Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Gabrielle Giffords, Bethenny Frankel and Marissa Jaret Winokur…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Gabby Giffords Visits with Sandy Hook Families

Gabrielle Giffords, the former member of Congress from Arizona who was gunned down at a Tucson shopping center two years ago, met privately last Friday with the families of the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut where a school shooting took place last month.

Giffords, who is Arizona’s first Jewish congresswoman, met with local officials at the municipal building in Newtown on Friday afternoon. She then went to visit with victims’ families at a private home later in the day.

“What drew her was the shared experience — our 26 victims and survivors, and what she experienced in Arizona,” Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra told the Newtown Bee.


2. Bethenny Frankel Files for Divorce

Bethenny Frankel has filed for divorce from her husband Jason Hoppy. The former Housewife took the first step in ending her two-year marriage to Hoppy by filing a summons for divorce in New York City this month.

The Jewish founder of “Skinnygirl®” isn’t shying away from discussing the divorce in public, recently Tweeting, “To those of you who are being supportive: thank you. To those of you who are judging: I totally get it.”

Frankel and Hoppy have a 2-year-old daughter together named Bryn.


3. Marissa Jaret Winokur Dishes the Skinny on Being Skinny

Marissa Jaret Winokur is happy to call herself a “loser” this week! That’s because the Hairspray actress lost a total of 60 pounds over the last seven months.

The 39-year-old Jewish actress says her motivation was simple. “I did it for heath,” Winokur blogged for People.com. “I had a doctor’s appointment in April, and my cholesterol was high (220). My doctor mentioned I should lose some weight.”

Winokur told Us Weekly she thought she would try to lose 20 pounds and see what happened. “It was the little steps,” she said. “I think it worked because I was genuinely doing it for myself.”

Hollywood Yenta Year in Review: Top Ten Jewish Celeb Stories

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

As the world looks back on the year 2012, the Hollywood Yenta is recalling the year’s biggest Jewish celeb moments. Check out our list below of the top ten Jewish celebrity stories from 2012. Then, let us know in the comments section what you think is the year’s top “Jewlebrity” happening!


10.  Jewish candidates win respective elections

Four new Jewish Representatives entered the House after November’s election, while four Jewish Senators up for re-election retained their seats for a new term. Combined with the Congressmen and women who are currently serving, there are now 11 Jewish U.S. Senators and 22 U.S. Representatives. Democrats Bill Schneider, Alan Lowenthal, Lois Frankel, and Alan Grayson were each elected to the House, in Illinois, California, and the last two in Florida, respectively. In the Senate, Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were each re-elected. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), the son of a Holocaust survivor, also re-won his seat.


9.  MCA passes

Adam Yauch, one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died at the age of 47 in May. Yauch, whose mother was Jewish, was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland. Following his death, tributes across the web showed the impact Yauch’s music had. Actor Jonah Hill Tweeted, “I’m filled with so much sorrow to hear about the world losing Adam Yauch. He was such a beautiful person and artist.”


8.  Lena Dunham’s “Girls” takes off

Lena Dunham’s television series “Girls” garnered great reviews when it premiered in April, and earned Dunham four Emmy nominations. In October, the young writer, whose mother is Jewish, inked a $3.5 million deal with Random House for an essay collection called Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned. The next month, Dunham starred in a political ad for Barack Obama that, metaphorically speaking, compared voting for Obama to losing one’s virginity.


7.  Rep. Gabby Giffords resigns from congress

Arizona’s first Jewish congresswoman, Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, resigned from congress in January, one year after she was shot at a public gathering in Tucson, Ariz. In her resignation letter, Giffords wrote, “I will recover and will return.”


6.  Jon Stewart wins tenth Emmy

When Jon Stewart’s name was called as winner in the variety category during September’s Emmys awards, the host of The Daily Show was mock-tackled by pals Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon. The two comedians who were up against Stewart in the category were jokingly keeping him from getting to the stage. In August, Stewart was also voted JDaters’ favorite “political news funnyman,” beating out Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.


5.  Natalie Portman weds

In August, Jewish actress Natalie Portman said “I do” to French dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied. The two exchanged vows in a traditional Jewish ceremony at a private home in Big Sur. Portman and Millepied met while filming Black Swan in 2009 and have a son named Aleph (which means “chief” or “number one” in Hebrew).


4.  Mila Kunis keeps cool

Jewish movie star Mila Kunis had a big year – she starred in the hit film Ted, was named “Sexiest Woman Alive” by Esquire magazine, was listed as no. 3 on Maxim’s “Hot 100” list and started dating longtime pal Ashton Kutcher. Before going public with her romance with Kutcher, Kunis told Glamour magazine she’d be interested in online dating: “If I didn’t do what I do, I would do Internet dating instead of going out to bars. In two seconds I would. It makes so much more sense.” In November, the actress shot down rumors that she was converting to Kaballah, after she was seen accompanying Kutcher to service in New York.


3.  Amanda Bynes’ driving drama

Jewish actress Amanda Bynes drove into trouble in 2012, getting arrested or cited for infractions that included allegedly driving under the influence, sideswiping a cop car, leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended license. In October, Bynes pled not guilty to the charges stemming from the April and August incidents.


2.  Zuckerberg goes public, ties the knot

It was a big year for the creator of the world’s largest social networking site, who also happens to be Jewish. In February, Mark Zuckerberg filed papers to take Facebook, Inc. public. The company held its initial public offering on May 18, with a peak market capitalization of more than $104 billion. One day after the IPO, Zuckerberg wed longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan in a small surprise wedding ceremony with 100 guests.


1.  Aly Raisman wins gold

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman wowed spectators by earning one of two spots in the all-around individual finals. She then won a gold medal on the floor routine, dancing to “Hava Nagila,” a traditional Jewish song that means “Let us rejoice.” Following the summer games, Raisman accepted an invitation from Israeli government officials to visit Israel. In October, the 18-year-old athlete made her first visit to South Florida for the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) which helps out thousands of Israeli children.

Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Amanda Bynes, Amar’e Stoudemire and Joe Lieberman…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Amanda Bynes Settles

Amanda Bynes has reached a settlement with the two victims of alleged hit-and-run accidents in April and August — with many but not all parties involved declaring satisfaction with the situation.

The victims professed “full satisfaction” with the financial deals they’d cut through Bynes’ attorney, according to E! News. The Jewish actress’s attorney says she is “satisfied and grateful for this outcome.” However, prosecutors had objected to the deal. A spokesman for the city attorney’s office says Bynes still faces allegations of driving without a license and driving under the influence.


2. Amar’e Stoudemire Ties the Knot!

Instead of hoopin’ it up, New York Knicks Power Forward Amar’e Stoudemire was chuppahin’ it up last week!

Stoudemire, who is Jewish, married his longtime girlfriend Alexis Welch on the rooftop deck of their Manhattan home last week on 12-12-12. The star athlete Tweeted a picture of his rings saying, “I feel blessed.”

The couple – who have been together for a decade and have three children – had just 12 people at the ceremony.


3. Joe Lieberman Leaves the Senate

Senator Joe Lieberman gave his farewell address last week, ending a career that saw the Connecticut politician become the first Jewish nominee on a major party presidential ballot.

Known for his bipartisan appeal, Lieberman addressed working with his colleagues in his speech. “It requires reaching across the aisle and finding partners from the opposite party,” Lieberman said in his speech. “That is what is desperately needed in Washington now.”

Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Seth Rogen, Mayim Bialik, Joseph Lieberman and Scarlett Johansson

by JDateAdministrator under Relationships

1. Celebs Celebrate Hanukkah

Hanukkah began last weekend and Jewish celebrities across the country are celebrating by lighting their menorahs, cookin’ up latkes and giving gifts to those they love! Here are just a few of the ways A-listers in Hollywood let us in on their Festival of Lights festivities via Twitter:

Seth Rogen: Now that’s a f***ing menorah: pic.twitter.com/REzwjgNn

Mayim Bialik: Anyone else need a soundtrack for making latkes this Chanukah? I play this on over and over and I try not to get… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAbTDHblxFM

Lauren Miller: Just ate Ribs and Latkes. Just like the Jews ate when the temple was destroyed. #HappyHannukah

Mindy Kaling: @IamLaurenMiller I wish I was Jewish with you.



2. New Awards List Features Top 10 Orthodox All Stars

United States Senator Joseph Lieberman, Billboard Top 10 Artist Alex Clare, and best-selling author Faye Kellerman are among those being honored as “All Stars” within the Orthodox Jewish community in a new video hitting the web last week.

Jewish author and inspirational speaker Allison Josephs is releasing her inaugural top 10 list of “Orthodox Jewish All Stars” and her picks are quite diverse. Josephs, who founded JewintheCity.com, says her top 10 list is based on those “who have reached the pinnacle of their respective fields while maintaining a religiously observant lifestyle,” including:

• United States Senator Joseph Lieberman

• Billboard Top 10 Artist Alex Clare

• Best-Selling Author Faye Kellerman

• Professional Boxer Dmitriy Salita

• Basketball Star Tamir Goodman

• Former HBO Senior Writer/Producer Jamie Geller

• YouTube A Capella Sensation The Maccabeats

• Comedian Mendy Pellin

• Rhodes scholar Miriam Rosenbaum

• Former U.S. Supreme Court Law Clerk and Founder of Non-Profit Breast Cancer Support Group Rochelle Shoretz


3. Scarlett Johansson Rebounds Fast

Scarlett Johansson has been practicing her French with her new beau this week – French kissing, that is!

The Jewish actress broke up with boyfriend Nate Naylor earlier this fall, but promptly rebounded with French journalist Romain Dauriac. The two have been photographed engaging in some major PDA in New York. The relationship has been blossoming over the last few weeks and the two have yet to shy away from getting touchy-feely around the paparazzi.

Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Mark Feuerstein, Dustin Hoffman and Ben Savage…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Mark Feuerstein Stars in Hanukkah Campaign

Jewish actor Mark Feuerstein is starring in a new Hanukkah campaign from Heifer International® that works to promote unique and educational Hanukkah gifts for kids. The campaign promotes Jewish precepts of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repair the world) by allowing children to share in the joy of helping a family in need. You can donate a flock of chicks, tree seedlings, or maybe even a goat to a family in need somewhere in the world thank to this holiday program. These gifts are said to not only improve nutrition, but help families generate an income in sustainable ways.

“The idea of giving people something meaningful and alive that can help repair their economic wellbeing and also pave the way for future generations of their family is so beautiful,” said Feuerstein. The goal of Heifer at Hanukkah is to help children appreciate the importance of charity and how their charitable contributions help repair the world and lift families from poverty to self-reliance.


2. Mr. Hoffman Goes to Washington

Dustin Hoffman was honored in Washington D.C. last night at the Kennedy Centers Honors, an annual celebration of the arts. Now in their 35th year, this lifetime achievement award is for those who have “upended or embodied culture as we know it.”

Robert De Niro introduced Hoffman as a “world class, spectacular, colossal … pain in the a**” who makes cohorts strive to meet his meticulousness. The 2,000 attendees watched a montage which featured some of the Jewish actor’s most famous roles—from an aimless seductee in The Graduate (1967) to a cross-dressing soap star in Tootsie (1982) and an autistic savant in Rain Man (1991). “He just thinks at a different velocity,” actor Liev Schreiber told reporters on the red carpet. “He burns at a brighter intensity.”

Hoffman has racked up seven Academy Award® nominations and two wins. This year’s awards ceremony also honored legends David Letterman and Led Zeppelin. You can view pictures from the event here.


3. Ben Savage Winds Up for a Reboot!

The latest TV reboot headed our way is a spinoff of every twenty-something’s favorite coming-of-age sitcom: Boy Meets World. The 1990s hit series starred Jewish actor Ben Savage as Cory Matthews and now Savage has just signed on to star in the reboot.

The newish take, Girl Meets World, will air on the Disney Channel and center on Cory’s now 13-year-old daughter with high-school sweetheart Topanga.

Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Mayim Bialik, Mila Kunis and Mamika…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Mayim Bialik Announces Divorce Plans

Actress Mayim Bialik and her husband Michael Stone have decided to separate after nine years of marriage. The Jewish actress shared the news on her parenting blog last Wednesday, telling fans that she and Stone agreed to separate due to irreconcilable differences “after much consideration and soul-searching.”

“Divorce is terribly sad, painful and incomprehensible for children,” Bialik posted on her blog. “The main priority for us now is to make the transition to two loving homes as smooth and painless as possible. Our sons deserve parents committed to their growth and health and that’s what we are focusing on.” The 36-year-old Big Bang Theory actress and Stone have two sons together, ages 7 and 4.


2. Mila Insists She is Not Converting to Kabbalah

Insiders close to Mila Kunis have reportedly denied that the Jewish actress has taken up Kabbalah after she was spotted accompanying her boyfriend Ashton Kutcher to a Kabbalah service in New York. The 29-year-old stunner was reportedly seen entering the Kabbalah Centre in New York City with her Two And A Half Men boyfriend in September to attend a Rosh Hashanah holiday service.

A source close to the couple, who are yet to acknowledge their relationship publicly, says while Mila supported her boyfriend to the ceremony, she hasn’t adopted Kabbalah practices. The two were recently spotted in Rome, enjoying a romantic night out for two.


3. The World’s Coolest and Most Daring Nonagenarian Eats Challah

When 94-year-old Frederika Goldberger retired in the early 80s, little did she know she was bound for a second career as the subject of a new book two decades later. Once retired, her photographer grandson, Sacha Goldberger, began creating incredible photographs of her to keep her active and lift her spirits. That’s when Mamika – Frederika’s superhero alter ego – was created.

Mamika is now the subject of a new book of outrageous photographs that can be seen here. However, long before she posed for the camera, Frederika was a hero. Born a baroness into a wealthy Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary, she was forced into hiding during World War II. Later, Frederika and her husband risked their lives to help hide others from the Nazis – by the end of the war, her efforts had saved 10 people.

Now, with the success of their book behind them, Frederika and her grandson are working on a movie together. That’s what we call one cool Bubbie!

Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Jane Fonda, Ben Stiller and Sarah Michelle Gellar…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Jane Fonda Presents at Holocaust Symposium

Jane Fonda called for more public attention to the sexual violence which occurred during the Holocaust when she gave a keynote presentation at a two-day symposium in Los Angeles.

The Oscar-winning actress, most recently starring in HBO’s Newsroom, addressed the conference, reading an excerpt from Nava Semel’s work, And the Rat Laughed, which deals with the tragedy of rape in concentration camps.

“I feel so glad that we hear about the Holocaust through firsthand accounts,” Fonda said while speaking at the Ray Kurtzman Theater. “Seventeen-hundred of those testimonies are of sexual violence — from those brave enough to talk about their experiences.” The event, which was invitation only, was attended by historians, Holocaust experts and scholars, in an attempt to shed light on this oft-overlooked topic.


2. Ben Stiller Honored

Ben Stiller was honored for his contribution to the film industry at the 26th American Cinematheque Awards last week. The award is said to honor “an extraordinary artist in the entertainment industry who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion pictures.”

The Meet the Fockers star isn’t the first Jewish celebrity to be given the honor. Other Jewish A-Listers who have been given the honor include Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner.  Stiller tells E! Online, “It’s really nice to be asked to be honored like this. It’s kind of bizarre. I feel grateful but also unworthy of the whole thing.”


3. Sarah Michelle Gellar Has a Fighter on Her Hands

Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is revealing her new baby boy’s name this week… and it’s got quite a punch!

The Jewish actress welcomed a baby boy with her husband, actor Freddie Prinze Jr., at the end of September and the two have managed to keep the name secret until now. However, it was revealed this week that the little one’s name is Rocky James.

The couple already has a 3-year-old daughter named Charlotte Grace. Gellar, 35, and Prinze, 36, were married in September 2002.

Hollywood Yenta Roundup: J.J. Abrams, Daniel Day-Lewis and More…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Jew-lection Results

Four new Jewish Representatives entered the House after last week’s election, while four Jewish Senators up for reelection retained their seats for a new term. Combined with the Congressmen and women who weren’t on the ballot this year, there are now 11 Jewish U.S. Senators and 22 U.S. Representatives.

Democrats Bill Schneider, Alan Lowenthal, Lois Frankel, and Alan Grayson were each elected to the House, in Illinois, California, and the last two in Florida, respectively. In the Senate, Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were each reelected. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), the son of a Holocaust survivor, also re-won his seat.


2. J.J. Abrams Going to a Far, Far Away Galaxy?

Star Wars: Episode VII is in search of a director and entertainment-industry insiders are saying the honor may just go to Jewish film and television producer, writer and director, J.J. Abrams. However, Abrams says that not likely at this time.

“I am looking forward more [than] anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars,” Abrams told Hollywood Life. “But I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”

Other directors rumored to be in the running for the gig include Iron Man director Jon Favreau and a lesser-known director, Safety Not Guaranteed filmmaker Colin Trevorrow.


3. Critics Love Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

The latest in a long parade of on-screen Abe Lincolns (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as one of the most recent), is Daniel Day-Lewis playing a much more serious version of Honest Abe… and critics are apparently loving it.

New York Times Critic, Charles McGrath, says, “Mr. Day-Lewis, 55, has already won two best actor Oscars, and his performance here, tender and soulful, convincingly weary and stoop-shouldered, will almost certainly earn him a nomination.”

Day-Lewis, whose mother was Jewish, has twice won the Academy Award for Best Actor, first for portraying of Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989) and then again for his role as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007).

Hollywood Yenta Roundup: The Political Edition! David Mamet, Sarah Jessica Parker, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Sarah Silverman…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,News

1. David Mamet Lends his Support to Mitt Romney

David Mamet is not only famous as an essayist, playwright and director, but for his switch from liberalism to conservatism as well. Mamet publicly declared he was switching to the Republican Party back in 2008.

Last week Mamet made another political declaration, although this time the announcement is a lot less shocking. Speaking directly to his fellow Jews, Mamet wrote an essay for the Jewish Journal that asks, “Will you tell your children that a liberal government will increasingly marginalize, dismiss and weaken the support for and the safety of the Jewish state?”


2. Sarah Jessica Parker Backs Obama
This week Sarah Jessica Parker appeared on Access Hollywood to share her view on why the incumbent president is the only choice for those concerned with women’s issues, strengthening the middle class and helping the poor.

SJP, whose father was Jewish, tells the hosts of the show, “I am concerned about people in this country who’ve been trying to carve out a middle class existence… I’m talking about our veterans, I’m talking about our senior citizens, and I’m talking about children who are living below the poverty line.” You can watch a clip from the show here.


3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sarah Silverman and Jonah Hill Just Want You to Vote

Some of the world’s most famous Jews are trying to get the vote out before Election Day.  Sarah Silverman, Jonah Hill and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are among the actors appearing in a nonpartisan clip by Vote4Stuff, an independent “get out the vote” campaign conceived and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

Among the concerns these stars reveal in the video: Jobs, marriage equality, climate change, foreign policy, reproductive rights, immigration, worker’s rights, teacher salaries and education. Watch for yourself before you head to the polls tomorrow.

Hollywood Yenta Roundup: Mila Kunis, Ian Ziering and Lena Dunham…

by JDateAdministrator under Entertainment,Judaism,News

1. Mila the MILF?

Even the “Sexiest Woman Alive” puts on a few extra pounds from time to time.

When Jewish movie star Mila Kunis stepped out for coffee in Los Angeles with her boyfriend Ashton Kutcher recently, gossip columns around the web started posting rumors claiming the That ’70s Show co-stars are expecting a baby. However, Kunis’ rep denies the A-lister is pregnant.

RadarOnline.com jumped on the pregnancy bandwagon first, writing that “the pint-sized star was snapped on Saturday sporting what looked like a decidedly rounder midriff.” Click here to see the picture inspiring all the chatter – and to see if you agree with the baby bump buzz.


2. It’s Baby Time for Ian Ziering

People.com is reporting Ian Ziering and his wife Erin are pregnant for the second time. The magazine reports baby number two will be here this May.

“I feel blessed, having a family is something that I’ve always wanted,” the Jewish actor tells the magazine. “Having a second child is the realization of a dream come true.”

Ziering, who is 48, is already the proud daddy of a little 18-month-old Mia Loren.


3. Lena Dunham Loses Her V-Card (As in Voting)

Lena Dunham, the creator and star of HBO’s hit series Girls, stars in a new political ad for Barack Obama that, metaphorically speaking, compares voting for Obama to losing one’s virginity.

The new ad features Dunham, whose mother is Jewish, talking directly to the camera and saying, “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy…someone who really cares about and understands women.”

The ad has been heavily criticized by conservatives who say “the only honest bit of innuendo in the ad is that the people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 have been screwed — economically.” Watch the ad for yourself here and tell use what you think!