Elvis Costello to boycott Israel gig

By Jessica Elgot, May 18, 2010

British musician Elvis Costello has pulled out of two concerts in Israel, saying in a statement that he did not want his performance to be a “political act”.

The move contradicts his comments in an interview with the Jerusalem Post two weeks ago when Costello said that he did not approve of cultural boycotts, and that he believed that “dialogue is essential” to resolve the conflict.


Mel Brooks' star, finally on the Walk of Fame

By Jessica Elgot, April 27, 2010

He has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony award, but now, aged 83, Mel Brooks has finally won a coveted star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

The comedian, scriptwriter, actor and director, most famous for his comedies Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein, declared himself so happy to have won the award he burst into song on the podium.

He is the 2406th celebrity to be given a star on the famous Beverley Hills boulevard, which has been celebrating stars for 50 years.


TV star Joel Weiner joins big Bnei Akiva event

April 22, 2010

Schoolboy Joel Weiner, who found fame this week as one of the questioners of Brown, Cameron and Clegg in the first party leaders' TV debate, was back on more familiar territory on Monday.

The Bnei Akiva member was one of over 1,000 people at the BA celebration at Finchley Synagogue, the country's biggest Independence Day event.

Joel said: "There was the most fantastic atmosphere and everyone felt the great vibe, celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut with Bnei Akiva and such a big crowd."


Death threats silence Independence Day singer

April 9, 2010

The woman who sang for Israel at the last Eurovision Song Contest, has pulled out of the ZF Israel Independence Day Concert in London following death threats.

Mira Awad, is an Arab-Israeli and one half of a duo with Achinoam Nini, otherwise known as NOA, with whom she performs to sell-out internationally audiences, promoting a message of peace and co-existence.


Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren dies

April 9, 2010

Jewish punk pioneer Malcolm McLaren has died in a Swiss hospital where he was being treated for cancer.

McLaren, 64, who launched the Sex Pistols in the late seventies, was born to Scottish-Jewish parents but raised by his maternal grandmother, Rose Isaacs, a diamond dealer's daughter, in Stoke Newington's Sephardi community. He once told the JC one of his fondest memories was reading the paper at her home on Friday nights.

His mother remarried and later, she and her new husband Martin Levi, ran a shmatte factory in London's East End called Eve Edwards London Limited.


Rachel Weisz, Michael Codron triumph at Oliviers

By Jessica Elgot, March 22, 2010

Rachel Weisz has won a prestigious Laurence Olivier award for her performance as fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ a Streetcar named Desire at the Donmar Warehouse.

She beat fellow Hollywood stars Gillian Anderson, Imelda Staunton and Juliet Stevenson to the award for a role which had already won her great critical acclaim.

A delighted Ms Weisz told the Olivier audience: "What a tremendous honour. It means an awful lot. I never thought I would be holding one of these in my lifetime. I'm in such prestigious company.


Sacha Baron-Cohen marries Isla Fisher

By Jessica Elgot, March 22, 2010

Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher have finally tied the knot after a six-year engagement.

The couple married under the chuppah in a private ceremony in Paris, with close family in attendance.

The Borat star Mr Baron Cohen and his Australian actress fiancée Ms Fisher, had planned to marry in August 2006 but the wedding was postponed so that Ms Fisher could complete her conversion.

Ms Fisher wrote in an email to friends this weekend: “We did it – we’re married! It was the absolute best day of my life and in so many beautiful moments I missed you all so much.


Fashion designer 'Joseph' dies

By Jessica Elgot, March 22, 2010

The “Joseph” who brought high fashion to the high street, Joseph Ettedgu, has died aged 74.

Mr Ettedgui, from a French-Moroccan Jewish family, arrived in Britain in 1960 as Morocco gained independence and Jewish families left the country in droves for France or Israel.

But Mr Ettedgui “fell in love with London” and set up a hairdressing salon on the King’s Road.


The Simpsons in Israel to be screened next week

By Jessica Elgot, March 17, 2010

Israel has welcomed America’s most famous yellow family in a new episode of The Simpsons to be released in the US next week.

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen will star as an Israeli tour guide who takes Homer and Bart around Jerusalem, including a trip to the Western Wall.

During the episode, “The Greatest Story ever Doh’ed” Homer experiences “Jerusalem Syndrome” and becomes convinced he is the Messiah.

Producer Al Jean said Mr Baron-Cohen’s character would have political clashes with Marge Simpson.


Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes split

By Jessica Elgot, March 15, 2010

British film director Sam Mendes and his wife Kate Winslet have parted, the couple’s lawyer has confirmed.
They married in 2003, and have one son, Joe.

Mr Mendes directed her in one of his latest films Revolutionary Road. They met in 2001, when he tried to persuade her to appear in a play at the Donmar Warehouse, in Covent Garden, where he was artistic director. He had already won an Oscar for Best Director for his debut film, American Beauty.