Nelson Mandela, icon of South African freedom, passed away today at the age of 95. People around the world signed on to Twitter to mourn collectively, and celebrities were no exception.
I hope the great work started by Nelson Mandela continues to spread across the world. He will be remembered as an icon for equality.ampmdash; William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 5, 2013
Nelson Mendela— one of the greatest people who ever lived. Rest In Peace.ampmdash; Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) December 5, 2013
Just heard the news about Nelson Mandela , so so sadampmdash; Rachel Stevens (@MsRachelStevens) December 5, 2013
Troubled former teenage star Amanda Bynes has left a California facility after court-ordered psychiatric treatment and is recovering at her parents’ home in Los Angeles, People magazine said on Thursday.
The 27-year-old actress was receiving psychiatric care at a Malibu facility after she was alleged to have started a small fire in the front of a home in Thousand Oaks, a Los Angeles suburb, in July.
“Amanda has completed her inpatient rehabilitation and she’s feeling better every day,” lawyer Tamar Arminak said in a statement released to the magazine.
“Despite the fact Amanda is no longer in a facility, her outpatient treatment is continuing,” he added.
Bynes gained early stardom at the age of 13 when she had her own comedy show on the Nickelodeon television network. She also had a major role in the movie “What a Girl Wants” but has not appeared in a film since 2010’s “Easy A.”
Most recently she has made headlines for her erratic behavior, odd posts on Twitter and her court appearances.
She pleaded not guilty and has a court date scheduled for Jan. 7 after she was charged in April 2012 with driving under the influence in West Hollywood. Police said she struck a patrol car and refused a sobriety test.
The actress, who is on probation in California for driving on a suspended license, also faces charges in New York for possessing marijuana and throwing a glass bong out of her 36th-floor Manhattan apartment.
In July her mother, Lynn Bynes, was granted control of her legal and financial affairs while she was having treatment. She will continue to control her daughter’s finances and well-being indefinitely, according to Arminak.
What’s the only thing that Israel and Iran can agree on?
Israeli singer Liel Kolet has teamed up with exiled Iranian singer Ebrahim Hamedi, 64, better known as Ebi, to release a holiday single called “I Can Hear Christmas,” Ynet reported.
Originally written by Yoav Ginai and Tomer Addadi for Israeli singer Boaz Sharabi, the song was released as “Chag Sameach Ahavat Chayai” (happy holiday, love of my life) about three years ago. Kolet got the idea of re-recording by Tomer Addadi, to be featured on her upcoming album.
What ensued is perhaps the most absurd Christmas video ever to hit the Internet, from the early shots of a yarmulke-clad boy bowing to a little girl in a hijab (and then them holding hands in front of the Christmas tree) to the black and white montage of the singers dramatically embracing world peace.
Hollywood’s sexiest Jewish woman (really, Buzzfeed made it official) and the golden boy of Kabbalah have spoken: they want Jewish kids.
According to RadarOnline, Mila Kunis “definitely wants children with Ashton [Kutcher] and wants to raise them in her Jewish religion.”
Kanye West is in hot water with Abe Foxman.
The Anti-Defamation League’s national director issued a statement today denouncing the rapper’s comment over the weekend that : “Black People don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.”
“If the comments are true as reported, this is classic anti-Semitism,” said Foxman. “There it goes again, the age-old canard that Jews are all-powerful and control the levers of power in government. As a celebrity with a wide following, Kanye West should know better. We hope that he will take responsibility for his words, understand why they are so offensive, and apologize to those he has offended.”
(JTA) Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot, who has been featured in some the “Fast and the Furious” flicks, went online Sunday to share her grief over the tragic car accident that took the life of franchise star Paul Walker.
Walker, 40, was in the passenger seat of a two-seater Porsche Carerra GT Saturday when the driver lost control and slammed into a post or a tree. The car burst into flames; the driver was killed as well. At time of his death, Walker had reportedly just left a charity event to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyam for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.
“Lost a dear friend today. So sudden and tragic,” Gadot said on Twitter, alongside a photo of herself with Walker.
Close to 800,000 followers clicked the like button on her Facebook post, where she expressed herself herself in English and Hebrew.
“I’m so sad he’s no longer with us. Can’t believe I’m actually writing this.. I’m sending my condolences to his family and his precious daughter Meadow. Rest in peace brother. We will miss you here,” she wrote.
The former Miss Israel began working with Walker when she broke into the “Fast & Furious” franchise in its fourth installment. The seventh film is currently in the works.
Plain old Hanukkah has been somewhat overshadowed this year by the monster that is Thanksgivukkah — for those of you living under a rock, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hannukah fall on the same day.
But amid the tsunami of cranberry-infused sufganiyot and Manischewitz-brined turkey recipes, the hybrid holiday has inspired some pretty great holiday videos.
From dreidel competitions to anti-holiday rants (with the obligatory Maccabeats shout-out thrown in for good measure), here are eight videos to share with friends and family after lighting the menorah.
Two kitchen assistants who used to work for British Jewish celebrity chef Nigella Lawson have alleged that she was a regular user of cocaine and other drugs, according to reports of a court hearing published by several national British media on Tuesday.
The two women are being prosecuted for fraud and the allegation against Lawson forms part of their defence. The media reports said the allegation had been described in court by a prosecution lawyer as untrue and “totally scurrilous”.
Contacted by Reuters, Lawson’s publicist Mark Hutchinson said: “As proceedings are live we can’t comment at the moment.” Under British law, it is legally risky to comment publicly about what is said during criminal court proceedings.
Recipient of the Spirit of the Jan Karski Award at the November 18 David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies 10th Anniversary Dinner was survivor, philanthropist, Sigmund Rolat.
In his acceptance speech Rolat — who unveiled a monument dedicated to Czestochowa’s 40,000 Jewish citizens who perished in Treblinka, restored the city’s philharmonic–naming it after Bronislaw Huberman (founder of what became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) and brought Joshua Bell (with Huberman’s violin) to perform there, and has been the driving force behind the about-to-open Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw — dubbed Karski as “One of the major figures of World War II.”
In 1942 Karski, a member of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa) was ordered to go to the West and report on — among other issues — the plight of Polish Jewry under the Nazis. He met with a Zionist leader and a Bundist and was then smuggled into the Warsaw ghetto by Leon Feiner, a lawyer and Bundist activist, to be an eyewitness to the Jews’ doomed fate.
(JTA) Olivia Wise, the Jewish teenager from Toronto whose cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar” became a viral hit, died of brain cancer on Monday, CNN reports. She was 16.
Wise made the moving recording in September after learning her condition was untreatable. She was wheelchair-bound, unable to stand or walk, but her spirit was evident nonetheless.
Some jokes just never get old.
Take the famous routine by the Jewish comedian Lenny Bruce (1925 – 1966), for example, in which he explains the differences between Jewish and Goyish:
“Eddie Cantor is Goyish… Ray Charles is very Jewish… The Army is Goyish, the Navy is Goyish, the Marine corps is Goyish. The Air Force is Jewish.”
The half-century old satire has since been copied and reinterpreted countless times. Just in time for Hanukkah dinner recitals, Oakland-based comedian Josh Healey’s latest skit “Jewish vs. Goyish! (the remix)” is now available on YouTube, produced by Dan Wolf for 3200Stories, the digital outlet of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.
“Following every rule in the Old Testament is Goyish. Loving thy neighbor is Goyish. Getting thy neighbor a good deal at the car dealership is Jewish.”
What else is Jewish? Find out:
The ‘Girls’ Season 3 trailer has hit the Internet. Catch up with Hannah, Shosh, Marnie and Jessa below:
Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas. Here’s how the Forward mourned:
(JTA) — Smiley selfies from Auschwitz and Buchenwald? They’re trending, apparently
Blogger Hektor Brehl, writing for the German version of Vice magazine, has a piece about the tendency of young travelers to post pics taken at Holocaust memorials in which they show off their new sneakers and crack “uncool” jokes.
After ten months of dating, “O.C.” star Adam Brody is engaged to “Gossip Girl” star Leighton Meester, Radar Online reported on Tuesday.
That sound you hear is every single Jewish girl everywhere in the world quietly sobbing into her hair straightener.
Brody, 33, and Meester, 27, were first romantically connected while filming “The Oranges” in 2011, but have been friends for years, Star Magazine reported.
An “insider” told Star and Radar the couple is currently planning a wedding for summer 2014, but have no determined a location.
So basically, Seth Cohen and Blair Waldorf are getting hitched.
Ladies, it’s time to dig up your old Maroon 5 albums.
Adam Levine — our Adam Levine — is officially People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. And apparently, he was as surprised as you by the news:
“As a musician, you have fantasies that you want to win Grammys, but I didn’t really think that this was on the table,” the singer told People. “I was just amazed and stunned and it almost seemed like they were kidding, but they weren’t, so that’s cool.”
The extensive media coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy also showcases Jackie Kennedy front and center as Camelot’s crown jewel. Fashion trend-setter, charmer of world leaders, restorer of the White House’s historic treasure, she is credited as the meticulous architect—down to the gravesite eternal light — of her husband’s funeral and legacy.
Just a week before the former first lady — then Jackie Onassis — died in 1994, I was racing along East 83rd Street to a reception hosted by Israel’s consul general Gad Yaacobi for his predecessor Uriel Savir when I heard a staccato click, click, click behind me. Crouching between parked cars, a bearded man with a telephoto lens the size of a bazooka was shooting away at something across the street. Following the trajectory, I spotted Jackie Onassis. Wearing light-tinted sunglasses, a stylish babushka and a belted ankle length camel hair coat she was holding onto the arm of her longtime friend Maurice Tempelsman. Both were smiling, their eyes straight ahead, the two walked slowly pretending not to see the photographer.
To shouts of “We love you mayor!” Michael Bloomberg mounted the dais at the November 10 American & International Societies for Yad Vashem’s Annual Tribute Dinner at the Sheraton New York Hotel to accept the Societies’ Remembrance Award.
“If I have one regret,” said the soon-to-be-departing mayor, “it’s that my parents did not live to see me get this award. For them, the creation of the State of Israel was truly a realization of a dream. It’s been a privilege to dedicate medical facilities in Israel in both their names.”
This year’s unique program included a film video tribute to Israel’s astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon who perished in the 2003 “Columbia” Shuttle disaster. An Israeli air force pilot, he was selected by NASA to serve as Payload Specialist on the shuttle and carried with him a drawing titled “Moonscape” by Prague-born artist Petr Ginz who died at Auschwitz at 16 following two years at Terezin. As a tribute to his father and his grandmother — a Holocaust survivor from Poland —Tal Ramon accompanying himself on the piano sang “Character, ” a song in Hebrew he composed “about my journey dealing with loss.”
Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, recalled his pre-teen life in Buchenwald.
“My friend Moyshele, from Poland like me, survived until April 11, 1945 when General Patton broke in and liberated the survivors— 60% of whom died in the camp after the liberation.” Lau described then 12-year old Moyshele’s desperate search throughout the camp for a siddur (prayer book) to say Kaddish for his father. No one was willing to admit to knowing of a hidden one. Finally directed to an old man — in the camp since 1938! — who worked in the camp’s laundry where the prisoners’ striped pajama uniforms were washed, Moyshele offered him his own 150-gram daily food ration in exchange for a few minutes with the book. “Weeping, the old man agreed and brought out the hidden book.” But Moyshele was angst ridden because there was no minyan [quorum of 10 men]. Lau concluded “the old man assured Moyshele ‘these striped pajamas will be the minyan… Moyshele now lives in Eretz Israel.”
In a musical tribute to Chane Mlotek — Yiddish folksong archivist who died on November 4, her 14-year old granddaughter Sarah Mlotek (whose father is Zalmen Mlotek, artistic director of The Yiddish National Theater-Folksbiene and whose grandfather was Holocaust survivor and Yiddish educator Yosl Mlotek) backed up by the 100-strong Jewish High Schools’ Hazamir Choir, belted out the wrenching Yiddish youth anthem “Der Yugnt Hymn” which urges courage and hope despite “der seyne” — the enemy — standing at the gates.
Avner Shalev, Chair of the Directorate, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem declared: “My late friend Eli Zborowski [founder of the 1981 American Society for Yad Vashem who died last year] was deeply concerned with the vital transmission of memory to which he dedicated his life.”
Wherever Eli Zborowski may be — he can rest easy. The Third Generation is letting their diverse voices be heard.
So now Jews are fighting about pizza. Because we really needed one more thing about which to get Uncle Morty upset this Thanksgivukkah.
The Jews in question here are two of the most well-known in the nation: Jon Stewart and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
And the pizza in question is Chicago Deep Dish, specifically the anchovy-topped deep dish pizzas Emanuel sent Stewart and his staff, following Stewart’s rant on Tuesday’s The Daily Show about how disgusting he finds Chicago-style pizza.
Do you have Christmas “elf envy”?
No more! The Elf on a Shelf has some Jewish competition: the Mensch on a Bench.
Mini tribe member Mosche is the brainchild of Neal Hoffman, a former employee of Hasbro Toys in Rhode Island, who thought of the Hannukah-friendly mentor after his son, Jacob, felt left out at school — all his friends had elves to play with.