The Shmooze

Bar Refaeli Tweets Condolences to Family of Murdered Teens

By Anne Cohen

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli tweeted out her condolences to the families of the three Israeli teenagers, found dead yesterday.

Refaeli also posted a picture of three memorial candles to her Instagram feed with the same caption.

Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach had been missing since June 12. Their bodies were found under a pile of rocks in a field near Hebron. The funerals, set for this afternoon, will be held in their home communities, after which they will be buried side-by-side in the Modiin cemetery in central Israel.

Other famous names with ties to Israel have also taken to Twitter to wish the families well. Omri Casspi, the Israeli small forward for the Houston Rockets, spoke of “unspeakable tragedy”:

Actress Mayim Bialik also expressed her grief, declaring that she was signing off from social media as a sign of respect.

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5 Jewish Things About Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's Wedding

By Maia Efrem

The crème de la crème of Hollywood, fashion and music worlds will descend on Paris this weekend for the royal Kimye nuptials.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s rumored Versailles (or Florence?) May 24th, wedding has the world watching and waiting with bated breath. What will the bride wear? Will North crawl down the aisle? Will Kanye finally smile? How soon will they divorce?

With only 100 on the guestlist, the intimate, and if we know anything about the Kardashians, extravagant affair will be an unforgettable and custom affair replete with the best money can buy. But did you know that some of Kardashian’s best accessories throughout the years have been her Jewish friends? We count the top five Jews in Kardashian’s life.

1. Lorraine Schwartz

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a custom15-carat Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring is a girl’s soul mate. West proposed to Kardashian at San Francisco’s AT&T Park with the help of a Jumbotron displaying “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!!!.” But more instrumental was the flawless ring Jewish jeweler to the stars, Schwartz, designed for the couple. Here she posts a photo of North West holding the ring.


2. Alber Elbaz

Kardashian’s new favorite designer Alber Elbaz, the creative director of Lanvin, one of the world’s most respected fashion houses. Elbaz, the Israeli Moroccan designer has made a name for himself in the high fashion world. He recently dressed Kardashian for her Vogue cover story and the 2014 Met Gala. (Elbaz is on the bottom left)

3. Scott Disick

Let’s just call him Jewish-boyfriend-in-law. Older sister, Kourtney Kardashian’s long-time boyfriend Scott Disick is a Long Island Jewish boy who has become part of the Kardashian klan and made a name for himself as Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ black sheep with a drinking problem.

4. Jonathan Cheban

The title of Kardashian’s BFF goes to none other than PR extraordinaire Jonathan Cheban. The Russian Jewish native of Fort Lee, NJ ascended up the celebrity ladder as a PR consultant to the stars to eventually become Kardashian’s best friend. Kardashian even executive produced his short-lived reality show The Spin Crowd. He will no doubt be front and center as Kimye take their vows.

5. Bar Refaeli

The second Israeli on the list is one of the world’s most popular supermodels, Bar Refaeli. Kardashian and Refaeli have become friends over the last few years and the Israeli beauty and Leonard DiCaprio’s ex is among the select few to be invited to the wedding.

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Bar Refaeli Gets Invite for Kim and Kanye's Wedding

By Anne Cohen

You are cordially invited to the biggest celebrity wedding of the year.

Well, Bar Refaeli is.

The Israeli supermodel is among the 100 guests who received an invitation to the Kim Kardashian-Kanye West wedding over the weekend. The ceremony is set to take place in Paris on May 24. The three apparently became friendly during Paris Fashion Week in July 2012. Tres chic!

According to Haaretz, the invitations were printed on simple paper in gold lettering, with little information (guests will reportedly receive further instructions upon arriving in Paris). However, the invite did come with a 15-page pamphlet of the dos and dont’s of Kimye wedding etiquette.

Needless to say, Instagram is a no-no. Bar Refaeli will have to leave her 1. 3 million followers at home.

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Mila Kunis, ScarJo Make FHM's 'Sexiest Women' List

By Anne Cohen

Photo: Getty Images

FHM magazine has released its “Official 100 Sexiest Women In The World 2014” list and Jewish ladies have snagged 10 spots, including three in the Top 10.

Leading the contingent of Nice Jewish girls is Emily Ratajkowski (in fourth place), star of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” According to Haaretz, Ratajkowski is of Polish-Jewish descent on her mother’s side.

Mila Kunis is still going strong in sixth place, though down from her top spot as last year’s #1 — Jennifer Lawrence has that honor this time around.

Kunis, who is expecting her first child with Ashton Kutcher, was born in Ukraine and moved to the United States when she was 7-years-old.

Scarlett Johansson (don’t call her ScarJo) rounds off the top 10 in tenth place.

Other members of the tribe include Rachel Riley, of British TV show “Countdown,” (#17); chef Nigella Lawson (#24); “Mad Men“‘s Alison Brie (#39); British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (#61); “Glee“‘s Dianna Agron (#84) and Israeli actress Gal Gadot (#97).

If you can believe it, Bar Rafaeli is only #66.

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Muppets and Bar Refaeli Too Racy for Israeli TV

By Jana Banin

(JTA) — A risqué ad featuring Bar Refaeli in bed with a purple, mustachioed Muppet has been banned from running before 10 p.m. in the holy land, Walla!, Israel news website reports. Per a governmental council called The Second Authority for Television and Radio, the ad for local fashion brand Hoodies has “too many sexual insinuations” to be seen during prime time.

The spot opens with a post-coital shot of the Israeli super model and her puppet friend, a guy named Red Orbach, with whom many Israelis are already familiar. For some background on the swarthy Muppet, we turn to The Hollywood Reporter:

The character Red Orbach emerged locally from an all-puppet classic rock group called Red Band and his stereotypical persona is that of an aging 1960s American rocker. This past year, Red Orbach co-hosted late-night The Red & Dvir Show with actor Dvir Benedek on Channel 2’s franchiser ReshetBroadcasting.

Anyway, the purple rocker/TV host/skilled lover goes on to imagine what it would be like to be dating not one, but THREE Refaelis. This involves sexy scenes from a car wash (referred to here as a “Bar wash”), a photo booth and a game of strip poker.

R-rated, weird or both? You decide.

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Bar Refaeli's Purim Costume Is Better Than Yours

By Anne Cohen

Think dressing up for Purim is just for kids? Bar Refaeli doesn’t agree.

The Israeli supermodel embraced her inner child this year and posted a picture of her Purim costume to Instagram to prove it. The caption reads: “A stylish tiger #happyPurim.”

Bet your version doesn’t include a bright yellow Chanel satchel.

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Bar Refaeli's New Tattoo

By Anne Cohen

World, brace yourself,

Bar Refaeli got a tattoo. The Israeli model and pride of the Jewish people posted announced new ink on Instagram with the caption: “I finally did it. My first (and last) tattoo.”

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Bar Refaeli Says Yes (to Civil Unions)

By JTA

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.

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Bar Refaeli Chokes Up on Israeli 'X-Factor'

By Allison Kaplan Sommer/Haaretz

Haaretz
Israeli X-Factor judges with Bar Refaeli (on the right).

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

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Meet the No. 2 Israeli on Facebook

By Anne Cohen

Courtesy of Meytal Cohen
Meytal Cohen

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.

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Bar Refaeli Pulls a Katy Perry

By Anne Cohen

You’re welcome.

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”

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Bar Refaeli Will Host Israel's "X Factor"

By Chavie Lieber

Getty Images

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.

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#EarthDay Wisdom From The Stars

By Anne Cohen

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.

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16 Jewish Celebs on Instagram

By Anne Cohen

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.

Follow the Forward on Instagram @jdforward!

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Bar Refaeli Ad Airs Despite Army Objection

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Bar Refaeli

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.”

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Bar Refaeli's Pucker Power

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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.”

Here is a fun preview item for those of you who can’t wait to see “Admission,” the new romcom starring Paul Rudd and Tina Fey. And here’s another.

In not-so-good news for Ricki Lake, her new talk show has been cancelled after just one season.

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Bar Refaeli To Steam-Up Super Bowl Ad

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

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.

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Bar Refaeli On Yet Another Magazine Cover

By Kristi Goldade

Getty Images

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.”

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Bar Refaeli As Cinderella?

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

Is there anything Bar Refaeli can’t do? She models, she designs underwear, she coaches model wannabes on TV, she acts in films…and now she might also star in a musical.

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.

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Yes, Bar Refaeli Read '50 Shades of Grey'

By Eileen Reynolds

Twitter.com/@BarRefaeli

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.

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