JTA's Week Ender
People of the Tweet
Rachel Figueroa-Levin launched @ElBloombito, the Twitter account that parodies Mayor Bloomberg’s attempts at bilingual hurricane warnings with hilarious posts in Spanglish. Here are our faves:
@ElBloombito - Cuidado! Stayo away para los downed linos de power. Que Electrocuto! El BUZZZ!
@ElBloombito -Los trainos y el bussos son muy operationo. Go to worko. No excuso!

Six Degrees (No Bacon) Hammertime

Plant touch this. MC Hammer is headlining a Sept. 22 bash in conjunction with the Toronto branch of JNF -- he will parachute-pants his way to help develop a sports field at the Yafit Park complex in Kibbutz HaHotrim along the northern Carmel coast.

Sarah Jessica Parker, decked out like Red Riding Hood for a film opening in Moscow, had a run-in with a big bad wolf -- her local bodyguard, Oleg Donstov, reportedly ripped his shirt open for her to sign his chest, and leaned in and tried to kiss her. As if Donstov wasn’t in enough trouble, his wife was watching on TV (but he hopes roses will do the trick).

Poll of the Week: Do Larry David's real-life new flame and fake ex-wife look alike? Plus Birthday haikus for Lewis Black and Lea Michele, Natalie Portman’s next role and our picks for celebrities who you always thought were Jewish, but aren’t.


In his new column, genealogy enthusiast Hillel Kuttler tells the story of Eliyahu Finkelstein, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor living in Israel who is searching for the descendants of an uncle who immigrated to Philadelphia before World War II and changed his name to Sam Stone.



The Friday Five

Galeet Dardashti Sings the Sorries

Heir to her family’s tradition of Persian and Jewish musicianship, Galeet Dardashti (above) debuts her latest venture, "Monajat," at NEXT@19th Street in Miami on Sept. 3 (read interview, watch video). This new performance piece, inspired by the 13th-century Sufi poem of the same name and her grandfather, the cantor Yona Dardashti, arrives just in time for Selihot and reflections on the Jewish New Year. (Yes, it's already here again.)

Bagel Bowl clash

Ethan Laser Wins Bagel Bowl

Ethan Laser was the MVP of the Bagel Bowl, most likely the first match-up between two West Coast Jewish high school 11-player football teams. With two touchdown catches, Laser led the San Diego Jewish Academy Lions to a 25-8 win over the new Jewish kid on the block, the Milken Community High School Wildcats of Los Angeles. “This year our team has come together as a family,” said Laser, a junior and only in his second season of football. He’s 6’ 4, and if that doesn’t make him enough of a target, he flashed around the field in sporting shoes with day glow orange stripes.

David Reichenberg
Dies a Hero

David Reichenberg was a simple sign-maker, a man of faith, and a devoted father of four, say his friends. He died a hero when he was electrocuted while saving a five-year-old boy and his father, who had been stricken by power lines felled by Hurricane Irene. "He died saving a child," Rabbi Avrohom Braun told JTA. "What could be greater then that?"

Jon Scheyer Makes Aliya (and Jump Shots)

Jon Scheyer, the guard who helped lead the Duke Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA Championship, made aliyah this week in preparation for starting his two-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Scheyer's arrival in Israel to play for Israel’s top team was heralded by Ynet as the arrival of the "Jewish Jordan.” (But let’s not forget that the original "Jewish Jordan," Tamir Goodman, moved to Israel to play for the team in 2002 and New Jersey Nets guard Jordan "my actual name is Jordan" Farmar is joining Scheyer this season.)

Larry Derfner, You’re Fired

Larry Derfner, a Jerusalem Post reporter, caused a stir for writing a blog post that said, “Whoever the Palestinians were who killed the eight Israelis near Eilat last week, however vile the ideology was, they were justified to attack.” Derfner later apologized, saying he meant that the Israeli occupation provokes Palestinian terrorism, not that it justifies it. But after receiving scathing responses and hundreds of calls to cancel subscriptions, The Jerusalem Post fired Derfner.

"Like" our Facebook page to weigh in on this week's list and nominate someone next week! Or send an e-mail to TheFridayFive@jta.org.

Full Press

CALIFORNIA JEWISH CUISINE: What would it mean to eat like a California Jew? “Can’t I celebrate blintzes and kugel as cornerstones of my culture while also recognizing that my Russian and Polish ancestors probably would have loved a fresh mango salsa, if given the chance?” asks Emma Silvers in San Francisco’s j. newsweekly.

IMAM FOR SHALIT: The 5 Towns Jewish Times speaks with Imam Abdullah Antepli, one of 11 American Muslims to sign a letter urging Hamas to release Gilad Shalit.

ANNE FRANK TREE’S DIASPORA: Last year, the ailing chestnut tree in Amsterdam that Anne Frank once admired from her hiding place was felled by a gust of wind. Now saplings from the tree are expected to be replanted in 11 locations in America by 2013, Seattle’s Jewish Transcript reports.

Read our full roundup of Jewish newspapers

Archive Blog

VERMONT, SAUL BELLOW AND HELPING AFTER IRENE: Following Hurricane Irene, The New York Times ran a story about Vermont residents Mel and Norma Shakun, whose 200-year-old home was severely damaged by flooding. One thing the Times didn't mention: The Shakuns are caretakers of the Jewish cemetery in Brattleboro, Vt. where author Saul Bellow is buried. Learn how you can help the Shakuns, members of the Brattleboro area Jewish community, and other communities impacted by Irene.