Jews in the News: James Franco, Mila Kunis and Aly Raisman

ZACH BRAFF, 37, does the voice of Diggs’ flying monkey assistant (the monkey you actually see on the screen is computer created).


Williams, by the way, just broke-up with actor JASON SEGEL, 33. They had been living together in Brooklyn for about a year. Their publicist says that “geography” was a major factor in the break-up: Segel has to be in Los Angeles much of the time to make movies and film “How I Met Your Mother.”


Meanwhile, Kunis has just signed to be a spokesperson for Gemfields, a UK-based luxury jewelry company with a good ethical reputation. Before she would agree to be their spokesperson, Kunis insisted on touring the company’s African mines and meeting with company’s on-site staff. She told “Entertainment Tonight”: "They [Gemfields] take so much pride in their work and they take such good care of their employees…They take care of their community, they put up schools, and they teach the people how to farm vegetables. They really do what they say they do.”


Maybe worth a Look


The new ABC series, “Red Widow,” started last Sunday, Mar. 3, at 9PM (You can catch the pilot episode on-line).  It was created by, and is mostly written by MELISSA ROSENBERG, 50 (who wrote the screenplays for the “Twilight” films). The series stars Radha Mitchell as a California woman whose late husband was in the Russian Mafia. After he is murdered, she has to agree to work for the Mob to save her life and the lives of her children.  Pretty redhead JAMIE RAY NEWMAN, 34, who went to a Detroit-area Hillel Day School for her primary school education, and has been in several short-lived TV shows, has a supporting role (“Katrina”).


Really Graceful Jews


As you might have already heard, ALY RAISMAN, 18, who won two gold medals and a bronze medal in gymnastics at the 2012 Olympic Games, will be one of the celebrities competing on the upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars.” The 16th season begins on March 18.  Raisman competed (in the floor exercise) to the music of “Hava Nagila.” Can the music of Hava Nagila be adapted to a couple’s dance? Maybe—and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try.


Meanwhile, professional dancer and audience favorite MAXIM CHMERKOVSKIY, 33, says he will not return this season. The “hunky” Ukraine native, who is the secular son of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, joined “DWTS” in its second season. He has a lot of other interests, including running four dance studios he owns in the NY metro area.


The World Figure Skating Championship takes place this year (Mar. 11-18) in Ontario, Canada. Sadly, it won’t be televised in the United States. Two members of the U.S. team are Jewish. Look for their names in news reports through March 16.  It’s likely they will be on TV in the near future. It’s also likely that they will be at the 2014 Olympics Games and, quite possibly, medal.


MAX AARON, 20, an Arizona native, won the U. S. Men’s Individual Championship last month. Aaron, who was raised in a Conservative Jewish home, recently told the Jewish Telegraph Agency that he was inspired by Jewish athletes growing-up. Aly Raisman, he added, was a recent role model.


Also on the American team is pairs skater SIMON SHNAPIR, 25. He was born in Moscow and moved, with his parents, to the States when he was 16 months old.  Shnapir, an Emerson (Mass.) college student, stands 6’4 and towers over his five-foot partner, Marissa Castelli, 22.  Even so, they “make it work” and last month the duo won their first United States Pairs National Championship.






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