The Shmooze

Andy Samberg 'Kidnapped' for Biel-Timberlake Nups

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Are we surprised that Dr. Ruth Westheimer, 84, jumped up out of her seat at a Q&A session following a screening of the movie “The Sessions” and demanded that actress Helen Hunt use contraceptives? Not at all. In fact, we would have been disappointed if she hadn’t. The film is about a sex surrogate, played by Hunt, who introduces a polio-stricken poet to the pleasures of sexual intimacy. “Every psychology class, anybody who has dealings with sexuality and education should see this film,” the famous sexologist said in giving the movie the Dr. Ruth seal of approval.

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It was kind of hard to avoid hearing the news last week that Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake got married in Italy. Among the guests (or kidnap victims, as some of the gossip media is putting it) at their destination wedding was funnyman Andy Samberg.

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan spoke in front of an audience at the University of Tennessee last week. Sure, she talked law, but what really got people’s attention were her stories about hunting with fellow Justice Antonin Scalia. “I’m hoping to bag myself an antelope,” she shared.

The love spell has worn off. Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame is now single and available, following a breakup with girlfriend Rosie Coker. The couple had met on the “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” set back in 2007.

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Justice Kagan Goes Hunting

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Ever since the Torah characterized Jacob as “yoshev ohalim,” a tent dweller, most people do not usually use “Jews” and “hunting” in the same sentence. But the truth is that there are Jews who hunt, and it is now known that Justice Elena Kagan is among them.

In a talk at Beth Tfiloh Congregation celebrating the Baltimore synagogue’s 90th anniversary, the newest member of the Supreme Court of the United States shared her feelings about sitting in the same seat that was once occupied by Louis Brandeis, the nation’s first Jewish justice. She also answered questions about whether she thought her Jewish background would influence her decision on an upcoming case involving an Israeli couple petitioning the Court to intervene regarding the State Department’s refusal to list “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of birth of their son on his passport. (The State Department deliberately lists only “Jerusalem,” without specific reference to a country because of what is considers the disputed nature of Jerusalem’s status).

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Paladino’s Apology Sticks in Rabbi Levin’s Throat

By Allison Kaplan Sommer

New York gubernatorial hopeful Republican Carl. P. Paladino should be more relieved than distressed after Rabbi Yehuda Levin loudly, publicly — and colorfully — renounced his support for Paladino’s New York gubernatorial bid, telling the New York Times that the GOP nominee “folded like a cheap camera” in the face of backlash over remarks about gays. Paladino’s crime was apologizing for stating that children shouldn’t be “brainwashed” into believing homosexuality was “valid.”

“I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich,” Rabbi Levin said. “While I was eating it, they come running and they say, ‘Paladino became gay!’ I said, ‘What?’ And then they showed me the statement. I almost choked on the kosher salami.”

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Elena Kagan Gives Congress Its Most Jewish Moment Ever

By Lauren F. Friedman

As might be expected of an Upper West Side girl who demanded a bat mitzvah, Elena Kagan seems pretty comfortable with her roots.

“As you know, I don’t think it’s a secret I am Jewish,” she said yesterday, during the second day of her confirmation hearings in front of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee.

But the real kicker came when a question from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham created what was possibly Congress’ Most Jewish Moment Ever.

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