Archive for the ‘Judaism’ Category

Thanksgiving and Thanksgetting

by Aaron under JFacts,Judaism,News

This year marks an extraordinary occurrence that many people outside of this JDate blog will likely be talking about to an annoying degree this week: the fascinating meeting of Thanksgiving and Chanukah for the first and last time in many of our lives (though I’m feeling confident about being here for Chanukah closing out Thanksgiving 2070). It’s an obvious subject for me to talk about as my blogs are posted on Thursdays, and Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this and every other year.

However, I don’t tend to enjoy the obvious topics, so you’re not about to read why you should be thankful for everything. Instead, I would like to explain a bit about why Chanukah and Thanksgiving go great together, and why Chanukah should remind us not to be complacent.

For the uninitiated, Chanukah is about a small amount of something going a long way, particularly a small amount of oil burning for eight days (though really, the miracle was the victory of the Maccabees). Making a lot of nothing is the key point of the holiday, and it emphasizes how to make the best of any situation. Fittingly, Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful for what we have and being proud of that.

Similarly, I was discussing prayer with one of the rabbis I regularly study with a few weeks back, and we went over what Jewish prayer has to consist of. It has to contain three things: praising, thanking, and requesting. We have to be grateful for all around us, even if it’s not the specific things we’ve asked for. We also thank G-d for anything we’ve gotten that we’ve wanted. And lastly, we ask for more again. The idea of wanting more always seems like such a taboo thing on Thanksgiving, we should be lucky we have what we have. But lucky for us, this year is also Chanukah, and so you can thank and praise, but don’t forget to want some more, too. Next year won’t have Chanukah and Thanksgiving meet again, but you can still ask for it to be an even better time than this year.

And of course, I wish everyone reading this a happy Chanukah and Thanksgiving, and hope you’re here with me for all the blogs ahead. Thanks for reading!


How To Talk To a Jewish Girl

by Tamar Caspi under Judaism,Single Life

A hysterical email from a Jewish frat boy to both his Jewish and gentile fraternity brothers about how to flirt with Jewish sorority girls at mixers during Greek Week turned viral a few months ago. Full of stereotypes, the email is nonetheless humorous. From where it’s acceptable to say you are from (not Connecticut), to how to lie about where you went to sleepaway camp (go with a vague “upstate” locale at a place with the word “lake” tacked on at the end), to answering the question of if you are Jewish (my Dad is), to what area of study you should say you are majoring in (business or finance), the guide is supposed to help guys pick-up a Jewess.

The guide is clearly offensive and hones in on characteristics typical of a Jewish American Princess (JAP). Granted, this is for Greek undergrads who are just trying to have fun and do the stupid things that coeds do, but it is a disservice to both the men and women. Luckily, one of the sorority girls struck back by writing an email telling her sisters how to pick up a gentile by trying to appear as non-Jewish as possible (do not say you’re from Long Island, do not say you’re from Long Island, do not say you’re from Long Island) and basically harping on the ridiculousness of the frat boy’s email and expanding upon his blatant stereotyping.

Regardless of your age or maturity level, do yourself a favor and avoid the degradation that comes with using the JAP and goy terms, and the stereotypes that go along with it. Two of the most attractive traits are self-respect and respect for others, so don’t fall into negative stereotypes, or use it to describe yourself or others.


Electives

by Aaron under JBloggers,Judaism,Online Dating,Single Life

As my semester nears its end, I get to do that joyous thing we all love to do in school: choose classes for the next semester. For once I am in the first group to register for classes, but it is still daunting. In the spirit of relating most of my dating blogs to business school lessons, I thought about the electives I’ve chosen to take in the last year of my personal life.

For starters, I decided to leave my job in retail management. This decision initially stemmed from my unhappiness in the job, but ultimately came to be meaningful in taking me back to my favorite part of life, learning. I love being a student more now than ever, and value every second I get to spend learning new, exciting things about the world of business.

Then, probably the second biggest thing is my religiousness. I started keeping Kosher for the most part in the last year, getting rid of milk and meat combinations, then all treif meat, and ideally going fully Kosher when I move to New York in the coming year (which I am hoping to do for my internship, and am open to job offers if readers have them!). I wrap tefillin every morning that isn’t Shabbat, and I am almost Shomer Shabbos (hindered by driving distance to my current shuls, but another situation I intend to fix by next year). I feel prouder of my involvement in my religion, and truly feel like I’ve seen myself grow.

Lastly, there’s my dating life. In the last year I’ve opened myself up to a lot of different things. Different girls than I’d normally date, sometimes in different cities than I’d ever dated (or lived) in. And I can say hands down, this year has been the best year of my dating life ever. I think a lot of it stems from the previous two areas of my life, areas that have allowed me to feel more whole than I ever have. I come across as more open to anything now, and truly love the adventures my life has taken me on.

So those are my electives for the year. I’m sure next year will bring a very different set, and that’s great. Whatever your choices are, or have been, there is no one else signing up before you, either, and now is the time to start picking your electives, too.


Are You a Single Sinner?

by Tamar Caspi under Judaism,Online Dating

Dating can bring out the worst in you, but luckily Yom Kippur gives us the opportunity to atone for our sins, decide not to act or think such a way again, and start anew.

What kind of sins are singles guilty of?

  1. Being judgmental for one — deciding that a guy or gal isn’t for us because of their looks or their job or their friends.
  2. Talking badly about others –whether it’s people you went on dates with or badmouthing someone to bond with a date.
  3. Lying — saying you are not what you are to impress someone (more successful, more popular, younger), or making something up to get out of a bad date.
  4. And of course there’s the drinking and sex that comes with dating.

This year, make a commitment to withhold judgment, to be honest, and to not allow dating to get the best of you.


Start the New Year Right!

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Judaism,Online Dating

Shana Tova to the dating MOTs!!!

Start the Jewish New Year off by revamping your JDate profile, paying for a membership if you’ve been relying on the free one, and contacting that perfect match (with the cute profile pic) who you’ve been playing “View My Profile” with for the past few weeks.

If you are frustrated with still being single this high holiday season, but you’re not being totally proactive, then you have no one to blame but yourself. Use this religious fresh start to jump-start your dating life.

Take new photos, rework your profile Q&A’s by using my tips from the past few weeks, ask your JMom for a six month membership…or just hit your wallet up (you’ll thank me later for the sound investment), and email that hot guy or gal you’ve been peeping.

Then enjoy: http://www.buzzfeed.com/danoshinsky/rosh-hashanah-the-q-and-a


Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Lea Michele, Simon Cowell, Howard Stern & Chelsea Handler…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Lea Michele’s Teary Tribute to Cory Monteith

Still mourning the loss of boyfriend Cory Monteith, Glee star Lea Michele dedicated her Choice TV Actress-Comedy prize at the Teen Choice Awards to the late actor on Sunday night. Michele, whose father is Jewish, has avoided interviews over the last few weeks, making this acceptance speech her first televised appearance since Monteith’s death last July.

“I wanted to dedicate this award to Cory,” Michele said while fighting back tears. “For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that, with your love, we’re going to get through this together.”

“He was very special to me, and also to the world, and we were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile, and his beautiful, beautiful heart,” she continued. “So whether you knew him personally or just as Finn Hudson, Cory reached out and he became a part of all of our hearts — and that’s where he’ll stay forever, so thank you guys so much.” You can watch her full acceptance speech here.

 

2. Cowell & Stern Are Both Raking It In

What do Simon Cowell and Howard Stern have in common besides their Jewish heritage? The two men are tied as the highest paid TV personalities in America according to Forbes Magazine.

As a record label boss and TV talent show mogul, Simon Cowell reportedly made $95 million between June of 2012 and June of 2013. That figure pushed him to the top of Forbes’ list, but it wasn’t enough to push past shock-jock Howard Stern who pulled in the same outrageously large sum. Interestingly, Stern also works on Cowell’s popular series America’s Got Talent. Looks like these two have talent… for making money, that is!

Other TV personalities who made the list include conservative talk show host Glenn Beck with $90 million, Oprah Winfrey with $77 million, and Dr. Phil with $72 million.

 

3. Chelsea Handler Breaks Down on Camera

Chelsea Handler broke down on camera when she found out her grandfather had served in World War II with the German army. The Jewish comedian was the subject of a recent episode of TLC’s show Who Do You Think You Are?, which helps celebrities investigate their ancestry.

“I’m very intrigued to find out how much participation my German grandparents had in the war,” Handler said. “My mother was German, she came over to America when she was 19 for the first time. My father, I guess, made a deal with my mother when they had children that they were gonna be raised Jewish. So I connect with my Judaism, or the Jewish side of my family, more than anything else.”

After digging into her family’s history, Handler discovered the truth about her German grandfather. “My grandfather served in the Second World War as a soldier. Whether or not he agreed with Hitler, he was serving in the Germany army. He was taken as a prisoner of war at some point to America, where he stayed for several years . . . When he went back to Germany he was very eager to come and take his family and move them back to the United States.”


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, 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.