The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Friday, October 9, 2015

Member Login:


Syndicate content
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 50 sec ago

Hilarity for Charity bar mitzvah for James Franco

Thursday July 23, 2015
We've been tracking stories of the business world's elite spending exorbitant amounts on bar/bat mitzvah parties for their sons and daughters, which often feature celebrities making special appearances.

We've also brought you similar reports of celebrities re-committing or reconnecting to their Judaism through the ceremony.

In 2012, David Arquette and Drake both grabbed headlines, and last year, Lisa Kudrow's son avoided an all-out lavish affair by "becoming a man" in a drive-by bar mitzvah.

Apparently it's now James Franco's turn in the spotlight.

Good friend Seth Rogen, who has worked with Franco, 37, on half a dozen films since first meeting on the set of TV's Freaks and Geeks in 1999, is planning to officially initiate Franco into manhood with the traditional right of passage. It's scheduled to take place during the annual Hilarity for Charity variety show at the Hollywood Palladium on Oct. 17.

The Hilarity for Charity fund was founded four years ago by Seth and his wife, actor and screenwriter Lauren Miller Rogen, to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

Actors and comedians such as Paul Rudd, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and even Montreal Canadien P.K. Subban have performed at past benefits.

If it'll be anything like Franco's comedy roast or the spoof's of Kanye West's and Kim Kardashian's shenanigans, like their Bound music video, you know it will be a laugh-out-loud affair.

Rogen has said he may also hire a mohel and add to the occasion “a live bris for James.” Mazel Tov!

Tickets to the event are available for sale starting Aug. 11 from Hilarity for

Details on the broadcasting of the ceremony have yet to be announced.

Ivanka Trump extolls her conversion to Judaism

Wednesday July 22, 2015
Donald Trump – American business tycoon, reality TV star, author and investor – may be making headlines for hateful speeches criticizing Mexicans and John McCain while running for America's top job, but Ivanka Trump is making headlines for a far more positive reason.

Extolling how fulfilled she is after having converting to Judaism in 2009, when she tied the knot with businessman Jared Kushner, Trump told Vogue magazine in a recent interview, "It's been such a great decision for me... I really find that with Judaism it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity."

Trump, 33, and Kusher, 34, are proud parents of two small children, Arabella, 3, and Joseph, now almost two years old.

Trump classifies her observance level as modern yet traditional: the family keeps kosher and observes Shabbat. From sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, they fully unplug from the world. "We don't do anything except play with each other, hang out with one another, go on walks together," she says. "Pure family."

As it states in Pirkei Avot, "Who is rich? He who is content with his lot," and when a family takes the time to truly be together, disconnected from all distractions, there is perhaps no richer unit in the world.

Ashton Kutcher remodels home with Israeli app

Thursday July 16, 2015
While his earnings from Two and a half Men can provide much more than just a comfortable lifestyle for wife and new mother Mila Kunis, after production wrapped last winter Ashton Kutcher's mom got some attention, too.

Having invested in the home design website of the Israeli-created company Houzz, the Hollywood actor and producer once again stepped in front of cameras as the new face of its interior designing app.

Residing in Los Angeles, Kutcher, 37, believed it was time to renovate the childhood home that he built with his step-father at the age of 13 back in Iowa. In time for mother's day, Kutcher's mom was gifted with an updated basement for when the grandchildren come to visit.

For the man who portrayed Walden Schmidt, a billionaire internet entrepreneur on Two and half Men, it's a logical fit that Kutcher would use the latest technological tool to get the job done. According to, 7 million interior design gallery photos are browsed by more than 25 million visitors each month.

Having documented the project, watch as Kutcher explains how he came to realize his vision for the space.

Olympian sheds clothes for ESPN The Magazine

Thursday July 9, 2015
Taking her team to gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, then captain of the U.S. women's gymnastics team, Aly Raisman is once again being honoured.

Joining a host of other female athletes for ESPN The Magazine's annual Body Issue, Raisman poses for a tasteful pictorial on rings and on a balance beam, albeit entirely without her clothes.

What does the perfect physique of an athlete or more precisely a gymnast look like? "I don't think there is one" she says. Clearly keeping up with her workout regiment, Raisman adds her muscular physique is on the bulky end of the spectrum for gymnasts. You can tell by her poise, she's more than comfortable with her appearance.

Hailing from Needham, Massachusetts, at the summer games she also took home gold for her routine on the floor and a bronze for the balance beam.

Proud and upfront about her Judaism, many will recall her golden Hava Nagila performance in the 2012 finals, which had the crowd and audience watching at home, clapping along.

Raisman's rabbi, Keith Stern of Temple Beth Avodah in Newton Centre Massachusetts told the New York Post "Neither she nor her family explicitly sought to send a message. But it shows how very integrated her Jewish heritage is in everything that she does."

Hoping to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she'll then be 22 and the oldest member of the team. No doubt her fans will chomp at the bit to see her repeat.

Lead singer of U2 pays tribute to Shimon Peres

Thursday July 9, 2015
Treating fans to both classic tracks from yesteryear and current hits alike, Irish rock band U2 did not disappoint. Regarded as one of the best selling music artists of all time, they performed for a sold out audience of 20,000 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto earlier this week.

Having flown to Canada for the primary purpose of taking part in an economic conference, former Israeli president Shimon Peres was invited to attend the concert as a special guest. Not only did Peres take in the concert, he met the band backstage.

U2 lead singer Bono paid a special tribute to Peres prior to playing One in the final encore and it's clear they share a mutual admiration for one another. Bono had this to say of his fellow laureate of Nobel Peace Prize,

"In a region where the loudest voices are often the bellicose ones, we understand, president Peres, that you have tried to be the voice of reason, and you've dedicated a lot of your life, all of your life, to try and bring peace in this really dangerous region."

"We wish that you, who worked so hard for that incredible Oslo Accord, that you don't give up on the two-state solution. At age 92, we know we can count on you."

Hear these words, at 17:40 in the clip below:

Backstage according to reports, Peres reciprocated Bono's praise equally calling him "a voice for hope and peace."

Gadot gets more screen time as Wonder Woman in new flick

Thursday July 2, 2015
Although it was initially reported that Gal Gadot would only have a brief cameo as Wonder Woman in the upcoming sequel to Zack Snyder's take on the Man of Steel, new images for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice show the Israeli beauty featuring far more prominently in the storyline by Chris Terio and David S. Goyer.

Fans of the DC Universe who have followed the exploits of these three heroes, from their beginnings to the formation of the Justice League, know that a very close-knit relationship and bond forms between Detective Comics' most popular protagonists.

From the film's first official poster to Entertainment Weekly's 2015 Comic-Con special edition, the Amazonian warrior princess is front and centre between the Dark Knight and the last son of Krypton. It's a similar placement to the comic art we posted here at the time of Gadot's casting.

Few details are known as to how each of the heroes will find themselves battling against one another, only to emerge as the first and greatest team of superheroes (they came together in 1960, before Marvel's Avengers in September 1963).

We may get a softening of Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman by the time Dawn of Justice concludes, as this image of Diana Prince and Bruce Wayne together at a party in once-stately Wayne Manor suggests.

The blockbuster, scheduled to hit theatres next summer, will also introduce us to Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry, a.k.a Aquaman, and Ezra Miller's Barry Allen, better known as The Flash.

Jerusalem couple uncovers 2,000-year-old mikvah

Thursday July 2, 2015
Making headlines around the world, the Israel Antiquities Authority has confirmed that a mikvah discovered underneath the living room floor of a family home in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem neighbourhood is approximately 2,000 years old.

The ritual bath – used in conversions to Judaism and to fulfil family purity laws – was also a treasure trove containing stone vessels and pottery dating back to the period of the Second Temple, which was destroyed in 70 BCE.

The family residing in the home had purchased it three years ago, but were fearful to report their finding at the time, believing that the authorities would hold up a planned renovation or prevent them from staying there.

There fears were put to rest, and now the home is far more valuable to them than they had ever dreamed.

See how they made the discovery in the video clip below.

Conspire2Inspire and help children in need

Thursday June 25, 2015

After a successful launch last year, Conspire2Inspire, one of the largest young professional events in the country returns to build on the $30,000 it raised in a short-term campaign for ChaiLifeline Canada, a not-for-profit organization that helps children suffering from serious illnesses, and their families.

This year's committee of philanthropic-minded young professionals in Toronto will gather approximately 400 of their peers June 30 to the ultra-trendy Airship 37 event venue.

Conspire2Inspire2 will both kick off the summer and raise awareness for Chai Lifeline programs that need help to continue providing support to more than 350 Canadian families.

"Funds raised from the committee's social media, marketing campaign and ticket sales this year will be directed to one of five programs. We hope our young professional guests to Tuesday's wrap party will volunteer to get involved with Chai Lifeline and the program of their choice,"  said event chair Tracie Kuchinsky.

The recipients of this year's funds will be:
  • Send a child to Camp Simcha, an overnight camp for sick children
  • Shining Stars, an after school program
  • Chai Lifeline Canada's trip to Disney World
  • Heart to Heart, a Big Brother/Big Sister program
  • Chai Lifeline Canada's toy campaign
The night will feature an open bar, entertainment and light refreshments. If you haven't purchased your ticket yet, there's still time.

 For further details, visit the Conspire2Inspire2's Facebook page.

Watch for post-event photos in upcoming editions of The CJN and the all-new Socialite page.

The King and the Whopper set to return to Israel

Thursday June 25, 2015
While the love affair with traditional fast food chains in North America appears to have run its course – as McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell are being shunned in favour of healthier, fast-casual options such as Chipotle, Panera Bread, etc. – the King is returning to Israel.

In 2009, Burger King closed all locations in the Holy Land, ceding the territory to the Golden Arches, its arch nemesis.

But in a recent $12-million (US) deal, Pierre Besnainou, a partner in Carmel Winery and the Chefs Meals & Service catering company, acquired the rights to open 50 new franchise locations throughout the Jewish state over the next five years.

It's truly a Whopper of a deal.

© 2015 - CJNEWS.COM, all rights reserved.