Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

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.”


Perspective

by JeremySpoke under Entertainment

Every day I go to the gym; there is a man there that walks on the treadmill. He has a lot of difficulty simply walking. His steps are awkward and jerky, and he has to grip the sides of the machine tightly so he doesn’t fall. Every step is obviously very painful. Though I can’t see his face, I can hear him wincing sometimes, and he always looks like he is on the verge of falling.

I recently saw this man at the local movie theater where he was taking tickets as an employee. I talked to him for a moment. He has difficulty talking as well, and is confined to a chair.

Everybody needs perspective sometimes. If this man can find the strength to get out of bed every morning and not only live through the pain, but force himself to exercise (which is probably especially painful for him), and also force himself to get a job, which may not be easy either, maybe I can not have a huge fit in my car if traffic is making my commute three minutes longer in the afternoon.

I sometimes think it’s some huge burden to have to spend an hour and a half at the gym every day, but whenever I’m exercising, and I see him, I not only gain faith in humanity, but I try not to think about my problems — the biggest problem at that moment being how much my feet hurt and how badly I want to die or at least pretend to faint and fall off my machine so that I can momentarily experience some sort of physical relief.

Then again, once I leave the gym, I completely forget about everything I just learned. I just want to get my dinner and sit in bed and feel sorry for my terrible middle-class life. The Daily Show is on reruns all week? Are you serious? I need The Daily Show to be on and be new immediately after I get out of my nightly shower. I already heard that joke! Not only that, but I knew it was coming, and I already know everything the political guest trying to maintain relevance to the younger generation is going to say! I just want to wake up and have it be next week. I can’t live like this anymore.


Help Wanted: Sesame Street Live Writers

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,Entertainment,Success Stories

I’ve seen some bad things in my life. I saw a kid get hit by a car. I saw an entire season of Repo Games. I saw myself in the mirror three years ago. Up until last night, I have never seen anything as bad as the writing that went into the live production of Sesame Street that toured through our city.

I have pretty high standards when it comes to Sesame Street and The Muppets, and I won’t tolerate any B.S. I spent my entire early childhood glued to Sesame Street. So much so that my little brother would often try to mess with me while watching and I once ripped his head off. The doctors had to surgically reconnect it. True story.

Granted, it’s been a few years since I’ve seen it, and I really only went last night because I wanted to watch my girlfriend’s daughter enjoy the show. Also, I didn’t pay for the tickets. Also, I got a soda. Also, I got to spend time with my girlfriend. Also, it was an Elmo-centric show, and Elmo is easily one of my top four Sesame Street characters and top nine Muppets. I didn’t have high expectations, because I figured it would be geared towards two-year-olds. But for the same reason that kids’ movies have some adult undertones, this show should have at least had some sort of a plot.

Instead, it was characters dancing and singing about nothing, with each segment having nothing at all to do with the preceding or proceeding. The show was loosely centered on the idea that Elmo stole Abby’s magic wand. However, even this didn’t make any sense, and it was just an excuse for Elmo to dance around with a wand and make magic things happen like lights go off and then on again.

They played a lot of the classic Sesame Street songs, which were great, but they also played some other songs. I don’t know if these are Sesame Street songs that have been written within the past 22 years, or just some crap they threw together for this show, but I rather would have just heard the song “Sing played nonstop for an hour and a half.

Also, this is just a little gripe, but Cookie Monster did not eat a single cookie. As an adult, I often question why a children’s television character’s single characteristic is his love for cookies, especially in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic. However, it’s Cookie Monster. There’s no going back. If he’s going to be in the show, which he damn sure should be, feed the guy a cookie.


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.


Single Ladies & Football’s Biggest Game

by LaurenM under Entertainment,Single Life

“Why can’t all single ladies shake it like Beyonce?” asked the single guy after football’s biggest game on Sunday.

First, Destiny’s Child’s hit song “Independent Women” was the anthem for every pantsuit-wearing female executive in training. Then, Beyonce’s hit “Single Ladies” became a worldwide proclamation from women to men telling them to “sh*t or get off the pot.” One thing became very clear, Beyonce had girl power!

Unfortunately, for single women everywhere, Beyonce has got girl power, an amazing body, a flawless face, and incredible dance moves.  If all women could move like Beyonce, there would be no women left in the club raising their left hand to the lyrics  “if you like it, then you should’ve put a ring on it.”

I love Beyonce, and after last night’s killer half-time performance, it’s safe to say I have a girl crush. But, I’m quite certain she is setting the wrong expectation for single men everywhere. According to Beyonce, single men can find a woman who is strong, independent, HOT, and with a booty-shake that will blow your mind. Her worst trait will be that she wants you to “put a ring on it.”

I’d like to help set more realistic expectations for the single men out there, but I’d hate to burst their bubble so soon after that half-time performance… plus I’ve got to go practice my booty shake.


Fatigue

by JeremySpoke under Entertainment

People experience sleepiness every day. While the best solution for sleepiness is sleep, this is not always a viable solution, as you may be at work, and you can’t sleep, because you are an open heart surgeon. I find creative ways to sleep throughout the day when not at home. For example, I’m really well attuned to my daily driving routine. People often use the phrase, ‘I can drive there in my sleep.’ loosely. However, every morning, I drive to work while asleep. Either that or I’m so used to my routine that while I’m awake while driving, I suddenly find myself in my work parking garage without remembering anything since waking up at about 2 am the night before to use the restroom. Most likely, I do not drive while sleeping, because I constantly find myself being alive.

I actually don’t sleep throughout the day. That was just a preface for that hilarious fake anecdote. I’m still on a strict diet throughout the week, and a lot of the time, though I am really tired, my hunger overrides my sleepiness, and I don’t feel the full weight of my fatigue until Friday after my diet is over and I’ve finally eaten a full meal. If you find that you are too tired a lot of the time, simply starve yourself. Once your stomach begins to eat its own lining, you will be in too much pain to realize that you need sleep. Also, you’ll lose some weight. Only five more months until swimsuit season!

Aside from that fact that the modern standards of beauty require a body that is unhealthily skinny, it is not a good idea to starve yourself. I just wanted to make that clear.

Because I am not a big fan of coffee, I sometimes rely on energy shots. Though recent reports indicate that drinks such as 5-hour Energy will kill you, and the fact that it should probably be renamed ’2-hour Shaking’, I use this sometimes. I don’t care too much about my long-term health, so long as I feel okay now. Who knows? The earth may implode tomorrow, but at least I will be awake, alert, and shaking violently.


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Rep. Susan Davis, Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath and Dear Abby

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. DC Jews Celebrate Inauguration Weekend

Monday’s 57th Presidential Inauguration officially sent Barack Obama into a second term as America’s 44th President, and members of the Washington D.C. Jewish community were right there with him to participate in inauguration-weekend activism and service events.

The Women’s Leadership Network luncheon of the National Jewish Democratic Council kicked off the inaugural weekend in “Jewish Washington” last Friday. The group held a discussion panel which included former White House Communications Director Ann Lewis, Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) and The Jerusalem Post Washington Bureau Chief Hilary Krieger.

It was “one of the most inspirational events I’ve attended in a very long time,” Barbara Goldberg Goldman told JNS.org.  “Proud Jewish women of all ages came together to share their desire to perform tikun olam and make a difference in the world in which they live.”

 

2. Rabbis Who Marched with MLK

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday, JSpace.com is showing how a Torah made its way to Dr. King’s March on Selma.

In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote to Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath, sharing an idea he had for a march with the Jewish leader. King was planning an unprecedented demonstration, hoping to bring thousands on a walk from Montgomery to Selma in support of voting rights for the black community.

What resulted would go down in history as one of the greatest civil rights moments of all time. Rabbi Eisendrath did indeed participate, as did other spiritual leaders from many other factions. Click here to see an iconic photo from the Selma march, in which Rabbi Eisendrath, clutching a Torah, can be seen standing with Dr. King.

 

3. Dear Abby Dies at 94

Pauline Friedman Phillips, known around the world a “Dear Abby” died Wednesday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 94.

Phillips was born in Iowa in 1918 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. In 1937, she began writing the iconic “Dear Abby” advice column, assuming the penname Abigail van Buren. The column would go on to earn worldwide fame as a syndicated piece of Americana, printed in more than 1,000 newspapers.

Phillips was a member of Women in Communications, the American College of Psychiatrics, and the National Council of Jewish Women.