Madonna Eyes Site for N.Y. Kabbalah Center

By Juliet Lapidos

Published April 13, 2007, issue of April 13, 2007.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Madonna, the Queen of Pop, is gracing the gossip pages again. She’s not announcing a new album. And no, she’s not performing her classic ballad “Live To Tell” while suspended from a giant mirrored cross, as she did during the summer of 2006. As rumor has it, she’ll be making the trip from London to New York this week to tour 179 Ludlow Street, where she plans to develop a three-story Kabbalah center. According to The New York Observer, monthly rent for the space will hover at around $45,000.

The singer-cum-actress’s real estate gambit is but the latest development in her turn toward Jewish mysticism. In the 1989 music video for “Like a Prayer,” Catholic-born Madonna dances in a field of burning crosses, displays stigmata after cutting her palms and kisses a saint. Less than a decade later, Madonna discarded her birth religion and became a devotee of The Kabbalah Centre. She even stopped performing on the Sabbath.

Details about the proposed center are scarce for now, but it’s sure to attract a fair share of celebrity trendsters. Madonna introduced Britney Spears to Kabbalah, and Lindsay Lohan (a deep brooder if ever there was one) has been spotted wearing a red string around her wrist. Perhaps Britney and Lindsay will find the center’s proposed Lower East Side location especially enticing: After dinner and drinks, they can stumble over to Ludlow Street for a late-night study session.

One person who probably won’t be making an appearance is Roseanne Barr. The talk-show host once told USA Today that she recites kabbalistic meditations while sitting in traffic. Recently, however, she used her blog, Roseanne World, as an outlet for a long-winded rant about Jewish “separatism”; “abusive cult-programming that is done to Jewish children, beginning with genital torture,” and “woman hating.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.