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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: 16 min 11 sec ago

Ontario-Israel collaboration gets 5-year renewal

Thursday May 14, 2015
Reza Moridi, left and Avi HassonHistory has been made with Ontario and Israel celebrating a 10-year collaboration in developing innovations in the field of life sciences, medical devices, clean tech and telecom.

The cumulative investment in the program, which was renewed May 10, is $18 million, to which both countries, Canada and Israel, contributed half.

Advances by companies that have participated and worked together on various commercial power, water monitoring projects and ADD treatments have generated about $1 billion in total revenue.

"There's huge human potential in Ontario in every area," Ontario's Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi said in a recent interview, and Avi Hasson, Israel's chief scientist in the Economy Ministry, agreed.

A report on the top R&D states and provinces in the United States and Canada ranked Ontario No. 7, while Toronto is North America's third-largest financial centre, behind Chicago and New York.

Kol Hakavod! The future is bright.

Portman takes her directorial debut to Cannes

Thursday May 7, 2015
Academy Award-winning actress turned writer-producer-director Natalie Portman, 33, is preparing to re-emerge in a major way after a brief hiatus from the Hollywood spotlight.

After finishing post-production on her feature directorial debut, Portman will land in Cannes for the annual film festival, to screen her adaption of Israeli author Amos Oz's memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness on May 18 in the hopes of securing North American distribution.

The story centres on Oz's relationship with his troubled mother, portrayed by Portman, who killed herself when Oz was but 12 years old, and he grows up to become an acclaimed writer in Israel's early years.

Portman optioned the rights to A Tale of Love and Darkness eight years ago, and in a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, she said that she spent a considerable amount of time working on the $4-million dollar film, which was shot entirely in Hebrew.

She insisted on shooting in Hebrew, whatever the cost, producer Ram Bergman told THR. "She said, 'It's got be a love letter in Hebrew.' I said, 'It will make things harder.' She said, 'I don't care.'"

Hoping for the best, the actress-director has no expectations as she showcases it in Cannes, knowing it may have limited commercial appeal.

Speaking about Oz's memoir itself, "The language was really what [drew me], his obsession with words and the way words are connected in Hebrew, which has this incredible poetry and magic," she says. "It's obviously almost impossible to translate, but there's just incredible beauty to that. [Jews are] a people built of words, people built of books, and it's quite beautiful to see that, which is a strange thing to start for a movie."

Now that the film is finished, Portman says she's eager to return strictly to acting, "I don't think I'll stop unless I'm made to by lack of opportunity."

On deck is Portman's first self-produced feature film, Jane Got a Gun, by her company Handsomecharlie Films. It's scheduled for a September release, and her documentary Eating Animals is due before the end of 2015. Production has also been completed on Weightless, due for release in 2016, which will co-star actor Michael Fassbender.

Tetish helps close Canadian Music Week 2015

Thursday May 7, 2015
With performances at more than 60 venues in downtown Toronto, Canadian Music Week is nearing the end of the festival's 33rd year. What began on May 1 ends May 10.

To help close it out, Tetish a new Israeli musical project by Itai Shitrit and Etan Salomon, accompanied by Nir Shlomo on guitars, Noam Shacham on bass and Daniel Azta on drums, will perform at The Garrison May 8 at 8 p.m. and the Magpie Taproom May 9 at 10 p.m.

For tickets, log on to CMW.net.

Silk and Wexler Golden Maple Award nominees

Thursday April 30, 2015
Nominations for the inaugural Golden Maple Awards were announced on April 27, a product of the newly formed Academy of Canadians in Sports and Entertainment – Los Angeles (ACISE-LA). The Canadian talent in television series broadcast in the U.S. don't just dominate the categories, they literally own them all.

The Golden Maple Awards are, of course, designed for that express purpose.

The list of the TV series that aired between July 2014 and July 2015 and will be honoured by way of their stars speaks volumes about American audiences' diverse tastes in Canadian-made productions featuring Canadian stars.

From left - Anna Silk and Brooke WexlerHere at Heebonics, we are particularly thrilled for Lost Girl's lead Anna Silk, in the running for best lead actress in a TV series, and Brooke Wexler of Netflix's Richie Rich, who hopes to be named newcomer of the year and whom The CJN labelled an up-and-comer to watch back in February.

The awards will be handed out, quite fittingly, on Canada Day, July 1. A venue and possible broadcast of the awards is yet to be announced. Congratulations as well to all others nominated.


Wicked composer to receive special Tony Award

Thursday April 30, 2015
While the Hollywood award season for film and television has wound down, the last of the big name hardware to be handed out are the Tony Awards. With nominations having been announced earlier this week, news also came on Monday of a special Tony to be given to Wicked composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz.

Stephen SchwartzSchwartz, who also wrote music for Pippin and Godspell, will receive the the Isabelle Stevenson Award, presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a “substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations,” according to the announcement.

With Neil Patrick Harris having cast off the hosting duties of the Tony Awards in favour of the Oscars, Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cumming will share the stage when the awards are broadcast live on June 7 from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Sony and Seth Rogen are at it again

Thursday April 23, 2015
Anthony Mackie, Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-LevittWhile The Interview was not a moneymaker for Sony nor for lead actor Seth Rogen, the publicity generated from the controversy over the film got the ball rolling on Rogen's next feature.

Set to co-star pal Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie, X-Mas has secured a Nov. 25 release date. While few details are known about Rogen's next comedy, the plot will reportedly focus on three friends who reunite in New York City to party on Christmas eve. Rogen will, of course, bring the Chanukah spirit, as evidenced by the sweater he'll be wearing.

Rogen's also ready to add another producing credit to his growing list of projects, as news broke this week that Garth Ennis' and Steve Dillon's '90s comic-book series Preacher will, after many years of being kicked around, go straight to series and air on AMC later this year. Rogen's producing partner,, Evan Goldberg, is also attached to the project.

Dominic CooperFor those unfamiliar with the story, the comic follows Jesse Custer, a conflicted preacher in a small town who, with the help of his former flame and a party-animal Irish vampire, attempt to find God in the hope of stopping the powerful offspring of an angel and a demon, who has escaped from heaven. From what we understand, Custer will somehow be combined with the creature, giving the Preacher unique abilities that will aid him in his search for the divine.

While not a comic-book series focusing on run-of-the-mill meta-human heroes, it will feature Dominic Cooper, who has previously played Howard Stark (father of Tony Stark's Iron Man). as well James Bond creator Ian Fleming in the mini-series Fleming, which aired on BBC last year.

AMC is home to one the most watched sci-fi programs on cable television, The Walking Dead, and believes Preacher will be an excellent companion to it in the coming season.

2015 NFL season to start on Rosh Hashanah

Thursday April 23, 2015
In past posts, we've written about athletes who have had to make the hard choice whether to play when their games are scheduled on the Sabbath or key holidays on the Jewish calendar.

On Tuesday, when the NFL announced its 2015 fall schedule, Jewish football fans learned that the kick-off, normally held on the second Thursday of September in recent years, has been moved to Sunday. This year, that Sunday, Sept. 13, is Erev Rosh Hashanah.

All but six teams in the league are affected, but the change will especially impact fans in the New York area the most, as the Giants are due start their game at 8:30, more than one hour after the start of the holiday.

As well, according to JTA, the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers will be playing their first games the following night, on Rosh Hashanah.

Abstain from services or add one more sin to those requiring repentance on the High Holidays? Either way, many observant Jews/fervent football fans will undoubtedly lament their choice.

Gene Simmons to bring brand expertise to Toronto

Thursday April 16, 2015
On May 25, a one-day conference will share with attendees how five internationally renowned best-selling authors and thought leaders employed cutting-edge thinking and real-world experience to tackle today’s most critical marketing issues.

Headlining this year's conference is the co-founder of Kiss and author of Me, Inc., Gene Simmons, who will impart key strategies on how to unleash your inner rock God in business.

Born Chaim Witz in Israel in August 1949, Simmons has been an American rock icon for 40 years.. Learning both from his triumphs and failures has helped him continue to sell out stadiums around the world, as well as help him get Kiss inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, obtain his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and make him the media mogul he is today.

For more on the chance to network with Simmons and more than 1,500 of Canada’s most influential marketers, explore what The Art of Marketing Toronto has to offer by clicking here.

Netanyahu addresses the nation on Yom Hashoah

Thursday April 16, 2015
The official ceremony marking the commencement of Yom Hashoah was held April 15 at Yad Vashem to remember the martyrs, heroes and six million Jews whose lives were lost during the Holocaust (1939-1945).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to the podium and delivered the following address.



For a full transcript of the PM's address, go to here on cjnews.com.

Goldberg and Baruchel's Goon 2 is good to go

Thursday April 9, 2015
Good news for fans of Goon, the little sports comedy that could: it looks like a sequel is on the way.

Like the original, the new film was co-written and is being co-produced by Montreal hockey enthusiast, Canadian actor, writer and producer Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg of Vancouver, better known as Seth Rogen's production partner.

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, Goon earned just under $6.5 million worldwide after a late-winter release in February 2012.

It wasn't a huge haul, but it was enough for the film to be honoured with Telefilm's Golden Box Office award as the top-earning English-language Canadian film that year, which undoubtedly helped to green-light the sequel.

In July 2013, Baruchel told The Canadian Press the sequel script was nearly completed, and "if all goes according to plan, we'll be shooting this time next year."

Baruchel's projected production start was just a little bit off, by about a year. While the original was shot in Manitoba, principal filming in Ontario will begin in three months time.

"I'm proud as hell of the first one, but I think we're going to smoke it with No. 2," Baruchel said.

It will be a bit darker, but will have "a bit more gravitas," he added.

The film's lead actor, Sean William Scott, portrayed a good-natured bouncer who becomes a minor league hockey team's enforcer. Baruchel co-starred along with the likes of fellow veteran Canadian comic actor Eugene Levy and Ray Donovan's Liev Schreiber.


After production wraps, Baruchel will begin work this fall in Toronto on a second season of his TV series Man Seeking Woman, which airs on FX Canada and is executive produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels.

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