The Weekly Schmooze: Israeli tweens have Bieber Fever

A 'Jpost' column wrapping up the hottest Jewish culture news worldwide: Matisyahu says L'Chaim, Ashton and Demi think Israel is a Better Place.

weekly schmooze 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
weekly schmooze 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israelis have been making waves in the modeling world for years now, but now they're taking on the hip-hop world. Rapper Kanye West has been releasing free downloads over the last nine Fridays, and one has a special shout-out to two blonde, leggy Israelis: Bar Refaeli and Esti Ginzburg. "Christian Dior Denim Flow" has a verse dedicated to West's favorite supermodels, including the following lines: "I’m in the car with Leo and the Benz swerve/I heard Bar was friends with Esti Ginzburg."
A free download of the song is available here.
Speaking of genre swapping, singer Matisyahu is going into modeling. The Hassidic reggae star appears in advertisements for L'Chaim Kosher Vodka, which is manufactured in Or Akiva, but marketed mostly in the US. Matisyahu, good spokesmodel that he is, has been plugging the company, which also manufactures tequila, rum and wine, on his Twitter account. This isn't the first time Matisyahu has modeled; in 2008 the singer posed for designer Kenneth Cole.
The Weekly Schmooze has Bieber Fever! Well, not quite, but here's some news for the Justin Bieber fans amongst our readers: The teen singer says Shema before every concert. No, Bieber is not Jewish, but his manager and the man who discovered him, Scooter Braun, is. In a recent interview, Braun said that before the Canadian
crooner performs, he says a Christian prayer, and then the Shema, because he and Bieber "are like blood brothers."
Israeli Bieber fans hoped to hear his Shema in person, since Israel reached second place in a recent internet poll asking where the 16-year-old sensation should perform on his world tour. First place went to North Korea, after website 4chan launched a prank campaign, but Israel was not far behind with 624,803 votes. Unfortunately for Israeli tweens, Bieber's management told MTV that the poll was unofficial.
While Bieber may have the power to make over half a million Israeli girls swoon, he probably still isn't as powerful as Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld, who reached second place in Forbes Magazine's 100 most powerful women. Other powerful Jewish women include Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan in 25th place, followed by Ruth Bader Ginsburg (31), facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (66), Deadline Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke (79), and designer Donna Karan (96).
Also on the list are Comedienne Chelsea Handler (33), who has a Jewish father, as does Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker (45).
As third-most popular Twitter member in the world, one could say Ashton Kutcher wields a lot of power, too. The comedian turned social-network guru visited Israel this week for the Bezeq Expo in Tel Aviv. Kutcher, who was joined in Israel by his wife
of five years, Demi Moore, spoke about new media and the companies he has invested in, including Katalyst, a multiplatform media company. He and Moore were hosted by the Tel Aviv Kabbala Center, and also visited Shai Agassi's electric car company Better Place, according to Moore's tweets.
Of course, no celebrity visit would be complete without some controversy. Britain's Daily Mail claimed that the couple also planned on renewing their wedding vows in Israel, after tabloid reports that Kutcher had been cheating on Moore with a woman named Brittney Jones. Moore's representation denied that the two are renewing their vows, and has not commented on Kutcher's alleged infidelity.
Kutcher revealed no such details on his Twitter account, writing only: “Sharing Love & Light while in Israel. Asking 4 the energy 2 forge bonds with our similarities & find compromise in our differences.”
This week, Wired magazine published an exclusive interview with the first autistic presidential appointee in US history, Ari Ne'eman. A leader in the neurodiversity movement, which demands civil rights and access to services for the "autistic community," Ne'eman was nominated by President Barack Obama to the National Council on Disability last December. Ne'eman's nomination was quite controversial. As he explained to Wired:
"The level of prejudice was pretty shocking. Some people relied on outrageous but all-too-familiar stereotypes to claim that it doesn’t make sense to have an autistic person on the National Council on Disability, such as the bizarre notion that autistic people are emotionless sociopaths. The weirdest accusation was that I got the appointment because my parents are Israeli — a reminder of the anti-Semitism that lurks behind many types of conspiracy theories."
Ne'eman's nomination was held for months by a senator who chose to remain anonymous, but the hold was dropped in June. Ne'eman, who has Asperger's syndrome, is not only the first openly autistic presidential appointee, but one of the youngest at age 22.
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.

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