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December 20, 2013

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PAGE 8A By Jana Banin HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 20, 2013 6 Degrees Bacon): Jewish celebrity roundup That could be awhile--at least the first four dates al- ready are sold out. "Having [Joel] as your musi- cal franchise is like having the pope as your parish priest," said the Garden's executive chairman, Jim Dolan, accord- ing to the Daily News. As Joel is Jewish, so maybe it would be more like having the chief rabbinate of Israel working your local congrega- tion? Maybe not. In defense of Hitler, by Tila Tequila If your memory of C-list phenomenon Tila Tequila is Billy Joel's monthly gig HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (JTA)-- Can't get enough Billy Joel? You're in luck--at least if you live in the New York area and have a hefty concert ticket budget. Beginning in January, the legendary singer will be playing a monthly show at Madison Square Garden. The monthly gigs will continue for "as long as the audience demands," said Joel, who will be performing on his 65th birthday, May 9. B' Lai Mitzvah C_Ee e/e ,,,,or Chloe Michele and Olivia Laine Garfinkei, daughters of Dr. Bobby and JoAnn Garfinkel of Longwood, Fla., will be called to the Torah as b'nai mitzvah at the Southern Wall in Israel on Dec. 29, 2013. Chloe and Olivia are in the seventh grade at Markham Middle School where they are members of the volleyball league, drama and tennis. Their hobbies and interests include skiing, biking and being with friends, and they are on the Winter Park Volleyball League. They are both on the A/B Honor Roll. Sharing in the family's simcha as they travel to Israel will be brothers, Alec and Blake; as well as cousins, aunts and uncles from Jacksonville, Fla. Chanukah at Chambrel Island Lake Like all Jewish families, candle lighting and gift exchange was added to the evening routine for the eight nights of Chanukah. For the Colley, Keimach, Yoffee and Shapiro families the seventh night was set aside for the residents at Chambrel Island Lake. The children prepared a program of singing, story-telling, blessings over the Chanukiah and kibbitzing with doz- ens of elderly residents. The Jewish Pavilion thanks all its dedicated volunteers. Shown here are Ella and Ben Colley with their great-grandmother, Ruth. hazy at best, the former star of the MTV reality show "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila" and, natch, a sex tape, is out to change that. Or, more likely, she's simply gone off the deep end of a pool nestled deep within the borders of Crazytown. As reported by Tablet, Tequila posted to Facebook a shot of herself decked out in a sexy Nazi costume, standingagainst the picturesque backdrop of a photo of Auschwitz. A shock- ing and bizarre creative choice in general, but even more so from someone who at about this time last year was talking about becoming a Jew. Not an Orthodox Jew, of course, because that would be, in the words of someone who refers to herself as Hitila (get it, Hitler plus Tila? You just smush those two names together and you get Hitila) "too hardcore." While the photo has since been taken down, a blog post intended to bust all those terrible Hitler myths remains out there for the world to consume. In "Why I Sympa- thize with Hitler Part 1: True History Unveiled," Tequila at- tempts to set things straight: "Here is a man who was not a coward, stood up for his country in a desperate time of need (unlike all of our cowardly leaders), and yet not only did he try his best to help his country and people get out of what was a time of depression, economic col- lapse, high unemployment, amongst many other things... he lost the war AND was painted out to be a monster after his death." Not that she has anything against the people belonging to the tribe she may or may not have converted to. "I am not going to sit here and say that I hate Jewish people because that is not the case nor is this about Jews," Tequila clarifies. "It is about Hitler and his side of the story that was never told since he was not the victor. However, those of you with a closed mind can think I am being anti-Semite all you want because I already told you that I am not, nor will I repeat myself again." Funny because just last week, alongside a link to a report about the death of reality TV director James Marcus Howe, she shared this gentle and not at all anti- Semitic sentiment: "GOD SEE'S YOU DIRTY F***ING KIKES WORKING FOR THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN AND I HAVE RETURNED AS HIS MESSENGER! TAKE HEED NOW BITCHES!" As the story unfolds, we hope to find answers to many important questions, such as whether Tequila is dressed in last year's Purim costume, if she high-rived herself in the mirror when she came up with her genius name hybrid, and if the Singapore-born sorta star has ever wondered how the Fuehrer would have felt about her non Aryan-ness. Gal Gadot to play Wonder Woman Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast as Won- der Woman in the upcoming film "Batman vs. Superman." Speculation over whether Di- ana Prince would even appear in the "Man of Steel" sequel in the first place (rumors of a Wonder Woman vehicle have been floating around for about a decade now) has been replaced by speculation over whether Gadot, 28, is worthy Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Billy Joel attends Madison Square Garden's Dec. 3, 2013 announcement in New York City of his run as the venue's first-ever music franchise. of playing the super-powered feminist icon. We think yes. Badass cre- dentials include a role in the "Fast & Furious" franchise, a stint in the Israeli army and the Miss Israel crown. OK, so the last one might not sound all that tough, but it did provide her with some tiara-wearing practice. "Wonder Woman is argu- ably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe," director Zack Sny- der said. "Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character." Gadot will star alongside Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman. Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy explains Chanukah Paul Rudd hosted "Saturday Night Live" this week, but he wasn't the only Jewish cutie to make an appearance on the episode. Also present was Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy, a favorite of "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers and the son of his podiatrist. This time the socially awkward, notes-fixated Ja- cob was at the desk to talk about Chanukah. We learn, speech-style, about the game of dreidel, Jacob's cousin's peanut allergy, and that the holiday has eight days--co- incidentally the length of time his brother Ethan was grounded for calling his so- cial studies teacher a fascist. Good stuff, although it's no Xbox 360! For the latest Jewish celeb- rity news, visit JTA 's 6Degrees (no Bacon) blog. For new dad, a stronger bond from a cut foreskin By Debra Rubin WASHINGTON (JTA)-- Natan Zaidenweber thought the mohel was kidding. His wife, Linda Raab, thought it was some kind of religious formality and didn't give it a second thought. But the mohel, Cantor Philip Sherman, was serious. Though most fathers demur when he invites them to per- form the bris on their sons by clipping their foreskin, preferring to delegate the task to someone profession- ally trained in the procedure, Sherman finds that about 5 or 10 percent of dads agree to do the cut. "It is the father's mitzvah to actually perform the bris as Abraham did for his son, Isaac," Sherman said. "Many fathers have told me what an incredible moment it was for them to do the actual bris and enter their sons into the covenant of Abraham." The Mill Valley, Calif., couple realized the cantor wasn't joking only once the ceremony was underway. Sherman began with a nam- ing ceremony for Jay Hilay and his twin sister, Sivan Rose. Then he again offered Natan the option of making the cut. The new dad stepped for- ward, and as his startled wife screamed his name in a tone that she says was intended to say, "Are you crazy?" a friend reassured her it would be easy. "I then took a deep breath, surrendered to the faith I had in Phil and motioned that they had my blessing to proceed," Raab said. Sherman set up what was needed, gave the baby some sugar water, put a clamp in place and offered Zaidenwe- ber some direction. Making the cut, Zaidenweber said, was a powerful bonding experience. "I'm glad I did," he said. "I'm glad I have that connec- tion with my son. Your love is equal for both [twins], but it's special that we have that bond." For Raab, too, the experi- ence was a positive one. Sher- man had told the gathering that a baby's cry during a bris is like the sound of the shofar opening the gates of heaven. "I closed my eyes, heard Jay's cry and actually was able to experience it as deeply spiritual and beautiful," Raab said, noting her pride that her husband took on the role. "He stepped up, fearlessly, with a faith in himself that I wouldn't have had in my- self," she said. "I have since been aware of how much his modeling has helped me to muster more courage as I face the tasks of mothering." If the couple were to have another son, would Zaiden- weber make the snip again? Yes, say morn and dad, with- out hesitation. If you know of a lifecycle event that would make a great story, please email Former local rabbi a part of world history Germany's largest syna- gogue, on Rykestrasse in Berlin, reopened in 2007 after a lavish restoration. The synagogue, with a 1,200-per- son capacity, has been de- scribed as one of the jewels of Germany's Jewish com- munity. And although this event happened sixyears ago, the interesting thing about it was that the gathering of rabbis bringing the Torah to the synagogue in a ceremony witnessed by political leaders and Holocaust survivors from around the world was led by former Temple Israel Rabbi Chaim Rozwaski. Restoration of the neo- classical building, which is more than 100 years old, cost more than 45m euros ($60m, 30m). Rabbi Roswaski described the reconstruction as 'a miracle.' The synagogue has a stel- lar history. Johann Hoeniger built the synagogue in 1903- 1904. Its first inauguration was on Sept. 4, 1904, on time for the holidays of and around Rosh Hashanah. Joseph Himmel (1872-1943, Theresienstadt) served as president of the gabba'im in the 1910s probably until the 1920s. Orthodox Rabbi Siegfried Alexander (1886- 1943, Auschwitz) won the congregants to elect the first woman, Martha Ehrlich (ne Eisenhardt; 1896-1942) as gabba'i, equally participating in gabba'i decisions and tasks, however, except--unlike her male colleaguesIcalling congregants up to read the Torah. The synagogue did not burn during the November 1938 Pogroms, instead the Nazis ordered a "mere" van- dalization and demolition of furnishings, since the synagogue is located inside of a block of residential buildings. However, a fire did ignite, burning torah scrolls and smashed furniture but was soon extinguished be- fore spreading to the actual building. Many windows had been destroyed. Rabbis and other male congregants were arrested and brought to Sachsenhausen (concentra- tion camp).