Jews in the News: Jon Lucas, Jonathan Keltz and Ben Stiller

SKYLAR ASTIN, 26 (born Sylar Astin Lipstein), plays Casey, with JONATHAN KELTZ, 25, (“Entourage”) appearing in a supporting role (“Randy”). Astin was a star of the hit Broadway musical, “Spring Awakenings,” and co-starred in 2012 film musical, “Pitch Perfect.”


Lucas recently said: “21 is where [sic] you go out with all your friends. We call it the American Bar Mitzvah in the movie, because it is oddly this day when America recognizes you as a grownup. You can now do everything you haven’t been able to do.”


Opening the same day (Tampa Theater and "on-demand") is “A Place at the Table.” This documentary explores the tragic fact that almost 50 million Americans aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from. The problem is explored through three real people (a single mother; a 5th grade;, and a 2nd grader with asthma) who are “food insecure.” Academic experts and celebrities working to fight hunger are interviewed, including actor Jeff Bridges and chef Tom Colicchio, 50, the top judge on the Bravo series, “Top Chef.”


The film was co-directed by Kristi Jacobson and LORI SILVERBUSH, 44.  In 2001, Silverbush, whose mother is from Israel, wed Colicchio in a Jewish ceremony and they now have two sons. Colicchio, by the way, performed a great service for Jewish food mavens when, in 2009, he saved the famous Jewish cooking chef, JOAN NATHAN, 76, from choking by performing the Heimlich maneuver on her at a charity banquet.


New on the Tube: Fashion and Funny Parody


The fifth season of the Bravo reality series, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” premieres at 9PM on Wednesday, March 6. The new season follows ZOE, 41, and her husband/business partner RODGER BERMAN, 42, as they expand her womens’ wear collection and open a hair salon. Their infant son, SKYLAR, is often seen.


Starting the same night, at 10:30PM, is the new Bravo series, “Dukes of Melrose.” It features prominent boutique fashion store owners CAMERON SILVER, 43, and Christos Garkinos. We see them as they show off their collections of vintage couture and buy and sell great pieces that were often owned by celebrities. In the premiere show, the duo is shown getting “A-List” celebs ready for the Oscars.


Last November, Silver spoke to the London Jewish Chronicle about his new book, “Decades: A Century of Fashion.” He had some interesting things to say about Jews in fashion: “In recent years [I’ve] noticed a real decline in the number of aspiring Jewish designers. It was all about DONNA KARAN, RALPH LAUREN, CALVIN KLEIN …but they are now the old guard. ALBER ALBAZ at Lanvin is wonderful…But there are not that many young ones. It’s also not the schmutter business it once was as it’s now all about conglomerates and there is so little manufacturing done in the US. There are lots of Jewish CEOs, but I fear the artistry has gone.”


The E! Channel has picked-up, for TV broadcast, the very funny web comedy series, “Burning Love,” a parody of “The Bachelor” TV show. Produced by BEN STILLER, 47, the series follows a narcissistic firefighter Mark Orlando (Ken Marino) looking to find “true love.”  A second season of the web show has already been filmed, but E! is starting with the first season. MICHAEL IAN BLACK, 42, co-stars as the host of the “Bachelor”-like show. New episodes air Mondays at 7PM and the first show aired last Monday. But re-runs are shown every day, including today, Mar. 1, at 8AM, 11AM, and 6PM.


On Parenthood


The NBC series, “Parenthood,” may not be renewed for a fifth season. If it is, it’s likely that costs will contained by turning some of the regular characters into guest stars. This happened to star character Haddie Braverman, who went off to college and was reduced to a few appearances (she’s played by SARAH RAMOS, 21. Ramos’ mother is Jewish).  Ramos, I just learned, has something in common with MAX BURKHOLDER, 15, who plays her brother, Max, on the series (the kid with Asperger’s Syndrome). Like Ramos, he’s the son of a Jewish mother/non-Jewish father. In 2010, Max celebrated his bar mitzvah at a Memphis, TN synagogue.


Nate Bloom writes a weekly column on Jewish celebrities, broadly defined, that appears in the Atlanta Jewish Times, the Cleveland Jewish News, the American Israelite of Cincinnati, the Detroit Jewish News, and the New Jersey Jewish Standard. It also appears bi-weekly in j., the Jewish news weekly of northern California. Most of the items in Bloom’s weekly newspaper column differ from the items in his bi-weekly column on interfaith celebrities for If you wish to contact Nate Bloom, e-mail him at  The author welcomes questions and celebrity “tips,” especially about people you personally know.



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