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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 31, 2014 6 Degrees (no Bacon): Jewish cel0000brity roundup Kevin Winter/Getty Images Justin Timberlake per- forms in Los Angeles on Nov. 26, 2013. By Jana Banin Justin Timberlake playing Israel HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (JTA)-- While Pink Floyd co-found- er Roger Waters' efforts to stop artists from performing in Israel have been getting plenty of attention lately, the list of upcoming big-name concerts scheduled there continues to grow. The latest additions: Neil Young and Justin Timberlake, joining Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and, (fingers crossed) the Rolling Stones. First up is Timberlake, who will play Tel Aviv on May 28, according to Haaretz. The official announcement and ticket sales set for last week were shelved in light of the death of former Prime Minis- terAriel Sharon. The show will be part of Timberlake's"20/20 Experience" world tour. The Times of Israel reports that Young and the band Crazy Horse are scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on July 17. The iconic musician last played in Israel back in 1995, during his "Mirror Ball" tour with Pearl Jam. Timberlake, in particular, may bring sexy back to the Holy Land, while Young will probably enjoy rockin' in the free world, Israeli experts say. 'Wish I Was Here' has Jew- ish themes "Wish I Was Here," the kickstarter-funded film by Zach Braff, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night. Fans eagerly awaiting the "Garden State" follow-up-- especially the 46,520 who helped pay for it to be made--will be glad to know it was warmly received. The screening ended with a standing ovation, some crit- ics had nice things to say and, most important, the movie ultimately was bought by Focus Features. Also notable: It sounds pretty Jewy. In "Wish I Was Here," Braff makes his directorial debut and stars as Aiden Bloom, a struggling actor living in suburban L.A. with his wife (Kate Hudson) and their two - 00ngagement 00001nnouncement Jonathan Mayer and Brenda Cohen Carol and Marvin Mayer of Longwood, Fla., joyously announce the engagement of their son, Jonathan Everett Mayer, to Brenda Cynthia Cohen, daughter of Joan and Gary Cohen of Valencia, Calif. Jonathan is a graduate of Lake Mary High School and received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University. He is currently working on an MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health and a M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, graduat- ing with both degrees in May 2015. Jonathan is also a published playwright. Brenda is a graduate of Canyon High School in Canyon Country, Calif., and received her bachelor's degree from Harvard University. She is currently pursuing an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University while working at the Lockheed Martin corpo- rate headquarters as a senior financial analyst. The couple plans to be married in June 2015 in Brenda's hometown near Los Angeles, Calif. kids. Aiden is forced to pull the children from Jewish day school after his dad, played by Mandy Patinkin, announces he is suffering from cancer and will no longer be able to pay tuition. Unwilling to send his kids to the local public school, Aiden decides to home school. The new role leads Aiden on a spiritual journey, complete with a visit to a rabbi. Braff, who wrote the script with his brother, Adam, ex- plains that the pair drew inspi- ration from their childhood. "It was kind of a combina- tion of both of our lives," he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "We did have a very strong Conserva- tive/Orthodox upbringing... Themes are in there around our shared experiences, but it's mostly fiction." Josh Gad plays Aiden's brother in the film. Gad, who is Jewish, says he took the part because of"Garden State" and because he grew up "in avery Jewish household," adding, "I know it doesn't look that way." The Hollywood Reporter also treated us to an onsite video clip in which the cast is asked about their Sundance fashion. What are they wear- ing? "Alaskan mohel chic." Now only if there'd been some footage of the cast's Rosh Hashanah gathering. Hank Azaria's debuts Web series 'Fatherhood' Hank Azaria was mystified as to why anyone would want to become a dad. So mystified he decided to grill his celebrity friends on camera and turn his quest for knowledge into a documentary. But a funny thing hap- pened once the whole thing got started: Katie, the Jewish actor's longtime girlfriend, learned she was pregnant. Azaria continued on with "Fatherhood," but naturally the project changed course. After Katie's pregnancy ended 10 weeks early with a baby weighing less than 3 pounds in the neonatal intensive care unit, Azaria was able to join his roster of wisdom- dispensing fathers in- cluding Joshua Malina, Kevin Bacon, Rainn Wilson, Mike Myers, Phil Rosenthal, Mike Nichols and Bryan Cranston. The show is sweet, funny and, with a slew of parenting experts in the second epi- sode, genuinely informative. There's even an appearance by Azaria's parents, Al and Ruth. The first two installments premiered last week on mom. me/fatherhood and show/fatherhood. New epi- sodes will be posted every Wednesday through March. Pamela Anderson honey- moons in Israel Forget Hawaii! Newly re- married couple Pamela An- derson and Rick Salomon took an E1Al flight straight to Israel after exchanging vows recently. According to The Times of Israel, the former "Baywatch" star and her film producer hubby (of Paris Hil- ton sex tape fame) stayed in a suite at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Early on they visited the Dead Sea. It's not Anderson's first trip down the aisle with Salo- mon-- the two were married briefly in 2007--or her first trip to Israel. In 2010, Ander- son shot an ad campaign in the Holy Land, and in 2011 she served as a judge on the Israeli version of "Dancing with the Stars." Wouldn't it be great if An- derson chose Israel because someone's come up with a Mediterranean, TelAviv-based "Baywatch" reboot? We can dream. Palestinian film 'Omar' nominated for Oscar The Palestinian film "Omar," directed by Hany Abu-Assad,was nominated for an Academy Award in the For- eign Language Film category. Itwas the second nomination for Abu-Assad, whose "Para- dise Now" was up for the prize in 2005. Itwas also the second time a Palestinian film has been nominated, according to Haaretz. "Omar," shot in Nazareth and the West Bank, is a ro- mantic thriller about a baker arrested and beaten by Israeli intelligence agents follow- ing the murder of an Israeli soldier. He is then forced to become a double agent for Israeli intelligence. The Nazareth-born Abu- Assad has Israeli citizenship but identifies as a Palestinian, The Times of Israel reports. Apparently the film itself has a similar slippery identity. Local media has questioned whether it should be labeled a Palestinian film, as it was filmed in the Israeli town of Nazareth and features several Israeli-Arab actors. Abu-Assad, who made the film with an entirely Palestin- ian crew and had mostly Pal- estinian funding, says there's no debating the fact that it is an entirely Palestinian film. "Omar" earned the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. For the latest Jewish celeb- rity news, visit JTA's 6Degrees (no Bacon) blog. Don't forget Jewk,,la poverty in Europe By Alan H. Gill When the economic crisis hit Bulgaria in 2011, Yana--a Jewish mother of three--was one of the first casualties. She lost her job as an optician and suddenly her family had to survive on her husband's mea- ger salary of $500 a month. Bills pilled up quickly, and soon they were $8,000 in debt. Struggles like that of Yana's family are sad- ly common among some European Jews today. And while our understand- able focus tends to be on the rise of nationalism and anti-Semitic political par- ties, the economic hardships afflicting Europe also pose a dire a threat to Jews. As his- tory has taught us, financial tumult often fuels the ascent of hate and those who some- times violently express it. Recently, Eurostat--the Eu- ropean Union's official statis- tics bureau--said European jobless rates remained at an all-time high, with an estimat- ed 26.6 million people seeking employment. Places like Spain and Greece have been hit the hardest, with unemployment remaining over 25 percent and unemployment among young adults more than double that. Jews and Jewish communities have not been immune from this economic downturn, and since 2008 they have turned to us, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), for help. The basis of our current ap- proach was forged in Argenti- na at the end of 2001, when the economy there plunged into unprecedented crisis. Given our history of aiding needy Jews and their families around Bar Mitzvah 00"ad00o Z;acZ;ary Nadav Zachary Weil, son of Sharon and Aaron Weil of Maitland, will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at Central Florida Hillel in Oveido. Nadav is in the seventh grade at the Jewish Acad- emy of Orlando where he is a member of the soccer and basketball teams, and is playing the role of Mayor Shin in the school play "Music Man." His hobbies and interests include collecting gems and minerals, playing sports and Dr. Who. He is also a member of Kadima. Sharing in the family's simcha will be his sisters, Noa and Roni; grandparents, Elaine and Frank Farbenbloom of Ra'anana, Israel, and Nanci and Ted Weil of Greenville, N.C.; as well as relatives from Ra'anana, Israel, Tel Aviv, and Raleigh, N.C. JDC With no money to replace the decayed wallpaper in their poorly insulated three-room apartment in Bulgaria, parents Harry and Yana allowed their three children to simply draw on the walls to bring cheer to their home. Economic hard- ships afflicting Europe pose a dire a threat to Jews, writes Alan H. Gill, CEO of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). the world for nearly a century, Argentina's Jews turned to us. We began with the assets of the community--everything from bricks and mortar and cash to people. Some of our work concentrated on restoring value to property and investments to generate reliable revenue streams. We also unlocked potential by boosting individuals' skills and helping them to promote themselves in the job market. Positive results speak for themselves: since our in- tervention began, we've trained more than 18,000 people in marketable skills, helped 7,000-plus find viable jobs, and helped create more than 400 small businesses through short-term loans. Since Europe's economy took a nosedive, we've found that this model, adjusted by com- munity, is applicable in the more exposed parts of the Europe. Once more, we're working with Jewish commu- nities where mass unemploy- ment and poverty is a shock. Take Bulgaria, where a once vibrant economy (boosted by EU membership) is now buckling under skyrocketing utility costs and an unem- ployment rate of more than 10 percent (while the real value of incomes is steadily falling). In the capital, Sofia, where most of the country's 7,000 Jews live, we and our partner, the Shalom organiza- tion, now provide emergency aid in addition to running a soup kitchen and a job training program and center. Some mightquestionwhether the job training center should be a priority, given that the demand for welfare services among Bulgarian Jews has increased by 35 percent in the last year. But that's precisely the point. For a community to be self-sustaining, it has to both cultivate its most ambitious and determined members in order to keep its members positive in the bad times as well as the good. This way, when the next crisis hits, it's the local leaders and communities who are in a position to care for the most vulnerable. That's why we also help connect people to Poverty on page 15A