Weekly Schmooze: Hoffman, Kunis – the new Avengers?

JPost column on hottest Jewish news: The ghost of Anakin visits Darth Seder; tribute to MCA, Maurice Sendak and Vidal Sassoon.

weekly schmooze 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
weekly schmooze 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Forget Avengers (even if it did have the biggest opening weekend ever) – if the day needs saving, call some Jewish celebrities! Earlier this week, Dustin Hoffman saved 27-year-old lawyer Sam Dempster, who collapsed while jogging in a park near the actor's London home. Hoffman called an ambulance, and left only when paramedics re-started Dempster's heart. A few days later, Mila Kunis saved a 50-year-old man who works in her Los Angeles home.
The man had a violent seizure – choking, coughing up blood and vomiting, in addition to biting through his tongue. Kunis called an ambulance and turned the man's head to the side so he wouldn't choke. He has since made a full recovery.
We may be closer to Shavuot than Pessah, but Star Wars Day was last week (May the Fourth be with you!) and College Humor found a way to combine the world's two coolest religions – Judaism and Jedi, of course! The Darth Seder has its own haggadah, and Anakin's ghost is the Star Wars version of Elijah.
Meanwhile, in Israel , some not-quite-A-list celebrities decided to check out the Holy Land, as a part of the Public Diplomacy Ministry-sponsored "Voices for Israel" program. Among the sorta-lebrity visitors were 90210 actress Annalynne McCord and boyfriend Dominic Purcell of Prison Break, as well as 21 Jump Street star Holly Robinson Peete and ER and 8 Mile actor Mekhi Phifer.
McCord scandalized the tabloids by not wearing makeup in public, to which the Schmooze says: It's hot out in Israel. We understand. Here's a picture of McCord and Peete visiting deaf and blind actors at the Na Lagaat theater in Yaffo:
This has been a tough week to be a Jewish celebrity, with three luminaries passing away.
First of all, The Beastie Boys' MCA – Adam Yauch – lost the battle with cancer on Saturday. The urban legend that Yauch attended yeshiva as a teen is not true, but a generation of young Jews looked up to the hip-hop star, who pumped out hits like "Fight For Your Right To Party" and "No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn."
Later this week, a wild rumpus was made around the world in honor of Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak. Sendak died at 83 from complications of a recent stroke. Last September, he published Bumble-Ardy, the story of an orphaned pig who throws himself a birthday party, and first book in 30 years which he both wrote and illustrated. A posthumous book called My Brother's Book is set for a February release, and is inspired by Sendak's late brother Jack. If you really want to respect Sendak's memory, make sure you buy his books on paper. Here's what he has to say about e-books – and death:
Finally, superstar hairdresser Vidal Sassoon died of Leukemia on Wednesday at age 84. Sassoon was orphaned at age three, and moved to Israel in 1948, when he was 20, to join the Haganah and fight in the War of Independence. After returning to London, he created some of the most famous looks of the 1960s. Last year, a fascinating documentary on his life was released:
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:[email protected]