The Shmooze


Forward Freelancer Tapped as Funniest

By Forward Staff

Forward contributor Catie Lazarus won the “Funniest Reporter on the Planet” contest last week. But it seems that at least one person who attended the competition, held at the New York comedy club The Laugh Factory, needs to lighten up.The New York Post’s famed gossip column, known as Page 6, quoted one of its spies as complaining about theRead More


‘Clinton’s Rabbi’ Offers Prayer for N.J. Gov

By E.J. Kessler

Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union’s worldwide kosher division, knows something about human forgiveness. When his pal President Clinton erred in 1998 with young Monica Lewinsky, Genack beat back other rabbis’ calls for Clinton’s resignation, saying that the repentant president was “transforming anger into contrition.”ThisRead More


Going Out in Style — Glitzy Funeral Home Opens in Fla.

By Ara Liss

A developer in Boca Raton, Fla., is expanding the trend of “luxury development” to include a posh cemetery where deceased can be ensconced in marble mausoleums resembling the Western Wall with price tags of up to $700,000. Some are calling the Gardens Memorial Park, developed by entrepreneur David Goldstein, an upscale graveyard, though heRead More


Show Me the Money

By Forward Staff

Emily Stern, daughter of shock jock Howard Stern, is threatening to sue The Jewish Theater of New York.Stern, who played pop star Madonna in “Kabbalah” — a satirical look at the celebrity fascination with Jewish mysticism — quit the show two weeks ago, after her father’s fanatical fans learned that she got naked in the off-off BroadwayRead More


Rockers Set for Israel Reunion

By Jordana Horn

Matisyahu, the Hasidic reggae-rap breakout rock star, and O.A.R. (Of A Revolution), the popular island-vibe-jam band, will be playing New York City’s Madison Square Garden together January 14. But that’s not all they have in common.Matisyahu and three of O.A.R.’s five members — Marc Roberge, BenjRead More


A Lobbyist’s Hat Raises Eyebrows

Last week, lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to three felony counts of mail fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy. But here’s the big question after he walked out of federal court: What’s with the hat?Some pundits suggested his black fedora made him look like Godfather Mafioso Michael Corleone. Several conservative commentators suggested thatRead More


The Pastrami Chronicles: Famed Deli Closes

By Shoshana Olidort

It was the “new boy in town” when it opened 50 years ago, said owner Jack Lebewohl. Now it’s the last to bow out, marking the end of an era on New York’s Lower East Side.The Second Avenue Deli, which symbolized to generations of New Yorkers the past glory of the avenue once known as the “Yiddish Broadway,” closed its doors last week,Read More


Pundits Follow Old Script on Spielberg Film

By Forward Staff

The debate over Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” continues to rage, often along predictable political lines.The Zionist Organization of America, which strongly opposed Israel’s Gaza pullout, issued a statement condemning the film — which tells the story of Israeli reprisals after the 1972 massacre of the country’s athletes at the MunichRead More


Tsunami Doc Says ‘I Do’

By Ran Ezer

A year ago the Southeast Asian tsunami sent Ron Bombiger, a Los Angeles-based Israeli, to a Thai hospital bed with a leg injury. One of the doctors who checked in on him was Dorit Nitzan, who flew to the area as part of an Israeli emergency team sent right after the disaster hit.This week, as Thailand marked the first anniversaryRead More


1930s Synagogue Going Once, Going Twice...

By Shoshanah Olidort

Synagogue, anyone? On eBay, an old, neglected Jewish house of worship in upstate New York is up for bids.The White Sulphur Springs Jewish Community Center Synagogue dates back to the 1930s. Back then it served a thriving community of Jewish families escaping the city for summer vacations. But the synagogue has been out ofRead More


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