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  • Jewish celebrities react to Hurricane Sandy

    As one of the worst storms in U.S. history took its toll on the Northeast, celebrities who live in New York City (and elsewhere) took to Twitter with their thoughts and updates.
    Thanks for all the concerned tweets… Thank goodness we are all okay… Thinking of those who aren’t #sandy
    — Debra Messing (@DebraMessing)
    October 30, 2012
     
    I know it’s tough now, New York, but picture yourself next summer, lying on a warm, calm beach, with nothing to remind you of Sandy
    — B.J. Novak (@bjnovak) October 30, 2012
     
    Sending love to all in Long Beach L.I. My home town. bc
    — Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) October 30, 2012 More ▸

  • A guide to the top 5773 Rosh Hashanah YouTube videos!

    Every year our Facebook friends, Twitter followers and fellow emailers send us Rosh Hashanah videos.
    They are usually parodies of popular songs — and amateurish (or sometimes too professional). Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re endearing, but most times they kind of get old after the, umm, 100th share. So we decided to ease on the pre-holiday headache and put this year’s top Rosh Hashanah videos on one ultimate page for you to share. We just want your newsfeed to be clean and tidy — it’s a new year, you know.
    Shana Tova!
    Here they are…
    1. The “Boy Bands Are Cool Again!” video
    Aish – “What Makes Rosh Hashanah Beautiful”  (based on One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”)  More ▸

  • 23 Awesome things that Aly Raisman has done since she won two Olympic gold medals

    U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman became America’s sweetheart during the 2012 London Games.
    Her two gold medals and one bronze — and overall amazing performance — made everyone proud. And that was especially true in the Jewish community, as Raisman is a proud Boston Jew and danced her floor routines to “Hava Nagila.”
    Since she returned from London, she has been documenting all the really fun things she’s been doing and uploading photos to her very active and popular Instagram account. We collected what we think are the 21 best things she’s done.
    If you feel jealous… well, you should be, but remember all the crazy routines and drills she did to get to where she is now. So you better start practicing.
    Go Aly!
    1. Ended the trading at the New York Stock Exchange More ▸

  • The Non-Goy Gridiron Gang: 9 Jewish NFL Players (2012-2013 edition)

    Football is finally back! Tonight, as the Dallas Cowboys face the reigning champions New York Giants and as the weekend is fast approaching with a slate of exciting games (and fantasy outcomes, if you’re me), allow yourself some time to reflect (you should always reflect, it just feels good) and think about the members of the Jewish faith who will be there, on the gridiron, wearing helmets and guards, tackling every monster on their way. Also, think about their mothers, who are probably worried sick about their kids getting hurt out there.
    There are currently nine Jewish (or half-Jewish) active professional football players:
    Gabe Carimi

    Team: Chicago Bears
    Position: Offensive Tackle
    College: Wisconsin
    Nickname: “Bear Jew”
    Honors: Recipient of the Marty Glickman Award as Male Jewish Athlete of the Year
    Trivia: Carimi fasted on Yom Kippur of 2007, which lasted until an hour before Wisconsin played Iowa. (JTA article) More ▸

  • Edon Pinchot’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ highlights

    Farewell, Jewish Justin Bieber!
    Edon Pinchot, the kid, the smooth voice, and the yarmulke, was eliminated from “America’s Got Talent” last night at the semifinals stage.
    It was quite the run for the 14-year-old Sabbath observant heartthrob from Skokie, Ill. During his final act, judge Howie Mandel told him that he is “the best singer of the competition.” In fact, Mandel commented on Edon’s Judaism several times, including his repeated insistence that “Jew are terrific!”
    So now Edon returns to the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago as a minor celebrity with a bright future, and we have these videos:
    1. Auditions: “Good Life” by One Republic

     More ▸

  • 7 Jewish celebrities who started acting when they were kids

    Yesterday we showed you how adorable (and resourceful) Mila Kunis was as an 11-year-old girl in the unforgettable show “Baywatch.”
    And if Mila did it, there’s no shame, so we decided to dig a little deeper into the wonderful world we call television, movies and commercials of the 1980s and 1990s, and show you other famous Jewish celebrities who had to work their way up to the top of the acting world. Some of them started as a lead in a feature film, others had to use their young acting talents (and raw cuteness, we’re looking at you Sarah Michele Gellar) to promote a burger chain.
    1. Natalie Portman

    Age: 13
    Role: Mathilda Lando in the 1994 French (English-speaking) film “Léon: The Professional.”
    Plot: Portman’s first major role was really serious, actually. She played a seductive 12-year-old girl who smokes cigarettes and comes from an extremely dysfunctional and abusive family.
    What she’s been doing since: Portman continued to have minor roles throughout the 90s, until her breakout role in 1999 as Princess Padmé Amidala in the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy. She later had a few lead roles, including an unforgettable role as Evey Hammond in “V for Vendetta” for which she had to shave her head, and then later won an Academy Award for her role in the 2010 film “Black Swan,” making her one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood, especially among Jewish fans (including this blog). More ▸

  • 7 things you need to know about Natalie Portman’s wedding

    Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied tied the knot on Saturday night, after being engaged for over two years. The two met during the rehearsals for the “Black Swan,” which featured Portman and was choreographed by Millepied, a ballet dancer. Here is everything you need to know about the ceremony.
    1. It was mostly a Jewish wedding

    Both Portman and Millepied were wrapped in tallits, and the ceremony took place under a rustic chuppah made of twigs. At the end of the ceremony, Millepied, who is not Jewish, smashed the glass and everyone yelled, “Mazal Tov!” More ▸

  • They’ve got spirit? No they don’t! When countries refuse to compete against Israel in the Olympics

    In the ancient Olympic Games, when city-states like Athens and Sparta competed against each other, there was one rule that was to always be honored: “ekecheiria” – truce. During the Olympic Games, all nations were not to fight each other, and runners were sent to participant cities to announce the beginning of the truce, and nations put down their weapons to secure a safe game experience.
    Fast forward almost 3,000 years, and these rules are no longer in play. In a world where politics and sports are tied together, even the noble act of competing under the Olympic flag for the human spirit seems pretty, well, ancient.
    Recent reports claim that Iranian athletes will compete against Israelis in the upcoming Summer Games in London. Zvi Warshaviak, head of the Israeli Olympic Committee is skeptical, quipping that he believes the Iranians would go so far as to say that one of their male athletes was menstrating in order to avoid competing against Israel.
    Although Warshaviak didn’t make his point in the most classy way, it is certainly true that Middle Eastern nations, often Iran, have refused to compete against Israel in the Olympic Games, Olympic qualifiers and world championships. Some countries have offered up creative excuses in order to avoid fines.
    Here are a few of the main refusals:
     
    1. Arash Miresmaeili, Iranian judoka, Athens 2004

    Miresmaeili, who was favored to win the gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and was even the flag bearer for Iran during the opening ceremonies, was favored to beat Israeli judoka Udi Vaks in the first round. However, at the pre-match weigh-in … he came in overweight and was disqualified. There were rumors (never confirmed) that Miresmeili purposely put on pounds so that he could avoid the match without forfeiting — a move that would have caused the International Olympic Committee to issue a fine and possibly ban him from future competition. But Miresmeili later said, “Although I have trained for months and was in good shape I refused to fight my Israeli opponent to sympathize with the suffering of the people of Palestine and I do not feel upset at all.” It wasreported that upon returning home he was given $125,000 — the same amount awarded to Iran’s gold medalists. More ▸

  • 18 cats that are not overly excited about being Jewish

    Cats are not really connected to Judaism. In fact, looking back to biblical times, it was the ancient Egyptians who worshiped cats due to their outstanding abilities to kill pests and snakes and their general awesomeness, being all cute and fluffy and stuff.
    Since we learned in the Bible that Ancient Egypt = bad for the Jews, I think it would be safe to assume that the Israelites were probably dog people. However, one thing the Egyptians have over us is the fact that they were total Kitty Hipsters, they liked cats before it was cool. And because cats totally got their groove back since the invention of the internet (and mostly YouTube) I believe it is time to make the cat Jewish.
    So yes, 18 photos of cats wearing a yarmulke and celebrating the holidays is a great idea, and if the cats below don’t think it is, then they should look at their own photos because… they are so freaking adorable every synagogue should have one.
    1. More ▸

  • The Jewish voices of Pixar

    It’s been almost three weeks since Pixar’s “Brave” came out, and while it has been making pretty good money at the box office and generally getting pretty good reviews, critics aren’t exactly calling it a “groundbreaker” (see Roger Ebert). So why hasn’t “Brave” been getting as much love as some of its older Pixar siblings? Perhaps it’s because “Spider-Man” has been stealing the buzz, maybe we expect too much from Pixar, or … maybe it’s just the lack of Jewish voice actors (which is not surprising considering the fact that the film takes place in the highlands of 10th century Scotland).
    Truth is Pixar films haven’t boasted too many Jewish voice actors. But the list below reveals a pretty impressive group — with several managing to portray their characters as a little (or a lot) Jewish.
    1. Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head, “Toy Story 1-3″)
     
    The sarcastic and outspoken children’s toy is voiced by one of the kings of insult comedy, Don Rickles. The match between the two is fitting, since both Rickles and Mr. Potato Head enjoy being quite offensive and loud. In the first “Toy Story” movie, Mr. Potato Head is so fascinated with Buzz Lightyear’s features, he mocks Woody for not being good enough since he doesn’t share the same technological capabilities. Sounds like something Rickles would do, and imagine if the film wasn’t for kids… Nevertheless, Mr. Potato Head does have a good (plastic) heart, as he helps saving Woody. Just don’t make him wear his angry eyes… More ▸