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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: 51 min 44 sec ago

Israel's national treasure Yad Vashem evacuated

Thursday June 26, 2014
Museum staff and visitors had to be evacuated from Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial for victims of the Holocaust, on Wednesday because of a massive fire in the Jerusalem Forest.

Dozens of fire fighting units battled to contain the raging fire which extended outward from the neighbourhoods of Ein Kerem and Kiryat Hayovel, causing 200 homes to also be evacuated.

The fire spread rapidly in the early afternoon due to strong winds, and by evening more than 30 fire fighting units and six airplanes had the blaze under control. B'ezrat Hashem the evacuated employees and museum patrons, needed only to treated for smoke inhalation, no serious injuries yet reported. The investigation into the causes continues.

Gary Oldman should have talked only of the Apes

Thursday June 26, 2014
Gary Oldman, an incredibly accomplished English screen and stage actor, filmmaker and musician, presents himself in a very different fashion publicly than he does in the pages of Playboy Magazine.

Christopher Nolan's Commissioner Gordon, who fought for truth and justice in the Dark Knight (Batman) trilogy, went on Jimmy Kimmel Live  June 25 to vehemently apologize for the "poorly considered, ill informed statements" he gave in an interview to the publication.


In the magazine article, Oldman, who owes much to Hollywood for his top blockbuster roles and three film franchises, The Dark Night, Robocop and coming July 11 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, reduced Hollywood down to a"'town run by Jews"and came across as condoning similar anti-Semitic statements made by Mel Gibson in recent years that have ostracized him from the industry and fellow thespians once counted as friends.

Oldman, begging for forgiveness most importantly from his "Team Oldman" fans seemed more apologetic for having been caught than for perpetuating beliefs he says at the age of 56 he "should know better."


Kidnapped teens inspire 'SOS Israel' smartphone app

Thursday June 19, 2014
In response to the kidnapping of three Israeli teens last week, some Israelis have prayed. Some have voiced support on social media. And some have done what they do best: they made an app, JTA reports.

An emergency app called “SOS” has been released in Israel by the United Hatzalah volunteer emergency rapid response service.
The emergency alert app allows users to send a distress call with their precise location to United Hatzalah and the Israeli police.
The app uses technology created by the Israeli company NowForce to map out and respond to emergencies. The technology allows medic volunteers closest to the emergency to receive the mobile alerts and be dispatched.
After the kidnapping, United Hatzalah and NowForce accelerated the launch of a public version of “SOS.”
In addition to tracking the user via the smartphone, the system contacts any family or friends that are pre-programmed into the system during registration.
The app is available on sos.nowforce.com in English and Hebrew.
The app might have prevented a blunder that occurred when Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach were abducted from the West Bank settlement of Kfar Etzion last Thursday: police waited nearly seven hours before responding to the teens’ call for help, believing it was a prank.
The app is not the first to be inspired by an Israeli security crisis. During Israel’s 2012 Operation Pillar of Defence in Gaza, a 13-year-old from the embattled southern city of Be'er Sheva created an app that notified users whenever a siren sounded in an Israeli city ahead of an incoming rocket from Gaza.

Kickstarter spins straw into gold for Zach Braff

Wednesday June 18, 2014
American actor, producer and director Zach Braff may have much to thank Kickstarter for by summer's end.

The crowd-funding site helped him finance not one but two films that will soon appear in a theatre near you.

In a previous post, we discussed his project Wish I was Here, co-starring Josh Gad, Kate Hudson and Mandy Patinkin and scheduled for wide release July 25.

Starting July 18, just one week before the release of Braff's directorial follow-up to Garden State, theatres across the U.S. and Canada will also be screening his documentary Video Games: The Movie, co-produced by Cliff Bleszinki.

Narrated by Lord of the Rings alum Sean Astin, Video Games will chronicle the rise of the popular pastime, celebrating its humble beginnings in the days of Atari, Intellivision and ColecoVision and the evolution of the Nintendo-Sega battle for console dominance to today's next-generation console war between Xbox and PlayStation.

"Games are a part of the human experience and permeate our culture now more than ever before," director Jeremy Snead said. "I'm thrilled that my film will expose the world to a never-before-told story of the men and women who built this industry, as well as what it has become and what it will continue to evolve into."

Braff and Bleszinski are among those inteviewed in the documentary, along with fanboy Wil Wheaton, who many will recognize from such popular programs as Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory and Eureka, as well as Chris Hadwick, the American stand-up comedian and sought-after commentator in the world of science fiction and fantasy programming.

Like Wish I was Here, Video Games: The Movie will be a fun-filled flick to kick back with for all ages.

Israelis flock to World Cup in Brazil

Thursday June 12, 2014
The 20th FIFA World Cup kicks off today in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and runs until July 13. It's the second time the South American country has hosted soccer's biggest tournament, the last time being 1950.

Israel was still in its infancy then, but this year, Israelis reportedly have purchased more tickets to the games than fans from any other nation on a per capita basis. And that's without having a team in the event.

Haaretz.com reports that the great distance, extremely high prices for travel, accommodation and tickets, social protests, and even questionable safety in Brazil have not stopped Israelis from buying more than 11,000 tickets to various matches.

Meanwhile, with the opening ceremonies a few short hours away, the popular sporting goods company Nike has come under fire for a viral video ad that critics are saying has an underlying anti-Semitic message.


Jewish leaders have alleged that the the jerseys of evil robot clones who face off against their human counterparts sport a soccer ball emblem on their jerseys that they say strongly resembles the Star of David.

Now what world event is without its controversies?

Former Degrassi star joins Saving Hope

Tuesday June 10, 2014
In recent years, Canadian programming has burst out of its bubble and is no longer being carried by Canadian broadcasters alone.

With the international success of Lost Girl, Orphan Black, Flashpoint, Rookie Blue and Saving Hope, our homegrown content and talented stars are increasingly sought after.

During the CTV up-fronts last week, when the network showcased its 2014 fall schedule of new and returning shows, it was announced that Saving Hope had wrapped it's second season over the winter months as the No. 1 Canadian drama of the 2013-2014 season.

Focusing on the complicated relationship of Canadian lead actress and producer Erica Durance's Dr. Alex Reid and Canadian lead actor and producer Michael Shank's Dr. Charlie Harris, the show's third season will run Wednesday's at 9 p.m. on CTV (and on NBC in the U.S.).

Joining the cast for Season 3 is Stacey Farber, best known for her role as Ellie Nash from 2002 to 2008 on Degrassi: The Next Generation and then for her lead role on CBC's 18 to Life. Farber's Dr. Sydney Katz, an OB-GYN, will join, Durance's Dr. Reid and Shank's Dr. Harris along with the rest of the staff at Hope Zion Hospital in a recurring role when the series resumes production June 11 here in Toronto.

For more on Farber's career on an off camera, click here for CJN reporter Laura Stricker's Heebnics profile from just a few short years ago.

A guilt-free recipe for a Shavuot treat to beat the heat

Tuesday June 3, 2014
For the lactose intolerant looking for a cool creamy treat in the summer heat this Shavuot, here is a vegan alternative for an ice cream you can make in roughly five minutes with one main ingredient.

You can then dress up your dish with toppings galore.

Click here for the recipe.

A holiday parody of a different sort

Tuesday June 3, 2014
While we at Heebonics often showcase the latest holiday-themed parodies of popular music and Hollywood movies, here's a quick overview of the significance of the holiday of Shavuot.

It'll take 60 seconds to watch, the same amount of time it will take to scarf down some of the traditional dairy foods.

Chag Samyach.

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