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.
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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.
July 9, 2013 | 11:59 am
Posted by Jana Banin, JTA
Just when you thought it was impossible for the very talented Lena Dunham to be amazing at one more thing, the prodigal filmmaker/author/actress has added another line to her resume: Really great friend.
The “Girls” creator is participating in Miranda July’s “We Think Alone” project, in which stars share their private e-mails. For this week’s installment, participants were asked to contribute “an email that gives advice.”
Dunham’s wise words are directed at her friend “K,” who is in what appears to be a troubled relationship.
You did nothing wrong. He is NOT NICE. He says not nice things in a nice voice so they seem nice but they are not. He isn’t kind or careful with you, he wants to suck the kindness out of you, and if he’s like this after 10 years of group therapy then G-d help us all. He’s not for you bc he’s not for anyone. Do you hear me? Good. I understand SO much the appeal, but he’s not worth your energy and someone like art guy may not be perfect or right but he’s starting on a good foot by offering some of himself to you and wanting to give you pleasureful times.
Not exactly the kind of thing you’d hear self-involved Hannah Horvath telling Marnie, is it? And what’s with the G-d spelling? Did Lena go to yeshiva or something?
July 5, 2013 | 12:14 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
Despite Internet rumors to the contrary, celebrity chef Paula Deen has not added the Jews to the list of groups she’s offended.
Concerns about the former television host’s alleged anti-Semitism have been making the rounds in the wake of the publication of the article, “Paula Deen Blames ‘The Jews’ for Firing,” by The Daily Currant, a satirical news site, on June 28. In the fake news article, Deen says “Jew executives” are responsible for her dismissal from The Food Network, exclaims, “It’s the Jews I can't stand” and even criticizes Jewish funnyman Jerry Seinfeld.
Snopes.com—a popular source for debunking misinformation spread online—confirms that the story about Deen and the Jews is false.
Over the past couple weeks, Deen has faced a storm of media criticism and repercussions after having admitting to previously using the N-word. She was dropped from the cooking channel that she has called home since 2002, lost a key endorsement deal and more, all because of last month’s release of a civil court document in which she says she used the racial slur.
It was these troubles that inspired the Currant story.
“Deen, 66, was a guest of morning host Dave Garver on Atlanta radio station WTMI when she claimed ‘Jew executives’ deliberately abandoned her in the wake of the controversy, which stemmed from a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee against her company,” The Currant reported.
On its website, the Currant describes itself as an "online satirical newspaper...our mission is to ridicule the timid ignorance which obstructs our progress, and promote intelligence - which presses forward."
July 3, 2013 | 3:36 pm
Posted Jewish Journal
June 30, 2013 | 9:55 am
Posted by Tom Tugend
Here’s a little quiz: Suppose a movie titled “Aliyah” came out; what would you expect to be its main theme? The answer would probably depend on the time period.
In the 1920s and ’30s, “Aliyah” would have been about Diaspora Jews settling in Palestine, where they became bronzed pioneers transforming the Hula swamps into fertile farmland.
In the 1950s, the film might have been about Holocaust survivors coming to the newly established Israel, where they built new lives after the horrors of the past.
In 2013, “Aliyah” is about the interior struggles of a French-Jewish drug pusher who thinks he might make something of his life by joining his cousin in opening a restaurant in Tel Aviv.
There are no heroes or heroics in the contemporary “Aliyah,” and despite the risky occupation of Alex Raphaelson as a retail hashish dealer, there are no shootouts or car chases.
Alex and his circle of relatives represent a different breed of Jews, neither shtetl dwellers nor doctors or bankers, and they live in a shabby working-class district of Paris, worlds removed from the Louvre and the Champs-Élysées.
In addition to his occupational hazards, Alex, portrayed by the rising French actor Pio Marmai, has other problems.
Foremost is his older brother Isaac, forever hitting up Alex for “loans” to pay off unnamed underworld characters, who will otherwise carve up the hapless Isaac.
Furthermore, Alex has just been dumped by Esther, a Hebrew teacher at a local religious school, who has become engaged to a more stable guy.
When a cousin, who had earlier left Paris to serve in the Israeli army, talks of his plans to open a trendy restaurant on the Tel Aviv waterfront, Alex announces that he wants in on the deal and, to everyone’s surprise, will make aliyah and live in Israel.
That, according to the film, is not as easy as in decades past, when any Jew was automatically welcomed.
Now a shaliach (emissary) tells a group of applicants that they must learn Hebrew, serve in the army if they are of military age, have no criminal record and prove they are indeed Jewish.
This transformation of a rather indifferent Jew into a worthy future citizen of the Jewish state could have been played for broad laughs (as part of the test, Alex is asked to name some of the Jewish holidays), but that is not the style of the movie or of its director, Elie Wajeman.
Despite the tests and the unanimous opinion of his drug trade colleagues and relatives that he must be out of his mind (one warns that “a lot of Jews together can be a drag”), Alex perseveres.
He digs into his family background to prove that he’s Jewish, dutifully takes Hebrew lessons and must pull off one final really big job to raise money for his partnership share in the Tel Aviv restaurant.
The biggest complication, though, is a new relationship with Jeanne, the only major non-Jewish character in the film. She is smart enough to guess Alex’s “profession” and see through his hang-ups, but can’t help falling madly in love with him. “I like clumsy guys,” she explains. “They move me.”
The film ends in Tel Aviv as Alex gets acquainted with a cross-section of his new hometown in an extended bus ride.
In keeping with the film’s nonjudgmental tone, it doesn’t reveal whether Alex adjusts to his new country, marries a nice Israeli girl and conquers the demons and hang-ups within him.
Most published reviews of “Aliyah” have ranged from positive to outright enthusiastic, with major critics — as well as this reviewer — taken by the psychological perceptiveness and atmosphere of the film.
A number of bloggers have been less supportive, citing their disappointment with the lack of high-octane action, a generally somber tone and the incessant cigarette smoking.
Whatever the view, the film draws great strength from its excellent young cast. Complementing the dark and handsome Marmai are auteur Cédric Kahn as the pathetic Isaac, and Adele Haenel as the perceptive and ardent Jeanne.
“Aliyah” is in French and Hebrew, with English subtitles. It continues at Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills through July 4.
June 25, 2013 | 10:39 am
Posted by Jana Banin, JTA
Thanks to the cultural gem that is “Princesses: Long Island,” lately the term “JAP” has been bandied around with a vigor that hasn’t been seen since the lavish bat mitzvah and nose job-filled days of our adolescence.
If you’re not happy about this development, you’re not alone. Donald Silverman, father of JAC (Jewish American Comedian) Sarah Silverman, finds it infuriating that anyone would proudly own a label that implies they are materialistic and shallow.
In fact, anyone who does this is “being an asshole,” he told HuffPost Live.
While Silverman’s four daughters and five grandchildren “don’t wear jewelry or drive new cars,” we don’t doubt Silverman’s expertise in this area. He was skyped into the interview from Boca Raton, after all.