Posted by Danielle Berrin
The Museum of Tolerance held its annual National Tribute Dinner last week at the Beverly Hilton, with hundreds turning out to see the museum confer a humanitarian award on producer Jerry Bruckheimer, an entertainment industry titan best-known for expensive blockbuster franchises such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “National Treasure,” along with a slew of successful television series, including “The Amazing Race” and the New York and Miami versions of “CSI.”
During dinner, images of the sleekly modern museum that the Simon Wiesenthal Center is building in Jerusalem were projected on giant screens. Also, a joint project between the Wiesenthal Center and UNESCO that explores the “3,500-year relationship between the Jewish people and the land of Israel” was announced with great fanfare, with plans for exhibitions at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and at the United Nations building in New York.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Wiesenthal Center, paid his debts to the main attraction, a group of Hollywood moguls sitting together at a long communal table in the mezzanine.
“People don’t come here because the rabbi tells them to,” Hier said. “They come here because guys like Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ron Meyer ask them to.”
Katzenberg returned the flattery by referring to Hier as “commander-in-chief.”
“There are not many rabbis who have won two academy awards and a distinguished honor from the French government” — Hier won France’s Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Merite in 1993 — “in fact, there’s only one of that kind.”
As usual, the emotional crux of the evening came during the medal of valor presentations, honoring a mix of modern-day heroes including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and a group of elderly Tuskegee Airmen who were the subject of a 2012 film produced by George Lucas.
Giffords, who was initially unsure whether she would ascend the stage to accept the honor, walked stiffly but surely to the podium sporting a pair of chic and shiny tennis shoes, with her husband on her arm. She was beaming. After an emotional video detailing her ascent through the business world and into the U.S. House of Representatives, where her term was cut short by the assassination attempt that left her with a gunshot wound in her head, Kelly spoke to the crowd.
“Gabby always says the same thing to me as she leaves for therapy each morning,” he said. “Her last words are ... what?” he asked, turning toward her.
“Fight, fight, fight!” she said with a radiant smile.
“Gabby is a fighter,” Kelly said. “She is tough; tougher than anybody I know. She’s not willing to accept failure or defeat, and she reminds me [of this] every single day. Her dreams for a stronger America are not yet fulfilled, and her future is bright.”
The center also presented a medal of valor to Holocaust survivor Elisabeth Mann, who, after being liberated from a concentration camp, became a teacher and mother figure to hundreds of orphaned Jews at a school in Sweden. Another medal of valor was presented to a group of Tuskegee Airmen, African-American members of the U.S. Air Force who flew combat missions over Italy and Germany during World War II.
Actress Emily Procter, star of “CSI: Miami,” presented Bruckheimer with his award, but instead of focusing her remarks on the producer, she told an impromptu story about her first real-estate purchase. After a seemingly meandering tale about the obstacles to purchasing the home and the magnificent orange trees that sat in the backyard, it turned out the owner was a Holocaust survivor who, when learning of her appreciation for the trees, granted her the sale.
Visibly choked up, Procter said, “He planted those trees in honor of his family” — who perished in the Holocaust — “and he said, ‘I’ll sell you the house if you care for the trees.’ ”
By the time Bruckheimer took the podium, it was nearly 10 p.m. and the evening had reached its denouement. Surprisingly, there was no video montage of Bruckheimer’s greatest hits, so the producer nervously offered a few remarks, quoting Hannah Senesh, in an effort to ferret out the humanism in his blockbuster body of work.
“I’ve never been mistaken for a message producer,” Bruckheimer said, adding that though moral tales have not been the aim of his filmmaking, they have nonetheless found their way into the heart of his oeuvre. He specifically mentioned his pride in films like “Remember the Titans” that have “explored race through sports.”
The evening raised $1.4 million for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
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May 23, 2012 | 1:39 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
Because Cannes becomes the center of the film universe each year for ten days, the tales that trickle from the Croisette tend to be somewhat inflated, even inflammatory.
Last week, when it was reported that the French feminist group La Barbe (“The Beard”) had published an open letter in Le Monde decrying the festival’s lack of female-directed films, I wrote to a director friend to inquire about the festival’s mood.
“What women thing?” was his clueless response.
But in fact, a scandal was stirring. On Sunday, La Barbe staged a small protest smack on the red carpet during the premiere of Michael Haneke’s “Amour”. Their protest signage, like their letter in Le Monde, was sardonic in tone: “Marveilleux,” ‘’Merci!!!” ‘’Splendide,” ‘’Incredible!” “Le Barbe” [Marvelous, Thank You, Splendid, Incredible, The Beard]—and were proudly wielded by fake-bearded women to challenge the cuckoo Cannes establishment.
“Men are fond of depth in women,” read the now infamous line of their letter, “but only in their cleavage.”
Do the Cannes programmers have any excuse for an Associated Press observation that reads like this: “None of the 22 films competing for the Palme D’Or prize at the festival this year was directed by a woman.”
While some have suggested that this may be symptomatic of larger industry ills in which the percentage of women directors who are hired to work is negligible at best, it does seem odd that a festival that prides itself on progressivism, freedom of expression and art could be so obtuse.
Cannes certainly likes its gaggle of glamourous women on the red carpet, the letter stated wryly: “[N]ever let the girls think they can one day have the presumptuousness to make movies or to climb those famous Festival Palace steps, except when attached to the arm of a prince charming.”
A woman has won the Palme d’Or, Cannes’ highest prize, only once, an honor attached to Jane Campion for 1993’s “The Piano.” And the current powers that be don’t seem to want to scuffle over the issue. Juror Andrea Arnold, a director who has shown two films at Cannes in the past said, “I’d absolutely hate it if my film got selected only because I’m a woman. I would only want my film to be selected for the right reason, not out of charity.”
Festival director Thierry Fremaux agreed. He responded to the Le Monde lambasting by stating that the festival selects films strictly based on merit. “We would never agree to select a film that doesn’t deserve it on the basis it was made by a woman,” he wrote.
But more than 2,397 women in entertainment have signed on to an online petition on the Website change.org demanding some sort of affirmative action. In a letter penned by the Brooklyn based non-profit Women and Hollywood, “Where Are The Women Directors?”, the authors wrote: “We call for Cannes, and other film festivals worldwide to commit to transparency and equality in the selection process of these films. We judge films as human beings, shaped by our own perspectives and experiences. It is vital, therefore, that there be equality and diversity at the point of selection.”
Signatories to the letter include feminist thinker and writer Gloria Steinem, playwright/activist Eve Ensler, writer Delia Ephron, and several Israeli groups, including the Haifa Feminist Center, Isha L’Isha, The Women in the Picture Association and The International Women’s Film Festival from Rehovot, Israel.
So is the fancy Festival du Cannes snobbish and sexist? Were the offerings from women not up to 4-star snuff? Or is the entire entertainment industry so subsumed in gendered hierarchy, women not only come up short but silenced?
May 23, 2012 | 12:25 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
Self-actualization can be such a drag.
Just ask the African-American “ex-Chasidic” rapper Yitz Jordan, known to fans as Y-Love, whose religious journey clashed with his human journey when routine bouts of racism and homophobia dented his dignity.
One time, while praying at the Kotel in Jerusalem, he said, a group of black-hatted Jews taunted him by repeatedly calling him “shvartze.” As a black religious Jew, he became used to being served last in the kosher pizza line. Coupled with a decade of suppressing his sexuality to commit to the religious life, he wondered, “Why am I fighting tooth and nail to be a second-class citizen?” After the Kotel incident in 2007, he said, “I took off my bekishe [silk Chasidic coat] in the middle of the street in Jerusalem.”
Jordan isn’t the first Modern Orthodox Jew to struggle with a clash of cultures. Last December, Chasidic reggae star Matisyahu shaved his beard and wrote on his blog that it was an act of “reclaiming” himself.
“I felt that in order to become a good person, I needed rules — lots of them — or else I would somehow fall apart,” Matisyahu wrote.
For Jordan, 34, who decided to become Jewish at 6 years old, after seeing a “Happy Passover” announcement on TV, some of those same rules would prove pointless and oppressive.
The first time I met Jordan, I extended my hand for a shake, but he quickly covered his own hand with his cap so we wouldn’t have to touch. The surface of strict and serious devotion to Jewish law, however, belied a deeper conflict roiling inside. For the public persona Y-Love, halachah offered a means to hide.
“I’ve known I was gay my whole life,” Jordan said during a phone interview last week from Los Angeles, where he is spending the summer. His public coming-out, announced in capital letters on a widely disseminated press release, was vociferous in tone, the potent pronouncement of long-unheard roars.
“I mean, I’ve been wanting to come out for years,” he told me.
The closet was too claustrophobic. Jordan grew tired of “not being able to do the most basic things that heterosexual people take for granted — not being able to date, not being able to say a guy is cute online or leave a comment on somebody’s [Facebook] photo, making sure my friends keep secrets — that’s been the M.O. in my life for a long time. Now this weight is lifted off my shoulders.”
This wasn’t his first time. In middle school, he came out to some close friends, but “trying to get a 13-year-old to swear to secrecy is the same thing as getting a PR agent,” he said. He tried again at 15, coming out to the entire school, but added that “homophobia always sent me back into the closet.”
His first sexual experience, also at 15, ended badly. “I started crying afterward,” he recalled. “I went home and put on Jewish music. I was real depressed. It was like, immediately after sex was over, there was no afterglow; it was like, ‘I’ll never do it again. I’ll never do it again. I’ll never do it again.’ ”
For almost a decade, Jordan said he suffered from intense anxiety and depression. “I was on the antidepressant Lexapro. I wasn’t feeling much of anything. I was just artificially happy all the time.”
As a student at Ohr Somayach yeshiva in Jerusalem, he remembers discovering the text that would change his life, a responsum by the Belarusian rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, better known as the Chazon Ish. “Literally, it’s called ‘he who is inserted by his fellow man into his throat,’ about oral sex between two men. It doesn’t say it is permitted, but it doesn’t use the word ‘abomination’ ” — used to describe other acts of homosexual encounter — “and I was so happy, I called my friends in Baltimore. This was the first time I had ever seen a loophole that allowed me to have a sex life within a halachic framework.”
Reconciling the desire for tradition with the opportunities of modern life is an animating force in Jordan’s quest. In his latest music video, “Focus on the Flair,” he alternates between Chasidic costume and drag. In art, as in life, is the ever-present tension between wanting to belong and needing to stand out. Tradition recalls the rewards of community; modernity reinforces the promise of individuality.
“This ultimately boils down to your God-view,” Jordan said. “I believe God is all-knowing and all-understanding. Like, if you’re gonna sit and talk to your therapist, and you think your therapist understands what you’re doing through, then God has to understand.”
Though critics were quick to accuse Jordan of using his coming-out to boost his Y-Love profile, he denied that the announcement was targeted to the release of his new single.
“What, just to get more ‘likes’ on Facebook and viewers on YouTube?” he quipped, adding, “Do I want to become more visible and scream to the world ‘I’m gay’? Yeah. If it boosts my image, that’s wonderful — but I’m out here to change the world, not just sell records.”
As for those in the religious community who have reproved him for repenting his repression, Jordan is not all that bothered. Yes, he’s less observant now and has officially left the Chasidic community. But, he said, “Judaism was in me before I knew what Judaism was. Orthodox Judaism is still my religion. I’m still a Jew, and I still believe in God.”
May 22, 2012 | 10:21 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
It took Daniel Mendelsohn’s discursive and insightful essay on the enduring appeal of the Titanic story for me to realize that it wasn’t my raging teenage hormones that drew me back to the Riviera movie theater over and over again (even if tickets were just $3.75). Rather, it was my inner feminist.
Mendelsohn elucidates in The New Yorker:
Cameron gave his film a feminist rather than a patriotic spin. Rose, of a “good” but impoverished Main Line family, is being married off to the loathsome Cal Hockley, who seals their engagement with the gift of a blue diamond that had belonged to Louis XVI. (“We are royalty,” he smugly tells her as he drapes the giant rock around her neck.) “It’s so unfair,” she sighs during a conversation with her odiously snobbish mother, who, in the same scene, is lacing Rose tightly into a corset. “Of course it’s unfair,” the mother retorts. “We’re women.” Small wonder that nearly half the female viewers under twenty-five who saw the movie went to see it a second time within two months of its release, and that three-quarters of those said that they’d see it again.
Yes, that was me. Except worse; and more so. It also explains, at least in part, why it was worth director James Cameron spending an additional $17 million to transpose the film into 3-D.
Cameron’s picture is about breaking the bonds of family, a point made by means of a clever contrast between its two leading ladies—Rose and the Titanic. At the start of the movie, the ship speeds confidently forward while Rose is described as being “trapped” and unable to “break free” (that corset, that mother); by the end, the ship is immobilized, while the girl strikes off on her own, literally and figuratively. She has to abandon the piece of panelling she’s climbed onto—and tearfully let go of Jack (now a frozen corpse), which she’d promised never to do—in order to swim for help.
Rose, in other words, saves herself; in the end the Titanic is the sacrifice, the price that must be paid for Rose’s rebirth as a girl who acts by and for herself.
Comparing the Titanic story with classic Greek tragedy, Mendelsohn identifies two powerful archetypes that keep luring audiences back to the ill-fated tale.
...the most obvious thing about the Titanic’s story: it uncannily replicates the structure and the themes of our most fundamental myths and oldest tragedies. Like Iphigenia, the Titanic is a beautiful “maiden” sacrificed to the agendas of greedy men eager to set sail; the forty-six-thousand-ton liner is just the latest in a long line of lovely girl victims, an archetype of vulnerable femininity that stands at the core of the Western literary tradition.
But the Titanic embodies another strain of tragedy. This is the drama of a flawed and self-destructive hero, a protagonist of great achievements and overweening presumption. The ship starts out like Oedipus: admired, idolized, hailed as different, special, exalted. Sophocles’ play derives its horrible excitement from a relentless exposition of its protagonist’s fall from grace—and from the fact that his confidence and his talents are what prevented him from seeing the looming disaster. Cameron understood this… The director knew that there is an ancient theatrical pleasure, not totally free of Schadenfreude, in watching something beautiful fall apart.
All this is why we keep watching Cameron’s movie, and why we can’t stop thinking about the Titanic. The tale irresistibly conflates two of the oldest archetypes in literature.
May 22, 2012 | 3:07 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
A few weeks ago when I was interviewing playwright Iddo Netanyahu about his first produced play “A Happy End”, he made an admiring comment about the lead actress he cast, Czech-born Zuzana Stivínová and her “European sensuality”. This, he said, added depth and enigma to her role.
“American actresses didn’t get it,” he said. But when I asked him to elucidate what he meant, he couldn’t.
Last night, I had the chance to see a staged reading of “A Happy End” at the Museum of Tolerance and Netanyahu was right to describe her performance as special. She was the most seductive member of the cast and brought a charisma to the stage that enriched and enlivened an otherwise simple stage rendering. The best way to describe what Netanyahu must have meant by the “European sensuality” that eludes more (ordinary? hard-edged? invulnerable?) American women is this: strong of mind, softness of manner, elegance in style.
Her voice was deep and rich, her dialogue spun in cadences that sounded like song; her body tall and slender, her movements sure and fluid; and her ideas, though not always wise, delivered with intelligence and passion.
May 22, 2012 | 3:02 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
There’s big buzz coming out of Cannes for Michael Haneke’s latest film, “Amour”, an ode to enduring love.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the Lumiere for Michael Haneke’s absolutely brilliant ‘Amour’,” The Wrap.com’s Sasha Stone reported. “No coughing, no walkouts”—something unheard of at the most artistically rich and critically loose film festival in the world.
But Stone had barely any critique of the 70-year-old Austrian filmmaker’s latest, writing:
When you really love someone for a lifetime, it transcends every other kind of love. Romantic love comes nowhere near it. It is a bond so strong, in fact, that nothing can deter you from doing whatever needs to be done for the one you love. You will endure any test put in front of you, gladly, for a few minutes with your beloved.
Sentimentality is a surprising angle for a Haneke film, an artist best known for bleaker fare like “The Piano Teacher”, about an affair between a teacher and her much younger pupil, and “The White Ribbon,” a strange, disjointed and hauntingly beautiful film about life in a small, puritanical German village prior to World War I. Of “Ribbon”, which won the Palme d’Or in 2009, Haneke said, “My main aim was to look at a group of children who are inculcated with values transformed into an absolute and how they internalize them. If we raise a principle or ideal, be it political or religious, to the status of an absolute, it becomes inhuman and leads to terrorism.”
“Amour” represents a switch for the politically minded Haneke, though praise for his love story has thus far been comprehensively effusive. The Wall Street Journal called it “the most serious contender” for Cannes’ top award. The festival ends May 27.
The story is about a happily married elderly couple, both retired piano teachers whose relationship undergoes the transformations that come with age and dying. Anne (played by Emmanelle Riva, 85, star of one of my all time favorite films 1959’s “Hiroshima mon Amour”) and Georges (actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, who apparently has not acted onscreen in years) are tested in ways they had not yet experienced when Anne suffers a series of strokes and Georges is forced from partner to caretaker.
Writing on WSJ’s Speakeasy blog, Lanie Goodman observed: “[W]hen their dialogue is no longer possible, the murmurs, cries, and wordless gazes unlock a deeper understanding about the devastating choices we make out of love.”
May 20, 2012 | 4:36 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
Tomorrow, at their annual National Tribute Dinner, the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance will present a Medal of Valor to former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. The ceremony will take place May 23 at the Beverly Hilton and will also honor producer Jerry Bruckheimer with a Humanitarian Award.
I caught up with Kelly during a 20-minute phone interview from his home in Arizona, during which he talked about the magic of outer space, how Giffords’ recovery has changed their marriage and why any journalist who interviews him should routinely watch Diane Sawyer.
One year ago next month you announced your retirement at the age of 47. How do you plan to spend your time over the next few decades?
You know, I retired from Nasa and the Navy, I didn’t really retire from working. In the military people kinda retire at a really young age. Right now I’m trying to figure out what I’m gonna do next, but in the meantime I’m doing a little public speaking, a little consulting and I’m gonna try to start a charity. So we’ve got a little bit of stuff going on.
Any passions you’ve always had that maybe you’ll get to explore?
Gabby and I have always been public servants, so I think public service is certainly in both of our futures. Right now what I need is flexibility and I don’t need to be heading into work everyday. I need to have a lot of free time so I can make sure Gabby has everything she needs so she can get better.
I read somewhere that on your very first flight into space, you traveled more than 4.8 million miles and orbited the earth 186 times in eleven days and 19 hours. That sounds almost impossible to us gravity-bound earthlings. What’s it like in space?
A magical place; to be in zero-gravity with no up-or-down for such a long period of time, and then to be able to see our planet floating out there in the blackness of space—really incredible.
With all the turmoil in the earthly world—war, poverty, starvation, lack of water—what’s your best argument for why we should spend the nation’s limited resources on searching outer space
Nasa’s budget is less than 1% of the federal budget, so its a small slice of the pie that offers a great return. The industries that have been spurred from the space program has added hundreds, probably trillions, of dollars into our economy in the last 50 years. The fact that computers are small and don’t take up an entire room? [That] has nothing to do with Silicon Valley and everything to do with the fact that we needed to get computers onto the surface of moon, and more importantly, back off of it. It’s a smart investment in our future.
At your 2007 wedding to Gabby Giffords, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich toasted: “To a bride who moves at a velocity that exceeds that of anyone else in Washington, and a groom who moves at a velocity that exceeds 17,000 miles per hour.” How does that sound to you now in light of life’s unexpected turns since?
Well, you know, Gabby is moving a little slower today than she used to. But she’s getting better and I am very confident that one day she’ll be moving at high speed, both literally and figuratively. Things can change for any of us in an instant. Over the last 16, 17 months since she was injured, I’ve met a lot of people and heard a lot of stories; and it’s not an uncommon thing for some event to happen to a person or a family and things then become drastically different.
Before you were married, you told The New York Times vows section that the “longest amount of time we’ve spent together is probably a couple of weeks at a stretch.” With your wife’s traumatic brain injury and recovery, and your retirement, I imagine that’s changed. How has spending more time time together changed your relationship?
Certainly one of the upsides of all this, if there can be any at all, is that we do have a little bit less of a crazy life. We used to have the typical commuter marriage, where we would basically visit each other either in Tucson or occasionally she’d come to Houston or I’d see her in Washington or somewhere else, and now we’re in the same place most of the time.
What have you learned about marriage in the increased amount of time you’ve spent together?
Well I’m in a unique, different kind of situation. Gabby is focused on her rehab. You’re also asking me a question that’s for a touchy-feely kinda guy and that’s not me. What have I learned about marriage? I don’t think that our relationship is any different than it was before except we have the luxury of spending a lot more time together.
In several interviews, you stated that during the most frightening moments of your wife’s ordeal, your faith had deepened. What is it about adversity that helps people connect to God?
I think it’s important to have faith. Sometimes, when things look the darkest you gotta try to reach somewhere for some light and some help. At one point in this whole ordeal we found out that Gabby had died—both CNN and Fox News reported she had died—so for thirty minutes [on an airplane] me and the kids and my mother, we thought she had passed away.
What was it like to go from a moment where all was lost to entertaining the possibility for recovery?
In hindsight, it was the low point. It’s all been pretty positive since then.
Has venturing into the vast beyond had any impact on your spirituality?
No. I’ve heard that from other astronauts but I tend to be so focused on what we’re doing, how risky it is, making sure we get everything done, I try not to get distracted by anything else.
Will you miss going into space?
Absolutely, I miss it already. Yeah. But you never know—I could go back. We have this whole burgeoning commercial space industry out there.
Both you and your wife serve the country and have often alluded to your respect for American values. But things have radically changed since this country’s founding in the 18th century. What values define America today and continue to resonate with you?
You ask very hard questions. You should have emailed them to me ahead of time. American values? Freedom. A core principle of the United States of America is that people have freedom to do what they want with their lives, to make choices that benefit them and their families. As a country, we’re a very charitable country; people give not only financially but of their time, and not only as individuals but as a nation. We continue to look out for the oppressed, not only within our own borders but throughout the world. And certainly the fact that we continue to try to promote democracy throughout the world and feel that every individual has a right to have their voice heard.
Many in this country are obviously aware that your wife suffered a serious injury and that there is a substantial recovery process involved in her healing. But there’s also a sense that someone who was once such a public figure has really removed herself from the spotlight. Is there something uncomfortable or unseemly you don’t want people to see about how difficult this process has been?
Did you realize we wrote a book [about this]? Than you’d have realized that the question you just asked doesn’t make any sense.
Well, I was initially told I might have an opportunity to interview her and when it was refused, I wondered why.
Whoever said she was gonna do that? First of all, nobody asked me. And if they did, my answer would have been: ‘No. She’s not going to do an interview with you.’ She did an interview with Diane Sawyer. Did you see that? She’s no longer a member of Congress; she’s focused on her recovery; and there’s nothing unseemly about her and I resent your choice of words. If you did watch the Diane Sawyer special or if you even went online before you did this interview with me, you would see how incredibly open we were. There is video of her doing speech therapy and occupational therapy and physical therapy. I don’t think we could have possibly been more open throughout this whole process. What really has surprised me is you haven’t asked one word about the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation. I thought that’s why you were doing this interview.
Is there anything specific you want to say about your relationship with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles?
I get contacted almost daily by people who want to present [Gabby] with some kind of award or honor at some kind of function. The SWC is one I looked at; I know what they stand for; and Gabby is Jewish. There’s very few of these that have made sense, that actually felt right. That’s one of the few that felt right—and she looked at it and said she wanted to go out there and accept that award.
Besides being married by a rabbi, what role has your wife’s Jewishness played in your life together?
I didn’t marry her because she was Jewish. I married Gabby because I was in love with her. We did have a Jewish ceremony—to some extent—there was also some military stuff in there. We celebrate Jewish holidays, so we have a Christmas tree and we have a menorah. I haven’t traveled to Israel; I look forward to doing that at some point. But I grew up in New Jersey. It’s not like Gabby is my first exposure to Judaism. I dated a girl in high school who was Jewish, and I used to walk to the Bagel Box every weekend to get bagels.
Is there any Jewish wisdom you’ve learned that just kind of stuck with you?
Not that I can think of right now.
May 19, 2012 | 10:35 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
It’s certainly been a shavua tov (a good week) for Mark Zuckerberg, who in the past two days has officially shed bachelorhood and acquired billions.
On Friday, Zuckerberg took the 8-year-old Facebook public for the market price of a $100 billion.
On Saturday, Zuck announced—on Facebook, of course—that he wed longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan, 27, in a small ceremony in the couple’s backyard. According to the Associated Press, it was a secret wedding and invited guests thought they were gathering to celebrate Chan’s graduation from University of California, San Francisco medical school. Chan received her MD last Monday, the same day Zuck turned 28.
The couple met almost a decade ago as undergrads at Harvard.
No details yet on whether a rabbi performed the ceremony, but what we know is Zuck gave Chan “a very simple ruby”, according to an anonymous source for the AP, and that no more than 100 guests dined on sushi from the couple’s favorite Palo Alto restaurant.
Don’t worry gals, there will be more Jewish billionaires.