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Saturday, February 28, 2015

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Heebonics is a division of The Canadian Jewish News bringing news and views to Jews in their 20's and 30's interested in Jewish culture, including music, film, travel, business, social activism, and more.
Updated: 10 min 43 sec ago

Iconic Israeli snack may curb peanut allergies

Thursday February 26, 2015
According to a paper published Feb. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at King's College London found that keeping U.K. babies thought to be prone to hereditary peanut allergies away from the otherwise healthy nut may in fact be more likely to develop the allergy by not being exposed to the legume when compared to Israeli infants who are fed the popular peanut-flavoured snack Bamba.

We found these two articles from Size Doesn't Matter and ynet to be particularly informative about the study's results.

Take a look.

UberX app now serving Tel Aviv

Thursday February 26, 2015
Uber has received a lot of publicity in the last 18 months or so for significantly disrupting the way we think about grabbing a ride around the cities we live in or the cities we travel to.

The for-hire-vehicle service, which started in Paris in 2008, has benefited city-dwellers with a lower-cost alternative to traditional taxis and has unnerved mainstream industry operators.

Known as the black cab alternative, Uber has just released its UberX app in Tel Aviv.

There are in fact four categories of Uber. UberX is the least expensive in the line of services as drivers use their own everyday vehicles to accommodate a maximum of four travellers. UberXL offers up to six seats in a private SUV or minivan, while UberPlus is for groups of five to seven, and Uber Black Car functions as its executive service.

Those who call on UberX to get around Israel's hippest city will be charged just a small fee for gas.

Have you used Uber where you live? Share with us your experiences using the service.

To every generation a new parody

Thursday February 19, 2015
We are coming around to that time again, when holiday storytelling combines with Top 40 chart-topping hits from today's most popular music artists.

From generations to congregations and all manner of Jewish organizations in between, some of the parodies are quite impressive.

While we are still two weeks away from Purim, Shushan Funk, a riff on Bruno Mars' and Mark Ronson's groovin' Uptown Funk single, will have you bopping along in your seat.

Check it out!

Star Trek's original Capt. Kirk to land in Haven

Thursday February 19, 2015

After the November announcement that one our most blogged-about celebrities, William Shatner, will be joining Haven for a much-anticipated four-episode arc, here's hoping that we're getting closer to the TV series' return and the second half of its final season.

For those unfamiliar with the supernatural series, it's loosely based on the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid. Strange events occur in a fictional seaside town in Maine where former FBI agent Audrey Parker, local detective Nathan Wuornos and smuggler Duke Crocker – portrayed, respectively, by Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour – struggle to protect the town from, and help its residents with, their supernatural afflictions, known as "troubles."

As the series progressed over the course of 4-1/2 seasons, Audrey has learned more about the mysteries of both Haven and her connection to the small, "troubled" town.

While it's still unknown what his exact role will be, Shatner's character will reportedly be pivotal as the series races to its conclusion, forever impacting the fate of the town of Haven and its people.

After the successful run Haven has had and the loyal fan-base it has amassed, when Stephen King approached networks with the idea for Under the Dome, CBS jumped at the chance to air it in the summer of 2013. Here's a look at how King and Haven have continued to keep viewers hooked since it began.

Haven  airs on Syfy in the United States and on Showcase in Canada. Return air dates have yet to be announced.

Zach Braff stirs the pot on Twitter

Thursday February 12, 2015
Former Scrubs actor turned director and producer Zach Braff took flak from many on Twitter after singer, songwriter and fashion designer Pharrell took to the Grammy stage last Sunday.

In Braff's opinion, Pharrell's bellboy-like attire seemed eerily similar to that of Braff's animated alter ego of a flying monkey in Oz The Great and Powerful, which hit theatres in 2013.

While some of Braff's fans attempted to defend the actor's tweet, in the wake of Charlie Hebdo and increased scrutiny on free speech, the Twittersphere erupted over the glib comment, which was taken as both an intentional and unintentional racist remark.

Looking at Pharrell's performance garb, would you have commented any differently?

The Kutchers are all-in when caring for Wyatt

Thursday February 12, 2015
While many in Hollywood have often opted to hire nannies to care for their celebrity newborns while they work long hours in studio or on set, the standard practice seems to be making a 180 among parental newbies like Ashton Kutcher and it-girl Mila Kunis.

Kutcher told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in December the two had decided to go nanny-free (at least for now), choosing to care for their now-four-month-old daughter Wyatt strictly on their own.

“We just want to know our kid,” said Kutcher, quite pleased that he has the freedom to choose. “We want to be the people that know what to do when the baby’s crying to make the baby not cry anymore. We want to know, like, when she makes a little face or something, we want to be emotionally in touch with her. And I think the only way to do that is by being the one who’s there.”

For those who have watched his character Walden Schmidt on the CBS hit comedy Two and a Half Men, which is coming to an end of its run in two weeks, life either seems to be imitating art or vice versa: the character just adopted a young boy.

Israeli start-up Glide makes a splash at CES 2015

Thursday February 5, 2015
Like the Canadian International Auto Show, which rolls into Toronto next week from Feb. 13 to 22 and whose attendance rises each year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month drew more than 100,000 people.

Those who flock to the show are treated to amazing technological concepts by companies seeking distribution and additional funding sources to bring their innovations to market.

Israeli start-up and app-maker Glide believes it is at the forefront of replacing texting as the most popular form of instant messaging. While Samsung and Apple vie for dominance and wide adoption of their wearable technology, Glide founder and CTO Jonathan Caras' prototype Shenzen smart watch is showing off what could be the next big thing.

The application, available on Apple's IOS and Google's Android operating systems, differs from current industry leaders WhatsApp and iMessage by streaming videos to the intended recipients the moment recording begins. Video messages sent using iMessage and WhatsApp require uploads to a server and downloads that take much longer to process. Even Skype and FaceTime are burdensome in Caras' mind in terms of time commitment.

With Glide, all video is stored in the cloud, which means your device's memory is left uncluttered and the recordings are easily shareable en masse.

The company, founded three years ago, reports having more than 10 million U.S. users who have sent more than 500 million videos. While much of the technology world is scrutinizing the need for increased privacy measures and usage guidelines for photo, video and social applications, there are presently no restrictions on Glide. Anything can be transmitted via the app, something the company will likely have to refine before it can truly go mainstream.  

Nick Jonas causes a fan frenzy at a bat mitzvah

Thursday February 5, 2015
It would seem pop star Nick Jonas is making quite the business out of bar and bat mitzvah performances.

While not as scandalous as his gig in November at the Kirkorian bar mitzvah at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles – where co-headliner Iggy Azalea's pants split, revealing more than she had planned –  Jillian Glasgow's Paris-themed celebration in New York City this week is a Jewish life-cycle event that she, too, won't soon forget.

Without Glasgow's prior knowledge, Jonas took to the stage for a three-song set. He was reportedly paid $100,000 for the 30-minute solo-performance.

Thrilled as Glasgow was to have one of her favourite performers serenade her and her guests, seen here in this video, another young fan steals a precious moment of her own by running onto the stage to embrace the hit-maker and sing along on the bat mitzvah's microphone mid-song.

Top music artists making surprise appearances like this are a cultural trend that is clearly showing no signs of ending any time soon.

Israeli blonde bombshell to tie the knot

Thursday January 29, 2015
She's graced the cover of numerous American magazines, turned heads when she landed the coveted cover spot on Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition in 2009, and rose from third in 2009 to No. 1 in 2012 on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 list.

I'm talking about Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli, 29, who was labelled too hot for Israeli TV last year when she was featured in a campaign ad for fashion brand Hoodies in bed with a giant puppet.

After dating her businessman boyfriend Adi Ezra, 40, for the past 2-1/2 years, multiple sources are announcing today that the two recently became engaged and have been very careful to keep the announcement hush hush, but say they are planning a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, chupah and all.

False reports claiming Rafaeli was romantically involved with the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger separated the Israeli beauty from her beau for a short time, but they managed to find their way back to each other and are said to be stronger together than ever.

We wish them much naches and a heartfelt mazal tov.

Generations gather in honour of Auschwitz survivors

Thursday January 29, 2015
Some 180 people of all ages gathered Jan. 27 at the Jacob Family Theatre at Toronto's Baycrest Centre  to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It was heart-warming to see how important Holocaust education is to people young and old, and how relevant they find it is to their heritage and personal identity to commit to learning retelling survivors' stories.

Eli Wiesel once said that when you listen to a witness, you become a witness.

Lauren CollinsEveryone was captivated by the multimedia presentation recognizing the 70th anniversary of the death camp's liberation and honouring three of its survivors.

From Helena Jokel's short film We Sang in Hushed Voice to the reading of an excerpt from Anna Molnar Hegedus memoir As The Lilacs Bloomed, exquisitely rendered by Canadian actress Lauren Collins, and John Freund's reading from his biography Spring's End, there was absolute silence as the audience paid rapt attention to all those on stage.

The event was hosted by Elin Beaumont of the Azrieli Foundation and co-sponored by JUMP (Jewish Urban Meeting Place). Following the singing of Hatikvah, Rabbi Joel Wardinger, JUMP's director, invited the survivors present to light a candle with Beaumont, and then invited the children and grandchildren of survivors to do the same in remembrance of all those who lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis.

The imperative to remember and never forget does indeed seem to be in good hands.

Canada and Israel sign new air service agreements

Thursday January 22, 2015
Lisa Raitt, Canada's minister of transport, signed an air transport agreement in Israel this week, along with a declaration of intent on aviation security and a memorandum of understanding on transportation.

Suffice it to say the new agreement will permit a far greater number of Canadian and Israeli airlines to offer air services to more cities in both countries and allow for the scheduling of many more flights each day for both passenger and cargo purposes.

Jump here to our good friends at Size Doesn't Matter for a full account and some historical quick facts.

Former Saved by the Bell star pleads not guilty

Thursday January 22, 2015
For anyone who grew up in the 1990s, a Saturday-morning staple for adolescents and teens was Saved By the Bell. The show ran from 1989 to 1993, spawning a prime-time spinoff Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and later Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which extended the series to the turn of the century.

Many know Dustin Diamond (whose father is of Ashkenazi decent), or more accurately his character Samuel "Screech" Powers, the often socially awkward yet loyal-to-the-end best friend of Mark-Paul Gosselaar's character Zack Morris. Diamond was present in every iteration of the show from its initial beginnings on the Disney Channel, when it was called Good Morning Miss Bliss before it was retooled by then-NBC president Brandon Tartikoff.

While Diamond, now 38, has largely stayed out of the public eye since his sitcom days, falling back on his stand-up comedy, the actor went through many hard times both personally and professionally. The recent holiday season was anything but kind to the once-beloved actor. He and his 27-year-old girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, were arrested following a brawl last month inside Port Washington, Wis.'s Grand Avenue Saloon. Diamond was charged with second degree reckless endangerment and two misdemeanours, while Shutz was charged with disorderly conduct. They've both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Diamond is accused of wielding a stiletto folding blade and stabbing a man who grabbed him as he trying to come to the defence of Schutz, who was being roughed up by a pair of bar patrons.

His one-time fictional school principal Mr. Belding would definitely not approve.

Famed comedian makes Marvel Comics debut

Thursday January 15, 2015
American comedian Sarah Silverman has revelled in success after success – from conquering the stage and screen, both big and small, to writing best-selling books and lending her celebrity to causes around the world.

Now Silverman has been immortalized, like many before her, in the pages of a beloved comic book series.

In Deadpool # 40, about a fictional mercenary anti-hero whose real name is Wade Winston Wilson, from the Marvel canon of characters, the often-vulgar entertainer takes a stand with the equally abrasive Deadpool, or the "Merc with a Mouth," as he's often called, against the Roxxon company and its environmentally damaging practice of "gracking."

Gracking is a softer term for the real-world equivalent of hydraulic fracturing, used to extract natural gas from the earth, only in the Marvel universe, Roxxon's process uses dangerous Gamma rays that turned mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner into the brute known as the Hulk.

We really enjoyed this full account by Renee Ghert-Zand for The Times of Israel about comedians making appearances in the pages of Marvel and DC comics.

Check it out.

The Wachowskis' new film to finally hit theatres

Thursday January 15, 2015
It's been a long road for Andy and Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski to get their latest motion picture into theatres.

After giving us The Matrix trilogy, their follow-up films have not quite generated the same level of notoriety nor basked in the same level of success at the box office.

Their last major outing, Cloud Atlas in 2012, starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, made a disappointing $130 million and was not entirely well received by critics or cinema-going audiences alike.

Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, was pulled from last summer's blockbuster roster, as the sibling directors felt the special effects scenes did not meet the level of quality they sought to put forth. Now with a Feb. 6 release date, how will it fare against the Oscar-nominated films contending for this year's coveted awards?

Do you still believe the Wachowskis can capture audiences' attention as they once did?

You could be sitting on the Iron Throne in Tel Aviv

Thursday January 8, 2015
There are a great many television shows that generate niche followings, and then there are the global phenomena that keep everyone talking. The American fantasy drama Game of Thrones, which airs on HBO, falls into the latter category.

Game of Thrones was adapted in 2011 from the same-titled first book of George R.R. Martin's wildly popular A Song of Ice and Fire four-part series. It's signature catch phrase, "Winter is coming," when heard, often signals the new season's premiere is soon to follow.

In 2012, an exhibition showcasing iconic artifacts, original scripts and costumes from its production travelled the world to transport fans to the epic world of Westeros and beyond. Having completed the North Amercian leg of its third annual tour in 2014, it has just been announced the exhibition will once again travel the world to seven international destinations..

Winter will come (in spring) to Israel with a stop in Tel Aviv this April during Passover (April 5-9). Other stops along the way will include London, Stockholm, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam.

If you have not yet attended the exhibition, here's a taste of what you'd see.

PM Netanyahu sends heartfelt letter to France

Thursday January 8, 2015
In the wake of the terrorist attack on the Paris headquarters of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, resulting in the deaths of 12 people and leaving 10 others wounded, five critical, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent this letter to Francois Hollande, president of the French Republic, with words of condolences for the loss of life and wishes for swift healing of the injured.

While further details of the attack on the offices are still sketchy, witnesses said the assailants knew exactly whom to target at the magazine, which has published a series of satirical cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, which may have precipitated the violent act.

Honest Reporting’s Mike Fegelman on how to fight anti-Israel media bias

Wednesday December 24, 2014
In the wake of information leaks from government servers, the release of private emails from movie studios and the seemingly never-ending stream of celebrity assault scandals, adherence to the standards of journalism and the media’s code of ethics in reporting are often questioned and debated in the public sphere.

That’s not news for supporters of Israel.

When it comes to the Jewish state, many critics say journalistic integrity is regularly compromised when reporters from mainstream news outlets cover events in the Holy Land.

On Dec. 14, some 80 members of Toronto’s Holy Blossom Temple and the community at large attended a brotherhood breakfast and heard from Mike Fegelman, CEO and executive director of Honest Reporting Canada, on the ongoing battle against anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias in mainstream news media and how we can all participate in combating the dissemination of negative narratives.

Fegelman said that when correspondents from many media outlets describe events in the region using words such as “occupation” and when they frame the defensive measures taken by the Israeli government in relation to Israel’s military superiority over its neighbours, it shapes a particular way of thinking about the State of Israel and its people.

And, as Fegelman said, “what gets reported today can essentially become foreign policy tomorrow.” 

News organizations rely on the power of the image, and images are often more powerful than a news report itself, he said.

Additionally, he said, while Hollywood is known for producing movies and TV programs that explore the human condition and shine a light on the accomplishments of notable figures in history, Pallywood is a term coined to describe how Palestinians manipulate and distort news stories, and spread damaging, and often falsified, images to cast doubt on the intent of Israel’s actions to win the public relations war against the homeland of the Jewish People.

Fegelman said that despite the fact “the lion’s share of foreign correspondents are located in Jerusalem,” only a short drive away from many news hot spots, “many human rights atrocities in the greater Muslim world go unreported, [and] these are the important stories we [the public] are not hearing”.

Recognizing that the bottom line for newspapers, radio and television is to sell eyeballs to advertisers and win ratings battles, Fegelman said that at times, journalists take to the airwaves or go to press before facts have been thoroughly checked, and reporters often speak selectively to local sources, as directed by their regional editors and managers.

So how can we encourage media outlets to better balance their reporting on Israel?

In closing, Fegelman suggested a few ways to mobilize and work to alter mis-conceptions promoted by inaccurate articles and broadcasts. He advised his listeners to continue to write letters and emails to the news editors of the outlets you watch, read or listen to. They carry more weight than most people realize, he said, noting that his organization, Honest Reporting Canada, often invites journalists and editors to coffee or dinner to point out critical information they omitted in bringing a story forward, in an attempt to sway them to balance their coverage.

Will 2015 be a better year for SodaStream?

Thursday December 18, 2014
SodaStream International, producer of the Israeli drink machine that lets you carbonate and flavour beverage bottles in your own home, is a popular product sold in leading home and department stores worldwide.

The company finds itself as a perennial target of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.  Last month we posted that SodaStream announced it would close its West Bank factory and move it to Israel's southern Negev region, to the community of Lehavim near Be'er Sheva, by the end of 2015.

While there was no direct evidence the BDS movement influenced the company's decision, JTA reported today that Harvard University's dining service has chosen to stop purchasing SodaStream equipment for its facilities several months after university officials met with anti-Israel groups on campus, who requested that SodaStream labels be removed existing machines.

The meeting last April was between Harvard's administration, the College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Harvard Islamic Society. According to the Harvard Crimson, the school's student newspaper, the two groups expressed their discomfort over the use of the technology and the "potential of the machines to offend those affected by the Israel-Palestine conflict."

The Ivy League school's dining services will reportedly be sourcing new machines from American companies.

Harvard's code of arms features the Latin word veritas, which means truth. Could the school's leaders really believe there's is truth in the small-mindedness of the BDS movement?

What say you?

Technological innovation meets Chanukah tradition

Thursday December 18, 2014
This video from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology's department of education in science and technology showed up on our newsfeed and gave us such a sense of awe and wonder that we just had to share it with you our followers.

These three humanoid robots, programmed by Grade 10 students at Ort High School in Kiryat Bialik, expertly execute the serving of a latke, the pouring of shemen (oil) and lighting a chanukiyah. Their construction was supervised by Dan Cuperman of the Center for Robotics and Digital Technology Education (CRDTE).

Simply marvellous.

Classic sandwich flavour in a sufganiyah

Thursday December 11, 2014
There was a time in most North American schools, workplaces and communal events when peanuts were commonly found in lunches, snacks and available as sports game concessions. But recently adopted policies have restricted the consumption and sale of the protein-filled legume.

Nevertheless, sufganiyot (jelly dougnut) makers in New York have kept the lunch staple of peanut butter and jelly alive in the festive Chanukah treat.  
The recipe published by Shannon Sara of the Nosher, which inspired this post, provides step-by-step directions, along with measured quantities for each ingredient and suggestions for substitutions if needed. 
Have a look and nosh away.

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