Bar Refaeli warned 'Don't marry Leo Di Caprio'

By Jessica Elgot, March 15, 2010

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli has been urged not to marry her non-Jewish boyfriend Leonardo Di Caprio by a group of strictly Orthodox Jews.

Extreme right-wing activist Baruch Marzel, the head of the Jewish National Front, wrote to Bar Refaeli on behalf of his group Lehava urging her not to “dilute the Jewish race.”

He told the supermodel, who has recently rekindled her romance with American actor Mr DiCaprio: “It is not by chance that you were born Jewish.


Phil Spector to appeal murder conviction

By Jessica Elgot, March 12, 2010

Music producer Phil Spector will appeal against his conviction for the murder of the actress Lana Clarkson, for which he was sentenced to a minimum of 19 years in prison.

Mr Spector, 69, was given 15 years to life for second-degree murder of the actress and cocktail waitress and an additional four for personal use of a gun.

Ms Clarkson, best known for her role in 1985 cult film Barbarian Queen, was found dead from a gunshot wound at Spector's mansion in February 2003.

A retrial took place in Los Angeles in 2005 after a previous jury failed to reach a verdict.


Nude photoshoot planned for Tel Aviv

By Jessica Elgot, March 12, 2010

The controversial Jewish artist Spencer Tunick, whose photographs feature thousands of naked volunteers, hopes to shoot a work in Israel.

The proposal has sparked both excitement and anger among politicians and religious groups.

Mr Tunick has submitted two requests, one to shoot in the Tel Aviv Port and one on the Dead Sea beach.

A spokesman for the Tel Aviv municipality said they were thrilled to be considered by Mr Tunick. He said: "This is a wonderful way of telling the world about Tel Aviv and its modern and vibrant nature."


Lost Boys' Corey Haim dies

By Jessica Elgot, March 10, 2010

The 80s teen heartthrob Corey Haim, the ex-boyfriend of Victoria Beckham, has died aged 38.

Mr Haim, who was born in Toronto, Canada, had an Israeli mother, Judy, and a Canadian-Jewish father Bernie.

Corey found fame in the cult movie The Lost Boys. He would later star in reality TV show The Two Coreys, alongside Lost Boys co-star Corey Feldman, who is also Jewish.

Mr Haim had been open about his battle with prescription drug addiction, including Valium. He was found dead by his mother in his Los Angeles apartment.


The Oscars 2010: winners, and mainly losers

By Tom Tugend, March 8, 2010

If Hollywood is dominated by Jews, it sure let our side down.

The third time was to be the charm for Israel’s entry in the best foreign-language film competition. While the highly touted Ajami made it to the five finalists list, the prize went to Argentina’s El Secreto de sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes).


Sacha Baron Cohen dropped by Oscars

By Jessica Elgot, March 4, 2010

Bruno star Sacha Baron Cohen has had his Oscar skit, in which he parodies Avatar, pulled from the Academy Awards ceremony.

Reports said that the Oscars’ producer Bill Mechanic had refused the go-ahead for the skit, in order to protect the feelings of Avatar director James Cameron.

Mr Baron Cohen, who co-wrote the sketch with fellow Jewish actor and comedian Ben Stiller, was to have dressed up as a female Na’vi, a blue-skinned alien from the Oscar-nominated film.


Bar Refaeli's Israeli tax row resolves

By Jessica Elgot, February 12, 2010

Bar Refaeli has resolved her row with the Israeli tax authority, which refused to allow the supermodel to register as an expat.

Ms Refaeli, the on-off girlfriend of Leonardo DiCaprio, had requested exemption from Israeli tax because she is resident abroad.

She broke up with Mr DiCaprio in June last year, but the pair have been spotted taking a holiday to Italy together earlier this month, fuelling rumours the romance is back on.

The model, who has been the face of campaigns for Victoria’s Secret and Israeli clothing line Fox, has now reached an agreement with the tax authority.


Matt Lucas hosts birthday quiz at Edgware Reform

By Jay Grenby, February 11, 2010

Matt Lucas hosted a supper quiz on Sunday to launch Edgware Reform Synagogue’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

The 260 tickets were snapped up within 24 hours and the Little Britain star — Edgware Reform’s most famous son —did not disappoint his audience, which included his mother and step-mother.


Anti-Zionists urge Elton John to boycott Israel gig

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010

Anti-Zionist British academics have urged Elton John to pull out of a performance in Israel, in an open letter to the singer.

Tickets go on sale today for the June concert, which will be the Candle In The Windsinger’s first performance in Israel for 17 years.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, who recently tried to persuade botanist David Bellamy to cancel an appearance for the Zionist Federation, called Israel a “racist state” in its letter.


Sacha Baron-Cohen: It's Purim not a wedding!

By Jessica Elgot, February 8, 2010

Sacha Baron Cohen and fiancée Isla Fisher have denied rumours they are planning to tie the knot at the end of February, insisting all they are planning is a Purim party.

Borat star Mr Baron-Cohen and his Australian actress fiancée Miss Fisher, who have a two-year-old daughter Olive, sent an email to 80 guests telling them to keep February 26 free.

The Daily Mail reported the couple were planning their nuptials that day, but Mr Baron-Cohen’s spokesman said the pair were throwing a fancy dress Purim party.

He said: "They're having a Purim party. That is all!"