The Shmooze

How Coke Made Hitler 'Happy'

By Anne Cohen

In an acute case of “no good deed goes unpunished,” Coca-Cola’s #MakeItHappy campaign has gone hopelessly awry. The campaign, launched during the Super Bowl, goes as follows: fans of Coke can tweet unpleasant things and the company, who then turns those angry thoughts into a fun image, which is then tweeted back with the slogan “We turned the hate you found into something happy.”

Our friends over at Gawker decided to test the boundaries of this experiment in happy thinking. Using specially designed Twitter bot @MeinCoke, the news outlet proceeded to tweet parts of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” to @CocaCola.

Amazingly, Coke tweeted back.

Behold, the first four paragraphs of Mein Kampf, as illustrated by Coke:

It has turned out fortunate for me to-day that destiny appointed Braunau-on-the-Inn to be my birthplace.


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Israelis Pull Super Bowl All-Nighter

By Ben Sales

Getty Images

There were wings, beers, giant TV screens, and football fans wearing New England Patriots sweatshirts and Seattle Seahawks jerseys. If not for the fact that it was 1 a.m. and former Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid stood in the center of the bar, it could have been mistaken for Anytown USA.

Most Israelis don’t mark Super Bowl Sunday — or, really, Super Bowl Early Monday Morning — in any real way. But a group of Americans in Israel (and some Israelis who became acquainted with American football during stateside stints) showed up past midnight, an hour before the kickoff, putting off sleep and trying to forget about work the next day to watch the big game.

Elie Pieprz, who in 2012 founded a nonprofit to urge American-Israelis to vote in U.S. elections, came to see the game with his 11-year-old daughter, Eliana, in what has become an annual tradition for them. Father and daughter, pulling for Seattle, both wore Washington Redskins jerseys.

“We feel strongly about our connection to America,” Pieprz said. “We didn’t make aliyah to leave America. We’re bringing the best part of America to Israel.”

This Super Bowl party in central Tel Aviv was sponsored by Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, the centrist faction that for now boasts the Knesset’s only American lawmaker, Dov Lipman. Wearing a black sweater along with his trademark black velvet kipah, Lipman appeared chipper at halftime as Katy Perry ascended a robotic lion on a TV screen behind him.

“I thought to myself, there’s enough Anglos in Israel who want to watch, so why not watch it together?” said Lipman, who helped organize the gathering. “It’s not a political event. People are coming to watch the game.”

Some 200 fans attended the party, but most were surprisingly quiet for people who chose to pull an all-nighter to watch the big game. Aside from some hard-core New England fans in the center of the room, much of the crowd timidly cheered for the Seahawks.

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Is Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman Jewish?

By Gabe Friedman

Getty Images

JTA — During the Super Bowl Sunday night, many Jews across the country no doubt had the same question: Is Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman Jewish?

Edelman had an excellent game Sunday night, catching nine passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in New England’s dramatic comeback victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He also happens to have a Jewish-sounding name. But is he actually a member of the tribe?

While his father has Ashkenazi roots, this is what Edelman had to say on the topic on a media day before his previous Super Bowl appearance with the Patriots in 2012:

“Well, I’m not completely Jewish, if you know what I mean. I know people want me to be. My father is Jewish. My mother isn’t. I’ve been asked this before. I guess you could say I’m kind of Jewish but not really.”

For the record, while traditional Jews believe one must have a Jewish mother or convert in order to be considered Jewish, both Reform and Reconstructionist Jews recognize patrilineal descent.

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The Best Part of the Super Bowl? Idina Menzel

By John A. Oswald

Idina Menzel sings the National Anthem at the Super Bowl// Getty Images

It may have been a football game but Jewish diva Idina Menzel hit a home run with her version of the Star Spangled Banner.

Katy Perry at halftime? Feh.

No. For us at The Forward, Idina Menzel (or Adele Nazeem, if you’re John Travolta) Let It Go!

America agrees. Elsa the Snow Queen was Flawless.

And that black jumpsuit by Angel Sanchez? Perfect.

Ex-husband Taye Diggs, with whom the “Frozen” star has a son, gushed: “Yup. Baby Mama crushed it at the Super Bowl.”

Yup.

Menzel has sung the National Anthem at other sporting events, but this, by far, was her largest audience ever.

Menzel hit all the notes just right — a big difference from a month ago when she flubbed a high note on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and suffered a quick death by Twitter.

Ah, social media, you give and you take.

She asked the Twitterati before taking the field to “send me good vibes.”

The former “Wicked” star exclaimed, “Yes” when she nailed that final note Sunday night.

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Tom Brady Has a Menorah at Home

By Gabe Friedman

Getty Images

(JTA) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a couple of Jewish connections.

Since 2012, his brother-in-law has been retired Jewish baseball player Kevin Youkilis, a former all-star third baseman for the Boston Red Sox. The owner of the Patriots, the only team Brady has played for in his 15 years in the NFL, is Robert Kraft, a Jewish business magnate and philanthropist who also owns the New England Revolution soccer team.

But no one can explain why Brady has a menorah.

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It's Over. Israel's Wix Wins Super Bowl Ad War

By John A. Oswald

Tel Aviv-based web development company Wix.com has what we think is one of the funniest Super Bowl ads set to air this Sunday and it stars former Green Bay Packer Brett Favre and four other retired football greats.

Favre was the quarterback who just couldn’t quit the NFL. He retired, then unretired, then joined the Jets for one season and the Vikings for two.

The quarterback’s rep is seized on by the folks at Wix to tell their story and sell their cloud-based web page-making service.

Favre turns to his agent, “Entourage” actor Rex Lee (Lloyd), about making yet another comeback.

Favre: “What about Canada?

Lee: “Nope.”

Favre: “That indoor league?”

Lee: “Nope.”

Favre: “What am I gonna do?”

Lee: “Do what everybody else does. Start a business. Build a website.”

And that’s where Wix and its #ItsThatEasy campaign, comes in.

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Joe Namath's Jewish Fur Guy

By Anne Cohen

You may not have followed the Super Bowl, but chances are you’ve heard about the dead animal gracing Joe Namath’s back during the coin toss.

Namath’s fur coat comes to you courtesy of one Marc Kaufman, owner of Marc Kaufman furs, who apparently provided the former Super Bowl III hero with the Men’s Fur Coyote Parker when he dropped into the store last week, the New York Daily News reported.

He looked at it, and he said, ‘Wow,’” Kaufman told the Daily News. “He put it on. He turned around. He had a big grin on his face.”

The price for this pelt worthy of “American Hustle”? A cool $3,000.

Kaufman’s other A-List clients include fellow tribe-member Drake, and P. Diddy. According to the furrier, business is up since Namath’s appearance, with orders coming in from as far away as Dubai (to counter the freeze of air-conditioning, perhaps?).

Despite his exclusive clientele, Kaufman admitted he was excited to see Namath don one of his creations at Met Life Stadium.

“Everybody loves Joe,” he said. “He’s an icon.”

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6 Lessons From This Year's Jewish Super Bowl Ads

By Anne Cohen

Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone. It’s time for the take-away: The Broncos really need a hug. Bruno Mars was meh. This was possibly the most Jewish Super Bowl of all time.

If the whole SodaStream/Scarlett Johansson debate, and the availability of a game-time knish (for a whopping $6, mind you) didn’t tip you off, all you had to do was follow the ads. Here are some of the lessons we learned from some of our top Jews this year:

1. Bob Dylan wants you to buy American.


2. Bob Dylan wants you to buy Chobani. (Also, Mandy Patinkin voice-over!)


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Behold, the Super Bowl 'Seinfeld' Reunion

By Jana Banin

(JTA) — The rumored Seinfeld reunion finally happened! Teased in a spot during the Super Bowl, Jerry Seinfeld’s latest episode of his web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” featured Seinfeld and Jason Alexander reprising their roles from the hit show.

A decade and a half later, George is still just as easy to dislike, especially if you’re the Wassersteins. Turns out George ruined their last Super Bowl party with his overzealous cheering and master bathroom antics. George and Jerry hash this out, old married couple style. Plus, thanks to a visit from everyone’s favorite nemesis, we get to hear Jerry say “Newman!”

Dare we say it was more exciting than the game itself?

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The 'Noah' Super Bowl Trailer is Here

By Anne Cohen

Move over ScarJo — the ‘Noah’ Super Bowl trailer has arrived.

So, take a break from controversy, sit back, relax and enjoy. Because, let’s face it: the only thing that could make us look away from Scarlett Johansson’s SodaStream spot is Russell Crowe playing a biblical character in a Darren Aronofsky film.

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Not a Fan of Bruno Mars? Tune in to The Kosher Super Bowl Halftime Show

By Michael Kaplan

Those not too fond of the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Bruno Mars may be excited to learn that a Jewish radio network will be hosting its own alternative halftime show — a “kosher” one.

The Nachum Segal Network has announced that it will be airing an alternative show featuring Jewish stars Lenny Solomon, Shlock Rock, Avromie Weisberger, Jonathan Rimberg, Ari Boianguiu and Ethan Bill. And like the official halftime show, the network says it might have a few surprises.

The 20-minute video, which will coincide with the Super Bowl’s official halftime show, will also be available on their website, Youtube channel and Facebook page after the show, JNS reported.

“The halftime show is a key component of the big game, and the NFL consistently brings the biggest names in contemporary music to play on the main stage. The only issue is that those acts often don’t appeal to the Jewish crowd,” radio host Nachum Segal was quoted saying in JNS. “We are proud to be providing a quality, kosher alternative that will entertain Jewish audiences and maintain a family-oriented vibe even during halftime.”

Believe it or not, the Nachum Segal Network’s show won’t be the first kosher halftime alternative.

Yashiva University has produced videos for the past two years featuring professors from the educational institution speaking about the spiritual side of sports.

Last year’s event was advertised with: “Forget the commercials - Are you ready for some — Torah?!”

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6 Most Jewish Super Bowl Ads

By Anne Cohen

Everyone is talking about Scarlett Johansson’s upcoming Super Bowl ad for SodaStream. FOX has already nixed the original version, though not because of any political concerns — apparently it’s a big no-no to make fun of Coke and Pepsi.

But what about the other Jews who have carved their spot in the Super Bowl ad Hall of Fame?

Get ready for a little trip down memory lane, paved with Ferris Bueller parodies, a Jerry Seinfeld/Jay Leno rivalry, and even an Elton John/Paula Abdul duet.

And really, after being bombarded with news of his misadventures, who doesn’t want to feign ignorance and ask: “What’s a Bieber?”

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'Seinfeld' Reunion or Super Bowl Ad?

By Anne Cohen

The Internet almost exploded last week when someone snapped a picture of Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander walking into Tom’s Restaurant, the inspiration for “Seinfeld“‘s Monk’s diner.

As expected, the rumor mill started running at warp speed: Was it a promo stunt for “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”? Were just they craving a Big Salad? Is a “Seinfeld” reunion in the works?

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Beyonce's Booty Didn't Kill Super Bowl Lights

By Reuters

An electrical relay device, not anything to do with Beyonce’s scorching halftime show, caused the power outage that killed some of the lights at the Super Bowl last Sunday, power company Entergy Corp has said.

getty images
Not That Hot: Pop star Beyonce thrilled fans at the Super Bowl. But her scorching halftime show didn’t cause the power outage that followed, as some speculated.

With over 108 million Americans watching a game which was televised in more than 180 countries worldwide, about half the stadium lights went dark early in the second half of the National Football League’s championship game, in which the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.

Many Americans believed the outage had something to do with Beyonce’s lights-out halftime show. The pop superstar, flaunting her post-baby figure, blew away the crowd with a knockout performane, including a reunion with her Destiny’s Child colleagues.

Baltimore led 28-6 when the lights went out and some say the disruption at the New Orleans Superdome, which lasted about 35 minutes, was a momentum changer that allowed the 49ers to get back in the game.

The device was specifically installed to protect the Superdome’s equipment in the event of a cable failure between the switchgear and the stadium, Entergy said on Friday.

The relay had functioned without issue during a number of other events, including the New Orleans Bowl, the New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers game, and the Sugar Bowl.

But during Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, the relay device triggered, signaling a switch to open when it should not have, which caused a partial power outage in the building.

Entergy said the device has since been removed from service and new replacement equipment was being evaluated.

“While some further analysis remains, we believe we have identified and remedied the cause of the power outage and regret the interruption that occurred during what was a showcase event for the city and state,” Charles Rice, president and chief executive officer of Entergy New Orleans, said in a statement.

Entergy New Orleans, a unit of Entergy Corp, provides electricity to more than 160,000 customers and natural gas to more than 100,000 customers in Orleans Parish in Louisiana.

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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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Madonna To Kick Off Tour in Israel

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

The Super Bowl halftime show was just the start. All of us are going to be seeing a lot more of Madonna this year, but Israelis are going to be the first to see — and hear — her.

Following the release of her new album, “MDNA” on March 26, Madge will kick off a world tour in Tel Aviv. Her many Israeli fans will have to scramble for tickets for her May 31 performance at the Ramat Gan Stadium, where she is expected to sing both new and old songs in characteristic spectacular style. This will be the Material Girl’s fourth concert in Israel, following one in 1993 and two in 2010.

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Video: Seinfeld in Acura Super Bowl Ad

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images

If Matthew Broderick can do it, then so can Jerry Seinfeld. Sell cars, that is. Hot on the (w)heels of Broderick’s reprise of his famous Ferris Bueller alter ego to hock a Honda, we have Seinfeld doing his shtick to push the new Acura NSX.

It seems these days you don’t even have to wait until Super Bowl Sunday to watch Super Bowl ads. Four and half million pairs of eyes have been on Seinfeld’s extended-length commercial since Monday, nearly a week before the game kick off.

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