Jews in the News 5.30.10
Nate Bloom, Contributing Writer
Aldous Snow Redux/ Bit of Berger
Stoller, 34, wrote and directs “Get Him to the Greek,” which opens Friday, June 4. Russell Brand is back as Aldous Snow. The story has it that Snow's career is ruined after he puts out a song and music video about Africa that everybody but Snow takes as incredibly offensive. He starts seriously abusing drugs and drink. Enter Aaron Green (JONAH HILL, 27) a record company intern who proposes a comeback performance for Snow at Los Angeles’ Greek theater. The record company likes the idea—the rub is that Green is made responsible for getting the addled Aldous to the theater.
Get Him To The Greek
Full of raunchy humor and drug/sexual references, “Get Him” definitely deserves its “R” rating. But TV shows don’t have such clear ratings and you might want to watch the new MTV series, “The Hard Times of R.J. Berger,” before letting the kids do so. A first glance, it seems like another show about a nerdy Jewish teenager. But it goes as far into “raunch” as a basic cable show can—and the title (cough) refers not just to Berger’s problems—but also to his (cough) over-average natural endowment. (Premiered Sunday, June 6th, at 11PM).
The Boxing Rabbi-In-Training
On Saturday, June 5, after the sun had set and Shabbos was over, YURI FOREMAN, 29, an Orthodox Jew and the current holder of the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super welterweight championship, entered a ring in the middle of Yankee Stadium. He boxed Miguel Cotto, the holder, at various times, of three boxing championships. They fought for the WBA junior welterweight title (154 pounds). The bout was televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
There was no clear favorite in this match, which is the “main event” of the night. Cotto, who is of Puerto Rican background, has fought better competition than Foreman. But he has not been boxing that well in the last few years and he is fighting at a weight that is higher than usual for him.
Foreman has attracted enormous attention in the Jewish/secular press for obvious reasons—he is an Orthodox Jew who can fight; he is well along in his studies to be a rabbi!; he’s good looking and his wife, LEYLA LEIDECKER, 29, is a pretty professional model, a documentary maker, and a former top pro boxer who trained Hillary Swank to box for “Million Dollar Baby.”
Foreman was born in Belarus and moved to Israel when he was 9 and learned to box in an Arab gym in Israel. He moved to the States in 2000 and turned pro in 2002. Neither he, nor Leidecker, were religious when they met in 2003 and fell in love. However, they both felt something was missing from their lives and not long after they started dating—Leyla “googled” for Kabbalah classes—which led, in a roundabout way, with them both taking classes about Judaism with an Orthodox rabbi. It was a gradual process—but they both got more and more into the study of Judaism and Leyla, who wasn’t born Jewish, converted to Orthodox Judaism in 2006. They both follow virtually all Orthodox strictures, such as keeping kosher and not working on Shabbos.
A recent New York Daily News profile of the couple provided a sidelight that made me laugh. The News reported that Yuri and Leyla trained with each in the ring until she left boxing to direct documentaries. She told the News:” It wasn’t much fun. We are not the same size. [He's 154 pounds, and she's just 125 pounds] I like to spar with guys who are smaller. It is hard to spar with someone much bigger.”
Jeez, when you hear that a married couple are "sparring partners"--you assume something is going wrong. Here are a couple who were literally (loving) sparring partners!
Jews in the News 6.8.10
Nate Bloom, Contributing Writer
The Tony awards, for excellence in the Broadway theater, are being presented live on TV on Sunday, June 13 (8PM, CBS). LIEV SCHREIBER, 42, is nominated for best leading actor in a play (a revival of ARTHUR MILLER’s “A View from the Bridge”). Schreiber’s co-stars in “Bridge,” SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 25, and JESSICA HECHT, 44, vie for the Tony for best featured actress in a play. Also nominated is LINDA LAVIN, 72, for best leading actress in a play (a revival of “Collected Stories,” written by DONALD MARGULIES).
Lives Carefully Examined
The month-long Soccer World Cup tournament begins in South Africa this Friday. The United Sta
Contributing Columnist Nate Bloom, a syndicated columnist out of Oakland, California, writes "Jews In The News," highlighting celebrity Jews in all walks of life with - a heavy concentration on the entertainment field. Bloom, for purposes of the column, defines a Jew as a person with at least one Jewish parent, who is not raised in a faith other than Judaism and does not identify with a faith other than Judaism as an adult. His column, an exclusive to the Tampa Bay area, will appear weekly in "Let My People Know." You can reach columnist Nate Bloom by writing to Iris Pastor at email@example.com
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