Posted by Danielle Berrin
Shockwaves are circulating throughout the entertainment and Jewish communities in the aftermath of producer/talent manager Joan Hyler’s life-threatening accident.
Hyler, who blended her Hollywood prominence with her passion for Judaism, was struck by a car on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu Friday night on her way to a friend’s house. She is still listed in critical condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where friends and family are reporting through UCLA’s carepages that she was responsive to doctors’ requests yesterday.
Hyler, whose former clients include Madonna, Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan, was scheduled to celebrate client Portia de Rossi’s marriage to Ellen Degeneres, which took place on Saturday night. She is a former president of Women in Film and co-created the Jewish Image Awards.
The latest update on her condition reads:
Sunday, August 17th
The reports are more encouraging, but Joan is not out of the woods yet. There are plenty of positive signs, but still a lot of unknowns, so it’s a wait and see scenario. Medically, it is way too complicated to describe, but from a non-professional, here are the positive signs:
—Joan does not need any more blood. She did go through 40 units, however, and the medical staff here was quick to suggest that people who want to participate in her recovery, emotionally, should give blood to replenish the blood bank supply. It won’t go directly to Joan, but it will make sure that there is more available for other patients in the coming weeks.
—We’re going in and talking to Joan. She seems to be responding. I spent some time davening schachris (praying the morning prayers), and she stirred a lot, which I took as a sign that she understood something of what was going on. While I was there, the critical care support team came in to do an assessment, and did “move your right hand, left hand, toes” etc. And the appropriate parts of the body moved, to the small extent possible!
Until more medical progress is made, the only thing friends can do is provide emotional support. Joan is a very spiritual person. I firmly believe that we can directly support her with prayers. My tallit is on her feet, and my tefillin are in her room, so there is a physical presence of the “ruach hakodesh” (spirit of holiness), and I explained to Joan what I was doing. You can pray for her, and keep her in mind when you are donating blood.
UPDATE: Joan Hyler is alive and well. Read the full story of her miraculous recovery .
At dusk on Friday night, Aug. 15, 2008, Joan Hyler was crossing Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu when she was struck by a car traveling 60 miles per hour. Her 5-foot frame was thrown 25 feet through the air before she landed on the hard pavement. It was after midnight on the East Coast when her sister, Nancy Berlin, a nonprofit consultant, got a call saying Hyler, a prominent Hollywood manager, was in critical condition.
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August 15, 2008 | 7:21 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
Lindsay Lohan knows how to raise eyebrows. First, as a preternaturally talented young actress. Then, as a talented young actress who partied too hard and checked into rehab. And now, as an edgy Hollywood starlet who publicly canoodles with lady friend, DJ Samantha Ronson. And it’s apparently Ronson who’s behind the latest Lohan fad—converting to Judaism.
Since the two women have been spending time together, especially in the company of Ronson’s Jewish family, Lohan, who was raised Catholic, is toying with the idea of being Jewish. Although speculators insist, Lohan is “doing it for Ronson,” the gals refuse to confirm whether their relationship is sexual or not.
Although, the idea of it does spark an interesting challenge for an L.A. rabbi: a Catholic-Jewish conversion and then a same-sex marriage. Any takers?
August 14, 2008 | 6:37 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
In lieu of the praise one might expect in a room full of women and the ceiling-smashing Nancy Pelosi, insults were hurled towards the stage.
“Traitor!” screamed one woman. “Liar!” shouted another. One man’s high-volume, breakneck rampage got him physically removed from the room. His diatribe, though nearly indecipherable, left Pelosi stone-faced but shaken.
Confronted by a surprising outburst of California’s politically liberal constituency, Pelosi, on a break from her post as the first woman Speaker of the House – the third highest office in the nation – landed at American Jewish University on Aug. 11 to promote her new book, “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters.” Faced with an acrimonious audience, one of Congress’s most outspoken critics of the Bush administration was lambasted for opposing impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush.
During a 90-minute Q&A with AJU’s president, Robert Wexler, nearly 400 people listened as Pelosi discussed her childhood, her unexpected rise to power and the need for more women in government. When Wexler pressed her on a question about Congress’s dismally low 9% approval rating, Pelosi defended herself and her colleagues. This prompted an irate audience member to accuse Pelosi of shirking her constitutional responsibility by not impeaching Bush for the deceptive reasoning that started the Iraq war.
Pelosi dismissed the outburst. “I have complete comfort with the frustration. I’m from the streets,” she said.
But when several other people rose from their seats in paroxysms of protest, Pelosi was forced onto the defensive.
“I take an oath of office to uphold the constitution of the United States. Don’t tell me I don’t do that,” she snapped. “Why don’t you go picket the Republicans in Congress that will not allow us to have a vote on the war?”
It was the puzzling part of the whole evening: why L.A. liberals have allowed themselves to be charmed by people like Karl Rove (who appeared a few months back) but were hostile to Nancy Pelosi, who purports to represent their interests.
By the time the crowd quieted down, Pelosi looked deflated.
“What else do you have for me?” she asked a bereft Wexler, who refused to confront her with the issue on everybody’s mind.
Despite her book’s message of empowerment to America’s women, Pelosi was pelted as if she were a harlot.