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Justin Bieber Says the “Shema?”

by Naomi Pfefferman

February 4, 2011 | 5:05 pm

Our Sundance reporter extraordinaire, Larry Mark, got the idea to tweet Jon M. Chu, the director of the much-anticipated documentary “Justin Bieber:  Never Say Never,” to ask a question inquiring Jewish minds want to know.  Here is what Larry just emailed me:

“This afternoon, the 5-year-old daughter of a co-worker informed her Mom that she needed a note for her Kindergarten teacher.  The girl said she can’t go to school next Friday, since she heard on TV that is the day the ‘Justin Bieber:  Never Say Never’ film opens.  Her non-Tiger Mother explained to her that she can still see the film after school—and the girl was relieved.

This exchange got me wondering about the film, and asking myself what Jewish themes are in it.  I know that Scott Samuel ‘Scooter’ Braun, the young man who discovered and nurtures Justin Bieber, and serves as his manager and ‘brother’ is Jewish, and that because of Scooter, Justin reportedly says the ‘Shema,’ along with another prayer, prior to his concert performances.  Intrigued and curious, and obviously unable to reach Justin or Scooter, I reached out to the film’s director Jon M. Chu.  I have followed Chu on twitter for quite some time, due to my enjoyment of his past choreography with theLXD.com.

Before lunch, I tweeted Jon,  ‘Jon, HappyNewYr of Rabbit + Bieber. .. Can u tell if me if the film has Bieber reciting a Hebrew prayer b4 his concert?’

After lunch, I had his reply: ‘Yes It Does.’”

The movie hits theaters Feb. 11.

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Naomi Pfefferman Magid is the arts & entertainment editor of the Jewish Journal, where she’s spent the last quarter century interviewing everyone from Seth Rogen, Natalie...

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