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Thursday, September 3, 2015

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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: 13 min 5 sec ago

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.

Music Fills The Soul comes to Baycrest

Wednesday June 17, 2015
It's been almost a year since the young professional initiative Music Fills The Soul launched in Toronto, bringing together talented musicians and vocalists to perform for the elderly.

What began at Bayview Extendicare was then sought after by Four Elms in Concord, Ont., Brookside Court & Hilltop Place and then booked by Thorne Mill on Steeles in March of this year.

A milestone fifth show is scheduled for Sunday, June 21, at Baycrest, one of the world's premier academic health science centres and care facilities for seniors.

The team behind the undertaking continues to deliver smiles to the faces of those in need of constant care who, because of limited mobility, often find it hard to venture out and find entertainment themselves. Treating them to the music of legendary hit-makers from yesterday and today fills their days and nourishes their souls.

Event chair and principle organizer Julie Ruchlemer had this to say in advance of Sunday's cavalcade of local talent taking to the stage: "It's a magical experience. We continue to look forward to giving back and adding an hour of joy to the lives of our seniors."

For more information visit Music Fills the Soul.com  by clicking here.

Related: Volunteers sing classics for seniors

A Terminator takes over Waze

Wednesday June 17, 2015
To coincide with the big-screen release of Terminator Genisys, a reboot of the cinematic series that supercharged the film career of the Austrian-accented and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1984, Skynet is replacing the navigation app Waze's assistant with the voice of the T101.

According to USA Today, the Israeli-designed traffic and navigation app that was sold to Google in 2013, landed the action movie star by forming a partnership with Paramount Studios.

For anyone unfamiliar with the franchise, director James Cameron's vision was of a dystopian future where humanity fights for its survival against a sentient computer network and its enforcers of the new world order, the Terminators, who are exterminating mankind. Sarah Connor and her son John are humanity's best chance at averting the pending apocaplyse, or at the very least starting a rebellion to defend its continued existence.

It took just a single hour for the Hollywood actor to record all the necessary automated prompts, ranging from the simple "turn left" to his messages as you begin and end your journey: "I'm a Terminator Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, and you're coming with me" and the ever famous "Hasta la vista, baby."

What was just science fiction then is a bit of reality now.

Art Garfunkel returns to Israel after 17 years

Thursday June 11, 2015
Art Garfunkel, one half of the folk-rock duo Simon and Garfunkel, gave a moving performance this week at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.

A native New Yorker, Garfunkel, 73, has mostly been a solo act since parting ways with singer-songwriter Paul Simon in 1970. The music they made defined a generation in the 1960s and has had lasting appeal.

Garfunkel's set list included some of the duo's classics, including Sounds of Silence, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965, and Bridge over Troubled Water, which was also the title of their final studio record, one of the best-selling albums of all time.

The capacity of Bloomfield Stadium pales in comparison to the numbers for Simon and Garfunkel's famous 1981 reunion concert in New York's Central Park, which attracted more than half a million people. The pair last played Israel together in 1983 as they neared the end of their reunion tour.

Amid performances of his solo material and songs by the duo, and accompanied by his son James on guitar, Garkfunkel read a selection of his own prose poetry off the back of envelopes, making it an event for all artistic tastes not been seen by fans since his last solo concert in the Holy Land back in 1998.

He has clearly left an indelible mark on fans the world over.


Film fest selection returns to the big screen

Thursday June 11, 2015
Originally released in July 2013 in Israel, Hunting Elephants made the Toronto Jewish Film Festival's roster of must-see films. Nearly two years to the day after its initial showing, the film returns this Friday to three Rainbow Cinema theatres in Greater Toronto Area.

The film centres around Jonathan, a boy genius with severe social problems. After losing his father in a traumatic event, his mother leaves him at his grandfather nursing home and he's forced to reconnect with the bitter old man, who never sought to stay in touch. While there, Jonathan meets a host of eccentric figures, including his grandfather's friend Nick and past Lehi underground members who used to rob banks for their country during the British occupation.

From acclaimed writer and director Reshef Levi, the mad-capped caper climax is about a plan to rob the bank Jonathan's late father worked for. It co-stars Patrick Stewart, known for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation who was last seen in last summer's blockbuster X-Men Days of Future Past as Prof. Charles Xavier. In Hunting Elephants, Stewart  portrays Jonathan's uncle as a near-caricature of himself, an Englishman and frustrated Shakespearean actor trying to get his hands on his sister's inheritance.

Call it Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with an Israeli twist.


‘Little Israel’ in the happiest place on Earth?

Thursday June 4, 2015
Don't get your hopes up folks, this is just a joke, but how good would it be if this news were true from the House of Mouse?

I don't know about you, but if Disney World in Orlando, Fla., carved out some land to represent the Jewish state, I would make aliyah to "Little Israel" tomorrow.

Here's an excerpt of an article written by Rube Silverhill and posted today by The Israeli Daily:

The Happiest Place On Earth just got a little happier, as Disney announced the opening of Little Israel at Epcot Center this past weekend. The multinational corporation has carved out some land to represent the Jewish State, providing authentic cultural experiences all staffed by out-of-your-league chicks rocking casually slung assault rifles.

As Epcot is known for showcasing technological innovations from around the world, Little Israel features the Iron Dome Missile Defense system. Sirens playing “It’s A Small World After All” air every 15 minutes, luring tourists into bomb shelter-themed gift shops. Meanwhile, colorful fireworks displays are sent up to destroy candy-filled projectiles sent from Little Gaza (which can’t be made any smaller and thus will be its actual size). ‘Cast members’ in the Little Tel Aviv section appear unaffected by the sirens, and continue going about their day relaxing on the beach and eating at outdoor cafes.

To read the article in its entirety,  click here.

Kick off summer with the beats of Y-Studs

Thursday June 4, 2015
With the rise of such mainstream acts as Pentatonix (not Jewish) and the local Jewish talent of Toronto's Varsity Jews, a cappella groups are becoming more and more popular.

After making a splash with an album in 2011 with a different group of Yeshiva University students, the Y-Studs are back with a fresh and talented new lineup. A five-track EP called Days of New is available now on all major digital music outlets, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and more.

The second lead singer in this video, Jonathan Green, is a Torontonian and a graduate of Associated Hebrew Schools and the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto who transferred to Yeshiva U after spending two years at the University of Toronto.

The latest from Y-Studs is a cover of  Hashem Melech, originally performed by Gad and Beni Elbaz. It's a perfect track to jump-start your summer listening playlist. Have a look at the video below.

Famous Laffa Kosher to open in Thornhill

Thursday May 28, 2015
The kosher Middle Eastern eating establishment Famous Laffa, on Magnetic Drive in Toronto, is amassing quite the following and reputation for flavourful, filling cuisine with an ambience that makes Canadian patrons feel as though they are being served by their Israeli brothers and sisters.

Now franchising around the city, this rapidly expanding operation may soon have a neighbourhood location near you.

After undergoing a renovation that began around Passover, the Magnetic Drive flagship location (formerly called Dr. Laffa) was scheduled to re-open this month. A take-out location opened in mid-April on Bathurst Street south of Lawrence Avenue in the commercial heart of the Toronto Jewish community (and right next to the only remaining Dr. Laffa on the Go, operated by a former partner of Famous Laffa's founder, Sasi Haba).

Other Famous locations – some kosher, some not – are also popping up along major city streets, including Yonge Street, where one is set to open soon just south of Steeles Avenue and Centerpoint Mall.

Today, Famous announced via Twitter that its latest kosher franchised location will open this August inside Thornhill's Promenade Mall. Great news for students, young families and kosher foodies of all ages who have seen many kosher establishments close in the last few years due to market constraints.


The battle for your falafel and shwarma dollar is about to heat up, and just in time for summer.

Could the Iron Dome be coming to your town?

Thursday May 28, 2015
It's been just over four years since Israel's Iron Dome, a mobile missile air defence system, was deployed near Be'er Sheva.

It was sesigned to intercept and destroy short-range rockets launched by Israel's neighbours in Gaza and the north, and by late October 2014, the total number of attacks deterred by the program – which can be operated remotely, day and night and in all weather conditions – was heading north of 1,200.


A three-day conference was recently held in Israel to explore the potential for similar systems to be employed by nations in the west and elsewhere who one day may need to protect their citizens from hostile actions of the kind Israel faces on a regular basis.

It's a scary thought, but a system such as this could show up one day at a military installation near you.

Sandler's Pixels looks like a retro gamer's treat

Thursday May 21, 2015
It's been just over two years since Disney's release of Wreck-It Ralph, an animated film that took gamers on a wild adventure ride with a behind-the-scenes look at what might happen to those classic and new-age characters when the game-play ends.

The titular "bad guy" sets off on a game-hopping trip to prove that he, too, has what it takes to do good, after decades of watching the hero be celebrated and honoured for saving the day.

Moviegoers were treated to cameos from game characters of titles we all grew up with, from the 1980s to the modern consoles of today.


This summer, it's the real world that will be threatened by classic video game characters of yesteryear. From the mind of Saturday Night Live comedian Adam Sandler comes the feature film Pixels.

When aliens intercept a video message to the stars from Earth, showing scenes of classic arcade games, they misinterpret them as a declaration of war, launching an attack on the planet using the games as instruments of our destruction.

The film co-stars Sandler's good pal Kevin James, along with Sam Brenner, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Michelle Monaghan, who will come together to save the world.


Sound off on what your favorite games have been over the course of the last three decades.

Bittersweet end for Letterman and Shaffer

Thursday May 21, 2015
David Letterman bid fans a truly heartfelt goodbye on The Late Show with David Letterman this week as he ended his 33-year late-night run after 6,028 episodes.

Canadian musician and Late Show band leader Paul Shaffer, 65, has been along for the long ride as Letterman's sidekick from even before his days on CBS. When the boy from small-town Indiana got his first late-night hosting gig with rival network NBC, Shaffer was there.

At many points throughout his final monologue, Letterman reminisced with Shaffer on the many experiences they shared on the show together, calling Shaffer a dear friend. He also called him a "musical genius" and "partner in comedy."


Letterman likened his relationship with Shaffer to the magic act and animal exploits of Las Veagas stalwarts Siegfried and Roy, and he joked that he and Shaffer could next be seen at Caesar's Palace with their own white tigers.

Many of us grew up with Letterman's late-night shenanigans, and he and Shaffer were our constant companions these last 33 years.

They will be missed.

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