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August 8, 2013 | 5:23 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
A collection of Hitler-themed wines isn’t going down easy for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
On Thursday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center [SWC] issued a statement calling on Italian wine distributors to boycott Vini Lunardelli, an Italian-based company that sells wines with artwork of Adolf Hitler on the bottles’ labels.
"The Wiesenthal Center denounces the marketing of these products and urges wine distributors in Italy and around the world to send the only message the owner of this firm might understand—that they choose not to do any business with someone using the Nazi mass murderer as a blatant marketing tool," the SWC statement reads.
The labels on the bottles under scrutiny feature portraits of Hitler as well as Nazi slogans such as “Sieg Heil” “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!” on them.
The bottles are part of the company’s “Historical Line-Der Fuhrer“ series of bottles. There are more than six different Hitler labels to go with your Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, chardonnay or your merlot.
Representatives of Vini Lunardelli could not immediately be reached for comment.
UPDATE: Aug. 9, 9:20 a.m.: Andrea Lunardelli, direct manager at Vini Lunardelli and creator of the "Historical Line," told the Journal in an email that the Hitler bottles had been created as a joke, but the wine eventually became successful, to the company's surprise.
"We have started with this "Historical Line" for a joke under a request from one of our customer[s], and now we sell many bottles. But we never want[ed] to do politics or to elogize Hitler and his men or Mussolini or to offend someone," Lunardelli said.
Other series that are apart of the company’s “Historical Line” include the “Italian Army" and “The Communist Collection," with pictures of Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin and others.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the SWC, told the Journal that he believe the bottles are offensive.
"It's denigrating the memory of Hitler’s victims and for some, giving them the opportunity to raise their glass in memory of Hitler...It really is just disgusting," he said.
July 26, 2013 | 11:07 am
Posted by Caroline Lowy
At JDate's 'Must Love Dogs' event, singles brought their most trusted companion to assist them in life's ultimate challenge: finding a date.
First encounter awkwardness between strangers: 0
Be sure to watch these cute creatures interact with each other and maybe find a life partner themselves!
July 19, 2013 | 2:50 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
The White House’s recently-appointed liaison to the United States Jewish community, Matt Nosanchuk, promised to help maintain a “two-way dialogue” between American Jews and the President in a statement released today.
“I am committed to maintaining a robust two-way dialogue, engaging with the community to further the President’s priorities, and ensuring that voices throughout our nation’s proud and diverse Jewish community are heard within the Administration,” he said in a newsletter entitled “Jewish Outreach Update,” which was released by the White House on Friday.
Nosanchuk, a lawyer who has worked in the Obama Administration since 2009, both in the assistant attorney general’s office and in the Justice Department, was named the associate director of Jewish outreach at the White House Office of Public Engagement earlier this month, replacing Zach Kelley, who served as interim Jewish liaison following the departure of Jarrod Bernstein, the last full-time liaison, who resigned in January.
The Jewish Council of Pubic Affairs (JCPA)—which serves “as the representative voice of the organized American-Jewish community,” according to its website—welcomed the appointment.
“We’ll work with [Nosanchuk] to kind of reflect with him on what we’re thinking on, working on, and what our policy positions are, and I think likewise he’ll be reaching out to us to observe and clarify what the White House stance is on political issues,” JCPA Washington Director Jared Feldman told the Journal.
The collaboration between Nosanchuk and American-Jewish organization will likely include a focus on domestic issues. Since 2009, Nosanchuk has proven to be a proponent of gay and civil rights. He “played a key role” on the attorney general office’s Defense of Marriage Act litigation team and in the Justice Department’s implementation of and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, according to personal biography that was featured in the White House email.
In the letter, Nosanchuk emphasized his desire to continue the White House tradition of reaching out and engaging with a population that has a long history of strong political opinions and clout.
“I look forward to hearing from you and working together to strengthen the strong bonds we already share,” he said.
July 18, 2013 | 3:16 pm
Posted by Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel
A 30-year-old man was hospitalized Friday night after a snake bit his member while he was sitting on the toilet at his parents’ house in northern Israel.
According to a Channel 10 report, the man, a resident of central Israel, paid his parents a visit in the northern town of Nofit. While sitting on the john, he was rudely and painfully interrupted when a snake appeared and bit his penis. The victim “ran from the room in horror” and went to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center for treatment, according to the report.
A blood test found that the snake was not venomous. The man was in good condition, but doctors decided to keep him under medical supervision.
Read more (if you dare) at timesofisrael.com.
July 18, 2013 | 1:24 pm
Posted Jewish Journal
Chi-town mayor Rahm Emanuel had some fun at Taste of Chicago. (Please try your best to ignore the videographer's vertical recording faux pas.)
What do you think of the Jewish mayor's subtle dance moves? We give him a 5 ... You can do better, Mr. Emanuel.
July 16, 2013 | 2:04 pm
Posted by JewishJournal.com
We know what you're thinking: Please, please, please tell me he's not Jewish.
But, alas, no such luck.
The right honorable mayor of San Diego, who is being raked over media coals as one former female staffer after another steps former to detail exactly what the former Democratic congressman did to pressure, cajole, badger and intimidate them into sexual intimacy.
"Three ex-supporters repeated their demand for Mayor Bob Filner to resign Monday and said he forcibly kissed two constituents and grabbed the buttocks and breast of a staff member," wrote Tony Perry in today's Los Angeles Times. "Filner's behavior toward women is so egregious that women who work for him call him a 'dirty old man' and coined the phrases "the Filner headlock" and "the Filner dance" to describe how he isolates women and then makes unwanted advances, attorney Marco Gonzalez said."
Filner earlier admitted he needed help, but today announced he would not resign. He acknoweldged behaving inappropriately but rejected the charge of sexual harrassment.
Meanwhile LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian has stepped forward as Coal-Raker-in-Chief. In her column today, entitled, "Kisses, headlocks and groping: San Diego mayor's lurid scandal," she quoted a play-by-play of the mayor's more subtle advances:
“I want to kiss you, you are so beautiful,” the mayor allegedly said to a campaign volunteer before grabbing her on a sidewalk and “jamming his tongue down her throat.” She pushed him away, but she had agreed to give him a ride and didn’t want to be rude. While she was deciding what to do, Frye said, the mayor “quickly had his hand on the inside of her bra and was again trying to put his tongue down her throat.”
With allegations like that, you can bet the Filner story broke high and hard. Anytime you can get "jamming his tongue down her throat" and "former Congressman" into one graf, you have DC gold.
For the curious and the nervous, an answer to your question: Yes, Mayor Filner is Jewish. He was born and raised in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, the son of the son of Sarah F. and Joseph H. Filner. Filner attended Cornell, eventually receiving his PhD in history.
As a Freedom Rider in Jackson, Mississippi in June 1961, Filner was arrested for "disturbing the peace and inciting a riot." He refused to post bail and stayed in jail for two months.
Why, you may ask, does it matter whether Filner is Jewish or not? There's a sense among Jews of extended family-- tribe, if you will-- and when one stumbles we all feel the trip. Plus it's not great for the overall image.
In the past, the most egregious scandals featuring Jewish names have been financial-- Bernie Madoff being the most visible, the most hurtful, the most repugnant. But lately Jewish names are more and more attached not to financial scandals but to sexual ones: Elliot Spitzer and his high class hookers, Anthony Weiner and his photojournalism. At least this confuses the tiny men who lurk in the dark, anti-semitic eddies of the Web, snapping at every Jewish surname attached to every money scandal like a fish at worms. It turns out we don't just care about money, see?
As for Filner, it's unclear how deep his resevoir of support in the San Diego Jewish community is. A few weeks ago he was scheduled to take part in a Jewish Federation run to raise money for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, though he had to cancel. Back on March 4 he met in San Diego with Alon Schuster. mayor of Sha'ar HaNegev, the Israeli sister city to San Diego. Filner is not scheduled to join other city elected officials on a mission to Israel sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County. The one-week trip is to depart July 21. Maybe he should reconsider...
July 11, 2013 | 10:07 am
Posted by Jana Banin, JTA
Say what you want about James Franco, but at least you can’t accuse the guy of not being able to laugh at himself. Last night the Jewish uber-overachiever announced via an Instagram video that he will be the subject of an upcoming Comedy Central roast.
“Hey, yo. What’s up? I’m gonna get roasted on Comedy Central. Be sure to check it out. They wanted me to tell you that. All right. Ha ha,” he said.
The special will be filmed over the summer and air Sept. 2.