The Weekly Schmooze: Natalie Portman's Valentine

JPost column on hottest Jewish news: Mel Gibson still hates Jews; gay pop stars wear tefilin.

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April 20, 2012 11:39
3 minute read.
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Once upon a time, Madonna made a controversial music video in which she wore tefilin. Well, Ari Gold, who identifies as a Gay-Jewish pop star, definitely beat Madge with his new music video for "My Favorite Religion." Gold wears tefilin on both arms – despite knowing better, since he grew up Orthodox – and goes shirtless under his tallit. He also dresses as a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) person.



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Paul McCartney's new single, "My Valentine," has three music videos, all of which feature Natalie Portman or Johnny Depp using sign language and lip-syncing the lyrics to the songs. One has just Portman, another has just Depp, and the third stars both of them. Here's Portman:



Speaking of music videos, last week, the Schmooze brought you Drake's re-Bar Mitzva in the form of the music video for "HYFR." Now, Ben Keuhne, President of Temple Israel, where the clip was filmed, had second thoughts after analyzing the video and lyrics, saying that it is "not consistent with Temple Israel's longstanding history and reputation as a progressive voice in the Jewish Reform movement." At the same time, Keuhne hopes that young Jews will see the video and re-commit themselves to Judaism.

Israel went wild for Bono as he visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem over Passover. Now Buzzfeed has a copy of a note the U2 frontman left at the King David Hotel, in which he wrote that "in Jerusalem, hope springs eternal." He also drew a dog, which he wrote is named Hope.

In case you had any doubt, it turns out that Mel Gibson really, really hates Jews. The actor-director planned for years to helm a movie about Judah Maccabee, which many said was meant to rehabilitate his anti-Semitic image. Meanwhile, Warner Brothers rejected a script for the film by screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who accused Gibson of not making the film because he hates Jews. "You continually called Jews 'Hebes' and 'oven-dodgers,'" the screenwriter said in a letter to Gibson. "You said the Holocaust was 'mostly a lot of horsesh*t.' You said the Torah made reference to the sacrifice of Christian babies and infants." In addition, Eszterhas said Gibson intended to make The Maccabees in order to convert Jews to Christianity. Gibson denied the writer's comments as "utter fabrications."



Actor, director Mel Gibson (Reuters)

The Maccabees won't make it to the big screen, but you'll be able to catch the latest in Jewish entertainment on the small screen in the form of Shunned, a reality TV show about former ultra-Orthodox Jews.  The program will feature Dr. Phil guest and aspiring actress Pearlperry Reich, 30, who is in the middle of a divorce and custody battle for her four children, and her boyfriend Shauli Grossman, 24. Grossman said he hopes to teach Orthodox teens that they have other options. "We're married off at 17 or 18 before we even know what we want." Another member of the cast is Luzer Twersky, who grew up in Belz and Satmar, and was married after one date at 19. He's currently dating a blonde Irish-Catholic woman he calls "as shiksa as they come," and loves eating bacon and watching Star Wars. Meanwhile, the show's executive producer Noah Scheinmann is looking for a fourth cast member.

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 to:weeklyschmooze@gmail.com

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