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Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Angelina Jolie, Barbara Walters and Aly Raisman…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,News

1. Angelina Jolie’s Reaction to Carrying a “Jewish Cancer Gene”

Angelina Jolie announced last week that she underwent a preemptive double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. The A-list actress has a family history of cancer and tested positive for genetic flaws in the BRCA1 gene, which indicates an elevated risk for breast and ovarian cancer. The BRCA1 mutation, especially common in Jewish women, puts Jolie at an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.

“I have always told [my children] not to worry, but the truth is I carry a ‘faulty’ gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer,” the actress, 37, wrote in last Tuesday’s New York Times.

 

2. Barbara Walters Announces Retirement

After more than five decades, Barbara Walters is hanging up her microphone. The veteran ABC News anchor, who is 83, announced last week she will retire from TV journalism next summer.

“Let me just say I have been on television continuously for over 50 years,” said the Jewish journalist while filming an episode of The View on ABC. “But in the summer of 2014, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all.”

“I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain,” Walters told ABC News. “I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and OK, some men too — who will be taking my place.”

 

3. Aly Raisman Dances Her Way Into the Finals on DWTS

Aly Raisman, the gold medal-winning gymnast on the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team at the 2012 Summer Olympics, is now going for gold as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars! The 18-year-old Jewish gymnast heads into the show’s finals this week as one of the top contenders!

Raisman secured her spot in this week’s finale by scoring a perfect score at the end of last week’s episode – as did NFL player Jacoby Jones who tied Raisman for first place.

Raisman will compete against Jones, country singer Kellie Pickler, and Disney star Zendaya in an epic dance-off during the Dancing With the Stars finale which airs tonight on ABC!


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Gwyneth Paltrow, Selma Blair and Natalie Portman…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,JFacts,Judaism,News

1. Gwyneth Paltrow Disses the Met Gala

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is talking smack about one of the fashion world’s biggest parties! The A-lister (whose father is Jewish) attended the prestigious Met Gala last Monday, but later dissed the event, reportedly saying “it sucked” in a media interview.

“It seems like it’s the best thing in the world,” Paltrow reportedly said. “You always think, ‘Oh my god, it’s gonna be so glamorous and amazing and you’re going to see all these people’ and then you get there and it’s so hot and it’s so crowded and everyone’s pushing you.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s renowned Costume Institute Benefit annual gala, also known as the Met Gala, featured many A-list stars all dressed up for the evening’s theme: “PUNK: Chaos to Couture.” Paltrow, who is 40, said she didn’t think the punk theme was age appropriate. “I think we’re all a bit old to dress up punk,” she said by way of explaining why she didn’t get into the spirit of things.

 

2. Selma Blair Heads to the Beach for Mother’s Day

Selma Blair hit the beach in Malibu with her son Arthur yesterday, hoping to make a splash this Mother’s Day! The actress, who is Jewish, got some sun with her son (sorry for the pun) who will turn 2 years old in July.

Blair, who is now a single mom, split with Arthur’s father, fashion designer Jason Bleick, last August. She was also spotted with her son Arthur earlier this month at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Selma currently stars alongside Charlie Sheen in the second season of the FX series Anger Management.

 

3. Natalie Portman Takes Her Son to the JCC

Natalie Portman was spotted bringing her son Aleph to a Jewish Community Center in Los Feliz last Monday. The Oscar winner, who was born in Jerusalem, didn’t say why she was heading inside the JCC, but we assume it was to take part in some fun family time with her little one!

The actress, who is 32, is reportedly planning to relocate to Paris later this year with her 35-year-old choreographer husband, Benjamin Millepied. Millepied, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, will begin his new position as director of the Paris Opera Ballet in October of 2014.


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Neil Diamond, Amy Winehouse and Regina Spektor…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,JFacts,News

1. Neil Diamond Donates Money to Boston

After Neil Diamond, who is Jewish, performed “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox’s first home game after the Boston marathon bombings, sales of the track jumped dramatically. Selling almost seven times more than it did the week before the attacks, it appears many people have been purchasing and playing “Sweet Caroline” in honor of the city of Boston.

In response to the drastic boost in sales, Diamond Tweeted, “Donating these royalties to #OneFund!” The One Fund is a charity formed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to support the victims of the April 15th bombings.

The amount of money made off “Sweet Caroline” during the past week is roughly estimated to be about $5,000, according to the Washington Post.

 

2. Amy Winehouse’s Fortune is Disappearing

After paying off Amy Winehouse’s bills and debts, the late singer’s family was reportedly left with less than £180,000.

Winehouse’s parents had been anticipated to share £3m from her estate. However, the Sunday Mirror reports that the six music companies owned by the Jewish singer had assets of just £176,991 when things were totted up. Apparently her estate was hit hard by legal fees, mortgage payments, security costs and taxes.

Winehouse died in 2011 at the age of 27.

 

3. Regina Spektor to Perform in Israel

Indie folk singer Regina Spektor is making plans to perform in Israel this summer. The Jewish singer-songwriter first played in the country in 2007 and will now return to perform there once again.

Though Spektor sold out both concerts she played in Israel in 2007, she has been away from the Jewish state for six years. However, has always been open about her connection to Judaism and Israel. In 2010, Spektor performed for the Obamas in honor of Jewish Heritage Month and she headlined a benefit concert for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in 2012.


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Neil Diamond, Al Michaels and Jamie-Lynn Sigler…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Neil Diamond Sings for Boston

Neil Diamond wanted to do his part to help after the tragedy in Boston over the past week, so the Jewish singer expressed his support through a song at the Boston Red Sox game Saturday night.

Diamond lifted the spirits of Boston residents with a surprise performance of “Sweet Caroline,” the team’s unofficial anthem. Diamond hoped to bring a bright moment to the city’s residents who have been struggling with tragedy after the Boston Marathon bombings one week ago today.

 

2. Al Michaels Arrested for Alleged DUI

Sportscaster Al Michaels was arrested on suspicion of DUI Friday night, according to Santa Monica police.

The Jewish play-by-play announcer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football was allegedly just over the legal limit and booked for DUI .08 or greater. He was ordered to appear in court on June 26.

Unfortunately, Al Michaels wasn’t the only celeb arrested on suspicion of DUI this weekend. Both 3 Doors Down bassist Todd Harrell and CAA agent (and Reese Witherspoon’s husband) Jim Toth were also arrested in two separate DUI incidents. Witherspoon was with Toth when he was arrested; the actress was briefly jailed as well for disorderly conduct.

 

3. Jamie-Lynn Sigler is One Hot Mama

Jamie-Lynn Sigler is making the baby bump one of the hottest accessories in Hollywood. The Jewish actress showed up at the “What a Pair!” benefit concert in Santa Monica last week wearing a sexy sequined Pamella Roland gown with sheer sleeves and a plunging neckline.

Sigler is having a son with her fiancé, baseball player Cutter Dykstra. The 31-year-old actress Tweeted a thanks to all of her fans who sent congratulatory messages when she first announced the baby news, saying, “Thank you to everyone for all the sweet messages. We are so excited to be able to share the news of this incredible blessing. :) !”


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Aly Raisman, Amar’e Stoudemire, Barbra Streisand, and Gwyneth Paltrow…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,JFacts,Judaism,News

1. Aly Raisman & Amar’e Stoudemire Headed to the Maccabiah Games

Both gymnast Aly Raisman and NY Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire will be at the 19th annual Maccabiah Games in Israel this year, but not as competitors.

Raisman, an 18-year-old Jewish gymnast who won a gold medal for her floor routine at the 2012 Summer Olympics,will be at the Jewish Olympics as a special guest this year. The games’ chairman, Amir Pered, told journalists Raisman will be honored during the opening ceremony. Stoudemire, who has Hebrew heritage on his mother’s side, will be a part of Team Canada’s coaching staff, giving fans a reason to cheer for the coaches as well as the players!

This year’s event, which will take place July 17-30, is the largest in Maccabiah history, with approximately 8,600 athletes competing from 72 countries.

 

2. Barbra Streisand Schedules First-Ever Israel Performance

Barbra Streisand is preparing for her first-ever performance in Israel. The Jewish songstress is scheduled to sing at a celebration for Israeli President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday.

Streisand will appear before an expected crowd of 4,500 for Peres’ annual Israeli Presidential Conference on June 18, which will also serve as a tribute for the leader’s milestone birthday. Streisand, a vocal supporter of Israel, has traveled to the Jewish state several times, but has never performed.

 

3. Gwyneth Paltrow Reveals Miscarriage

Gwyneth Paltrow revealed a heartbreaking miscarriage in The Mail’s “You Magazine on Sunday. Paltrow, whose father is Jewish, did not say exactly when her pregnancy troubles occurred, but simply told the magazine, “I had a really bad experience when I was pregnant with my third. It didn’t work out and I nearly died.”

The 40-year-old actress is married to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and the two have two children — Apple, 8, and Moses, 6. The star also recently told InStyle she was open to having more children, saying “My brain says, ‘Oh, I think I’m done, the kids are so big now, and I don’t want to go back to changing diapers — but a part of me would love to have another. Of course, I’m old now!”


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Gabrielle Giffords, Diane von Furstenberg, and Amanda Bynes…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,JFacts,Judaism

1. Gabrielle Giffords to Receive Courage Award

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was Arizona’a first Jewish congresswoman, was chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

Giffords, who was shot in the head during a constituents’ event in January of 2011, went on to survive the shooting and later launched a gun control initiative following the December shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 first-graders and seven adults were killed by one gunman.

Giffords will be recognized for the “political, personal, and physical courage she has demonstrated in her fearless public advocacy for policy reforms aimed at reducing gun violence.” She will be presented with the award on May 5th at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

 

2. Diane von Furstenberg Weaves Support for the Holocaust

Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, best known for her wrap dress, is set to host a special event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Jewish clothing designer’s mother was a Holocaust survivor and von Furstenberg has spoken about her mother’s influence in her life, crediting her for teaching her that “Fear is not an option.”

“I’m involved with the Holocaust museum because I firmly believe in its importance, and there’s no one else doing work like this,” she tells JTA.org. “Last month they did something amazing for me. Without telling me, they mailed me this giant box of all the details of my mother and father during the Holocaust that the Germans and Swiss kept. They had photos and documentation of everything, and it was so special to me.”

 

3. Amanda Bynes Reveals a Whole New Look

Amanda Bynes revealed a dramatically different look for herself on Twitter over the weekend. The Jewish actress Tweeted a photograph of herself captioned only: Wink ;)

Click here to see the photo of the former Nickelodeon star with long, curly hair and a cheek piercing. It’s much different from this picture she Tweeted just a few days earlier.

The transformation follows a series of legal problems that Bynes faces from fall, including two hit-and-run charges, a DUI, and two counts of driving with a suspended license.


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Aly Raisman, Adam Brody and Steven Spielberg…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Aly Raisman Breaks Out Her Dancing Shoes

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman is joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars. Raisman, who is Jewish, will team up with two-time winner Mark Ballas to compete for the mirror ball trophy. The two have already become fast friends as Raisman is posting pics of the soon-to-be dancing duo hanging out together!

The dance-show competition should come naturally for Raisman who won two gold medals and a bronze medal for the U.S. Women’s Olympics at the 2012 London Games. The star athlete famously performed her gold medal-winning floor exercise to the traditional Jewish wedding song, “Hava Nagila.”

Raisman also recently announced she would soon begin training for the 2016 Olympics in RioDe Janeiro, Brazil.

 

2. Adam Brody is a Wanted Man

First Adam Brody was spotted canoodling with new girlfriend Leighton Meester. Now the Jewish hottie is said to be preparing for a steamy makeout scene with Kristin Bell!

The former star of Scream 4 and The O.C. is set to join the cast of House of Lies for three episodes. During his stint on the show, Brody will play the owner of an adult toy company – and the newest client for Marty (Don Cheadle). He also forms a special relationship with Jeannie (Kristen Bell’s character).

Whether in real life, or just on the screen, Brody is certainly having a lot of luck with the ladies (but it’s easy to see why)!

 

3. Spielberg Shares Holocaust History with Young Students

When Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1994, the Jewish director used his award speech to passionately implore we never forget the Holocaust and to “please teach this in your schools.” Nearly twenty years later, he’s getting what he asked for.

The USC Shoah Foundation, which Spielberg started after making the Holocaust drama, kicked off the IWitness Video Challenge at the Chandler School in Pasadena last week. The challenge asks students around the world to learn about the Holocaust and to then use clips of survivor testimonies in their own projects about the Holocaust.

“It was my goal when I established the Shoah Foundation that future generations would learn from the incredible life stories preserved in the Visual History Archive,” said Spielberg in a press release. “I’ve seen how students connect with survivors through watching their testimony, and the impact it has on them. They experience a kind of learning that is profound and personal. And they take that with them into their lives.”


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Radcliffe, JGL & Barbra Streisand…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Daniel Day-Lewis Makes Oscar History

Daniel Day-Lewis took home the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Lincoln at the 2013 Academy Awards last night. However, the half Jewish actor is not only celebrating his monumental win, but also the fact that he is the only man in history to win the Best Actor Oscar three times.

Los Angeles Times Film Critic Betsy Sharkey says Day-Lewis definitely deserved to win last night, writing, “So deeply did the actor delve into the character in Steven Spielberg’s film, any essence of Day-Lewis, the man, ceased to exist. He carried us back in time with him and gave us a seat at the table as the president pushed, prodded and finally demanded that his Cabinet, the Congress and the nation accept the 13th Amendment ending slavery.”

Day-Lewis has been nominated in the best actor category five times in all, winning for My Left Foot in 1990 and There Will Be Blood in 2008.

 

2. Daniel Radcliffe & Joseph Gordon-Levitt Cut a Rug

Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt broke out their dancing shoes for the opening number of the Oscars. Host Seth MacFarlane corralled the two Jewish performers for a soft-shoe/sung-danced version of the song “High Hopes.”

It seems as though that performance may have even sparked a new “bromance” between the two actors. Joseph Gordon-Levitt later added a Facebook pic of himself and Radcliffe from backstage at the Oscars writing, “Me + Mr. Radcliffe. #Gangster. #Oscars.”

 

3. Streisand Makes Her Return to the Oscars

Barbra Streisand returned to the Oscar stage last night, singing “The Way We Were” as a tribute to late composer Marvin Hamlisch (the song won an Oscar as Best Original Song in 1973). The Jewish singer belted out the number just after the awards’ In Memoriam segment.

E!online reported Barbra shared many kind words about her departed friend, Hamlisch (who was also Jewish), with whom she collaborated to write the song, “The Way We Were.”

“Marvin Hamlisch was a composer of extraordinary depth and versatility,” Streisand reportedly said. “He was also a very kind and generous friend who could always make me laugh. Over the years, we shared many adventures together. Marvin left us way too soon, but I’ll always have those wonderful, wonderful memories.”


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Adam Levine, Maurice Sendak, and Amanda Bynes…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Adam Levine Fills In For Nicki Minaj

Alicia Keys had to replace Nicki Minaj for her song “Girl on Fire” at the Grammys last night. However, we think the audience was happy with the stand-in singer for this duet as the replacement was Adam Levine!

The Jewish crooner took to the stage with his band to perform “Daylight” before Alicia Keys joined them and the duo launched into a duet of “Girl on Fire.”

Levine Tweeted his excitement before the show, writing, “Extremely excited for the @TheGRAMMYs tonight! Performance is going to be EPIC. And I kinda really wanna win one. Ok? Just one will be fine.” Unfortunately, Levine did not win a Grammy last night, but he definitely won over audiences with his performance!

 

2. Maurice Sendak Posthumously Publishes New Book

Although Maurice Sendak died last May at age 83, the beloved children’s book author still has one more volume on the way.

My Brother’s Book was written as a tribute to Sendak’s older brother, Jack, who died 18 years ago. Published posthumously, this book places two brothers in a fantastic world where they must confront separation, longing and reunion.

Sendak’s most famous works include Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There. The Jewish author is said to have revolutionized children’s books by adding an element of danger and intrigue to a traditionally safe genre.

 

3. Bynes Tweets Badly

Amanda Bynes is taking the gloves off when it comes to her Twitter account. The 26-year-old Jewish actress Tweeted an insult at Jay-Z earlier this week.

According to E! News, Bynes wrote, “Ugly face” as a caption on a picture of Beyonce’s husband and then posted the pic to her Twitter account. Bynes deleted the photo within minutes, but not before some of her followers had a chance to respond.

According to US Weekly, one Twitter user wrote, “Wow. Rude Amanda!” Another commented by Tweeting, “I wish I knew what your thought process was behind this.” Jay-Z has not yet commented.


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Drew Barrymore, Bar Rafaeli, and Ed Koch…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Drew Barrymore Plans to Raise Her Daughter Jewish

Drew Barrymore plans to raise her daughter Olive in the Jewish religion and says she may convert to Judaism as well.

The 37-year-old actress made an appearance on ABC’s The View last week where she told the hosts that her daughter would be following the faith of her father, Will Kopelman. The couple married last June and delivered their baby girl last September.

“I haven’t converted yet,” Barrymore said in response to questioning from host Joy Behar. “Olive will be raised traditionally. And we had a very traditional wedding ceremony with Rabbi Rubenstein and I did the ketubah. We wore the yarmulkes and we were under the chuppah. I’m there. I love it.”

 

2. Bar Rafaeli Makes Out with a Geek in a New Ad

Bar Rafaeli starred in an extremely uncomfortable ad that aired during football’s biggest game on Sunday. The ad had the Israeli model locking lips and swirling tongues with “Walter,” a chubby Go Daddy tech geek played by Jesse Heiman.

Long-time GoDaddy.com spokeswoman Danica Patrick first introduces Rafaeli in the ad, and then introduces “Walter,” a nerd with a computer who is promised to “create a killer website for your small business.”

“Together, they’re perfect,” Patrick says. Then, things get uncomfortable. Rafaeli and Walter begin locking lips and the kiss includes some pretty horrific sound effects that make the commercial that much more awkward. Watch the video for yourself here.

 

3. Past NYC Mayor Ed Koch Dies at Age 88

Ed Koch, a former mayor of New York City, died last week of congestive heart failure at age 88. He was one of Judaism’s leading political figures and a staunch advocate for Israel.

Koch spent decades in the political arena, serving as the mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989. He is noted as helping turn around the Big Apple (a city he loved), bringing it through some of its most tumultuous years, and refusing to dodge questions from the press or the public… no matter what.