Showbiz

Jewish Michael Jackson jailed

By Jennifer Lipman, June 30, 2010

A father of 11 who has described himself as Orthodox Jewish music’s answer to Michael Jackson will now have more time to work on his vocals after being found guilty of grand larceny.

Michoel Streicher has been sentenced to up to three years behind bars for stealing nearly £24,000.

He took the money from a woman who wanted to buy a Torah scroll for a dying relative.

Judy Burstein wanted to build a “mini synagogue” at home and was a fan of Mr Streicher, who released several albums in the 1990s.

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Lloyd Webber charity sells 'Nazi' Picasso

By Robyn Rosen, June 24, 2010

The £34.7 million sale of a Picasso painting looted by the Nazis during the war is to be used to fund upcoming musical theatre stars.

Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, also known as The Absinthe Drinker became one of the most valuable paintings sold at auction in Europe after it was sold yesterday at Christie’s.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation purchased the painting for £18million in 1995 and decided to sell it to fund stage bursaries for underprivileged children.

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Twilight star remembers Nazi victims

By Jennifer Lipman, June 22, 2010

Twilight star Kristen Stewart has paid her respects to victims of the Holocaust on a visit to Berlin.

The actress, 20, was accompanied by minders as she walked around the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Comprising nearly 3000 white concrete blocks, the memorial opened in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

Ms Stewart was in the German capital to promote the latest outing in the Twilight saga, Eclipse.

The film, in which the actress plays a teenager in love with brooding vampire Edward Cullen, opens in British cinemas on July 9.

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Elton John: No-one will stop me playing in Israel

By Jessica Elgot, June 18, 2010

Elton John has performed a triumphantly successful concert to nearly 50,000 cheering fans in Ramat Gan, telling Israelis: “Nobody gonna stop me from playing here, baby”.

The country’s music fans have suffered several high profile cancellations, including bands such as the Pixies, Carlos Santana, Gorillaz, the Klaxons and, most recently, Elvis Costello.

Many of the acts cancelling their performances said they had been targeted by pro-Palestinian groups.
But Sir Elton John, who has played in Israel twice previously, told the audience: “We do not cherry-pick our consciences.”

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Lebanese concert promoter: musical boycotts 'ridiculous'

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

A Lebanese concert organiser has called boycotts against musicians that have performed in Israel “ridiculous”.

Entertainment tycoon Jihad al-Murr spoke in the wake of demands by Lebanese protesters that the British rock band Placebo should pull out of an upcoming Beirut concert after also playing in Tel Aviv.

Campaigners had said the group was unwelcome in Lebanon after launching Israel Pic.Nic festival, but Mr al-Murr said it would be foolish to “boycott every minister, official or artist that has ever visited Israel”.

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Bafta for Jewish actress Rebecca Front

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

A Jewish actress has triumphed at the Bafta awards.

Rebecca Front won Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for her role in political satire "The Thick of It".

In the programme, which also won two other awards, she plays ambitious but inept government minister Nicola Murray.

She received cheers and applause when she confided that her parents still helped her learn her lines for the notoriously foul-mouthed comedy - particularly that her mother took the part of Malcolm Tucker, whose language is almost entirely blue.

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Pixies cancel Israeli performance

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

Rock group Pixies have pulled out of a concert in Israel just days before the event was to take place.

They were said to have been urged to boycott the performance by pro-Palestinian activists following the recent clashes with the Israeli navy on board an aid ship.

The American band, popular in the 1980s for their punk rock music, had been set to perform at a Tel Aviv venue on June 9.

But they surprised fans by cancelling the appearance at the Pic.Nic festival at the last minute.

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Lulu's love of gefilte fish at UJIA dinner

By Jessica Elgot, June 3, 2010

Lulu has revealed how she acquired a love of gefilte fish.

The British pop icon addressed a UJIA women's brunch at London's Saatchi Gallery which raised £100,000 for projects for young people in the UK and northern Israel.

Speaking to the JC, the Scottish singer recalled that she was just 15 when her single Shout rocketed up the charts in 1964. Her Jewish manager Marion Massey was anxious to find a protective living environment for her in London and so she ended up staying with Ms Massey's mother in St John's Wood until her marriage to Bee Gee Maurice Gibb.

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Sarah Jessica Parker shines at premiere

By Jennifer Lipman, May 25, 2010

Sarah Jessica Parker wowed the crowds at the Sex and the City 2 premiere in New York in a fluorescent yellow dress.

The Jewish actress did her alter-ego Carrie Bradshaw proud in a floor length Valentino piece as she launched the much anticipated second film in the popular series.

Sporting a tan and characteristic killer heels, Ms Parker was joined on the blue carpet by fellow cast members Kim Catrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon.

After the film the stars enjoyed a Middle Eastern style dinner of hummus and kebabs.

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Brittany Murphy's husband found dead

May 24, 2010

The Jewish husband of actress Brittany Murphy has died age 39 after suffering a suspected heart attack at the couple’s former home in Hollywood Hills.

Screenwriter Simon Monjack’s death comes just five months after Brittany, 32, died in his arms after suffering a heart attack in the shower at the same house.

After Brittany’s death Monjack ruffled feathers when he tried in vain to block plans for a post-mortem examination.

Monjack, who was born in North London, met Brittany through a mutual friend and they married soon afterwards in a Jewish ceremony in LA in May 2007.

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