Jews in the News: Gal Gadot, Arianne Zucker and Bob Dylan

At the Movies: Opening Friday, October 21

“Keeping Up with the Joneses” is a comedy/drama about a pair of covert spies (Jon Hamm and GAL “Wonder Woman” GADOT, 31) who move into a nice suburban neighborhood. Their “simple” neighbors discover their real jobs and get embroiled in an international espionage plot. The neighbors are played by Zach Galifianakis and ISLA FISHER, 40. Comedian ARI SHAFFIR, 42, has a large supporting role. By the way, this film is fine for the whole family.

Daveed Diggs Moves On

DAVEED DIGGS, 34, became famous and won a Tony-award for playing Thomas Jefferson/ the Marquis De Lafayette in “Hamilton”. He left the show in July and soon was cast in “Black-Ish”, the hit ABC series. He began guest-starring on the series on Sept. 28 and will appear in an arc of six episodes. He plays Johan, the brother of family matriarch Rainbow (TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, 43.)

Rainbow and Johan are bi-racial and Johan comes into conflict with Rainbow’s African-American husband, Dre, about black identity. In real life, Diggs and Ross are bi-racial and both have a Jewish parent—his mother and her father.

Zucker on Being Jewish and More

ARIANNE ZUCKER, 40, has become one of the most seen actresses in the world since the release of the 2005 video featuring Donald Trump’s notorious comments. She’s seen greeting Trump as he arrived on her soap opera set.  Here are her own words about her Jewish background, posted on a fan site in 2003.

“I hope everyone had a…Happy Hanukah…I wanted to clean up my article from Soap [Opera] Digest a little. I am not both Jewish and Christian. I grew up in an interfaith family. Meaning my Mom is Jewish and my Dad's family Christian. You can only be one (well you can be anything you want) but knowledgeable of all. So being that my Mom is Jewish, I am Jewish. But we learned about my Dad's side as well. So in turn we got to celebrate both. I hope I helped clarify that. I try to be helpful whenever possible.”

A star of “Days of Our Lives” since 1996, Zucker appeared on the “Today Show” on October 13. She was asked if she was shocked about the comments about her and other women in the video. She replied:  “Not with [Trump’s] type of personality--I wasn't shocked. Which is probably why it doesn't mean a lot to me."

Zucker would not say whether or not she accepted Trump's apology. However, she did add that she hoped the release of the tape will have a positive affect: "I think men can learn from this how not to be in front of women or when they're speaking about women. I'm ready to use it in a proper way. I'm ready to use it for positivity. I'm ready to use it for women to step forward and to do good things in my life and for other people."

Dylan, Nobel Laureate

I was a huge fan of BOB DYLAN, now 75. I suspect that I am like most long-time fans---I lost interest in his new material after he entered his “heavy Christian phase”, circa 1980, and while I listened to some tracks from albums after he came out of that phase circa 1990---I never really got into him the same way again. Still, because of my early fandom—and my celebrity column—I have followed, closely, what most Jews wonder about: Is Bob still a Christian believer or has he returned to Judaism?

The fact that he sometimes goes to synagogue on Yom Kippur and doesn’t attend church or talk about Jesus anymore doesn’t tell us, really, what is in his heart. So-called “Dylanologists” argue about ‘tiny clues’ in Dylan’s actions or comments as tipping the argument one way-or-another.

The answer is we will probably never know. It’s unlikely that Dylan will make a “clear statement of faith” before he dies. Nor will his funeral provide much of a clue. As I said, Dylan does things like going to synagogue on Yom Kippur without clearly stating that he’s renounced Christian beliefs. So, I don’t think he’ll care if a rabbi presides over his funeral. Just possibly, one or more of his five adult Jewish children will decide that it’s okay after his death to open up about their father’s most inner beliefs. If they speak, it won’t change the universe—but I’d just like to know after all this time. Plus, maybe what they have to say will shut up the "expert" clue hunters.


Add Comment