Jewish celebrities might not be something you think about all the time. But think again. What could be more relevant these days than the popular Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump? The website Haaret published an article by Chemi Shalev called “The Shameful Jewish Silence on Trump’s Anti-immigration Incitement” last week. Shalev writes about Jewish immigration in the 1800’s and “were it not for the kind of anti-immigrant sentiment that Trump is stoking now, together with the lethal mix of religious and racist hatred of Jews that was rampant in those years, America could have saved countless more Jews than Roosevelt.” We are truly a country of diverse celebrities, including our favorite Jewish celebrities.
Straight up now tell me, do you really want to love Paula Abdul forever? Those are Paula Abdul’s lyrics. Bet you never thought you would read about Paula Abdul in the Jewish Journal! Well, she’s there in all of her post-American Idol glory. Abdul was born to Jewish parents from the Syrian Jewish community in Aleppo. Abdul recently walked with the Israeli team during the opening ceremony for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Jerry Seinfeld was born to a father who was Jewish immigrant from Kherson Oblast and a Syrian Jewish mother. He volunteered in Kibbutz Sa’ar at the age of 16. Seinfeld told ESPN this summer, “I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘They’re so PC.’ They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”
Natalie Portman is Jewish and she told the Independent, “I think a really big question the Jewish community needs to ask itself, is how much at the forefront we put Holocaust education…which is, of course, an important question to remember and to respect, but not over other things. We need to be reminded that hatred exists at all times and reminds us to be empathetic to other people that have experienced hatred also.”
Jeff Goldblum was born to a Jewish family, belonged to an Orthodox synagogue and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony. Last week, SFist wrote a piece about him that highlighted his musical talents. He has a Mildred Snitzer Orchestra and performs weekly in Los Angeles. “I like to improvise. I like to do cold readings. I’m a big proponent of preparation, coming up with an interesting way to play something whether it’s musically or theatrically,” Goldblum told SFist.
Shia LaBeouf told Indie London, “Yeah, my dad’s Cajun. I have a cool lineage, a good group of people. I’m Jewish so I was named after my grandfather. Shia means “gift from God” and LaBeouf means “the beef” so my name means “thank God for beef!” According to Venture Capital, LaBeouf seems to have gotten over Mia Goth and there are rumors that he has a new girlfriend in Studio City. They even got groceries together at Gelson’s.
Maya Rudolph was born to a father who was an Ashkenazi Jew and an African-American mother. Even more interesting is that her grandfather owned all of the Wendy’s and Rudy’s restaurants in Dade County, Florida. Think of all the Wendy’s nuggets you could eat! Fill up on the sweet and sour sauce for a good old time. Vanity Fair reported that Maya Rudolph will have a variety show with Martin Short.
Kat Graham was born in Switzerland to an Americo-Liberian father and a Jewish mother. She has a half-brothe rnamed Yakov in Tel Aviv, Israel. Graham also attended Hebrew school. Graham was on the show “Stalker” about victims of stalking which starred Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q. Graham can be found on Youtube singing songs that say, “all of my secrets turn me on, cause nobody knows,” and “let’s do it in public.”
Drake’s father is an African-American and his mother is a Jewish Canadian. He attended a Jewish day school and also had a bar mitzvah. “The racism I experienced was being Jewish. Jewish kids didn’t understand how I could be black and Jewish, because we’re all young. It was just stupid, annoying rich kids that were closed-minded and mean, so I dealt with that more than anything. But it had everything to do with being Jewish, not being black,” Drake told Vibe.
Matisyahu is an American Jewish musician who was controversially barred from a reggae festival in Spain, according to Jpost. Protestors did not like his lack of response to political issues regarding Palestine. “Whoever you are and wherever you come from, raise a flag and wave it in the air. Let music be your flag,” Matisyahu told the crowd. Matisyahu was raised as a Reconstructionist Jew and attended Hebrew school at Bet Am Shalom.
Paul Rudd is Ant-man, but did you know he was Jewish? “I was always in new school and had British parents, which was not the norm, and I think there was also… I’m not particularly religious, but I was born Jewish and I always felt like the outsider because I wasn’t Christian or Catholic. So I learned early on that I could be accepted if I made people laugh when I turned the joke on myself,” Rudd told The Guardian.
It’s official. Forbes recently released an article called “Why Adam Sandler is Failing While Tom Cruise is Kicking Butt.” Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. “Sandler’s career is on a downhill slide while Cruise is making a nice comeback,” says the article. Sandler’s new movie “Pixels” was not able to make the top spot. Sandler grew up in a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. Don’t forget he also made that Hanukkah song in that cartoon movie.
Amy Schumer was raised Jewish? According to Jeffrey Salkin’s website, he was her rabbi at Central Synagogue of Nassau County. “I remember Amy as a sweet, funny kid, who often asked probing and humorous questions in religious school. Amy has catapulted to the very top of American popular consciousness. I enjoyed “Trainwreck.” It tells the story of a woman who avoids true intimacy,” said Salkin. That’s a bit awkward since Amy has a bedroom scene with John Cena.
Seth Rogen was born to two parents who met in Israel at a kibbutz as radical Jews. He went to Vancouver Talmud torah Elementary school and went to a Habonim Dror camp. On Marc Maron’s show, he said, “The Jewish population in Canada just dipped to zero” after talking about bringing his friends from Canada down to Los Angeles for a premiere. He also mentioned his dad’s farrakhan yarmulke and said, “I think it was his way of grappling with baldness.”
Andy Samberg’s family is Jewish. His grandfather was the executive chair of the American Jewish Congress. On the show “Chelsea Lately,” Chelsea Handler joked with him about his background. “You’re pretty Jew-y looking,” Handler said. “I’m pretty Jew-y. And my last name is Samberg,” said Samberg. Samberg is going to host the Emmys next month on Fox. He will probably do a great job and recently released a list of words that sound dirty.
Jon Stewart opened the Sunday SummerSlam Show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Stewart ran to the ring with a chair and knocked out John Cena, according to Yahoo. Stewart also had Jewish jokes earlier this year to talk about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. “The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed Congress today in observance of the sacred Jewish holiday of Suuk-on-it-Mr.-President,” said Stewart on “The Daily Show.”
Dr. Oz: “I’m Very Concerned About the Corona Virus, Here’s Why”
While coronaviruses have been known to medical science since the 1960s, few have been anywhere near as dangerous as this new one from the market in Wuhan China.
A coronavirus is typified by its protective shell which resembles a crown or a halo under a microscope. That is where it gets its name. The average coronavirus does little more than cause the symptoms of the common cold, sniffles, cough, flu-like symptoms and so on. Part of the reason that these viruses are so hard to prevent from causing millions of colds each year is their protective shell. They can remain on a surface for hours, sometimes days, before they begin to lose structural integrity. But few trigger symptoms as severe as this one known as 2019-nCoV.
Dr. Oz had this to say about what has become known as the Wuhan Coronavirus, “It’s alarming, this is the big news today, the Chinese leadership is starting to say ‘this incubation period is a lot longer than we thought.’”
If this report is true, it means that many, many more people may be infected than have been reported- or even anticipated. It means that people could be walking around, infected, and not even know it- not taking precautions and spreading the virus everywhere they go. That means anyone who has recently returned from the area around the Wuhan market, where the outbreak started, could be carrying the disease.
At the time of this writing, the total enumerated infection count is over 1,800. The total deaths are approaching 200. Other researchers are suggesting that this virus has a rapid mutation rate. That is particularly terrifying because it is what made the HIV-AIDS virus so difficult to treat.
At present, the World Health Organization had laid down a series of suggestions to help people avoid infection.
They advise that anyone who may come into contact with the virus should:
- Wash their hands frequently
- Maintain good sanitation on and around all frequently used objects and surfaces
- Avoid centers of mass travel such as airports
- Sneeze and cough into the elbow or a tissue
- Take immunity-boosting supplements like vitamin C
The source of the infection is believed to have come from a specific market in Wuhan, where live animals were kept in stalls for sale and trade. Researchers believe the virus came from either a snake or a bat. The initial cases of illness were reported in December 2019 by employees of the Wuhan market. That market is now shut down for the foreseeable future.
As health officials struggle to understand the virus and contain its progress, other researchers are asking even more startling questions. The shell of this virus is similar to the shell of a virus created in a university research lab in 2015 at the University of North Carolina. What’s more, there is a known military biological weapons lab in Wuhan China.
If these reports are true, it could have serious implications, not only for global health- but for relations between the US and China.
Big Brother Contestants Make How Much on the Show?!?
Big Brother has been a wildly popular, dramatic reality TV game show since 2000. Audiences are captivated by the twists, the turns, the strange alliances, and the betrayals. The show is based on a Dutch program with the same premise which also became wildly popular in Spain and Germany before the reboot came to America.
As the US version grew in popularity, the producers eventually made it possible for fans to watch the contestants on a non-live streaming video feed available 24 hours a day seven days a week. Yes, the contestants on Big Brother are now on display to be viewed by anyone in the world at every waking moment. How they avoid getting caught in their all-togethers or during toilet breaks, we don’t know. Maybe they have certain camera-safe areas to which they can retreat.
Later on, the house the Big Brother contestants live in was stripped of all communication devices- depriving them of contact with the outside world. That is- except for the live feeds the public has unfettered access to. So, if one of them was being held hostage, we suppose they could let us know.
So the question came up of, how much do the contestants really earn? By playing the game they have the chance to make friends, or enemies, become Internet sensations, and to win half a million dollars. But, given everything they have to put up with; being ripped out of their lives, possibly losing jobs, experiencing the anguish of betrayal- all while being on public display- do they get anything else?
According to a report by Reality Blurred, a site that follows the happenings of reality TV stars, programs, and related matters- the contestants “[…] receive $750 per week that they’re in the house.”
Any pay they receive while in the jury house is harder to account for since nothing about it appears on the contract. However, it is believed that contestants receive consolation prizes during their time out of the main house. It also seems reasonable that the consolation prizes received in the jury house should be worth at least $500 since keeping them away from other gainful employment for less than that would be near to slavery. (We’re looking at you, jury duty.)
However, while the big prize on Big Brother is a cool half-million on top of what the contestants earn as their weekly salary, in reality- they have much more to gain in Internet stardom.
Many former Big Brother players have gone on to lucrative careers as influencers on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites. While any gains from that are unlikely to be as exhilarating as half a million in fast cash- the best of them certainly earn more than that over the long term.
So, it would appear that our curiosity MacGuffins on Big Brother are at least doing as well as someone earning minimum wage- while essentially fooling around Truman Show style.
Single Mom Irina Shayk, Happy Single
Those in the public spotlight seem to be an open book. Their every move seems to is covered by gossip sites. Their whereabouts are nearly always and it seems as if we are updated on who’s dating who and what luxurious vacation they are on.
That’s why it is surprising that Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper kept their relationship under wraps for so long, dating all the way back to 2015. The couple was first spotted together after the actor and model were first seen in 2015. Cooper split from Suki Waterhouse and Shayk ended her five-year relationship with soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.
The couple was first seen together at a Broadway show, then shortly thereafter, the White House Correspondents’ dinner. Things seemed to move quickly from there. Within months the couple moved in together, soon they announced they were expecting.
Work Gets in the Way:
Irina, who has been quiet about her relationship and breakup with Bradley Cooper, recently spoke up about their relationship.
The couple ended their relationship in 2019, on the heels of the release of the stars’ remake of a Star is Born. The on-screen chemistry between Bradley Cooper and his co-star, Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, sent tongues wagging. Rumors were raging that the two co-stars were in a relationship based on their pationate adaption of the film.
Irina set the record straight in some recent interviews about the end of their relationship. According to Shayk, the couple hadn’t been getting along for quite some time. After the baby was born, Shayk was hoping that Cooper would put their family first and slow down his busy working schedule. She was secretly hoping that after A Star is Born was released and the promotional tour was over, he would spend more time at home. That was not the case.
Irina, 33, was ready to settle into family life. This included getting married and more children. But the marriage never happened, and Cooper’s work schedule was as busy as ever.
Irina felt that her expectations weren’t met and she didn’t have the commitment level she wanted from Cooper. Shortly after the Award season in June 2019, the news broke that the couple had split. Irina had taken baby Lea and moved out of the couples Los Angeles home.At first, the separation was thought to be temporary. Both partners have decided that they are better apart than together.
The couple continues to co-parent their daughter, but it seems like the couple are happty being apart. They both seem to be quite content focusing on their child and carreers.
Irina recently said that “life without Cooper” and being a single mom is “new ground.” She also said that just because two people are great on their own, they are not always good together.
Irina is a strong woman, and while she often feels overwhelmed being a single-mom, she’s ready for the challenge. Both parents are dedicated to doing what is best for their child and are curently working on a visitation schedule.