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 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.