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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 6 Degrees (no Bacon): Jewish celebrity roundup Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images Entertainment Israeli teen actress Odeya Rush joins Jack Black's 'Goose- bumps.' By Jana Banin Israeli teen teaming with Jack Black HOLLYWOOD, Fla. 0TA)-- Israeli-born Odeya Rush, 16, fresh off the set of "The Giver" with Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, has joined the cast of "Goosebumps," The Wrap re- ports. Rushwill star alongside Jack Black in the adaptation of R.L. Stine's mega-popular children's book series. Per The Wrap: "Black will play Mr. Shivers, a Stine-like author whose scary characters literally leap off the page, forcing him to hide from his own creepy creations." As for Rush, she'll play "Black's quirky and mysterious niece, who teams up with her young male neighbor to battle the monsters unleashed from Mr. Shivers' works." The Haifa-born Rush moved to the United States with her family at age 9. She has appeared on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" as well as in Disney's "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." Another up- coming role: Jesus' mother, Mary, in a biblical film also starring Ben Kingsley and Julia Ormond. Israeli roots, good looks, gigs with highly respected ac- tors: Are we the only ones who can't help but be reminded of Natalie Portman from her "Professional" days? Zach Braff's PR for Y.U. If Zach Braff's new film "Wish I Was Here" ends up making money, the regular folks who funded the thing via Kickstarter probably won't see any of the profits. That said, certain donors will get to see a little more of Braff himself--like the mysteri- ous donor who apparently requested that Braff record a Purim video promoting Yeshiva University. "I'll say or do pretty much whatever you want for twenty seconds," Braff promised on his Kickstarter page to those who pledged upward of $500. "I will send you the mpeg file so you can upload to YouTube, play at parties, or send to friends. I will be your dancing monkey." In the video, he claims to be a doctor, a rabbi and a lawyer, and that when it comes to combining world- class academics and Judaic studies, Yeshiva University is the place to be. To be clear Braff, who has said he had a "Conservative/ Orthodox" upbringing, at- tended Northwestern Uni- versity, not Y.U. And while the clip bears the hash tag #Nowherebuthere, the name of Y.U.'s ad campaign, it does not appear to be linked to the university. Also, he's not a Maccabeat. So anyway, Happy Purim. New couple alert: Sarah Silverman and Michael Sheen According to a report from Us Weekly, Silverman was caught last week "get- ting hot and heavy" with British actor Michael Sheen at his 45th birthday party in West Hollywood. Silverman's five-year relationship with Jimmy Kimmel ended in 2009, while the "Masters of Sex" star Sheen was married to Kate Beckinsale (who, by the way, was at the party, too) for eight years. They divorced in 2003 and have a 14-year-old daughter, Lily. Anyway, back to the canoo- dling. "They were making out at Soho House," an eyewitness told Us Weekly. "They were all over each other for a lot of the night." Then this, from an "in- sider": "Sarah and Michael came and left together. She drove. When they left, Sarah opened her trunk so Michael could put all of his gifts in and then they drove away." Silverman's people did not respond to requests for comment, but we will closely monitor her prolific Twit- ter feed for deets. Keep you posted. Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Larry King remember Sid Caesar Sid Caesar, the Jewish co- median who helped pave the way for American comedy as we know it today, died Feb. 12 at his Beverly Hills home after a brief illness, Variety reports. Caesar, born in Yonkers, N.Y., to immigrant parents from Poland and Russia, began his career playing the saxophone and doing some comedy work in the Catskills. His breakout gig was the weekly live comedy program "Your Show of Shows." Writ- ers for the 1950s sketch show included Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Carl Reiner. "Inarguably he was the greatest single monologist and skit comedian we ever had," Reiner told The Hol- lywood Reporter. "Television owes him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering work and the great shows he gave us all. Render onto Caesarwhat is his due. He deserves real applause from the American people." From Brooks: "Sid Caesar was a giant--maybe the best comedian who ever practiced the trade. And I was privileged to be one of his writers and one of his friends." Alien said, "He was one of the truly great comedians of my time." Among the first to pay re- spects via Twitter was Larry King. "Sorry to learn about the passing of Sid Caesar--a dear friend, a comic genius & an American classic--there will never be another one like him," King wrote. To hear King speak about Caesar in person, check out this video from the 2010 Chabad telethon. In the clip, King introduces a highlight reel of Caesar's famous double talk act in which he babbles in foreign accents so convinc- ingly, it sounds as if he's actu- ally speaking French, Italian and of course, Yiddish. Schmidt and Nick crash a bar mitzvah on 'New Girl' Mazel tov to "New Girl" on its bar mitzvah.., scene. On the latest episode of the Fox comedy, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) Jews it up yet again, this time crashing a bar mitzvah with Nick (Jake Johnson), who he's enlisted as his wingman. Nick's job: To distract Schmidt's rabbi (Jon Lovitz) so Schmidt can hit on his daughter Rachel. It's all typical "New Girl" stuff, but with yarmulkes. What could be bad? Here are five highlights from the party: 1. When introduced to an elderly guest, Nick suavely tips his yarmulke. You know, like it's a regular hat. 2. The sports-themed cen- terpieces. 3. This joke from the rabbi: "Did you hear the one about the waiter? He walks up to a table of Jewish women and says 'is anything alright?'" 4. The spat between Nick and the rabbi, which includes scathing putdowns such as "You sir are no Sammy Davis Jr.!" 5. Schmidt's prayer-pickup line hybrid: "Baruch atah adonice dress!" Amen. 'Shoshi Games 2014: A 'Girls' Olympics meme How would Shoshanna Shapiro, Zosia Mamet's Jewish American Princess on crack (literally, sometimes) from "Girls," fare at the Olympics? "Shoshi Games 2014" helps get your imagination going. The anonymously cre- ated Tumblr superimposes Mamet's face onto shots of various athletes, complete with Shosh-esque quotes as captions. Think lines like "Curling? I've been doing that since my bat mitzvah," and"Are we going to a Drybar? #helmethair." Good stuff, mysterious Tumblr genius. For the latest Jewish celeb- rity news, visit JTA's 6Degrees (no Bacon) biog. The Jewish exodus from France By Michel Gurfinkiel Algemeiner On Jan. 26, possibly for the first time ever since the end of World War II, explicit anti-Semitic slogans were shouted during a large-scale political demonstration in Paris. The incident was just a further indication that French Jews are not as secure today as they used to be a few years ago. Indeed, many French Jews have concluded they have no future in their country, and are leaving for Israel or North America. In 2013, more than 20,000 people formally applied to the Jewish Agency in Paris for aliyah--emigration to Israel--and more than 3,000 completed the emi- gration process during the same year: twice as much as in 2012. France is now the first country of origin for aliyah, ahead of the United States. No less relevant is the rise of people considering emi- grating to Israel. In 2012, about 60 people in France used to attend weekly aliyah- focused information work- shops. Throughout 2013, average attendance soared to 150 people per week. In December, it peaked out at 500 people per week. No such data is available about French Jewish emi- gration to North America. There is no doubt, how- ever, that it is on the rise. Maurizio Molinari recently wrote in an article pub- lished by the Italian daily La Stampa: "Every Saturday at around 12 p.m. on the sidewalks of the Upper West Side you can hear French being spoken. It's coming from groups of people who are coming out of the synagogues on 75th, 78th and 84th streets, where increasing numbers of French Jews are appearing each week. They're families with kids, young peo- ple, teachers and executives. The consulate on FifthAvenue hasn't estimated the exact numbers of this phenomenon but it's definitely increasing. In the Manhattan Day School the teachers are showing the Your in Orlando Real Estate!l!! ...,ii. ............ ! ............... 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Another reason is concern about non-European immigration and the gradual erosion of France's national character and national cul- ture. Naturally, the more the French at large think about emigrating, or engage into expatriation, the more Jews are likely to do the same. How far will it go? Is this the beginning of a new mass migration within the Jewish world, 20 years after the mass migration of most Jews from the former Soviet Union to Israel, Western Europe, and North America? Will the French Jews transform Israel and American Jewry the way Soviet Jews did? It is usually assumed, in the absence of any govern- ment sponsored or supervised census in religious matters, that about half a million Jews live currently in France. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the French Jewish community is now the third largest one in the world by size, after Israel (6 million) and the United States (from 5 to 7.5 million, depending on sources), and the largest on the European continent. Two European Jews out of three are assumed to be French, or at least two out of four if one is to include the Russian and Ukrainian in the sum total. It is also assumed by many demographers that French Jewry dropped from about 600,000 or even 700,000 souls in the 1970s and 1980s to its current size (the Virtual Jew- ish Library points to 480,000 souls), and that this nega- tive trend is not likely to be reversed. Decline is ascribed to such factors as ageing, assimilation and intermar- riage, a low birthrate--and emigration. However, these numbers are based on data provided by the French Jewish organiza- tions: synagogues, schools, community centers, Jewish federations. Reliable statistics from other sources point to a strikingly different, and more optimistic, picture. Since 1994, according to vari- ous polls and investigations conducted by organizations unrelated to the Jewish com- munity, the proportion of the citizens and residents of France that describe them- selves as Jewish has not changed. However, the global French population (overseas territories included) grew during the same period from 57.6 million in 1994 to 65.5 million in 2013--so much so that the Jewish population at large may actually have grown by 10 percent, from 576,000 to 655,000. One reason for the dis- crepancy between Jewish organization statistics about Jews and global statistics about Jews is that the former deal chiefly with an inner circle of traditional or semi- traditional Jews that keep formal links with Jewish institutions, while the latter may include an outer circle of "marranos': persons of Jewish origin, more often than not with imperfect halachic credentials, who nevertheless are concerned about Jewish issues and are willing, given the vibrancy of the inner community, to return to Judaism in one way or another. Whatever the figures, the Jewish emigration potential from France is very impor- tant. The Israeli political leadership is taking steps to turn this potential into an asset. Laws and regulations are being revised or scrapped in order to help French profes- sionals or students assimilate. And a Francophone caucus was created a few weeks ago at the Knesset in Jerusalem. Michel Gurfinkiel is a French journalist and writer. Editor Emeritus of Valeurs Actuelles, France's leading conservative magazine, he contributes to many Ameri- can media outlets, from Commentary Magazine to PJMedia. The president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a political think- tank in Paris, since2003, and a Shillman/Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum since 2012, he sits on the Board of Governors of Consistoire, the Union of French synagogues, since 1990.