The Weekly Schmooze: Lifestyles of the Rich & Infamous

A 'Jpost' column wrapping up the hottest Jewish culture news worldwide: More Justin Bieber; Jews make the rent 2 damn high?

weekly schmooze 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
weekly schmooze 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Just call us Robin Leach. On this week's Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous, we have the biggest swindler of all time, a Mr. Bernie Madoff. This episode is brought to you by the US Marshals Service of the Southern District of New York, who put pictures online of Madoff's belongings, which they plan to auction off in mid-November. Some of the items on sale include a grand piano, a 10.54 carat diamond ring, and this very classy pair of velveteen slippers.
Another person who's done time for her crime? Naomi Campbell. The English supermodel, known as much for her rage issues as her beauty, told Interview
magazine in October that she has embraced Kabbalah in response to her recent run-ins with the law.
"I study Kabbalah because it takes me to a positive, calm place," she said. "That's what I use it for, and it helps me a lot. I've been in and out of Kabbalah since around 2000. It's just something I have taken more seriously [recently]."
"I've been practicing. I don't know if I've been pronouncing everything right," she said, "but I've been practicing." Campbell also said that Kabbalah has helped her keep her infamous temper in check.
Now, for the rich, famous, and less criminally inclined. High School Musical stars Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron have been dating for a few years now, so naturally
the tabloids have stirred up rumors that the two are getting hitched. The latest story – from the National Enquirer, so take it with a grain of salt – is that Ms. Hudgens is converting to Judaism, in order to "score points with Zac's Jewish family." The Schmooze will believe it when she sees it, but would like to point out that if Efron had dated his other HSM co-star, Ashley Tisdale, it may have saved him some trouble. She's already Jewish.
Let's stick with the Disney Channel demographic. I have some good news for Israeli tweens. Yes, you guessed it: Justin Bieber is coming to the Holy Land, after being personally invited by the Peres Center for Peace. According to Israeli site Achbar Ha'Ir, The 16-year-old will be netting $1.6 million for an April 21 show that will take place either in the Yarkon Park or the Ramat Gan Stadium.
Those of you watching Rokdim im Kochavim (Dancing With the Stars) this week, may notice 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 will compete against the other pairs on the show. Israeli TV presenter Gili Shem Tov, who identifies as gay, will dance this season with professional dancer Dorit Milman, who is heterosexual.
New Yorkers were amused recently by gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan, the head of "The Rent is 2 Damn High Party." His debating style was amusing, to say the least, with him explaining that he wears black gloves because he was exposed to the chemical Agent Orange in Vietnam, and saying, in reference to gay marriage, "if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you." McMillan's solution to all of New York's problems? "It all boils down to one thing, rent: It's too damn high."
While the eccentric politician got publicity for his interesting platform, perhaps his thoughts on the Jewish people are less known. Apparently, McMillan thinks the chosen people are the reason that "The Rent is 2 Damn High." In 2009, he reportedly wrote on his website that "every religious group other than Judiasm [sic] are being run out" of Willamsburg, Brooklyn. "After the world fought hard to free the JEWISH people from the hands of HITLER. They should be shame of themselves discriminating in housing against the people in the State of New York especially in the city of Brooklyn." Blogs have also reprinted an article on McMillan's website that blames "fake Jews" from the Conservative and Reform movements for September 11.
When the New York Daily News asked McMillan about his anti-Semitism, he responded: "Jews were slave masters," he said. "They enslaved my people. You can't call me anti-Semitic."  Sure, there were some Jewish Confederates, but maybe someone should familiarize McMillan with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel?
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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