The Weekly Schmooze: All hail El Bloombito

A JPost column wrapping up Jewish culture news worldwide: Shofar flash mob; Natalie Portman retires?

weekly schmooze 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
weekly schmooze 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Hurricane Irene came and went, but Did you like Black Swan? How about Thor? Well, that may be the last you see of Natalie Portman on the big screen. The Oscar winner turned down her first post-baby film role to focus on taking care of three-month-old Aleph Millepied-Portman. In May, Portman said in an interview that she looks up to Audrey Hepburn, and like the film icon, she may take time off to be with her children: "Audrey made some good choices in life," Portman explained. "More and more I realize how unimportant it is to be in the history books… Putting time and energy into your children – that's valuable."
Sometimes, a celebrity's Judaism is revealed in the most unexpected ways. Indie rapper Kreayshawn did not have the greatest week –she lost out on a "Best New Artist" MTV Video Music Award, her Twitter account was hacked, and nude photos of her when she was underage were stolen. The hackers also sent out anti-Semitic messages from her account. It turns out that Kreayshawn (pronounced "creation") is Jewish, and actually named Natassia Gail Zolot. Here's the video that got her nominated for a VMA:
For fans of an entirely different musical genre, the film Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life opened in New York's Film Forum yesterday. (It opened in Israel last November.) The film is the directorial debut of cartoonist Joann Sfar, known for comics like The Rabbi's Cat and Klezmer. In a fascinating interview with IndieWire, Sfar explains that he feels connected to legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg through their shared European-Jewish identity.

How are your shofar-blowing skills? You have two weeks to get up to par before shofar flash mobs in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Budepest and Oregon, meant to be a mass call to teshuva in honor of the Hebrew month of Elul. Art Kibbutz NYC is hosting the event, a "21st century, postmodern twist" on the tradition of blowing a ram's horn, which is meant to "rouse the heavens, and make Jews around the world, the international media and passers-by tremble."
Finally, if you ever thought your rabbi's sermons are a bit boring, here's a solution: Eight Hollywood screenwriters and 20 Los Angeles rabbis participated in a workshop titled "Punching Up Your Holiday Sermons." The event was hosted by the transdenominational Board of Rabbis of Southern California, and featured Jewish writers for Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, Boston Legal and other TV shows.

The Weekly Schmooze collects the hottest Jewish culture news from around the world. Ranging from celebrities to philanthropy to quirky communities, we're here to schmooze about Jews. If you have any news to share with The Weekly Schmooze, write