Chelsea Clinton really loves coffee.
“Pretty incredible!” she wrote. “An Israeli startup created an all-you-can-drink coffee app for coffee addicts (like me!). I think we need something like this in America.”
We agree (as do the 664 people who “liked” her post).
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis will be jetting off to the Holy Land next week, the Times Of Israel reported.
This isn’t Kutcher’s first trip. The “Two And A Half Men” star’s most recent Israel sighting was with ex-wife and fellow Kabbalah enthusiast Demi Moore in 2010.
This time however, Kutcher will be promoting high tech initiatives rather than tying a red string around his girlfriend’s wrist. According to Haaretz, Rabbi Eyal Reiss, leader of a Kabbalah center in Safed (headquarters of Jewish mysticism) said he was unaware of the couple’s upcoming visit.
Apparently, Mila isn’t a big fan.
We were all so busy being mesmerized with every aspect of Madonna’s questionable outfit for the Met Gala on Monday, that no one noticed Brahim Zaibat’s choice of accessory: miniature Israeli and Palestinian Authority flags.
Statement of tolerance, or weird Kabbalah practice? Who knows.
The 25-year-old dancer and the 54-year-old diva have been dating for two years. In February, Zaibat signed with modeling agency IMG, and hit the runway for New York Fashion Week.
There was some heavy duty mingling between super scientists and mere mortals at the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Gala held at The Pierre on April 17. Shmoozers included Sam Waksal, Edith Everett and Sir James Wolfensohn. Sinuous Israeli singer Einat Sarouf launched the evening with her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah.
Honored were Sara and Professor Michael Sela, a former president of the Weizmann Institute (1975-1985). Currently the incumbent of the W. Garfield Weston Professorial Chair of Immunology, Prof. Sela — still active in the lab though in his 80s — joshed: “I’ve always said that my motto was work hard and play hard. But I’ve never had enough time to play. So it’s mainly work, but such a pleasant, satisfactory work.”
Born Mieczyslaw Solomonowicz in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland in 1924, Professor Sela’s research led to the development of the drug Capaxone, sold by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals, which 250,000 patients receive daily in over 50 countries to treat multiple sclerosis.
“It is one of the biggest exports of Israel,” said Prof. Sela who also helped develop Erbitux, a landmark drug for treating cancer. His overseas appointments include Tufts, Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley and the College de France and Pasteur Institute. In a video he is shown greeting Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher.
“I work with memory and I forgot my glasses,” joked Prof. Yadin Dudai, Department of Neurobiology and incumbent of the Sara and Michael Sela Professorial Chair of Neurobiology at Weizmann. “I am in the situation of a person who enters a wedding and discover that he belongs to the bride’s side, the groom’s side and on the rabbi’s side. So I belong to the Weizmann family. A year ago, almost the entire faculty of neuroscience at NYU came to Weizmann.” With his non-reading glasses perched above his forehead, Prof. Dudai spoke at length about “the loss of the major pillars [memory] of our personality. If you lose the past, you lost a large part of the future. Some memory decline may become evident with age.”’ He stopped, looked out at the audience. “Remember! I forgot my reading glasses.” Everyone laughed.
In a video highlighting some of the Weizmann Institute’s accomplishments, a voiceover informed: “Two of the world’s multiple sclerosis drugs…use of the MRI as a non-invasive way to diagnose breast cancer, improve crops such as protein-enriched wheat to fight world hunger, encryption technology that laid the foundation for Internet security…. Whether it’s world hunger or global warming, cancer or terrorism, there is an unspoken belief about the issues facing humanity and that ‘someone, somewhere is working toward and answer.’ And for 62 years, that’s precisely what we have done.”
“It’s hard to think of the Weizmann Institute without thinking of the Selas,” said Lawrence S. Blumberg, chairman of ACWIS, as he presented the award to the honorees — a specially commissioned paper cut by the Israeli born artist Tamar Fishman.
At evening’s end, guests joined in on a lively hora led by Einat Sarouf.
In what is possibly the coolest birthday card ever made, an Israeli woman celebrated her husband’s special day by turning his life into a television opening theme.
Leigh Lahav inserted herself, her husband Oren, and their friends and family into such shows as “Mad Men,” “Arrested Development,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” ” The Office” and more.
Who knew Herzliyya looked so much like Scranton?
Grindr, the popular gay mobile app, has announced that it will be donating 100% of all revenue from new subscribers to Grindr Extra this week to Israeli couple Yuval and Liran, as part of their Grindr for Equality world campaign.
“I read about Yuval and Liran’s emotional personal story and was impressed by their creativity in pursuing their dream of fatherhood, and their persistence, recruiting international celebrities such as Joan Rivers, to help raise awareness that in so many parts of the world the joy of parenthood and other aspects of family are still not available to gays who are not equals in the eye of the law.” Joel Simkhai, Israeli-born CEO and founder of Grindr said in a statement.
“We at Grindr believe in giving back to the gay community that’s been so loyal to us and made us the #1 dating app for gays. With our ability to reach millions of users, Grindr is in a unique position to provide real and meaningful assistance within the community and advance the cause of our community worldwide.”
The story of Yuval and Liran, an Israeli couple who have been trying to have a kid via surrogacy for the past two years and lost most of their money, in the process went viral after the couple filmed themselves holding up signs criticizing Israeli surrogacy laws, which they see as discriminatory against gay couples. A number of Israeli celebrities supported their cause by photographing themselves holding up similar signs, stating “We want them to have a baby too,”
British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, 71, will be visiting Israel in June for the first time in almost seven years.
In 2006, Hawking was invited by the British Embassy to tour the country and meet with prominent academics.
The renowned author of “A Brief History of Time,” will be participating in the fifth President’s Conference, which will focus on “Facing the Future,” The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
The head of the practical mathematics and physics department at Cambridge University has been suffering from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) for decades, which has left him unable to move his body. His mind, however, is as sharp as ever, and he communicates through a digital voice system. In April last year, scientists tested new technology — the iBrain — on Hawking, which would potentially allow him to communicate simply by thinking.
Watch Stephen Hawking question the universe during a TED talk in 2008.
How many Jews does it take to wish you Happy Passover? Apparently, at least three.
Watch Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary team up with Knesset member Stav Shaffir to wish you a Chag Sameach with Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind.”
Well, it’s over. After three days of meeting, greeting, cheering, and even a heckle or two, President Obama has bid adieu to Israel. While the overall trip was successful, we couldn’t help but round up the some of the more, ahem, entertaining moments.
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.”
Social media loves a good diplomatic visit. Pictures abound, attempts at speaking other languages often fail, and the agonizing possibility that something will go horribly wrong — like a car breaking down, perhaps? — makes for great third party commentary.
All of you avidly following President Obama’s trip to Israel this week will be happy to know that the visit now has its own Pinterest page, called “The Unbreakable Bond: #ObamaInIsrael.”
Run by Israeli volunteers of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy, the page features 18 boards and 198 pins showing everything from the Jerusalem preparations and the President’s arrival at Ben Gurion airport, to Obama and Bibi tasting matzo while checking out robots at the Israel Museum.
All that’s missing are nifty DIY recipes for him to try out while he’s there. Don’t worry though, we’ve got him covered.
Watch Obama say how happy he is to be in Israel — in Hebrew:
President Obama will be receiving an unusual gift during his trip to Israel.
According to New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer, Prime Minister Netanyahu commissioned scientists at Technion’s Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute to inscribe the US and Israel’s Declarations of Independence side by side on a “golden-coated silicon chip.” The inscriptions measure a grand total of 0.04 square millimeters, and run 20 nanometers, or 0.00002 mm, deep.
Impressed? Well, that’s not all.
The chip was set on a Jerusalem stone dating back to the Second Temple Period (1st century BCE to 1st century CE). It’s nearly 2,000 years old.
The etching was done by “accelerating charged atoms, called ions, and bombarding them at various points on the surface of the chip,” a press release by Technion explained. “When an ion beam hits the chip it creates a tiny recess, in this case 20 nanometers deep.”
The preparation process took about a week, but the actual engraving took less than an hour, the statement added.
The final image etched into the chip is made up of over a million dots.
Watch Technion scientists explain exactly how the gift was made:
This is possibly even more insane than the Obama mustache meme, but it’s absolutely amazing nonetheless.
On Thursday night, President Obama told Israel’s Channel Two that he often fantasizes about going around in disguise while on official trips —with say, a fake mustache — and just blending in. As expected, the Internet exploded.
“Sometimes I have this fantasy, that I can put on a disguise, wear a fake mustache and I could wander through Tel Aviv and go to a bar and have a conversation, or go down to a university and meet with some students in a setting where it wasn’t as formal,” Obama told the interviewer.
While I completely get the President’s desire to be normal, I have to point out that a fake mustache is probably not the best way to achieve this.
But if he does decide to go for the fuzz, I have to ask: the Handlebar, the Salvador Dali or the Chevron?
See the full interview below:
When she’s not in bed with Sarah Silverman or giving scathing fashion advice, Joan Rivers advocates for the rights of gay couples in Israel.
Rivers joined Fashion Police co-stars Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopolous, as well as a number of Israeli celebrities in lending support to Yuval and Liran, an Israeli couple raising awareness about surrogacy for the LGBT community in Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.
The couple told their story in a video — which went viral in Israel — holding up signs criticizing Israeli surrogacy laws, which they see as discriminatory against gay couples.
Celebrity supporters held up similar signs in both Hebrew and English, stating “We want them to have a baby too.”
Reality television star Kim Kardashian apologized for tweeting about the Gaza conflict.
Kardashian apologized after two tweets in which she first told her followers she was “Praying for everyone in Israel,” and then tweeted that she was “Praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!”
Kardashian later deleted both tweets and issued an apology: “(A)fter hearing from my followers, I decided to take down the tweets because I realized that some people were offended and hurt by what I said, and for that I apologize,” the statement, published on her blog, said in part.
The statement continued: “I should have pointed out my intentions behind these tweets when I posted them. The fact is that regardless of religion and political beliefs, there are countless innocent people involved who didn’t choose this, and I pray for all of them and also for a resolution. I also pray for all the other people around the world who are caught in similar crossfires.”
A new Israeli soccer star is on the rise.
Tomer Hemed turned Israel’s recent World Cup qualifying games against Luxembourg into his own personal coming out party. The 25-year-old striker scored a hat trick in Israel’s 6-0 win in Luxembourg City last Friday, and then followed it up with two more goals in a 3-0 win on Tuesday at Ramat Gan Stadium. The lopsided wins allowed Israel to move into a second-place tie with Portugal in the six-team qualifying group, with Israel having the edge on goal differential.
Of course, if it were just a matter of whipping up on one of Europe’s soccer minnows - Luxembourg is the lowest seed in Israel’s group, and the fourth-lowest seed in Europe - then Hemed’s heroics wouldn’t mean all that much. As it happens, however, the Haifa native’s star turn comes in the midst of a breakout season in Spain, where Hemed is in his second season with Mallorca.
Ryan Braun may be sitting at home and watching as the Major League Baseball playoffs continue but a different “Hebrew Hammer” was in action Saturday night, and certainly lived up to his billing.
Undefeated welterweight boxer Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin improved his pro record to 9-0 on Saturday night, when he defeated Carl “The Assassin” McNickles via TKO in the third round of their co-main event bout at the NYCB Theater in Westbury, N.Y.
Scheduled for eight rounds, Seldin and McNickles both came out looking to make it a short night early on, throwing heavy punches to the head and body in the first two rounds. In the third round, however, Seldin took control, dropping McNickles with a crushing right hand. Chicago native McNickles was able to beat the count and continue the fight, but Seldin picked right up where he left off, finishing McNickles later in the round. It was the seventh career knockout for Seldin, and his sixth consecutive stoppage.
Elsewhere in weekend Jewish sports news:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Erik Lorig matched his career high with his sixth reception of the season on Sunday in a 38-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Bucs backed up to their own two-yard line, the 25-year-old Stanford alum caught a short pass on the left side from Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman, and took it to the 18-yard line before being pushed out of bounds. The 16-yard catch was the longest of the season for Lorig, whose team improved to 2-3 on the season and sits second in NFC south behind undeafeated Atlanta.
When rumors linked Maccabi Haifa with former Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson last week ahead of the Israeli Super League club’s preseason U.S. tour, it made a certain amount of sense.
As it turns out, the 2001 NBA MVP won’t be suiting up for Haifa when the club faces the NBA’s Golden State Warriors on Thursday night or when the team faces the Minnesota Timberwolves, but given that Haifa head coach Brad Greenberg was the 76ers’ general manager when the team drafted “The Answer” first overall in 1996, there was a plausible connection. However, the presence of Greenberg wasn’t the only reason that an “A.I. signing” made sense. In recent months, Haifa - which finished last season at the bottom of the 11-team Israel Super League - has become something of an outpost for lost souls and reclamation projects.
While Maccabi Haifa (owned by Florida-based businessman Jeffrey Rosen) regularly looks to promote Israel and the Super League in the U.S. - the club last visited the U.S. in 2010, and the Haifa-produced Inside Israeli Basketball program airs on the YES Network and other regional sports channels around the country - the club landed in the headlines for a less-than-positive reason earlier this year, when former Syracuse University assistant coach Bernie Fine was hired to serve as a consultant. Fine, who was fired from Syracuse last year amid accusations of child sex abuse, consults on personnel matters from his home in upstate New York, and played a role in the search that led to Greenberg’s hire as the team’s new head coach.
With a population of just over 23,000, the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona doesn’t often get a chance to stand out on the map of Israel. On Thursday, however, the city’s Israeli Premier League soccer club took a big step towards putting its hometown on the map in Europe.
This past spring, Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona, won the league title, marking the first time in nearly three decades that Israel’s champion didn’t come from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Haifa.
After a long bid towards qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage fell just short this summer, Kiryat Shmona opened play Thursday in the second-tier UEFA Europa League, playing to a 1-1 away draw with Spanish club Athletic Bilboa.
Kiryat Shmona is one of two Israeli clubs in the Europa League group stage, joined by Hapoel Tel Aviv. Hapoel, known as “The Workers,” opened up Europa League play at home on Thursday against the defending champions, Atlético Madrid, dropping a 3-0 decision at Bloomfield Stadium.
Despite the mixed results, one can argue that competing in Europe in and of itself represents a win.
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