The Weekly Schmooze: This year's Top Ten Stories

A 'Jpost' column wrapping up the hottest Jewish culture news worldwide: The stories you told the most Lashon Hara about in 2010.

By
December 30, 2010 14:17
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With Perez Hilton visiting Israel this week, the Schmooze decided to take it easy and leave gossip-gathering to the experts. Instead, you voted on the juiciest Jewish scoops of the year:

10. Jewish reality stars:
This year, Jews took over the small screen on both sides of the Atlantic. Modern Orthodox 18-year-old Esther Petrack caused controversy with her appearance on "America's Next Top Model." Andrew Gordon, an Orthodox podiatrist, participated in the American version of "Big Brother." Robin Perza and Katie Waissel faced anti-Semitism on Canada's "Lake Shore" and UK's "X Factor," respectively. The champion of all Jewish reality stars, however, is British singer Stacey Solomon, who was crowned Queen of the Jungle on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here." Gene Simmons of KISS gets a consolation prize, since he didn't have to compete on his show, "Family Jewels."

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9. Justin Bieber announces concert in Israel
Israel has Bieber fever; Schmooze readers, apparently, don't. After Israel scored high in a poll asking where Justin Bieber should perform, and following reports that he says Shema before every concert, the floppy-haired singer announced that he would perform in Israel in April 2011. Tweens have already started saving their allowance.

8. Jewish rapper Drake tops the hip-hop charts
Yes, if you haven't heard, recent rap phenom Drake is, in fact Jewish, and went to day school in Toronto before he was cast in the popular Canadian teen drama Degrassi. Years later, he teamed up with rapper Lil Wayne, and has been cranking out hits ever since. In a summer interview with Heeb magazine, he discussed being called a "schvartze" in school, and on the cover of hip-hop magazine Vibe, he wore a diamond-studded Chai. Drake was also one of the dozen Jews to be included in People's "Sexiest Men Alive" list in 2010.

7. Israeli designer Alber Elbaz designs a collection for H&M
Fashionistas waited on line for hours outside H&M stores around the world – Tel Aviv included - to get a chance to buy a fast-fashion version of the Lanvin couture line on November 23, the day it was released. The frilly dresses and accessories come courtesy of Lanvin's designer Alber Elbaz, who was born in Morocco and grew up in Holon, Israel, before he moved to France to take the fashion world by storm. This new collection brings dresses that usually cost thousands of dollars down to affordable prices and in larger sizes than haute couture usually offers.





6. Same-sex couple competes in Israel's "Dancing With The Stars"
If you watched this season of Rokdim im Kochavim (Dancing With the Stars), you may have noticed something unusual for the show – a same-sex couple. For the first time on any of the many international versions of the reality show, two women competed against the other pairs on the show. Israeli TV presenter Gili Shem Tov, who identifies as gay, danced this season with professional dancer Dorit Milman, who is heterosexual.



5. Pamela Anderson writes a letter to Shas
It's not every day that a Shas minister gets a letter from a Playboy bunny, but that day came this year. Pamela Anderson, former star of Baywatch and guest judge on the Israeli version of Dancing With the Stars, wrote a letter to Religious Affairs Minister Yakov Margi, asking him to stop holding the bill to ban the fur trade in Israel from going to a vote. In September, Margi postponed the discussion about the bill, in order to study its religious implications, specifically those pertaining to shtreimels. In Anderson's letter, she says that "the ways in which animals suffer and die in the fur trade violates Jewish principles, which strictly prohibit causing unnecessary suffering to animals."

4. Director Oliver Stone says the Holocaust is a product of "Jewish domination of the media"
In a July interview, director Oliver Stone lamented the "major" Jewish lobby in the US, calling it "the most powerful lobby in Washington." He added that "Israel has f***ed up United States foreign policy for years." Stone also said that "Hitler is an easy scapegoat" that needs to be put "in context," because he "did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people." The Simon Wiesenthal Center rated Stone's comments as one of the top ten anti-Semitic slurs of 2010.

3. The "Maccabeats" Hanukka video
I'll tell a tale, tale, tale of a Yeshiva University a capella group who reached YouTube fame and nearly 4,000,000 hits with "Candlelight," a parody of the Taio Cruz hit "Dynamite." These students flipped their latkes in the air, and the Jewish world flipped its lid for the Maccabeats' harmonizing and Brady Bunch-esque music video.



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As is fitting for a Jewish gossip list, our top two stories are about weddings. Disappointingly for all the yiddishe mamas out there, neither of these men are lawyers or doctors, but neither has a Jewish mother-in-law, so they probably got a pass.

2. Ivanka Trump converts to Judaism, marries Jared Kushner
Our first wedding features one of the hottest couples on the New York social circuit.  Ivanka Trump, daughter of Donald and host of "Celebrity Apprentice," underwent an Orthodox conversion under the guidance of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Congregation Kehillath Jeshurun in Manhattan's affluent Upper East Side. Within a week of Ivanka's conversion being finalized, Jared Kushner, owner of The New York Observer and son of Orthodox real estate magnate Charles Kushner, popped the question. The two traded rings in an Orthodox ceremony at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey in October, and Ivanka wore a Vera Wang dress with lace sleeves.

1. Chelsea Clinton marries Marc Mezvinsky
Last but not least, we have America's answer to the royal wedding. Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton married Marc Mezvinsky in a ceremony featuring a reverend and a rabbi. Mezvinsky is the son of former Democratic members of congress Edward Mezvinsky and Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, and was raised Conservative. Chelsea's groom walked down the aisle in Rhinebeck, New York in a kippa and tallit. Like Trump, Clinton wore a Vera Wang gown, but without the modesty constraints of Orthodoxy, she chose a strapless dress with silver beading at the waist.

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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