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Jewish World Review
Nov. 8, 2013
/ 5 Kislev, 5774
Jewz in the Newz
JFK/Thor/Portman on Being Jewish; Berkely Hoofs on 'DWTS'
JFK AND THOR; AND PORTMAN SPEAKS ABOUT THE JEWISH CONDITION
The National Geographic Channel marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy with an original film, "Killing Kennedy" (airs Sunday, Nov. 10 at 10PM). Rob Lowe, whose children were raised in his wife's Jewish faith, plays JFK. GINNIFER GOODWIN, 35, plays Jacqueline Kennedy, and MICHELLE TRACHTENBERG, 28, plays Lee Harvey Oswald's Russian-born wife, Marina. While playing Marina, Trachtenberg speaks quite a bit of Russian.
The actress's mother, LANA, is an immigrant from Russia and she is also her daughter's manager. Michelle once said that she had to learn Russian to speak to her mother's parents. In a 2005 interview, she said that her grandparents lived in Israel and she had visited them there. However, she didn't make it crystal clear which set of grandparents she was referring to.
The 2011 film, "Thor," made mega-bucks, so there's a sequel, "Thor: the Dark World," (opens Friday, Nov. 8.) The original cast returns, including NATALIE PORTMAN, 32, as Jane, a brainy scientist who is the love interest of Thor, and KAT DENNINGS, 27 ("2 Broke Girls"), as Jane's intern and sidekick.
Portman sometimes complains that she's first choice for every Hollywood movie Jewish role. But there's a reason, besides her talent and beauty. No other major Jewish actor issues so many spot-on comments about the Jewish condition. Here's one from an Oct. 29 interview with the Telegraph, a UK paper:
"The older I get, the more I realize how different it is to be a Jew in a Jewish place as opposed to a Jew in a non-Jewish place. It's definitely a different feeling in terms of how freely you can be yourself and celebrate your culture and religion. It's very different being in Israel than in cities that don't have big Jewish populations, where it can sometimes feel dangerous to be Jewish, and you understand why there is a need for a place where you don't feel that way. I feel it in lots of places -- Pretty much everywhere -- New York and LA [where she currently lives] are the exceptions.
"On holidays in New York the city shuts down. My non-Jewish friends know how to wish you Shanah Tova, Happy New Year in Hebrew. In other places in the world it ranges from people who aren't familiar with Judaism to people who are hostile towards it."
DANCIN' WITH THE STARS
As I write this, the 8th week of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" has ended and actress ELIZABETH BERKLEY LAUREN, 41, and her pro dance partner, VALENTIN CHERMKOVSKIY, 27, are narrow favorites to win this year's competition. Lauren, who is still a strikingly attractive woman, scored the only "perfect" dance score this season, to date, in week #6. She can take the "whole shimmering matzoh ball' if her dancing is more consistently stellar.
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Already-aired episodes of "DWTS" can be seen on the ABC website. The 9th week will air next Monday, Nov. 11, at 8PM; the 10th week exactly a week later, and the finale, on Nov 25th.
In 2003, Elizabeth (who was a bat mitzvah) married artist GREG LAUREN, 43, the nephew of RALPH LAUREN, 74, in a lavish Jewish wedding. "Uncle Ralph" designed his first wedding gown for her wedding. He has since designed gowns for his own son and daughter's respective weddings.
Elizabeth and Greg had their first child last year. She recently told JOAN RIVERS, 80, that she was fine with her son seeing her star in old episodes of the '80s teen sit-com, "Saved by the Bell," but he'd have to wait a "long time" before she was okay with him viewing her very adult movie,"Showgirls" (1995)
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© 2013, Nate Bloom