Weekly Schmooze: Purim comes early for Jewish celebs

A JPost column wrapping up Jewish culture news worldwide: Breslevs get hard rock makeover, NY students get lesson in "Midrash Manicures."

November 3, 2011 15:18
2 minute read.
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Breslev Hassidim are perhaps best known for their tendency to gather in public squares and dance to techno music with the words “Na-Nach-Nachman Me’Uman” and adorn cities’ walls with the same message. Moshiach Oi! may change the Breslev image with a hard rock version of the Hassidic chant: Their new single “Got Nothing On Me.”

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Quite a few Jewish celebrities attended Bette Midler’s Halloween party in New York this week. Actress Debra Messing, designer Michael Kors and Midler herself all looked like Zombies, in accordance with the party’s Day of the Dead theme. Other Jewish celebrities who partook in the Halloween spirit include reality star Bethany Frankel, who wore a Hello Kitty costume, Glee actress Lea Michele, who dressed as the white swan from the film Black Swan, and the New York Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire who isn’t exactly Jewish, but likes to say he is, and dressed as King Solomon.

Halloween is a time for ghosts, and while Amy Winehouse didn’t quite rise from the dead, her label is releasing a posthumous album titled Lioness, which will include new songs, covers and previously unheard versions of her earlier tracks. Many of the songs were produced by Mark Ronson, who worked with Winehouse on her hit album Back to Black.

Historically, cheder teachers in Jewish educational institutes of yore, would give children candies if they learned Torah well. Rabbi Yael Buechler took this tradition one step further, and opened a “Midrash Manicures” club at a Solomon Schechter Day School in Westchester County, NY. According to The New York Times this week, the teacher recounts biblical stories to middle school students, and then helps them paint their nails with themes that they learned.

Now for some gossip: US Vice President Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley Biden is marrying Howard Krein, a Jewish doctor in Philadelphia. Now all of the Jewish mothers in Philly are thinking: “What does she have that my daughter doesn’t?” But the real question is: Will Ashley convert? The Bidens are Catholic, after all.

Finally, we have a related rumor courtesy of the National Enquirer: Paul McCartney is converting to Judaism after marrying heiress Nancy Shevell last month. On the one hand, he reportedly attended Yom Kippur services with Shevell the day before their wedding. On the other hand, why convert after the wedding? The Schmooze suggests considering the rumor’s source before taking it seriously, but it’s still fun to think that there may be a Jewish Beatle!

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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