May 4, 2006
‘Pretty’ Prime Minister?
Ehud Olmert reportedly came up with the title for the Hollywood hit "Pretty Woman." Israel´s prime minister-elect was a Knesset lawmaker when he helped his friend, film producer Arnon Milchan, choose golden oldie "Pretty Woman" as the title song for the 1990 romantic comedy, Yediot Aharonot reported Thursday. The daily did not cite sources but its reporter, Yair Lapid, is a former Milchan protégé. According to Yediot, one of the filmmakers at first balked at the proposed title, calling it "too cutesy."
Lindsay Lohan a Kabbalist?
Teen queen Lindsay Lohan said she is "looking into" kabbalah. The actress and singer, who has been plagued by both familial problems and relentless paparazzi, told reporters she needed a coping mechanism.
"All of us need something. You have to grab on to whatever gets you through," she said.
Lohan, 19, also hopes studying Jewish mysticism will help viewers take her more seriously, according to teenhollywood.com: "I want people to know me for the work I'm doing, not for this party girl image," she said.
The actress joins a growing list of stars, including Madonna, Britney Spears and Demi Moore, interested in Jewish mysticism.
(There's no word yet if there's a kabbalistic explanation for the human-like, even spiritual, behavior of "Herbie," Lohan's automotive co-star in last year's film "Herbie Fully Loaded.")
Psychic Pursues Graceland
An Israeli-born psychic is trying to buy a Memphis house once owned by Elvis Presley. Uri Geller said over the weekend that he was among bidders for the four-bedroom home being auctioned on eBay. Geller, who lives in London, said he wants to operate the property as a Graceland-style museum devoted to Presley, but with an emphasis on the late singer's interests in the paranormal. Bidding has reportedly passed $300,000. Geller is perhaps best known for his purported trick of bending spoons with his mind. In the Presley auction, it's probably OK for Geller to psych out the competition, as long as he doesn't bend the rules.
Faith Ball Now Available to Jews
The Washington Nationals baseball team corrected course after inadvertently excluding observant Jews from a promotion intended to attract the religious. The club's Faith Day discounts on baseball games, available to religious institutions, had been for a selected set of Saturday games, but even the night games began before sundown. Team officials addressed the problem immediately after a journalist's inquiry, the Washington Jewish Week reported. The team added six Sunday games to the discounted offerings. -- JTA and Staff Reports
A Christian Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post, Israel's English-language daily, is aiming to increase its circulation tenfold by tapping into the pro-Israel sentiments of American Christians, particularly evangelicals, Pentecostals and other fundamentalist groups.
The Post, founded in 1932 by American journalist Gershon Agron as the Palestine Post, has begun publication of a monthly Christian edition.
Post president Moshe Bar-Zvi noted that the Christian edition would serve "as a bridge between the Jewish nation and Jewish people on one hand and the world's Christians on the other."
The new venture, which debuted four months ago, will be "tailored to Christian readers, who care passionately about the well-being of Israel and the Jewish people," Bar-Zvi added.
Veteran Canadian Israeli newsman and science writer Gershom Gale has been appointed editor. He said that the venture was off to a "miraculous" start, with 20,000 paid subscribers so far and strong advertising.
That figure is almost equal to the domestic circulation of the English-language daily. Weekly international editions, in English and French, account for about another 80,000 copies sold mainly in Europe and North America, according to The Post.
The Post's influence in Israel and abroad has always belied its small circulation, with foreign diplomats and journalists making up much of its readership.
The Christian edition could mean a substantial boost to the financially troubled paper, which was hard hit by the recent indictment of its previous owner, Canadian press baron Conrad Black, on criminal fraud charges.
Gale said that the edition, published in cooperation with the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews and the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, would not engage in "missionary activity ... in either direction."
However, he said, "As the Torah told us would happen, there is a great thirst in the land ... not for water, but for the word of God, and the gentile world is beginning to 'look to Zion' to put its spiritual beliefs in context and to realize that he who blesses Israel is blessed, and he who curses Israel is cursed. So what happens 'here' is very much connected to what happens 'there.'" -- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor