” girl, Bar Refaeli appears in a tiny black bikini on the cover of the magazine’s September issue, which also features a racy photo spread and interview for readers hungry to learn more about the Israeli supermodel. And boy, are they hungry! A People magazine guide advises mortals on how to successfully ask her out; the Global Grind exclaims “Holy abs!” and frat boys everywhere thank their good fortune.
In the interview for the September issue, Refaeli lays out her likes — (“a nice smile with beautiful teeth”), dislikes (“when guys act too cool for school,”), obsessions (Twitter, among others) and best asset—“My stomach is hard, and I’m very proud of it.”
Abbanibi reports that the ubiquitous supermodel is rumored to be considering the title role in a musical version of “Cinderella” to be performed in Israel this coming Hanukkah. It is traditional for Israeli production companies to put on large-scale musical plays and extravaganzas for children during the weeklong winter holiday. Big name media personalities often vie for the opportunity to perform, and to land big contracts for the work. According to the Algemeiner, the granddaddy of these productions is Festigal, begun in 1981, which brings in tens of million of shekels in revenue per season.
Swimsuit model and “Maxim” hottie Bar Refaeli, like everyone from the Orthodox to Bethenny Frankel, has devoured — and enjoyed — “50 Shades of Grey.” When Kim Kardashian posted a photo of the title book in E.J. James’s trilogy on Twitter, Refaeli fired back her approval: “I’m already in the second one. I think that answers it.”
The trouble with taking a peek at Refaeli’s Twitter feed (even if one is merely soliciting book recommendations) is that once you start reading, it’s tough to look away. (A little like watching a train wreck, the Shmooze admits.) Some other recent @BarRefaeli gems: a self-portrait with elephant; a Father’s Day greeting (she’s apparently touring Africa with dear old dad, hence the pachyderm), and an unfortunate remark about homosexuality in sports.
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.
It turns out that landing the number one spot on Maxim’s Hot 100 list doesn’t necessarily mean that you can get a date — at least according to Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, who went on Conan last night to talk about her Maxim picture.
“No one hits on me. No one flirts on me,” she said to Conan. The most successful pick up line that she cited was a guy who gave her his number out of the blue, as she was fumbling with her Blackberry in a bar. On behalf of every other lady in the known universe, the Shmooze has this to say: Cry us a river.
Men say they appreciate the inner beauty of a woman, but it’s the outer kind that carries the day on Maxim’s new list of the world’s 100 hottest women. It is also evident that for this Maxim’s audience, beauty goes hand in hand with youth. Some of these women are awfully young, but thankfully there’s no jailbait on the list.
For some oglers — we mean, readers — it may be difficult to spot the Jewesses among all the pouting lips, super-deep cleavages and come-hither looks. Not so for the Shmooze. We’ve identified more than a handful of Jewish women who made the cut. The hottest among them is Bar Refaeli, who comes in at the very top spot on the list. In fact, that must be the reason she appears close to naked in the Maxim photo shoot — when you’re that hot, you might just feel the need to shed your clothes.
Crossposted from Haaretz
Israeli model Bar Refaeli is set to join the cast of an upcoming Israeli-French film that will poke fun at the 2010 assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
Refaeli joined the cast along with Shai Avivi, who took over the role held by Shlomo Bar-Abba, who had to leave the project because of a scheduling conflict. Avivi will play a veteran Mossad agent who once commanded assassination teams but who was later relieved of his operational duties and given a desk job.
The film is called Kidon (Javelin) and is based on the events surrounding the assassination of senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, which took place in Dubai in 2010.
In real life, the assassination, widely believed to be carried out by the Mossad, generated widespread media coverage, including closed-circuit camera footage allegedly showing members of the assassination team in tennis garb in Mabhouh’s hotel.
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.”
As Us Weekly likes to tell us, “they’re just like us!” Celebrities apparently do things that regular folks do, like go to the grocery store, make a coffee run, drive a car or change a diaper.
But when it comes to eating, it would seem that gorgeous supermodels definitely don’t do as much of it as the rest of us. But now New York magazine’s Grub Street food blog insists that even the supermodels who pose for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (sometimes) indulge in food that can pack on the pounds.
Israeli model Bar Refaeli is going into the underwear business.
Undeez has raised $1 million from Israeli angel investors, according to Israeli financial newspaper Globes. “Undeez will apply a sophisticated e-commerce model, which was developed over many months. Balsar, an attorney and former model, came up with the idea for the venture, and Refaeli will be responsible for marketing and business development,” Globes said.