Monthly Archives: November 2008

The Emanuel Brothers Talk to Charlie Rose

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

If you’re wondering which brother is which, just check out the suits:

The one with the power pinstripes has to deal with Capitol Hill, that’s Barack Obama’s White House Chief of
Staff Rahm.

The puke colored tie gives away the eldest brother Ezekiel, who is a doctor and thus owns no nice ties. Actually, he’s a world renowned oncologist who wrote a book that purports to solve our health care crisis.

And, lastly, the brother with the simplest, bluest suit is the Hollywood agent Ari. If you’ve seen HBO’s show Entourage, Ari is the inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s character, aptly named Ari Gold.

(HT: Jewssip)

Bookmark and Share

Put Some Matzah on that Turkey!

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler


Hey there InTheMoment readers. Hope you’re liking the blog so far. Remember, if there’s anything you want to tip us on to, or have some input to contribute, get in touch with us at editor@momentmag.com. We love hearing from our readers.

One such reader, Nancy Rosenberg, recently contacted us to see if the magazine had ever written something in honor of Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, Nancy, we’re in the middle of putting Moment’s back issues online (as an electronic archive) so we can’t yet do a simple “Thanksgiving” search and see what Moment issues mentioned the holiday. That being said, perhaps there are some readers who remember seeing a Thanksgiving piece in Moment.

So, readers, anyone remember seeing a Thanksgiving piece in Moment?

Bookmark and Share

Orthodox Jews Were Not Affected By “Obama Bad For Israel” Rhetoric

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

According to data based on precincts “with High-Concentration Of Orthodox Jewish Voters,” Orthodox Jews were not only unafraid of Barack Obama, some communities voted for him in larger numbers than they did for John Kerry in 2004.

Shmuel Rosner blogs (and has a nice chart) about the data , compiled by The Public Policy office of the Orthodox Union, at JPost. He gives four explanations for the data:

  1. Like many Americans, Orthodox Jews thought it was time for the GOP to get its butt kicked.
  2. The economy has a profound impact on Orthodox families with a lot of children and a lot of expenses.
  3. Bush was rewarded in 2004 for his friendship toward Israel. McCain wasn’t.
  4. Sarah Palin was a downer to Jews, some Orthodox included.

Either way, we know that the rumors and the rhetoric swirling around Obama as bad for Israel and bad for Jews didn’t work among this demographic.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Rock and Ben Stiller Love Israel

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

rockstillerChris Rock and Ben Stiller are in Israel for the premiere of Madagascar 2, and both of them said that Israel is better than Hollywood. From JPost:

The premiere was in Netanya on Saturday. Stiller says it’s a good place to roll out a new movie. He said, “This is better than any premiere we have had so far.”

Rock expanded on that. He said, “It’s much better than Hollywood. They don’t like us in Hollywood, but here they love us.”

Which brings us to the central question here: What the eff is Madagascar 2?

Bookmark and Share


Waxman and Cohen Move Up: US Congress Jewish Update

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

In the aftermath of the election and an entirely new incoming administration, the Republican and Democratic parties have shuffled their rosters to prepare for the next Congress. As a result, some Jewish members have been promoted and now hold top positions.

This week, representatives Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Henry Waxman (D-Cal.) got significant promotions in their parties’ and Congress’ hierarchy.

On Wednesday, Rep. Cantor (see above video) was unanimously elected House minority whip by his fellow Republicans. The Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz both had pieces about Cantor and the GOP’s post-election efforts this week. Ha’aretz had this quote:

“As a rising star in the Republican party and an outstanding legislator, Rep. Cantor is a source of tremendous pride for the Jewish community,” Republican Jewish Coalition official Matt Brooks said. “While the many challenges facing this country, and our party, are daunting, with Rep. Cantor taking on new leadership responsibilities as House minority whip, this is an occasion to be hopeful and to look towards the future.”

Also this week, Rep. Waxman beat out John Dingell (D-Mich.) for the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Continue reading

This Week’s Links: Is it Summer yet? Edition

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

  • SPAM is back! [CBC Radio One (scroll down)]
  • A nice summary of the basic problems and solutions related to bringing kids to synagogue. [Three Jews Four Opinions]
  • “AJC extended today congratulations to Cem Özdemir, the newly elected co-leader of the Green Party in Germany. Özdemir has been a longstanding participant in the Turkish-Jewish Roundatble, sponsored by AJC’s Berlin Office.” [AJC]
  • Anti-Semitic graffiti was found on a cafe in Northwest London. [Totally Jewish]
  • With election hoopla finally dying down, Jewish news has mellowed out. One Jewish blogger is reallllllly bored. The result? A list of 22 useful travel tips for you and me. [Treppenwitz]
  • And this week’s award for most ridiculous news story goes to the Danish. Oh they take it home, and easily, for trying to ban circumcision under the age of 15. Not only would that effectively ban Jews from one of our historical homes, it’s also just plain dumb. Circumcision is as a benefit to men’s health in most countries. [Ynet]

Bookmark and Share

Could an Evacuation of the Jewish Settlement in Hebron Spark an Israeli Civil War?

img_1069By Jeremy Gillick

There is an interesting drama developing around one of the West Bank’s most radical and controversial Jewish settlements. Home to the Ma’arat HaMachpelah—the Tomb of the Patriarchs—Hebron is a sacred cow for Israel’s religious right (read Glenn Frankel’s January story about Hebron in Moment here). Unlike most settlements, which stand on hills above Palestinian cities, the Jewish settlement in Hebron exists in the city’s very heart, protected vigilantly by the Israeli army. Although there’s no talk of dismembering the settlement altogether, much less of dismantling all the settlements, which, as both Shimon Peres and Shin Bet security chief Yuval Diskin have recently warned, could precipitate a civil war, Israeli security forces are threatening to evacuate a group of settlers from a building they occupied illegally in Hebron over a year ago. The settlers are fighting back.

On March 19, 2007, hundreds of settlers from both Hebron and Kiryat Arba, the larger but equally radical settlement above Hebron, moved into a 4-story, 3,500 square foot building on the road linking Hebron to Kiryat Arba. According to the settlement’s official Hebron website, “The building was purchased from its previous owner via an office in Jordan for an approximate price of $700,000. The previous owner transferred all his legal rights to the building to the Hebron Jewish community.” As it turned out, the documents “proving” Jewish ownership were forged, and this past Sunday, Israel’s High Court gave the building’s occupants until Wednesday to leave.

By last night, they had not budged. And although the Defense Ministry chose not to use force, yet, presumably not wishing on themselves a repeat of Amona’s 2006 evacuation, it seems unlikely that the settlers will move without some prodding. Continue reading

Israel Phil and Zippity Dudamel

By Mandy Katz

Gustavo Dudamel

Gustavo Dudamel

The Israel Philharmonic must be the most relaxed symphony orchestra in the world. Really, some of these musicians literally lean back in their chairs while they play. Others sway, and I caught a trombone player whispering with the timpani guy at one point. (Those guys in the back have some really loooooong rests.) And the resulting sound? Gorgeous.

So in sync was the ensemble — performing Mendelssohn and Brahms for a packed house Tuesday night at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts — that they gave the impression of playing just for the joy of it in somebody’s (very large) living room. In the familiar “Italian” symphony by Mendelssohn, especially, it seemed the conductor could have walked off stage and the orchestra contentedly continued on their own.

That’s not to discount the influence of this very special conductor. Venezuelan wunderkind Gustavo Dudamel, 27, commanded the podium all evening (sans score) in his D.C. debut. Zippity Dudamel, whose new home base is the Los Angeles Philharmonic, lived up to his reputation for warmth and a certain kinetic genius on stage. So expressive are his body and his hands, so impish his smile and so floppy his wild ringlets, he could be the dark-haired reincarnation of Harpo Marx. His gestural repertoire was endless: He tiptoes; he lunges; he jumps, he practically waltzes with the orchestra. To draw out their amazing sound, he  also performs the jumping-jack wave, the stagger, the upright shoulder-jerk, the scoop-and-shovel, and the curtain-draw. Then there’s the “We’re #1″ finger poke, the toddler-tantrum stomp, the bear hug, the plunger and the leaning tower. Continue reading

An Interest in Hanukkah? Jon Stewart Sings!

By Mandy Katz

Hanukah caroler Jon Stewart

Hanukkah caroler Jon Stewart

“Can I Interest You in Hanukkah?” may be the first ever TV ditty sung a due by Jon Stewart and fellow faux-newsie Stephen Colbert. It’s part of Colbert’s upcoming TV special, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All, airing Sunday on Comedy Central. Audio of the duet aired yesterday on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air — you can hear it on the show’s website (click “Listen Now” and skip to minute 7:07). Sample lyric: “Yes, indeed, 8 days of presents, which means one nice one, then a week of dreck.”

Colbert, the show’s host and self-described “broadcasting legend,” also sings his own original carols. After all, the crusty newsman explains, perched on a piano bench in a cozy cardigan sweater, every time we hear one of those other, familiar, Yuletide standards, “someone else gets the royalty check. That doesn’t sound like Christmas to me.”

Colbert’s got some stage chops you would never have guessed at: a little soft-shoe, a cozy baritone. Stewart’s voice, too, isn’t half-bad. But he’s no Joseph Shlisky.

Photo by ninjapoodles.

Bookmark and Share

Israel’s Donald Trump? Reality Show to Feature “The Arcadi”

gaydamak-by-lisag-in-tel-aviv

Mayoral also-ran Gaydamak

By Mandy Katz

Jerusalem voters may have told Arcadi Gaydamak, “You’re fired” last week, as Nir Barkat edged him for the Jerusalem mayoralty. But don’t imagine the oligarch just sitting at home counting his shekels, or making prank phone calls to those méchants prosecutors in France trying him for arms trading.

The Russian-reared Gaydamak, one of Israel’s richest citizens, plans to star in a reality-TV show along the lines of Donald Trump’s Apprentice series, but devoted to snack stands and other small businesses, Ynet reports:

[Gaydamak] will accompany and advise businesses with especially small turnover rates, such as Falafel stands, clothing stores and factories in the periphery, until their profit margin rises significantly.

If he boosts those felafel profits high enough, maybe we could import him for a future season devoted to slightly larger businesses. I can think of three in Detroit that could use the help.

Photo by LisaG in Tel Aviv

Bookmark and Share

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 306 other followers