Tag Archives: jewish

Friday, January 18, 2019

Just tweet it! Our top 50 Jews to follow

Jewish News
Just tweet it! Our top 50 Jews to follow
By FRANCINE WOLFISZ
January 17, 2019

Bette Midler Collage

From culture and showbiz to politics and religion, we’ve compiled the definitive list of tweeters leading the way online…

Mayim Bialik

Actress and founder, Grok Nation. They tweet at: @missmayim

Star of The Big Bang Theory, neuroscientist, writer and digital entrepreneur, Mayim Bialik is often seen taking to Twitter to share parenting advice, political opinions and nods to traditional Jewish practice.

Sarah Silverman

Comedian, actress and producer. They tweet at: @SarahKSilverman

Never one to shy away from having opinions, Silverman uses comedy to address controversial topics, such as racism, sexism, politics and religion, as well as topical Israeli issues. ...  Read More

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Celebrating Gamechanging Jewish Women In Hollywood with an In-Depth Panel at The Braid

Broadway World Celebrating Gamechanging Jewish Women In Hollywood with an In-Depth Panel at The Braid by BWW News Desk Jan. 23, 2018 Jewish women are, and always have been, change agents in Hollywood. Jewish Women’s Theatre (JWT) will present a performance and panel that looks at the evolving role of these smart, talented, aggressive and influential women on Sunday, February 11 from 10 am to noon at The Braid, JWT’s performance and art space, 2912 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica. The morning program will begin with a performance about Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian-born actress who not only had a successful movie career, but also invented a radio guidance system that enabled Allied torpedoes to reach their targets without being jammed by the Axis powers. Louis B. Mayer referred to her as “the world’s most beautiful woman.” But that’s not all. Her contributions to technology were recognized with her induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. The combination of brains and talent in Jewish women began with Sarah Bernhardt, the first superstar actress, writer, producer, artist and sculptor. It continued with Fanny Brice, Molly Berg, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Portman, Sarah Silverman and Gal Gadot. The legacy of these multi-talented women will be discussed by a panel of Jewish women who are working in Hollywood today. The panelists work both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. They will discuss their personal careers, what they are doing to promote positive images of Jewish women on screen and how they are smashing the entertainment industry’s glass ceiling and much more. Panelists include: · Olivia Cohen-Cutler — During her 40 year career as a television executive, Cohen-Cutler served in various legal and executive capacities in the entertainment industry in NY and LA. She spent 29 years at ABC, where she initially led the Labor Relations department and went on to become Vice President of Standards and Policy. · Debra McGuire – Best known as the costume designer for FRIENDS. McGuire has been nominated for 11 Emmy Awards. She has designed costumes for Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, while working for David Mamet, and has done multiple projects for Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan. She is currently finishing the seventh season with The New Girl. · Sarah Platt – With over a decade of experience as a filmmaker, Platt’s credits include work with Warren Beatty, Billy Ray, Phil Alden Robinson, Duncan Jones and Gregory Hoblit. Her true passion as a filmmaker is working with up-and-coming talent to develop their voices for the screen and their story and characters for the page. · Rena Strober — Strober began her musical career on Broadway, and she did national tours and played in local theatres. She was in Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof and Zhivago. Since moving to LA, she has guest starred on VEEP, Shameless, and Big Bang Theory and has voiced hundreds of characters for Disney and other animation companies. The Jewish Women in Hollywood panel will be moderated by Arlene Sarner, a writer and award-winning producer, who has written for every major movie studio, including Universal, Fox, Columbia, Paramount, Disney, Warner Brothers, Tri-Star, and Orion, as well as TV networks ABC, CBS, CBC, and VHI. Her film work includes Academy Award-nominated Peggy Sue Got Married and Blue Sky, starring Jessica Lange in her Academy Award-winning role. Jewish Women in Hollywood: Gamechangers will take place on Sunday, February 11 from 10 am to noon at the Braid, 2912 Colorado Avenue, Suite 102 in Santa Monica. Tickets are $20 and include a light brunch. To purchase tickets, visit www.jewishwomenstheate.org and click on “Events.” JWT, recently voted “Best Live Theatre on the Westside” by The Argonaut, provides a home for the diverse and eclectic community of artists and creators who comprise LA’s Jewish women’s community. At its home in The Braid Art and Performance Space in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Arts District, in intimate salons throughout the city, and on tour throughout the country, JWT hosts a variety of performances, classes and events. It is best known for staging and displaying traditional and contemporary work that provides a forum for the development, performance and showcasing of Jewish talent.
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Friday, January 26, 2018

Story Behind The Photo! By Ray Cooper – Search For A Rare Personal Photo Circa 1971

Story Behind The Photo! By Ray Cooper January 26, 2018 This photo means so much to me for many reasons and this is how it happened to be!!! I had met Bette a couple of times in NYC and when she came to Detroit (Windsor) for a two week engagement at the Top Hat Club in Windsor , Ont. Canada in l97l, I knew I had to go see her there. She came alone, no Barry and Aaron was not her manager at the time. She did have a booking agent, but no one came with her to Detroit. Many people knew her in NYC, from being in Fiddler and at the baths, plus at a club here or there, like The Bitter End, Up The Downstairs, but other than in NYC at the time her only claim to fame nationally was appearing on talk shows, Merv Griffin, David Frost and the biggest, The Tonight Show, but she did not have an album out even then. We knew she was coming so we all planned on going to see the show a few times in the two weeks she would be in Detroit. Ten of us went the second night (which was a week night) and the place was empty, just maybe 10-15 other people there. We got a large table and knew she had to do two shows a night and after the first show she was walking around and came up to our table and said,. “My people, thank God for my people” and then she remembered meeting me in NYC.\ We ended up going to see her show 6vtimes in those two weeks and still not to0 many people went to see her. The biggest crowds were on the weekends and still not that many people went to see the show. The best night was the last night we went to see the show. I was DJ – ing at a club, The Iron Hinge in Detroit and I asked the club owner if I could take a pack of bar towels to the show and knowing that he would not get them back, he said, yes. When Bette performed at the baths, most nights the crowd would throw their bath towels on the stage at the end of her show (which meant they were now naked), so I wanted to make her feel at home, even in Detroit. So, I think we had maybe 15 people that went that night and at the end of the second show we throw the bar towels on the stage (remember we were dressed) and I remember how Bette cried and said, Thank You, Thank You, for making me feel at home!!! She told us that the club had paid for her airfare and a room at a motel near the club in Windsor and that she was getting paid $1,000.00 a week, but had to pay the band and the MC and would end up with only S250.00 a week for herself. We knew that a friend (Peter) of ours was starting to film a movie during the time Bette was in Detroit and he had asked some of us to be in the movie and Patrick (he was a school teacher) and me to be in his movie (I had a very good job) so we did not want to be in the movie, but a lot of our friends were in the movie. Jack & Wade, Chi Chi and our best friend Richard and others. Only Jack & Wade were Bette fans (they went to NYC a lot back then) and also Patrick and myself, but Richard and Peter knew her name, but not much else about her then.\ It took all of us to talk Peter into asking Bette to be in the film and he finally did ask. She said, yes and asked to be paid 50.00 for her part in the movie and wanted him to write  up a contact for her (no one else got paid anything or had a contract) to be in his movie. He did what she wanted and you know the rest of the story about what happened three years later when he released the movie after she had become a star. (The Thorn) I have been bugging Richard since we re-connected a few years ago to send me a copy of this photo for a very, very long time, since it was lost in the house fire. Richard is not a Bette fan even though he was in the movie with her and had (he was an artist until a few years ago when he says his hand shakes now) painted a wonderful portrait of her back then, that hung in her place on Barrow ST, I really will! Well, the last time I asked a few weeks ago, he finally looked for it and said it took 3 days until he had it in his hand. He sent it to me without telling me that he had found it and had made a couple of copies for me. I got it a couple of Saturdays ago and when I opened it I cried, it’s been so long since I’ve seen it. I called Richard (he lives in FL) and we spoke for over an hour about things that happened back in 71 inDetroit and he reminded me of things I forgot happened in those two weeks with Bette. So, here are some of things we spoke about that happened then. One thing he said, at the time none of us thought to document her time in Detroit, being none of us knew how big a star she would become years later. He said, we just thought she was another performer from NYC, that might make it! I did take a few photos at The Top Hat, but they are all gone. When Bette was in Detroit for two weeks, we all hung around her and took her places. She did not have a car and very little money. Whoever was driving had to pick her up in Windsor and spend the day and then drive her back to Windsor in the early afternoon. We all took turns doing things with her during the day. Patrick was teaching school so he could not do as much as I could and when I did things with her and Richard I drove, being Richard had a car at the time.We went shopping and one of the places was a vintage clothing store called Buzzy’s and back then all of Bette stage outfits were from vintage clothing stores in NYC, but in Detroit she wanted to go to Buzzy’s and she bought 5 dresses and a couple of hats and in the photo the dress and hat (the hat had veil , you can kind of see it in the photo) she has on came from Buzzy’s and she also wore the outfit it in the movie. We all took turns buying her lunch, but Richard said, I paid more then anyone else. It took over a week to film Bette’s parts and I went out to where they were filming a couple of times. The day the photo was taken, they were filming in Palmer Park which was one of the big gay areas of Detroit, before that it was a Jewish area. Bette was in between takes and we told her that a Synagogue was not far from where we were, so she said, I would love to see the Synagogue and I drove her and Richard over there. Well, when we got there she loved how it looked and wanted to take a picture of it and Richard had a camera and we took a few photos of the Synagogue and finally I said to Bette, why don’t you pose at thefront doors ofthe Synagogue and we’ll take a photo for you to keep. The photo is how she posed (people say, it’s a very Mae West pose) that day in l971 in front of the Synagogue doors. We gave her a copy of it a few days later and not sure if she still has it or not. Richard told me a few stories (and again I forgot some of them) when Peter was filming. Some of the movie was done in Rjchard’s apartment (it was painted art deco nouveau) and a lot was filmed at Jack & Wade house. They had a very large home, which gave Peter a lot of rooms to film in. In the movie the kitchen scene was at their house and the part where Bette and Richard are in bed was also filmed there. Richard told a funny story about that scene. Jack & Wade had a very large antique bed and Peter thought this will be perfect for the scene. So, Bette and Richard are in the bed trying to make it squeak for the blacked out screen sex scene. He said, that Bette and him were moving up and down, but just could not get it to squeak for the scene, so they finally gave up and did the scene the way it is in the movie. He also, said, that Peter had to film the scene to get the sound off the black screen and that somewhere there is a film of them in bed together and can’t believe no one had found it and released it the way social media is today. (Mister D: I call it the stinginess factor!) All but Bette and Richard are gone that were in the film, even Peter, he passed away of  AIDS when he was 50. When I got my copy of the photo back in 71, Patrick and I had it enlarged and we hung on the Bette wall and we hung it on many Bette walls, depending on where we were living. The last wall it hung on in Michigan was  1974, before I moved to Texas lrlr.1975 and we lost that photo in the house fire in 1978. Patrick passed away of AIDS in 1987. I know that almost all of the things i lost then, I wiii never have again, but I knew that Richard had a copy of this photo and I have wanted it for so long, since it was lost n 1978, and now I finally have a copy of that wonderful time in Detroit in l971 with Bette!!
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Seven Artists Who Might Be the Jewish Beyonce

Forward 7 Artists Who Might Be the Jewish Beyonce April 21, 2016 by Caila Litman 12940702_619566008195485_439936224_n Who puts the Oy in Beyonce? Do the Chosen People have a twenty-time Grammy award winning, multi-platinum, superstar getting in Formation on the bimah? In the annals of history, has there ever been a celebrity that compares to Mrs. Carter but goes by something more like Mrs. Greenberg? A few contenders come to mind.
1) Bette Midler
She’s the wind beneath an entire generation of theatergoers’ wings. That’s right, Bette Midler, the buxom redhead who stole our hearts in “Beaches,” began her career as Tzeitel in “Fiddler on the Roof” and blew up with her debut album, “The Divine Miss M.” Like Beyonce, Bette comes with pipes for powerhouse ballads, mesmerizing acting chops and terrific comedic timing. The tribe proudly bows down to Bette, a Bathhouse Betty who cast a spell on us all.
2) Kreayshawn
As a musical act, Bey is multi-talented. She even raps. The tribe boasts several male rappers but who among female Jewry possesses a sick flow? Kreayshawn, otherwise known by her birth name of Natassia Gail Zolot, fits the bill. The voice behind viral sensation “Gucci, Gucci”, Zolot spits mad bars like Lady Bey. Listed as one of the 19 Most Important White Rappers to Watch by Business Insider in 2011, this rising star owns her Missy Elliott inspired fashion sense and pulls serious crowds. Perhaps she derives her ferocity from her Russian Ashkenazi Jewish mother? While she holds potential to be a “Jewish Beyonce” only time will tell how her career will evolve.
3) Paula Abdul
Speaking of evolutionary careers, before she hosted “American Idol” Paula Abdul was the head cheerleader and choreographer for the Los Angeles Lakers at the tender age of eighteen. A regular shayna maidel , perhaps Abdul acquired her tenacity from her Jewish Syrian father or her mother, a concert pianist with Ashkenazi roots from Canada. Like Bey, Abdul slayed as one of the most influential singer, songwriter and dancers of the late twentieth century – tying with Diana Ross in seventh place for the most number one hits on the Billboard top 100 list. Like Queen B, Abdul rose to stardom at a young age and led the pack on innovative choreography during the height of the music video era in the 1980s.
4) Amy Winehouse
Another Jewish artist who rose to stardom young and proceeded to dominate the charts was the soulful songstress, Amy Winehouse. Born to a working class Ashkenazi Jewish family in south London, Winehouse is portrayed as a precocious, outspoken child in the 2016 academy award winning documentary “Amy.” The late, great Winehouse was a bright light who burned out too soon. Like Beyonce she possesses a unique sound and sense of style that makes her an immediately recognizable pop culture icon. In the documentary Amy, we learn that Winehouse derives much of her strength from her Jewish Bubby. Winehouse passed away at the too young age of twenty-seven. By the time she was twenty-five, the superstar who came from humble beginnings became the first British artist to win five Grammys.
5) Carole King
Before Beyonce was one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, there was Carole King. King holds the record for most weeks at number one on the charts by a female artist for more than twenty years. Prolific and immediately recognizable, Carole King (originally Carol Klein) came of age in New York City. Born to a nice Jewish family, her father was a firefighter and her mother was a school teacher. Like a young Beyonce wowing audiences on Star Search, King found an audience at age eight when she sang on a local children’s television show. Like Bey, King has collaborated with some of the industry’s top artists and appeared in national ad campaigns for major brands. A Jewish diva force to be reckoned with, with four Grammys under her belt and an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame AND the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, King might give Knowles a run for her money.
6) Regina Spektor
Another Jewess that should be in the running for the Jewish Beyonce crown is the sultry Soviet export, Regina Spektor. Her anti-folk sound and hauntingly complex vocal range is probably most recognizable on the theme song for “Orange is the New Black.” Born in Moscow, Spektor comes from a musical Russian Jewish family. In 1989, when Spektor was nine, her family emigrated with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aide Society and landed in the Bronx. Like other contenders for the “Jewish Beyonce” title, she possessed a drive and desire to create music from a young age and has always stayed true to her sound, like Queen B, who reminds us: always stay gracious, the best revenge is your papers.
7) Barbra Streisand
It’s time to whip out our most serious contender for the title of Jewish Beyonce: Babs! The incomparable Barbra Streisand. With a career spanning more than six decades, Barbra has proven herself an icon to multiple generations. Like Bey, Babs rightfully occupies the ultimate diva throne. And like Bey, Babs translates her super stardom into political activism. In a 1995 address at Harvard University, Streisand emphasized the role of artist as citizen. Before Beyonce took to the field dressed in a Black Panther tribute leotard at the 2016 Super Bowl, Streisand was already paving the way for entertainers as legitimate political influencers. Referring to herself as a “Friend of Bill”, Streisand sang at President Clinton’s inaugural gala in 1993. Similarly, Beyonce has rocked the mic for the Obama family on numerous occasions. Most memorably, Queen B sang a diva-licious rendition of the national anthem at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration. So who has more universally recognizable nicknames: Bey or Babs? And which diva leads with the most pop culture references under their belt: Queen Bey or Mecha-Streisand? Regardless, the future remains bright for both divas. May these two starlets enjoy many more mitzvahs to come.
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