The Shmooze

Life-Size Amy Winehouse Statue Coming to London

By JTA

Getty Images

A life-size bronze statue of late British Jewish singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse will be erected in the London neighborhood where she lived.

Winehouse, known for hits like 2006′s Grammy Award-winning “Back to Black,” died at age 27 of alcohol poisoning in 2011.

The statue will stand in a market in London’s Camden neighborhood, close to where she died. It will show Winehouse leaning against a wall with her hand on her hip and will go up on Sept. 14, which would have been her 31st birthday.

“Now Amy will oversee the comings and goings of her hometown forever,” Winehouse’s father Mitch said, according to a Thursday report in the Telegraph, a British daily. “Amy was in love with Camden, and it is the place her fans from all over the world associate her with. The family have always been keen to have a memorial for her in the place she loved the most, which will provide fans a place to visit and attract people to the area.”

Read more


Peaches Geldof Dies at 25

By Anne Cohen

Peaches Geldof, daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, has been found deadin her home. She was 25.

The police, called to an address in the village of Wrotham, Kent, released a statement saying they were treating the death as “unexplained and sudden.”

Though not Jewish herself, the writer and presenter was married to musician Thomas Cohen, with whom she had two sons, Astala, one, and Phaedra, who will turn one at the end of April. The English heiress was also spotted wearing a magen david at a fashion event in London last week.

“My beloved wife Peaches was adored by myself and her two sons,” Cohen said in a statement.

“I shall bring them up with their mother in their hearts everyday. We shall love her forever.”

Her father, who confirmed her death, added: “We are beyond pain. She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us.”

“What a beautiful child. How is this possible that we will not see her again? How is that bearable?”

Her last tweet, posted Sunday, was a picture of herself as a baby with her mother.

Read more


A Jew at Buckingham Palace

By Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — They are trained to uphold the strictest protocol, which includes standing motionless and expressionless at attention outside Buckingham Palace in London.

But that training was no match for an American Jewish tourist who made a Royal Guard soldier crack up, and then captured it on film.

The video documenting the man identified as Yankel’s feat surfaced recently online, and though attempts to reach Yankel and ascertain his identity and the date of filming have not immediately succeeded, the film pretty much speaks for itself. Yankel, who appears, judging by his black kippah, black suit, tzitzit and white shirt, to be Orthodox, begins his offensive on British decorum by standing next to the soldier and telling his friends’ camera: “We were together in school, me and him. He went his own way.”

The soldier remains frozen as Yankel elaborates on their 30-year-long friendship, which he says has endured despite some basic differences of character. “I remember in school, he used to sit by himself and read books. I was just this guy fooling around and having fun,” Yankel says. The soldier begins to crack 60 seconds into Yankel’s routine, when Yankel recalls how the soldier’s mother would pick him up from school until he was 20.

Read more


Amy Winehouse Statue Unveiling Postponed

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Mitch Winehouse

Residents of Camden, in north London, eagerly awaiting to set eyes on a life-sized bronze statue of Amy Winehouse will just have to wait a little longer.

The unveiling of the memorial to the late British soul singer has been postponed after her father, Mitch Winehouse, vetoed the final design by artist Scott Eaton, E!Online reported.

The singer’s former boyfriend Reg Traviss told the U.K.’s Mail on Sunday that Winehouse wanted his daughter’s effigy to be perfect before the public laid eyes on it.

“He doesn’t want anything to go up that he’s not completely satisfied with. But obviously it’s never going to look exactly like her,” Traviss told the paper.

The statue will be positioned outside the Roundhouse, a performing arts and concern venue.

The “Rehab” sensation was found dead at age 27 on July 23, 2011, the result of accidental alcohol poisoning.

Read more


Leonard Cohen Reschedules Show For High Holidays

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Leonard Cohen

Sorry British fans! You won’t get to see Leonard Cohen dip apples in honey onstage.

The Canadian performer has reportedly rescheduled shows in Leeds and London after he realized that the dates fell on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the BBC reported.

A statement released on behalf of the 78-year-old and promoter AEG apologized “deeply for the inconvenience.” Cohen will now be playing the First Direct Arena in Leeds on 7 September and the 02 Arena in London on 15 September.

In case you were wondering, Rosh Hashanah falls on September 5-6 and Yom Kippur is on September 14. Don’t be late!

Read more


Daniel Radcliffe Is Harry Potter No More

By Anne Cohen

Getty Images
Daniel Radcliffe

“After six years, Daniel Radcliffe is officially marking his return to the London stage.”

The lede in an article on E! Online yesterday tells us two things. First, that Daniel Radcliffe will be appearing in Malcolm McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan.” More importantly however, it proves that it is now acceptable to refer to the actor without making a crack about a skinny teenager in round glasses with a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.

Granted, Harry Potter is referenced in the next paragraph down. But that’s still a marked improvement.

Coverage of Radcliffe in the aftermath of his “High Hopes” Oscar performance with Seth Macfarlane, his refreshingly earnest presentation of the Academy Award for Best Production Design with a sallow and slightly wobbly Kristen Stewart, and his antics backstage with Joseph Gordon-Levitt prove one thing: he’s made it. He is his own person, to be thought of as “D-Rad” (as one friend recently called him) and adored as such.

Unlike Mark Hamill, who never quite managed to shake off his lightsaber, forever enshrined as Luke Skywalker, Radcliffe has managed to break through the stereotype. With two theater roles under his belt — his 2007 debut in “Equus” on London’s West End, and a run in “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” on Broadway in 2011 — and varied film roles including a horror credit in “The Woman in Black,” and a stint as Allen Ginsburg in the upcoming “Kill Your Darlings,” no one could accuse Radcliffe of sticking to what he knows.

Read more


Aly's Grandparents 'Just Thrilled'

By Andrea Palatnik

Watching your granddaughter perform intricate somersaults and jumps, swinging in the air like a rubber band, landing on the floor from a balance beam after a back jump where her head was only inches away from being hit is not for the faint of heart.

But 71-year-old Susan Faber is simply ecstatic to be Aly Raisman’s savta.

“I’ve always known she was good at gymnastics. I never knew she was this good! I am just thrilled about the whole thing,’’ Faber said in an interview with the Boston Globe.

Faber was watching the all-around women’s gymnastics finals live on her computer, sitting by her twin sister and a dear friend in her hometown of Newton, Mass. Aly, 18, just missed winning an individual bronze medal and finished fourths after helping team U.S.A. win the gold on Tuesday at the London Olympics.

“She’s so smooth under pressure,’’ Faber said. “She seems to inspire them all… She has become a woman I am very proud of.’’

Not far away in Needham, Mass., Marty Raisman, Aly’s paternal grandfather, chose to root in the town auditorium, surrounded by over 400 locals who came together to watch the gymnast perform.

“No matter what … it’s still a great honor,’’ Raisman told the Globe.

Read more


Underwear Ads Irk North London Orthodox

By Renee Ghert-Zand

While some Haredim in Jerusalem have succeeded in getting images of women removed from public advertising there, the Orthodox community in North London has had less luck on that front.

In London, it is not all women’s images they find offensive, but rather those of Calvin Klein models wearing nothing but their skimpy underwear on the sides of public buses driving on routes through Orthodox neighborhoods. According to the Jewish Chronicle, “a claim that a lingerie advert placed on buses that ran through Stamford Hill was ‘offensive’ and ‘irresponsible’ has been rejected by the advertisers’ watchdog because there was ‘no explicit nudity.’”

Read more


Last East London Jewish Hospital Demolished

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Despite opposition, the last remaining Jewish hospital building in London’s East End will be torn down to make way for a five-story housing development. The Tower Hamlets council agreed for the Jewish Maternity Hospital on Underwood Road, Whitechapel, to be demolished because it does not have landmark status. It is neither listed by English Heritage, nor does it fall within a Conservation Area, according to a report in the East London Advertiser.

Those opposed to the demolition, including cultural and political leaders, are especially upset that the cottages next door to the hospital are also set to be taken down. They say that they are large single-family homes in good shape. “The Director of Jewish Heritage UK, Sharman Kadish, also wrote to Peabody [the real estate developer], saying the social and historic significance of the cottages next to the main hospital building have been overlooked while urging the trust to convert the cottages into residential use,” the article in the Advertiser said.

Read more


London Installs ‘Sabbath Mode’ Walk Signal

By Nathan Jeffay

iStockphoto

London is getting a “hands free” crosswalk so that observant Jews don’t have to risk their lives on the Sabbath.

Until now, pedestrians need to press a button on London crosswalks and wait for a “green man” to light up to signal they should cross. But for years, this has caused a problem for congregants at one of the city’s most popular synagogues — Finchley United Synagogue. After the Sabbath services, dozens of congregants are seen waiting for a gap in the traffic that never opens — unable to press the button due to Sabbath laws.

Now the crosswalk has been outfitted with a Sabbath mode, and will change automatically every 90 seconds. Strangely enough, it’s big national news — the Daily Mail reports here on the development in great detail. And it’s got the talkback crew talking. It’s the “thin end of the wedge,” according to one commenter who resents public expressions of Judaism. Another writes that the observant should “look left look right say a little prayer and run like the devil.”

Read more


Things That Look Like Hitler: Mustache Edition

By Nathan Burstein

As The Shmooze has already observed, the people of the United Kingdom have a habit of seeing Hitler in odd places — from the facade of Welsh houses to their own pet cats.

Wikimedia

Now a small-town politician has spotted the Nazi leader — or at least his mustache — on one of his own political posters, leading to a minor controversy in Pitcombe, Somerset, a hamlet west of London.

Town councillor Mark Beech complained to police about the poster, which featured his own face and was later adorned with a Hitler mustache by an unknown vandal. Using the Public Order Act as justification, investigators made “house-to-house inquiries” at each of the town’s 20 residences, the Telegraph reported, an investigation derided by locals as “an outrageous waste of police and taxpayers’ money.”

Read more



Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.