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Heebonics is a division of The Canadian Jewish News bringing news and views to Jews in their 20's and 30's interested in Jewish culture, including music, film, travel, business, social activism, and more.
Updated: 23 min 45 sec ago

Indianapolis dad, 38, wins big on NBC's The Voice

Thursday May 22, 2014
Thirty-eight-year-old Jewish soul singer Josh Kaufman won Season 6 of NBC's The Voice singing competition May 20 with a show-stopping version of Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

The Florida-born Kaufman, whose father is Jewish, now lives in Indianapolis with his wife and three children and supports himself with local music gigs and SAT tutoring.

The bespectacled, fedora-wearing Kaufman was part of Team Usher on The Voice, having been stolen away from Team Adam, led by Adam Levine, lead vocalist of  the pop rock group Maroon 5.

Beating out challengers Jake Worthington and Chrsitina Grimmie in the final, he became the first "stolen" contestant to win the reality competition.

Below is a video of Kaufman singing Get Her Back with mega-pop star Robin Thicke.

Jay Leno visits Israel

Thursday May 22, 2014
The successor to late-night legend Johnny Carson and the now former host of The Tonight Show, comedian Jay Leno arrived in Israel on Tuesday visiting the country for his first time to host the Genesis Prize ceremony today in Jerusalem honouring former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

After touching down in the holy land, Leno said he was “deeply honoured” to have been given the opportunity to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 In the video you, can her Netanyahu thanking the comedian for “many long [and] funny nights" during his long run on the NBC late night talk show.

Magic keeps it classy with Donald Sterling

Thursday May 15, 2014
Magic Johnson said Donald Sterling’s diminishing comments in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper earlier this week of his charitable efforts in the African-American community would not harm relations between the Jewish and black communities.

“One thing great about the African-American and Jewish communities is that they have worked well together over years, and we will continue to work with the Jewish community,” Johnson, the former Los Angeles Lakers star, said in an interview May 13 with gossip website TMZ.

The basketball Hall of Famer spoke to TMZ in the wake of the latest controversial statements by Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers who was banned last month from the National Basketball Association following a racist rant captured on audio.

“I think his strategy is to attack me and then also pit both communities against each other, but it’s not going to work,” said Johnson, who is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.

In his first interview since the leaking of a taped conversation with a girlfriend in which he slanders blacks, Sterling told Cooper May 12 that he should be credited for his charitable work.

“Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people,” Sterling said. “And some of the African-Americans – maybe I’ll get in trouble again – they don’t want to help anybody.”

In what was intended to be an effort to apologize and rehabilitate his image, Sterling instead went on to attack Johnson for his past promiscuousness.

His rant in the original conversation with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, was prompted by Stiviano appearing in an Instagram photo with Johnson.

Johnson, who is HIV positive, has done considerable work to raise awareness about AIDS, including in Israel.

With files from JTA

A trend to come: the drive-by bar mitzvah?

Thursday May 15, 2014
As The CJN continues to investigate the cost of eating Kosher in Canada, we'd be remiss if we didn't report on the a new way to avoid going all out in spending on a costly bar mitzvah in Hollywood.

Lisa Kudrow, the kooky Phoebe on the popular NBC sitcom Friends, sat down with late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien to tell the tale of how her son, now 16, found himself bar mitzvahed by Chabadniks at an L.A. mall.

Kudrow referred to the quick service, which happened during a routine shopping trip, jokingly as a "drive-by bar mitzvah" and told Conan that when her family found out about him "becoming a man," they showered him with traditional gifts.

For celebrities and friends of celebrities, that apparently means lot and lots of money!

RealView Imaging’s 3D tech featured on Grey's Anatomy

Thursday May 8, 2014
Tikkun olam, repairing the world, starts with repairing ourselves, and an Israeli medical technology company is showing top doctors how to do just that.
RealView Imaging's futuristic 3D holographic system is similar to CGI-rendered versions seen recently on film, such as in all three Iron Man movies,  but, the practical uses for such systems are now being demonstrated beyond the realm of science fiction and being applied to life-saving situations.

In a recent episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, viewers of the show saw how RealView Imaging, based in the small northern Israeli city of Yokneam, is making it possible for surgeons to use three-dimensional holography in planning the steps of delicate and complex procedures.

The unique display and interface system projects hyper-realistic, dynamic 3D holographic images “floating in the air” without the need for special eyeglasses or even a conventional 2D screen.

Physicians can literally touch and intimately interact with the image —  giving surgeons an unprecedented opportunity for guidance before taking a knife to a patient.


The future of technology is wondrous and if used for the right purposes, can do a world of good.

Mandy Patinkin: staunch advocate for peace

Thursday May 8, 2014
Mandy Patinkin and Homeland co-star Claire Danes A peace activist in both his professional and everyday life, Mandy Patinkin, the veteran stage, screen and TV actor who currently stars as Saul Berenson on the Showtime hit Homeland, recently accepted the Yitzhak Rabin Peace Award from Americans for Peace Now.

Patinkin – who sits on the board of the NGO, which is the sister organization to Shalom Achshav, Israel's pre-eminent peace group – works to ensure Israel's future by mobilizing support for policies that Peace Now believes will lead to a long-lasting peace for the state and its neighbours.

In a statement during the ceremony directed at the writers of his beloved series, Patinkin proposed that if the peace process doesn't advance, Homeland should do a season (or a spin-off) about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Perhaps in Hollywood fiction, at least, the dream can become a reality.

Patinkin, who is also known for his singing,  wrapped up his acceptance speech by leading the audience in a sing-along of the popular peace anthem by Sheva founder Moshe Ben-Ari Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu.

Listen below.

Actor and director Assi Dayan, son of Israeli icon Moshe Dayan, dead at 68

Thursday May 1, 2014
Sad news out of Israel today as filmmaker and actor Assi Dayan, the son of the late IDF general and former defence minister Moshe Dayan, was found dead in Tel Aviv.

He was 68 and had reportedly suffered from serious health problems.

The younger Dayan appeared in some 50 Israeli films and television series, and directed at least 16 films, including some considered Israeli classics.

In recent years, he starred in the popular TV drama B’Tipul or In Treatment, which was adapted for U.S. television.

He began his acting career in the 1967 film He Walked Through the Fields. Among the films he directed were Halfon Hill Doesn’t Answer, Life According to Agfa, and An Electric Blanket Named Moshe.

He received a lifetime achievement award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival in 1998.

NASA honours original Captain Kirk

Thursday May 1, 2014
Canadian William Shatner, best known as Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise on the classic sci-fi TV series Star Trek, received a distinguished public service medal earlier this week from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Shatner was presented with the space agency's highest civilian honour at his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which raises money for children in need.

He was recognized "for outstanding generosity and dedication to inspiring new generations of explorers around the world, and for unwavering support for NASA and its missions of discovery," NASA said.

"William has been so generous with his time and energy in encouraging students to study science and math, and for inspiring generations of explorers, including many of the astronauts and engineers who are a part of NASA today," NASA spokesman David Weaver said on stage at Shatner's event. "He's most deserving of this prestigious award."

The venerable actor has had a longstanding relationship with NASA and its programs, stretching back to when the original Star Trek aired in the 1960s. In the last three years, Shatner has voiced the introductions to, and hosted, a series of NASA video productions.

Shatner was deeply moved by the honour and tweeted his appreciation thusly:




Katy Perry, Andrew Garfield and their cultural clichés

Thursday April 24, 2014
While celebrities are followed around by paparazzi and their statements to the media are often taken out of context, cultural digs and religious riffs are not always made in good taste.

Pop sensation Katy Perry and Andrew Garfield, the latter famous for suiting up as the web slinger Spiderman in the big screen reboot of that franchise, are two such Hollywood stars currently stirring up attention.

Known for varying her look in her music videos, Perry's promo for her latest single, Birthday, has her donning many disguises. One of her personas is that of
, an Orthodox-like bar mitzvah DJ who has a tendency to tell off-putting jokes about rabbis.

It's not the singer's first ethnic misstep.

Last year at the American Music Awards, she was called out for donning geisha dress during a performance. Her antics put her in the same musical company as Selena Gomez, Drake and Avril Lavigne, to name but a few who've been criticized for some questionable ethnic depictions in their videos.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Time Out London and in other previous statements, Garfield says Spiderman's alter ego Peter Parker is Jewish, if only by association, having grown up as a socially awkward science wunderkind in Queens, the easternmost and historically Jewish borough of New York City.

"I hope Jewish people won't mind the cliché, because my father's Jewish. I have that in me," said Garfield.

Spiderman is of course the creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the wildly gifted and legendary Jewish comic book team. And Lee's orphaned teen Parker is not so fundamentally different from DC Comics' Superman. One is entirely human and the other one is an infant sent from another planet, but both wrestle with their own deep sense of morality and the great responsibility that comes with having their great powers. Their stories speaks to us on multiple levels.

Intentional or unintentional instances of cultural impropriety? You be the judge.  

The ADL challenges us to change history

Thursday April 24, 2014
As part of a public awareness campaign to coincide with its 100th anniversary, the Anti-Defamation League has put out a powerful new video that's sure to send a chill up and down the spines of even the most hardened of cynics.

Titled Imagine A World Without Hate, it challenges viewers to envision a world without racism, homophobia or anti-Semitism, one in which the hate violence that took the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Anne Frank, Daniel Pearl, Matthew Shepard and others did not happen.

"Imagine what these individuals could have continued to contribute to society if bigotry, hate and extremism had not cut their lives tragically short," the blurb accompanying the video says.

Set to John Lennon's iconic song Imagine, it shows newspaper, web and magazine articles with headlines such as "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 84, Champions Immigration Reform," "Anne Frank wins Nobel Prize for her 12th novel," "Yitzhak Rabin, 90, honoured for nearly two decades of Israeli-Palestinian peace," and "Harvey Milk expands LGBT equality globally."

The tagline at the end reads, "If we all stood up to bigotry, we could change history."

How true.

See it for yourself.



A parody comes full circle, from Derulo to Jewbellish

Monday April 14, 2014
As we sit down this week to retell the story of Passover and our Exodus from Egypt, and despite being a people so persecuted throughout history, we can be proud that today's artists and mainstream media are drawing quite a bit on aspects of Jewish culture.

For instance, American singer-songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo took a sweet Yiddish melody and adapted it to create his most recent smash hit Talk Dirty, the second single from his third studio album titled Tatoos.

Now the artist known as Jewbellish has taken it back with Talk Yiddish.

El Al's new safety video is a wild ride

Monday April 14, 2014
To everything there is a parody, and even airline passenger safety videos are not exempt.

El Al, Israel’s national carrier, promoting its low-fare Up brand, has added a bit of funk to the traditional explanation of aircraft rules and regulations. The video features disco bell bottoms, comical dance moves and a five-piece band.

Patterned after Virgin airlines’s viral hit, El Al's goes a couple of wild steps further.

The relatively new, low-cost brand was started last November. There are two classes of passengers and two ticket price points for short-haul flights to European destinations, as well as special handling for frequent-flier members. Customers decide how much they wish to pay and pay extra for each added service.

Here's a look at the sub-titled version of the video.


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