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Tamar Yonah is one of Israel's most popular English-speaking radio show hosts. She made Aliyah from Southern California and after serving in the Israeli army began a prolific career in radio, including production, news and program development. She was the original creator and producer of 'The Aliyah Show' and still works whenever she can in that field. Tamar is a political activist, wife and mother residing in Judea and Samaria and currently hosts the top-rated shows of The Weekend Edition & The Tamar Yonah Show. Her award winning blog covers current events, religion, politics and anything else that's on her mind.
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Buy Property in Israel, and protect yourself and your life's savings too.
Scenario: You have your life savings in the bank and in stocks and bonds. But what would happen if the dollar all of a sudden devaluates and/or crashes? You would be left with zilch, and it could take a wheelbarrow of that 'paper stuff' you worked so hard for all your life, just to buy a loaf of bread. Remember the Depression of the 1930's? Even if the dollar were to remain stable, how much does your bank pay you each month in interest? However, if you took your money and purchased an apartment with it, not only would you have something solid for all your life's savings, but you'd be raking in perhaps a thousand dollars plus/minus each month into your own bank account from the rent it could garner.
You've worked hard and have saved money, either for your retirement or a rainy day. But are your savings going to save you if times get really bad? I believe, sadly, that the US dollar is going to be very risky to hold onto. Perhaps other currencies around the world as well. However I want to concentrate on the U.S. dollar. Can one be safe holding onto paper money? There is no gold or silver behind the dollar anymore. It is only fiat money today. Paper. Fiat money is defined as: "Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, despite the fact that it has no intrinsic value and is not backed by reserves..." i.e. gold or silver.
Long ago, the dollar actually had printed on the bottom of the bill:
"IN SILVER PAYABLE TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND" Click here for a photo of it.
Once, you could take your dollar bill, and go to the bank and redeem it for its equivalence in gold or silver. It was first based on Gold and then on Silver. Sadly, now it is based on... pretty much nothing.
First, if you are a Jew, it is a mitzvah to own a home in Israel. Second, you can rent it out and make (for example) a thousand dollars a month. Will your bank pay you $1,000 a month interest on the money you are keeping with them??? I doubt it.
I believe it is better to invest your money in property here. That way if the dollar goes bust, you have SOMETHING for your money, and you can most likely sell your property here later on, for even MORE money than what you bought it for. In Israel, real estate is high, AND it could be making you money every 30 days via rental. There are plenty of property management agencies that will find renters for you and tend to your apartment's needs. You can just sit back and relax and watch the money come in each month it it rented. Seems that logically, it's a win-win situation; You have something solid for your life's savings, AND it is making money for you every month, AND it will probably be going up in value each year. As a perk, if you have property here, you have put a root down into the soil of the Land of Israel, and you are more likely to one day make aliyah since you have something here. Or, if worst comes to worst and you have to flee because of anti-Antisemitism or violence, or danger or you lose your home in some natural disaster, et al, you have a home here waiting for you! Win win all around, no? If the home/apt. you buy here is not your 'dream house', no problem, you can sell it later on, when you are ready to move here to help you buy the one you'd want to live in yourself. Again, real estate in Israel has been going up each year. We are a small country, there is a limited amount of space.
Why am I writing all of this now? Because recently some articles have come out saying that the USA's economy is looking up, and that people can have confidence to buy stocks and save money! When I read articles like these, I think back in history about building false confidence just before a great fall, and a red flag goes up in my mind. I would worry when I have to read optimistic articles that say 'not to worry about the economy' and that it is getting better. Why not buy now, get something for your money, AND MAKE approx. a $1,000 each month that goes into your pocket?! It's a mitzvah as well! ...And we can all use more mitzvahs!
Anyone who wants me to help advise them, and again, I am not an expert, you can skype me and I will (time allowing) speak with you and try to assist you. My skype user name is TAMYON. If you add me, write in your name and why you are contacting me.
For those that would like to listen to the radio show I just did on buying property in Israel, click HERE to listen: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/5172#.UvDl7z2SxIE
"Tamar explains why she believes it is important to purchase property, and hosts two realestate agents who give their take on it as well. For more affordable homes and property, look to the north and south of the country. Laurie Silverman from Alon Properties at RealEstateNorthIsrael.com shares her experiences with real estate up north. Also, Haredi businessperson, Shia Getter, author of, Everything You Need to Know About Buying Real Estate in Israel comes on the show and talks about property in Jerusalem, and why he believes it is a good investment. He also talks about Haredi interests and how it affects the real estate market. This is an important show with information to strongly consider."
A disproportionate amount of famous people in Hollywood (and on the world scene) may be Jewish or even have a Jewish father. But having a Jewish father or a Jewish sounding last name doesn't make one a Jew. Not even in Hollywood. Well, here is a short list of famous Jews who actually ARE Jews according to Halacha (Jews according to the requirements of Jewish Law where their mother is Jewish).
Note: Much of the information below was researched from Wikipedia.com)
"Hey, I didn't Know They Were Jewish!"
Guest post by Leslie-Ann Stoffel
We all know of how the Jewish People make up only 0.2% of the world population, yet comprise 22% of Nobel laureates. The Jewish nation far outnumbers the average representation we should have, compared to other nations. We see so many Jewish achievers, famous in so many fields.
But let's just take a look at some of these people whom you might be surprised to know are Jewish, Halachicly Jewish, in the entertainment and other fields.
Paula Abdul - For those who watched LA Laker Games back in the 80’s we weren’t surprised to see this Laker Girl advance quickly from Janet Jackson’s choreographer to singing and dancing in her own music videos. Paula Abdul is a pop singer, choreographer and is probably most famous for her role as a judge on American Idol. She was born in San Fernando, California, (to Jewish parents.) Her parents according to Wikipedia indicates that Abdul's father, Harry Abdul, was born into the Syrian Jewish community in Aleppo, Syria, was raised in Brazil, and subsequently immigrated to the United States. Her mother, the concert pianist Lorraine M. (née Rykiss), grew up in one of the two Jewish families in Minnedosa, Manitoba in Canada, with ancestors from the Ashkenazi Jewish minority in Russia and Ukraine. Paula Abdul also lights Shabbos candles. Watch it here.
Harrison Ford - He took movie goers on swashbuckling adventures from outer space to searching for ancient artifacts. Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an American film actor and producer. He is best known for his performances in Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and several other Hollywood films. Ford was born July 13, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois. His parents according to Wikipedia tells us that his mother, Dorothy (née Dora Nidelman), was a homemaker and former radio actress, and his father, Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), was an advertising executive and a former actor. Ford's maternal grandparents, Harry Nidelman and Anna Lifschutz, were Jewish immigrants from Minsk, Belarus (at that time a part of the Russian Empire). Dreamy Harrison Ford is indeed a Jew according to Jewish law!
Natalie Portman - The stunning Israeli actress, Natalie Portman burst onto the screen with her fist film role as accidental side kick to a hit man, in the action film Leon: The Professional. Born Natalie Hershlag; in Jerusalem June 9, 1981. Natalie has American and Israeli citizenship. Later she would be cast in the Star Wars prequel and in 2010 she would star in The Black Swan, winning the Best Actress Award for 2011. Her parents according to Wikipedia states that she is the only child of Shelley (née Stevens), an American homemaker who works as Portman's agent, and Avner Hershlag, an Israeli citizen who is a fertility specialist and gynecologist.
Gal Gadot - Israeli actress Gal Gadot is an Israeli, who is set to play the role of 'Wonder Woman' in the new upcoming 2015 movie 'Batman vs. Superman'.
Superman - Really? Well, let's just say that he was created by two Jewish high school students named Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Superman was given a background similar to what many American Jews experienced, in the they came from a far away place to a new land (america) and Superman's name on planet Krypton, was Kal-El and his father's, Jor-El, both whose names have the name of G-d (EL) in it. For more on Superman's background, see here and here.
Scarlett Johansson - The striking American actress, model and singer, Scarlett Johansson was born November 22, 1984. Scarlett’s breakout performance came in The Horse Whisperer in 1998. She shifted to adult roles with her performances in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) where she portrayed the girl in the Vermeer painting. She would go on to win Golden Globe Awards for both Girl with a Pearl Earring and Lost in Translation in 2003. These led to other roles including The Other Bolyn Girl in 2008 with many more films and awards after that. Scarlett’s parents according to Wikipedi indicates that Karsten Johansson, her father, is a Danish-born architect originally from Copenhagen, and her paternal grandfather, Ejner Johansson, was a screenwriter and director. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, a producer, comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from the Bronx. Melanie's ancestors emigrated to New York from Minsk, Tsarist Russia.
Goldie Hawn - Both beautiful and funny and by now a Hollywood legend is Goldie Hawn. Goldie captured everyone’s attention when she appeared on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In where she was a dancer on the show. Taking her good looks and talent she went on to more television, movies and producing her own films. Cactus Flower in 1969 won her a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Later on she would go on to star in and produce Private Benjamin, Swing Shift and Protocol to name just a few. Goldie has maintained a relationship with Kurt Russell since 1983 which is unusual in Hollywood. She has two children by a previous marriage, Kate Hudson & Oliver Hudson, both actors in their own right. Hawn’s early years and parentage according to Wikipedia indicate that she was born in Washington, D.C. The daughter of Laura (née Steinhoff; November 27, 1913 – November 27, 1993), a jewelry shop/dance school owner, and Edward Rutledge Hawn (September 28, 1908 – June 7, 1982), a band musician who played at major events in Washington. Another interesting fact about Goldie is, through her father, Hawn is a direct descendant of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signatory of the Declaration of Independence Her father was Presbyterian and her mother was Jewish, the daughter of immigrants from Hungary; Hawn had a Jewish upbringing.
Kate Hudson - Of course we can’t mention Goldie without mentioning her radiant daughter Kate Hudson – Although Ms. Hawn has two children who are in the spot light, the most well known of the two is Kate Hudson. She was propelled to stardom in 2001 after winning the Golden Globe and being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the film Almost Famous. Later she would go on to star in the remake of the historical romance The Four Feathers, a film which was not well received by critics or audiences. Her next film, the romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Her parentage and early years according to Wikipedia: Hudson was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1979 the daughter of, as we said earlier, Academy Award–winning actress Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson, an actor, comedian, and musician. Her parents divorced eighteen months after her birth; she and her brother, actor Oliver Hudson, were raised in Colorado and California, by her mother and her mother's long-time boyfriend, actor Kurt Russell.
Mila Kunis - Next, from That 70’s Show we have the very alluring Milena Markovna "Mila" Kunis (born August 14, 1983) is an American actress and voice artist. In 1991, at the age of seven, she moved from Ukraine to Los Angeles with her family. After being enrolled in acting classes as an after-school activity acting obviously came easy for her as she was in many TV commercials before starring in That 70’s Show bringing her to the public’s attention. She later won the supporting role in Black Swan opposite Natalie Portman. Her performance brought her nominations from the Venice International Film Fest, Golden Globes & the Screen Actors Guild. Her young life and parentage, according to Wikipedia states that Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, in the Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine). Her mother, Elvira, is a physics teacher who runs a pharmacy, and her father, Mark Kunis, is a mechanical engineer who works as a cab driver. The transition from the former Soviet Union to the US was difficult for Mila as she did not know English when first moving there.
The Three Stooges - When we were kids, these three kept us laughing until our sides hurt - The Three Stooges. Wikipedia tells us the following about their parents & early life, Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp were born Jewish. Moses Horwitz was born on June 19, 1897, in Brooklyn to Solomon Horwitz and Jennie Gorovitz, the fourth of five brothers of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. Although his parents were not involved in show business, Moe, his older brother Samuel (Shemp) and younger brother Jerome (Curly) all eventually became world-famous as members of The Three Stooges. Larry was born to a Jewish family as Louis Feinberg in Philadelphia. His father, Joseph Feinberg, was a Russian Jew and his mother, Fanny Lieberman, owned a watch repair and jewelry shop.
Tony Curtis - (born Bernard Schwartz, June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010) made a splash on the screen as a handsome leading man in film and later TV. His greatest popularity was in the 1950’s and 60’s. Using his inherent comedic timing he delighted us with his performance in the classic Some Like It Hot. He could also be dramatic and serious as in Sparticus. These were two of his more well known films although he appeared in many. After a decline in his career he once again grabbed film goers’ attention with his dramatic role in The Boston Strangler in 1969. Tony was also a prolific artist, creating many works of art throughout his life. Curtis was the father of actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis by his first wife, actress Janet Leigh. His young life and parentage are described in Wikipedia as follows: Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in The Bronx, New York, one of three sons of Helen (née Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz. His parents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants from Mátészalka, Hungary. Hungarian was Curtis's only language until he was five or six, postponing his schooling.
From a Jpost piece: The world Jewish population is estimated at being 02. percent of the total populace – some 13.5 million, with just over 5.7 million in Israel, 5.6 million in the US, half a million in Russia and France, 280,000 in the UK and 200,000 in Germany. Yet in Vanity Fair’s latest list of the 100 most powerful people in the world, 51 are Jews. Ten of the 50 people on this year’s Forbes’ annual billionaires list are Jewish. Of the 802 Nobel prizes handed out to date, 162 have gone to Jews."
Dr. Jonas Salk - In the realm of the sciences and medical research an outstanding advance was made by Jonas Edward Salk (October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995). Before him, millions suffered from and died from the ravages of polio. Because of him, the disease has been eliminated from the face of the earth. According to Wikipedia Dr. Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist. He discovered and developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine. We also read in Wikipedia that he was born in New York City to Jewish parents. Although they had little formal education, his parents were determined to see their children succeed.
Carl Sagan - Continuing in the field of the Sciences we have Carl Edward Sagan, November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996. Sagan took to the skies with his study of the stars and planets sharing those findings with us. He made the universe understandable to all and made its wonders something all could be part of as an American, astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. His parents according to Wikipedia states that he was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Samuel Sagan, was an immigrant garment worker from Podolsk, Russia, in today's Ukraine. His mother, Rachel Molly Gruber, was a housewife from New York.
Irving Berlin - Although music is mathematical we will concentrate on the melodic aspect as we recognize Irving Berlin (born Israel Isidore Beilin, May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989). An American composer and lyricist, he brought utter joy to millions with his music. Composer of some of the best known and most loved songs in American life, including "G-d Bless America," "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "You're in the Army Now," and about a thousand others. His parents according to Wikipedia – states that he was Belarusian-Jewish origin (born near Mogilyov, Russian Empire, present-day Belarus), one of eight children of Moses and Lena Lipkin Beilin . Widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. The family escaped a pogram by going from town to town until they made it out and to the US.
Ted Koppel - We’ve covered much in the realm of entertainment but none yet in the genre of television journalist/interviewer, which brings us to Edward James Martin "Ted" Koppel (born February 8, 1940). Many considered him to be the best interviewer on television, he showed us just how powerful a medium it is when it's done right. He is a British American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor for Nightline from the program's inception in 1980 until his retirement in late 2005. After leaving Nightline, Koppel worked as managing editor for the Discovery Channel before resigning in 2008. His parents and early life according to Wikipedia: Koppel, an only child, was born in Nelson, Lancashire, UK, after his German Jewish parents fled Germany due to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism. Koppel, at 13, immigrated to the United States in 1953 with his family. His mother, Alice, was a singer and pianist, and his father, Edwin, was a tire factory owner.
Bob Dylan - He changed the face of pop music with his folksy style and stripped down delivery, Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) His songs captured the spirit of a generation and gave expression to what many were feeling. Dylan, an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. According to Wikipedia Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman) in St. Mary's Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Iron Range. His parents, Wikipedia explains, were Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice "Beatty" Stone, were part of the area's small but close-knit Jewish community. Robert Zimmerman lived in Duluth until age six, when his father was stricken with polio and the family returned to his mother's home town, Hibbing, where Zimmerman spent the rest of his childhood.
The Marx Brothers - When we’re talking about a genius in humor we think of Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977 (and the Marx brothers). His mind was so fertile and his mouth so fast, it's hard to keep up and harder not to laugh. He's influenced all comics who have come since. Marx was an American comedian and film and television star. He is known as a master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era. His rapid-fire, often impromptu delivery of innuendo-laden patter earned him many admirers and imitators. According to Wikipedia He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life. Marx's family was Jewish. His parents, as described in Wikipedia are described as , his mother was Miene "Minnie" Schoenberg, whose family came from Dornum in northern Germany when she was 16 years old. His father was Simon "Sam" Marx, who changed his name from Marrix, and was called "Frenchie" throughout his life because he and his family came from Alsace-Lorraine.
Louis B. Mayer (MGM Studios) - Not only was he a brilliant filmmaker but also a visionary in the field of movie making. Mr. Mayer set the standard for film makers to follow. Considered a giant in old Hollywood, Louis B. Mayer - Born Lazar Meir, possibly on July 12, 1884 (from MGM) Head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he was the most influential of all movie studio moguls with a keen sense for what Americans wanted to go to the movies to see. He also set up the “star system” in Hollywood as well as creating the Academy Awards. His Bio in Wikipedia states that Mayer was born to a Jewish family in Minsk, Russian Empire. His parents, Wikipedia explains, were Jacob Meir and Sarah Meltzer.
Harry Houdini - The first person to make escape artistry an art form, Harry Houdini Erik Weisz in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, on March 24, 1874 A sensation of his time, his amazing escapes made him one of the greatest showmen of the century. His Wikipedia Bio states that his parents were Rabbi Mayer Sámuel Weisz (1829–1892), and Cecília Weisz (née Steiner; 1841–1913). Houdini was one of seven children.
Even today, singers absolutely love to perform using his timeless music. George Gershwin Composer of some of the finest and most enduring of American music, including Porgy and Bess, and An American in Paris. Gershwin’s Wikipedia biography states that he came from Russian Jewish heritage. His grandfather, Jakov Gershowitz, had served for 25 years as a mechanic for the Imperial Russian Army to earn the right of free travel and residence as a Jew. He retired near Saint Petersburg. His parents according to Wikipedia, were Morris and Rose married on July 21, 1895, she was 19 and he was 23. Gershowitz changed his family name to Gershwin some time between 1893 and 1898, perhaps at his marriage. They made their home in the US.
Frank Kafka - A complex early life in Prague coupled with a difficult paternal relationship created what is considered by critics to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Frank Kafka’s angst would be expressed as existentialism in his books and writings. Kafka’s Wikipedia biography tells us that he was born near the Old Town Square in Prague, then located in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His family were middle-class Ashkenazi Jews. His parents according to Wikipedia - Frank’s father, Hermann Kafka (1852–1931), was the fourth child of Jakob Kafka, a shochet or ritual slaughterer in Osek, a Czech village with a large Jewish population located near Strakonice in southern Bohemia. Hermann brought the Kafka family to Prague.
Mel Blanc - Cartoons and animation would not have been the same without our beloved Bugs, Daffy or should I say aka: Mel Blanc (1908-1989) American comedian and voice actor, voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and many more cartoon characters bringing joy and laughter to millions. Taking note from his Wikipedia biography, we read that Blanc was born Melvin Jerome Blank in San Francisco, California. His parents also according to Wikipedia were Jewish, Frederick and Eva Blank.
Rodney Dangerfield - This guy thought he got no respect but he was held dear in the hearts of many, Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004) American comedian and actor. Bringing laughter to audiences with his famous line, “I don’t get no respect!” He made us laugh in his roles in Caddyshack, Easy Money and others. According to Wikipedia his early life began on November 22, 1921 with the given name Jacob Rodney Cohen. Dangerfield was born in Deer Park within the Town of Babylon, New York, in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Parents: Wikipedia tells us that he was the son of Jewish parents, the vaudevillian performer Phil Roy (Philip Cohen) and Dotty Teitelbaum.
Neil Diamond - For those of us of a certain age Neil Diamond’s music resonate as the theme song to our lives. Neil Diamond - Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) American singer-songwriter with a career that began in the 1960s and has spanned the decades with adoring fans enjoying his music. Diamond’s Wikipedia biography states that he was born in Brooklyn, New York. His parents also according to Wikipedia, were Jewish family and descended from Russian and Polish immigrants. His parents were Rose (née Rapaport) and Akeeba "Kieve" Diamond, a dry-goods merchant. He grew up in several homes in Brooklyn, attending Abraham Lincoln High School.
Ralph Lauren - He has a gift for selling dreams of lush lifestyles to his clients whether they be of modest or wealthy means. Ralph Lauren, (born Ralph Lifshitz October 14, 1939 in New York City) American fashion designer and business executive. His Wikipedia biography states that Lauren is an American fashion designer and business executive, best known for his Polo Ralph Lauren clothing brand, and a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise. He was born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx, New York. His parents according to Wikipedia were Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants, from Pinsk, Poland (now Belarus) Fraydl (née Kotlar) and Frank Lifshitz, a house painter.
Lou Reed - One of THE Guys of Rock N Roll and deeply missed. Lou Reed Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) (1942-2013) American rock musician, songwriter and photographer. After serving as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, his solo career spanned several decades. Wikipedia states that Reed was born at Beth El Hospital (now Brookdale) in Brooklyn and grew up in Freeport, Long Island. Contrary to some sources, his birth name was Lewis Allan Reed, not Louis Firbanks, a name that was coined as a joke by Lester Bangs in Creem magazine. Reed’s parents: according to Wikipedia were Toby (née Futterman) and Sidney Joseph Reed, an accountant. His family was Jewish, and although he said that he was Jewish, he added, "My God is rock'n'roll. It’s an obscure power that can change your life. The most important part of my religion is to play guitar."
Neil Sedaka - Capturing the essence of popular themes in the 50’s he gave us tunes that are considered to be timeless. Neil Sedaka (born 1939) American pop singer, pianist and songwriter. His parents according to Wikipedia, Sedaka was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Mac Sedaka, was a taxi driver and a Sephardic Jew of Lebanese descent ("Sedaka" and "Sadaka" are variants of "tzadaka", which translates in both Hebrew and Arabic as the word charity). Neil's mother, Eleanor (née Appel), was of Ashkenazi Polish-Russian descent. He grew up in Brighton Beach, which lies on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Sedaka is a cousin of the late singer Eydie Gormé.
WIlliam Shatner - Beem us up Scotty, William Shatner Canadian actor, best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek. His Wikipedia biography states that Shatner was born on March 22, 1931, in the Côte Saint-Luc neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His parents: according to Wikipedia were Joseph Shatner, a clothing manufacturer, and Anne (née Garmaise). Shatner was raised in Conservative Judaism.
Leonard Nemoy - Star Trek also brought us Leonard Nemoy. Nemoy is of Jewish heritage and played the role of Spock. Who knew that as a boy, while sitting in Shul on Yom Kippur, he would look up to see the Rabbi using a hand gesture to bless the congregation. Later, when on Star Trek, Spock would adopt this hand gesture as his trademark method of communication on the show. His Wikipedia biography states that Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts in the West End. His parents according to Wikipedia were Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Soviet Union (now Ukraine). Nimoy is four days younger than his Star Trek co-star, William Shatner. His father, Max Nimoy, owned a barbershop in the Mattapan section of the city. His mother, Dora Nimoy (née Spinner), was a homemaker.
Jon Stewart - Funny, biting and sometimes caustic, comedian and satirist, Jon Stewart (born 1962) American born, host of The Daily Show. His early life and parents according to Wikipedia: born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City. Jon's mother, Marian (née Laskin), is an educational consultant and teacher. His father, Donald Leibowitz, was a professor of physics at The College of New Jersey from 2001 through 2008 and then taught an online course at Thomas Edison State College. His father died on June 8, 2013. Stewart's family migrated to the U.S. from Poland, Ukraine and Belarus; one of his grandfathers was born in Manzhouli (now part of Inner Mongolia). Stewart's parents divorced when Stewart was eleven years old, and Stewart was apparently largely estranged from his father.
'The Fonz'- Henry Winkler - Hip, slick and cool took on a new meaning when Henry Winkler brought The Fonz to life on Happy Days . Henry, born in 1945, is an American actor and producer. Wikipedia indicates that Winkler was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York. His parents and early, also according to Wikipedia state that he is the son of Ilse Anna Maria (née Hadra) and Harry Irving Winkler, a lumber company president. Winkler's Jewish parents emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1939, "on the eve" of World War II.
Daniel Radcliffe (AKA Harry Potter) - Did you know that Harry Potter is Jewish? Well, sort of...Daniel Radcliffe (born 1989) British actor, best known for playing Harry Potter. His parents and early life according to Wikipedia states that he was born in West London. He is the only child of Alan George Radcliffe, a literary agent, and Marcia Jeannine Gresham (née Marcia Gresham Jacobson), a casting agent. His father is from "a very working-class" Protestant background in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland. His mother is Jewish; she was born in South Africa and raised in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. Her family had originally come from Poland andRussia. Radcliffe's parents had both acted as children.
Lisa Bonet - As the very fashionable and chic Denise, she was always able to get her father, Dr. Huxtable to see things her way. Lilakoi Moon (born Lisa Michelle Bonet; November 16, 1967), known professionally as Lisa Bonet, is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Denise Huxtable Kendall on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, and originally starring in its spinoff A Different World. She was married to musician Lenny Kravitz from 1987 to 1993. Her early life and parents, according to Wikipedia - Bonet was born in San Francisco, California. Her African-American father, Allen Bonet, is an opera singer and was born in Texas; her Jewish mother, Arlene (née Litman), was a teacher.
Ali MacGraw -The Unforgettable beauty of Elizabeth Alice "Ali" MacGraw the American actress (born April 1, 1939). She first gained attention for her role in Goodbye, Columbus in 1969, for which she won a Golden Globe Award, followed by Love Story in 1970, for which she received an Academy Award nomination and won a second Golden Globe. Her parents, according to Wikipedia tells us that Ali is the daughter of commercial artists Frances (née Klein) and Richard MacGraw. She has one brother, Dick, an artist. Her father was of Scottish descent and her maternal grandparents were from Hungary. MacGraw's mother was from a Jewish family, but did not disclose this to MacGraw's father MacGraw has described her father as "violent".
Lisa Kudrow - Who knew the off-beat Phoebe was Jewish? Lisa Valerie Kudrow (born July 30, 1963) Best known for her part as Phoebe Buffay in the television sitcom Friends, for which she received many accolades, including an Emmy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Wikipedia tells us she was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Nedra S. (née Stern), a travel agent, and Dr. Lee N. Kudrow (born 1933), a headache specialist and physician.
Lorne Greene - A fellow Canadian and a gentleman, Lorne Greene Lyon Himan Green, (February 12, 1915 – September 11, 1987) from Bonanza, Greene was born in Ottawa, Ontario. His parents: According to Wikipedia were Russian Jewish immigrants, Daniel, a shoemaker and Dora Green (Grinovsky). He was called "Chaim" by his mother, and his name is shown as "Hyman" on his school report cards.
Judith Light - The boxer and the beauty, Judith Ellen Light (born February 9, 1949) is an American actress becoming popular in Prime Time television in her role as Angela Bower on the sitcom Who’s the Boss? Daytime viewers will remember her also as Karen Wolek on the soap opera One Life to Live. Her talent took her all the way to Broadway. Judith’s young life and parents according to Wikipedia goes on to say that Light was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the daughter of Pearl Sue (née Hollander), a model, and Sidney Licht, an accountant.
Jake Gyllenhaal - Keeping showbiz in the family, the ruggedly handsome Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal (born December 19, 1980)- Maybe best known for JarHead and Brokeback Mountain. His parents according to Wikipedia, Jake’s mother was a film producer and screenwriter Naomi Foner(née Achs) is from a Jewish family from New York City, and Gyllenhaal has said that he considers himself Jewish.
Sarah Michelle Gellar - Buffy is all grown up and has given up slaying Vampires. She’s married with two kids but is still acting and producing. Sarah Michelle Gellar best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer was born on April 14, 1977 in New York City. Her parents according to Wikipedia tells us that she is the only child of Rosellen (née Greenfield), a nursery school teacher, and Arthur Gellar, a garment worker. Both of her parents were Jewish.
Moving into the realm of rumor the mysterious Nostradamus might be on that list.
Nostradamus (?) (Michel de Nostredame) Born December 14/21, 1503 – July 2, 1566 was Jewish, but according to the web site Jewish or Not they consider him borderline Jewish and the reason is that his father was Jewish but was forced to convert to Catholicism. It’s also been rumored that Margaret Thatcher was Jewish but not so according to the site. What is extraordinarily fascinating about Mrs. Thatcher’s life is what The Jewish Chronicle reported about her young life:
According to the Jewish Chronicle:
Baroness Thatcher (?) - was described as "a giant who had a transformative impact on Britain" by chief rabbi Lord Sacks. He added: "I first got to know her early on in my life when she was the local MP. She was loved and admired by many in the Jewish community who will miss her deeply. Few people in my lifetime have left such a personal imprint on British life. She was always extremely supportive and admiring of the ethos of the British Jewish community," said Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of Deputies. "This close relationship began when her family took in a young Austrian Jewish refugee from Nazism in the late 1930s. When she entered Parliament as MP for Finchley, a very Jewish constituency, her relationship with local Jewish institutions blossomed and continued throughout her illustrious career as Prime Minister.
Christopher Columbus (?) - It has also been rumored that Christopher Columbus was Jewish as it is believed he was a Marrano, or a Jew who pretended to be a Catholic to avoid religious but the web site Jewish or Not says no on that one. Some have even wondered about Abraham Lincoln perhaps being Jewish. There is no conclusive proof but an article from The Jewish Journal states: It is historical fact, however, that Lincoln was very much a friend of the Jews, and he was much loved by the Jewish community, both in his day and after his death. There is even some reason to believe that Lincoln himself had Jewish forebears.
Sports figures you may have heard of:
Turning to sports figures we have Tal Brody in Basketball. Mr. Brody is well known in the US, Israel & the Euro League. He stands 6' 2" and his position was shooting guard. Mr. Brody is now a Goodwill Ambassador for Israel. In Baseball we have Michael Schwimer, relief pitcher (Toronto Blue Jays) and in Boxing Yuri Foreman, Belarusian-born Israeli US middleweight and World Boxing Association champion super welterweight.
Famous Converts to Judaism (not necessarily halachic conversions)
Famous converts including Kate Capshaw, an actress who is married to Steven Spielberg. Ivanka Trump, Donald’s Daughter, the one and only Sammy Davis Jr., the translucent Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, actress Carol Baker and Film Star Polly Bergen.
We’ve literally only scratched the surface as to the scope and influence that the Jewish people have had on our lives and our culture. It is startling to learn that many escaped poverty and the threat of annihilation in Europe and Russia going on to accomplish so much. Perhaps this is why we are drawn in and riveted by the mystique that surrounds a people who are able to rise above tragedy and great trial and still manage to reach heights of accomplishment many of us just dream about.
Feel free to add your own 'famous favorites' who are Jews, to share with the rest of the readers in the comment area below!
I knew a snow storm was coming, and I thought I was ahead of the game. SURPRISE!
As an attempt at public service, I am posting on this blog a quick letter I scrambled off to our community list. Take what you like, leave the rest, and I hope this helps, wherever you are in the world.
ITEMS TO HAVE ON HAND
Alternate Non-Electrical Heat Source
Shabbat Blech/Platta/Hot Plate - I always use an electric platta to keep food warm on Shabbat, and so I did not have a regular standard 'metal sheet' for the stove top in place of an electrical platta for food. (I became creative and used an old Mangal (hibachi) and turned it over on the gas stove, but I could hardly fit more than 2 pots on it. I am going to try to find this week a 'metal sheet' for the gas stove top. See example HERE.
***Emergency radio (with hand crank and solar power options) and cell phone charger. Nowadays they sell the radios with cell phone chargers. Here's one for $39.00 on Amazon. *NOTE - On this last storm, I used my tiny emergency hand crank radio to hear the news, know what the status was of the storm, roads, and any other important information. It made me feel much more secure and connected to the outside world. I do not like keeping batteries and worrying about them if they are charged or not, so that is why I like these hand-crank/solar emergency radios. Batteries are also heavy to carry if you have to move, run, or change locations.
If you have infants, you should make sure you have spare diapers, diaper wipes (in case there is no water) and anything else you need to take care of your children and babies. Diaper wipes are important to have in any case, whether you have children or not, as a good way to keep your hands and body clean without having to use precious drinking water all the time. Also have some alcohol hand gel!
That's about it for now, and please feel free to add to this list if I have forgotten anything, which I am sure I have.
(This blog post is a re-post from something I wrote in 2007)
The background of the Chanukah story recalls the struggle for religious freedom from the Hellenistic Syrian-Greeks in the year, 165 B.C.E. Antiochus, who was the occupying King at those times, sought to crush our Jewish identity and passed decrees against the practice of Judaism. We were forbidden from studying the Torah, we were forbidden to keep the Shabbat (Sabbath) and we were forbidden from making a brit milah (circumcision). To do so meant the death penalty.
"Hellenistic rituals and sacrifices were instituted in the Bet HaMikdash (the holy Temple in Jerusalem), thus desecrating the sacred center of Jewish ritual life. Many Jews were impressed by the culture and power of their Greek conquerors and adopted their customs and practices. These Jews came to be known as "Hellenists". – Sound familiar to our situation today?
“Other Jews were infuriated by the oppressive decrees aimed at destroying their religion, and vowed revenge. They were led by Mattityahu, a Chashmona'i (Hasmonean) who lived in Modiin with his five sons, who came to be known as the Maccabim. This name is derived from the first letter of each word in the phrase "Mi kamocha ba'elim Hashem?" ("Who is like You, O L-rd, among the mighty?". After three years of guerrilla warfare in the hills and forests against the strong and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek King Antiochus, the relatively small and poorly armed Maccabim won, and recaptured Jerusalem. But WHAT started this revolt? What shocked the Maccabim into action?
One of my favorite stories of Chanukah is the story about Chana (Hannah). Not the extremely powerful story of Hannah and her 7 sons, but a different ‘Chana’.
This 'Chana' used what I think is an important strategy to wake people up from their stupor. Shock.
Too many of us do not want to change our daily routine. We are comfortable in our lives and we don’t want disruption, and so it easier to bear burdens if they come in servings that we are able to swallow. If an evil regime passed all their terrible laws at once, people would be convinced they must fight. But if the laws are ushered in one by one, in bite sized pieces, we learn to adapt. We act this way because it is easier to be a little uncomfortable than have to go to battle and face having to risk it all, to lose everything we have worked for and even possibly risk our lives and that of our children. No one likes disruption, and so we swallow the evil.
Sometimes we need someone to slap us, to wake us from our stupor and fight the evil that has embedded itself in our midst. A young woman who lived many years ago did just that. And we should all thank her.
The story from the Midrash goes like this:
(Taken from http://www.morim-madrichim.org/en/content/AC/229/chanukah-and-heroines?firstreq=1 )
The Marriage of Chana, Daughter of Mattathias (Mattityahu)
As part of their campaign to break the spirit of the Jews, the Greeks decreed that every maiden must spend her wedding night in the bed of the regional governor, and that only afterward would she be permitted to her husband. They wanted to destroy Jewish sanctity and degrade the Jews. As a result of this decree, the Jews stopped marrying. For three years and three months, no wedding was held in Judea. Then it came time for Hannah, daughter of Mattityahu the Hasmonean to marry. In spite of the decree, Mattityahu held a great celebration, inviting the leaders of the nation, for Mattathias' family was extremely prominent. The bride sat, as was customary, at the head table, but suddenly stood up, clapped her hands together, and tore her expensive wedding dress, exposing herself.
Everyone looked away in embarrassment, and her brothers ran to fall upon her and kill her for shaming herself and her family.
But Hannah exclaimed to them all, 'now you are so zealous as to shield your eyes?, for THIS you are zealous, yet you are willing to have a Greek see me naked and have his way with me?' She added, "Why, when I shame myself before my relatives and friends are you so filled with embarrassment and anger that you wish to kill me, but you agree to surrender me this night so the heathen governor can lie with me? Why do you not learn from Simon and Levy, sons of our forefather Jacob, who avenged the rape of their sister Dinah (in Genesis, chapter 34)? They were only two brothers who fought and took a whole city to free her, I have FIVE brothers - and where are you?'
This, my friends, is what spurred the revolt of the Maccabees on the Syrian-Greeks and led to the first holiday commemorating religious freedom and the lift of the yoke of Hellenism and Greek occupation.
The story of Hannah goes on:
"Everyone realized that Hannah was right; her brothers discussed the matter and came to a decision. They dressed their sister in the finest garments and brought her with great ceremony, at the head of a large procession, to the King. Hannah's brother's declared, "We are the sons of the High Priest, and it is not fitting that our sister be given to the governor. Our sister is fit only for the King himself!" The brothers' words found favor in the King's eyes.
The brothers accompanied Hannah to the royal bed chamber, and thereupon, seized the King and killed him. Afterward, they stormed out killing ministers, guards, and servants, who were in the palace. So began the Hasmonean revolt. "
A sequel to this story is the story of yet ANOTHER Jewish Heorine named Yehudit (Judith). Yehudit was a beautiful woman who single-handedly saved the Jewish town of Bethulia during the Hasmonean revolt.
When her city was surrounded and besieged by the Syrian army of General Holofernes, she made a plan to save her people. She left the city walls of Bethulia with her maid in what looked like her fleeing to Holofernes' camp. She told the cruel General Holofernes that she wanted to save herself and told him that the defeat of the Jews of the city was near. Impressed with Yehudit's beauty and her prediction of his defeat of the Jews, he invites her to celebrate with him 'alone'. Yehudit tells him she must eat her own food which she made, and shows him the cheese delicies she has brought with her. She feeds him this salty cheese, which induces the general to wash it down with wine and he falls into a deep sleep. She then approaches his bed and says a prayer:
"Answer me, O L-rd, as You answered Yael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, when you delivered the wicked general Sissera into her hands. Strengthen me this once that I may bring Your deliverance to my people whom this cruel man vowed to destroy, and let the nations know that You have not forsaken us..."
Yehudit then unsheathed Holofernes' heavy sword which was hanging near his bed and brought it down upon his neck with all her might.
She leaves his bloody corpse soaking his mattress and takes the head and her maid away from the slumbering enemy camp to Bethulia. She tells the Jews of Bethulia that victory will soon be theirs. She takes the head of Holofernes and puts it on a stake in public view to strengthen the will of the people. She then tells the Jewish men to wait for dawn to make a surprise attack. The enemy's camp is not prepared for a Jewish onslaught on them. When the morning comes with the charge of the Jews towards their camp, Holofernes's men run to their commander's tent where they find his headless body on the blood soaked mattress. In their shock, fear and confusion, they flee for their lives. The Jews won the revolt and Yehudit was their hero.
This Chanukah, we must remember the valor and strength of the Jewish women who risked their lives, to keep Israel Jewish. To Chana and her 7 sons, to Yehudit, and to Chana the daughter of the high priest who shocked the Jews into action, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
From Sue's back yard, you can see the strangest sight. It was so strange, that Sue photographed it, and then sent me the picture. It was a photograph of an Israeli flag flying high and proud in this remote desert city. How is it that in this 'middle of nowhere town', there's an Israeli flag flying in it? I asked Sue to report on it, and what a job she did! Read and enjoy, and I'd like to send a big, 'Shalom from Israel!' to Mr. & Mrs. Persson.
"Redneck Jew of Havasu"
October 5th, 2013
By Susan L. Rivello
Terry Persson does something that may not seem like a big deal to most people, while others, may perceive it as offensive particularly, in light of the rise of anti-Semitism in America and throughout the world.
Terry and wife Billie proudly fly the Israeli Flag with the American Flag in front of their home in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Israeli flag flying in Havasu
His father a gentile and mother a Jew, he grew up celebrating the traditions and holidays of both the Christians and Jews. He and his wife are Christians, but Terry adamantly and affectionately refers to himself as “A Redneck Jew.”
Terry served as an Air Force Pilot during the Vietnam War. He was shot down twice in his military career, the second time suffering injuries causing permanent disability.
After receiving his disabling injuries, this battle scared military pilot regrouped. He returned to school and became an Engineer, giving Boeing Aircraft Co. 37 years before retiring six years ago to the desert community of Lake Havasu City, Az. from the state of Washington.
I asked this battle scared, Redneck Jew, if he was initially afraid to fly the Israeli Flag and without the least hesitation said, “Hell No”. He flew the Israeli flag regularly when he lived in Washington but hadn’t since he moved to Lake Havasu.
That changed however about six months ago when he was driving through one of the main streets of this small isolated desert town and saw an Egyptian Revolution Flag (1953-1958) flying in front of a house, minus the American Flag. He said he immediately drove to the Flag store and bought the Israeli Flag and let her beauty wave.
Egyptian Revolution Flag (1953 -1)
This Redneck Jew then decided he should have a friendly discussion with the owner of the Egyptian Revolution Flag. Terry’s advice to the owner was, “NOT IN THIS TOWN ARE YOU GOING TO FLY THAT FLAG”. As expected, his words weren’t well received. The door was quickly shut in his face. But victory was achieved and the Egyptian Revolution Flag FLYS NO MORE.
Flags have been flown throughout time immemorial and for many reasons. They have been flown as symbols of patriotism, revolution, rebellion, love, pride, support and advertising. They can and do stir deep emotions, both good and bad.
The reaction the Persson’s have received from neighbors and friends for flying the Israeli flag has been positive and supportive of Israel. To date only one couple in their neighborhood has voiced opposition saying, “The flag is out of place.” Oddly enough the person voicing the displeasure was a fellow Jew.
We read from the Torah in Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Whether the people and Nations of the world like it, this is God’s official written policy to mankind.
The America that exists now is not the America most of us grew up in and fondly remember. We are witnessing the encroachment of the religion of Islam in American and European society. The Jewish and Christian faiths are systematically being devalued and marginalized by the political leaders of these nations, in favor of Islam.
With the turmoil and violence embroiling Egypt, Syria and the other Islamic states of the Middle East, it’s comforting to know there are still some men willing to take a politically incorrect stand to defend the values of America and the God given land of the people of Israel.
Terry and Billie have yet to visit the Holy Land of Israel but have chosen to bless her in other ways through charity donations and let’s not forget, flying her flag over their home town.
This is beautiful Lake Havasu City, Arizona home of the London Bridge and now the Israeli Flag.
Even though flying the Israeli Flag as stated before may be unimportant to some, it does take courage to fly it in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise. We live in a world of violence, confusion and contradiction. A world that is upside down, where right is wrong and wrong is right. But this Redneck Jew of Havasu isn’t afraid to stand his moral ground for what he believes in the defense of Israel. How about you? Do you or would you fly the Israeli Flag outside the land of Israel to bless her?
Terry and Billie Persson