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Sunday, April 20, 2014

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Jewish Canadian skater helps bring home a medal

Heebonics - Monday February 10, 2014
Dylan Moscovitch, who might be the only Jew competing for Canada at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has helped bring home a silver medal.

Dylan Moscovitch and Kirsten Moore-Towers
at the Nationals [Danielle Earl photo]The Toronto-born skater, who trains in Waterloo, Ont., competed with Kirsten Moore-Towers in team figure skating and earned nine points out of the 65 total for Team Canada.

In the new team competition, athletes from all categories – ice dance, pairs figure skating, singles – perform and the team with the highest total score wins. Russia came in first with 75 points, and the U.S. earned bronze with 60.

Also contributing to the team were individual competitors Patrick Chan, Kevin Reynolds and Kaetlyn Osmond, as well as Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford in pairs and ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

Moscovitch and Moore-Towers will be competing on Tuesday in the short program in pairs figure skating, and in the free skate on Wednesday.

Listen below to The CJN's Cara Stern's interview with Moscovitch from shortly before he left for Sochi.

Chriqui goes for Canadian indie gold

Heebonics - Thursday February 6, 2014
From right - Chriqui,  Rath, and HuntingtonAfter her breakout performance as Sloan on the popular HBO series Entourage to her big-screen role opposite Adam Sandler in You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Montreal native Emmanuelle Chriqui returned home for a jewel of a role in a Canadian indie film. 

Chriqui, joined by Sam Huntington and Meghan Rath of Syfi's Being Human, star in Three Night Stand, which opens in theatres this week.

The movie primarily takes place at a cosy bed and breakfast in the snowy Laurentian Mountains where Huntington's Carl hopes to re-kindle the romantic spark  between him and and his wife of five years, Sue, portrayed by Rath.

When Carl discovers Robyn,the girl who got away and broke Carl's heart, is the new owner of the lodge, the potential for marriage trouble grows. Then, as if things couldn't get any worse,fellow lodger, the smooth-talking art-house movie actor Anatolii, starts making eyes at Sue.
Theatre screens in February leading up to Valentine's Day are generally filled with various romantic comedies and heart-string-tugging films, for obvious reasons. Many critics are saying this little home-shot indie could be the best of this year's lot.
Watch the trailer for Three Night Stand below, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Seinfeld reunion short, but fun nonetheless

Heebonics - Monday February 3, 2014
Yesterday's Super Bowl was full of surprises, but for some, one of the most exciting moments came during halftime: a long-awaited Seinfeld reunion.

Last month, Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander were spotted at Tom's Restaurant, the café whose exterior sign was an iconic feature of the hit series. When asked about the project, Seinfeld confirmed it was a reunion, but promised it was a one-off.

It played out as a 90-second episode of Seinfeld's popular webseries Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee, but unlike other episodes, which features Seinfeld and a guest in an unscripted coffee date, it was done with Seinfeld and Alexander reprising their roles from the legendary '90s sitcom.

According to a statement Seinfeld released after the game, Fox had approached series creator Larry David and Seinfeld to do the mini-reunion, given the New York connection to the game.

"Larry and I wrote the script in one sitting, just like old times, and working with him, Jason and Wayne [Knight, who played the series' antagonist, Newman] was a total blast, as it always was," Seinfeld said.

While it was great to see the characters together again, it wasn't exactly what many people were hoping for. Still, the six-minute version is fun to watch, even if it isn't completely fulfilling.

We can only hope this project leads to something bigger.

Watch the full version of the episode below.

An interstellar exhibit on now in Tel Aviv

Heebonics - Thursday January 30, 2014
If you've ever hiked in the Negev dessert and slept beneath the stars like I have, you undoubtedly would agree that the night sky there is a fantastic sight to behold. So if you're in Tel Aviv right now, this is one exhibit you should most definitely check out.

An exhibition about space photography is being hosted in Tel Aviv’s port. The installation is part of the city's annual "Space Week," now running for the third year in a row. The week is dedicated to exposing the Israeli public to the wonders of outer space.

Post inspired by Size Doesn't Matter and Jewish News One

Portman's husband converting to Judaism

Heebonics - Thursday January 30, 2014
Israeli born actress Natalie Portman’s husband, French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, told Yediot Achronot, an Israeli newspaper, that he is in the middle of the conversion process and is looking forward to the end of the process when he “will become a Jew.”

He added that becoming Jewish is “very important” to him. Portman, who has never shied away from her connection to her Jewish and Israeli background, married Millepied in 2012 and have since had a son together whom they named Aleph.

Portman is currently in Israel with her family, working on a film she’s directing based on a book by Israeli author Amos Oz titled A Tale of Love and Darkness.

 The book, a memoir set during Oz’s childhood in Jerusalem in the 1940s and ‘50s, chronicles the antisemitism his ancestors experienced in Ukraine, and the Zionist ideology that led them to settle in Palestine in the 1930s.

It also describes his childhood experiences with his parents, his mother’s suicide when he was 12, his adolescent years growing up on a kibbutz, and his experience living through Israel’s many wars and conflicts.

The news came as the leader of the haredi Orthodox Shas party said the the relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son and a non-Jewish Norwegian woman is a matter of national concern.

Yair Netanyahu, 23, is dating Sandra Leikanger, 25, a woman he met while they were both studying at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

“Woe is us if it is true,” Shas chairman Aryeh Deri told the haredi radio station Kol Barama on Ja. 27. He added that if the reports of the relationship are true, then the prime minister and his wife “have a great heartache.”

Deri explained that he was not attacking the prime minister over his son’s choice of a girlfriend. “I try not to raise personal criticism, but if, heaven forbid, this is true, it is no longer a personal matter — it is a symbol of the Jewish people,” he said.

Other Shas members and members of other parties, including Netanyahu’s own Likud, have also criticized the relationship.

Studio executives believe in Gal Gadot

Heebonics - Thursday January 23, 2014
Fans of the first female heroine to ever appear in the Detective Comics (DC) universe, the amazon princess Diana Prince, a.k.a Wonder Woman, received further good news this week that Israeli actress Gal Gadot will not only portray the mythic warrior in the upcoming sequel to Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, but will also appear in the planned Justice League follow-up flick as well as her own standalone film.

The online community is tweeting, posting and chatting up a storm about studio executives putting their faith and trust in the Middle Eastern beauty.

But fans will have to wait a while to see Gal and soon-to-be Caped Crusader Ben Affleck take on their respective mantles, as the Batman vs. Superman film has been pushed back to a summer 2016 release.

Gene Simmons helps raise $450K for Saskatoon children's hospital

Heebonics - Thursday January 23, 2014
Kiss bassist Gene Simmons helped raise $450,000 for a hospital in Saskatchewan through an auction of a custom truck.

The silver rebuilt 1956 F-100 Ford pickup truck, nicknamed Snakebit, went up for auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The money raised will go toward building a children's hospital in Saskatchewan, which is one of the only provinces that doesn't yet have one. The hospital would be situated in Saskatoon, where Simmons' wife, Shannon Tweed, grew up.

Simmons offered to help raise the sale price at the auction by pledging that if the bidding went higher than $1 million, he'd give the winning bidder a signed guitar, as well as something a little more personal.

"I'm looking for a million dollars," he said, according to CBC. "If you want me to sign it, come over to your house, cook dinner for you, whatever you need, lap dance."

Academy gives 'Palestine' second-ever nomination

Heebonics - Thursday January 16, 2014
Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad has been nominated for an Academy Award in the foreign language category.

Not only is it the second Oscar nod for the Nazareth-born director – he was first nominated in 2005 for Paradise Now – but because he's a self-identified Palestinian, it marks the second time a Palestinian movie has been nominated.

The film is the romantic drama Omar. Shot in both Israel and in the West Bank, Omar is the most successful truly Palestinian film, according to Times of Israel. It was made with almost entirely Palestinian funds and with the help of an all-Palestinian crew, although some of the actors are Israeli Arabs, including star Adam Bakri. That has led to some discussion about whether it should be considered an Israeli or Palestinian submission, but the Academy has spoken and sided with the filmmaker.

Watch the trailer for Omar below.

Big names to play concerts in Israel this year

Heebonics - Thursday January 16, 2014
The Holy Land is about to get a slew of musicians stopping in to perform this spring and summer.

In addition to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, who announced their concerts last year, Neil Young and Justin Timberlake have added their names to the list.

If you're an Israeli fan of Young and Crazy Horse, make sure you catch them this time around. According to Rolling Stone, Crazy Horse guitarist Frank Sampedro said his gut tells him this is the group's last tour.

"I hate saying their ages, but I’m 64 and I’m the baby of the band," he said. "I love playing and we’re playing as good as we ever did, but at any time, something could go down with any one of us."

It's also been 19 years since Young was in Israel, so you definitely don't want to miss this one.

If you're a classic rock fan in Israel, keep your fingers crossed for more tour announcements soon. The Rolling Stones have reportedly been offered $4.5 million to play Tel Aviv this summer – the largest amount ever offered to an artist to play in the country.

What are Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld working on?

Heebonics - Wednesday January 8, 2014
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld spent some time on Reddit this week, where he shared his thoughts on his favourite Seinfeld memories, his comedy techniques, and his favourite transportation method. But what might be most intriguing was his response to this question: "What is the most mundane thing you and Larry [David] have obsessed over?"

His response is sure to spark excitement in any big Seinfeld fan.

Louis C.K., left, and Jerry Seinfeld in
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee"We never obsess over anything that isn't mundane," he wrote.

"Most recent was intentional mumbling. We wrote this script for this thing that you will eventually see, but I can't reveal what it is at this time. All I can do is tell you is that it's big, huge, gigantic. Even bigger than that Amazon package."

"That Amazon package" refers to a top Reddit post at the time of his AMA (Ask Me Anything) session — spoiler alert: the giant Amazon package was carrying a car.

No word yet on what the project is, but with the two comedians at the helm, it should be comedy gold.
And if you are a big Seinfeld fan, make sure you take a few minutes to read through his AMA and catch the new season of his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Many Hungarian Jews to join March of the Living in 2014

Heebonics - Wednesday January 8, 2014

Every country was touched in some way by the actions of the Nazis and World War II.

This year, March of the Living – an annual educational program that brings students from all over the world to Poland to study the history of the Holocaust and examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate – will mark 70 years since the mass deportation and extensive destruction of Hungarian Jewry.

Deportations to the gas chambers at Aushwitz-Birkenau commenced on April 29, 1944, and concluded July 11, 1944. When a final count was taken of the estimated 800,000 Hungarian Jews alive at the start of 1944, only approximately one-fourth remained alive.

Hungary and the Roma have been in the news quite a bit in recent months, as a poll placed Hungary among the most anti-Semitic countries in all of Europe.

At the World Jewish Congress plenary in Budapest last May, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared that his government is committed to quashing anti-Semitism in all forms, calling it "unacceptable and intolerable."

Organizers of the March of the Living will be inviting leading Jewish figures of Hungarian descent, both political and non-political, to participate in key ceremonies and events tentatively scheduled for April 23 to May 8.

If you're between the ages of 21 and 35, you can submit an application to attend by clicking here.

'The Woman in Black' to become franchise – without Daniel Radcliffe

Heebonics - Thursday January 2, 2014
Hammer Film Productions has hinted that Daniel Radcliffe's first post-Harry Potter movie, The Woman in Black, is set to become a franchise.

The sequel to the 2012 horror flick won't open until February 2015, but Hammer's CEO Simon Oakes told Total Film magazine that Hammer is already considering a third and fourth instalment of the story, which is based on a 1983 horror novella.

"If your second's successful, then your third, then you've got a franchise," Oakes told the magazine.
"I just don't believe in the notion that you can press a button and create a franchise, but, I mean, I'm definitely planning 3 and 4."

Unfortunately, our favourite Jewish wizard won't be continuing on with the new franchise. The sequel, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, will star Jeremy Irvine, best known as the star of the Academy Award-nominated War Horse.

Pixies break boycott to play Israeli festival

Heebonics - Friday December 27, 2013
Four years after cancelling a show in response to the 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, the Pixies will be back in the holy land.

After the raid, which left nine activists dead, the American alternative rock band cancelled its planned performance and issued a statement that said, "We'd like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans, but events beyond all our control have conspired against us. We can only hope for better days, in which we will finally present the long awaited visit of the Pixies in Israel."

At last, Israeli fans of the band will be able to hear songs like Where Is My Mind live.

The Pixies will be performing with Soundgarden in Tel Aviv as part of an as-yet-unnamed festival in June.

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