A Berg Above The Rest

yet another jewish controlled media outlet

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Maybe If We Pray Hard Enough...

Jewish Washington Wizards fans will be pleased to hear that their team may be getting an Israeli player.

Israeli point guard and NBA hopeful Yotam Halperin held a workout Thursday with the Washington Wizards attended by the team's professional staff and its president, Ernie Grunfeld.

Halperin's agent, Jason Levine, said that the workout went well and that if the Israeli player continues in his current ability, he stands a good chance of being picked on the June 28 NBA Draft.

After Washington, Halperin will go to Arizona to take part in a workout with the Pheonix Suns. He's very enthusiastic about his visit and is hoping to join the NBA by next season.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jew(eler)s is gangsta yo!

The 41-year old jeweler known for putting "bling" on hip-hop stars and other celebrities, Yakov Arabov, a.k.a. Jacob Arabo, a.k.a. "Jacob The Jeweler," was arrested Thursday on money-laundering charges in connection with a multistate drug and money-laundering ring.

Arabov was identified along with the alias, "Jacob the Jeweler," in an indictment charging some of 16 people with breaking federal drug laws, included conspiracy to distribute more than 476 kilograms of cocaine and laundering about $270 million, Detroit U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced Thursday.

Federal authorities say those indicted are connected to a drug organization called the "Black Mafia Family." The gang dealt cocaine in the Detroit metropolitan area beginning in the early 1990's, extending across the country.

Between October 1997 and June 2005, authorities said they seized approximately $5 million in cash from the gang, which used the drug money to purchase and lease luxury vehicles, buy real estate and jewelry.

The Russian immigrant, who is basically a walking-talking Jewish stereotype, became the "go-to" guy for the guady jewelry favored by hip-hop artists in the mid '90s. Over the years he's gained cache with celebreties across the showbiz spectrum, from Elton John, to Sharon & Ozzy Osbourne, right on down to everyone's favorite wannabe Jewess, Esth... I mean Madonna. He recently partnered with Kanye West for a line of religious-themed jewelry and was name-checked by West in his recent hit "Diamonds From Sierra Leone."

Yes, Jacob The JEWeler was in the business of making "Jesus peices." That's enough of a reason to lock his ass up and throw away the key as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

In Case You Were Wondering...

Tic Tac Mints, Snickers, Mars and Bounty ice cream is all being removed from shelves in Israeli stores. Why, you might ask? Because they all have been deemed not kosher:

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate ordered to remove Tic-Tac mints as well as Snickers, Mars and Bounty ice-cream from shelves in stores. The reason: The Rabbinate found that the products, branded as kosher, are in fact non-kosher.

"The products are displayed as approved by Rabbi Ralbag and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate," wrote Thursday Rabbi Yaakov Sabag, head of Kashrut Department at the Rabbinate. "But when we checked the facts with Ralbag," he added, "We learned that he didn't approve the products. It's a serious forgery."

I'm wondering if there are any political reasons why those specific brands are now not deemed kosher. Like maybe the Mars Bar company doesn't support Israel*? Who knows?

*I don't know if this is true. I'm speculating

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Matisyahu Performs Tonight....

Or maybe he's performing right now? Who knows....

It's a Secret Show in Tel Aviv tonight, June 10th.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

W.W.B.D: What Would Barbra Do?

Go on tour, that's what.

Babs will be performing in 20 concerts across the US.

Streisand will play 20 concerts in U.S. cities during October and November, her manager, Martin Erlichman, said in a statement. Her last U.S. tour was in 1994.

The 64-year-old singer-actress plans to give "designated proceeds" from the tour to support several causes, including the environment, education and women's health. The money will be distributed through the Streisand Foundation.

"The increasingly urgent need for private citizen support to combat dangerous climate change, along with education and health issues, was the prime reason I decided to tour again," Streisand said in a statement. "This will allow me to direct funds and awareness to causes that I care deeply about."

This is following the release of her album Guilty Pleasures.

Barbra is 64? She doesn't look it...maybe she really is made of buttah.

Kosher Sushi and Floating Sumos: Caption Contest!

The picture above is of the team of Sumo Wrestlers from Japan who are visiting Israel. As part of their tour, they all took a dip in the Dead Sea.

There are so many jokes that could be made about this. Ok...CAPTION CONTEST! (There is no prize...just my undying love and adoration)

Blogger's being weird...

Sorry about not posting so much...blogger.com has been actin' all kinds of crazy!

Everyone excited for the World Cup? I know the guys above are!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I Don't Care That You Dated A Jewish Girl

In my short yet eventful life, I have experienced many things regarding my Jewishness. I have experienced everything from out-right Jew hating to minor stereotyping. Yet of all these things, the one thing that bothers me most is not serious. It may even be considered complimentary. But I have always had a problem with it.

Why is it that when people (ok, mostly men) find out I'm Jewish or see the Star of David around my neck, they feel the need to tell me "Oh...I dated a Jewish girl"?

It's literally the first thing that comes out of their mouths. Like I should immediately feel connected to them because at one time or another they had dinner with/had drinks with and/or shtupped a Jewish girl. Maybe it's because there are so few of us that people think we may be like "Oh...yeah...you dated my cousin."

What's worse is that some even add to that:

"Yeah...after dating her I realized Jewish girls are bitches."

"Jewish girls are freaks in bed"

"Actually, maybe you know her...her name is Sarah...Sarah Goldberg"


Now, the first two statements are complete stereotypes. There are PLENTY of nice Jewish girls and there are PLENTY who are as prudish as can be. The third one is just plain stupidity. Going along with what I said above...there are enough Jews out there that most likely, I will NOT know your ex-girlfriend.

In reality it's the fourth response that always gets me. Granted, I love being loved for my Jewishness (it's what gets me through many days). But at what point does this "love" turn into a fetish? Or is it already a fetish? And is this person now talking to me because they are interested in me or just interested in my Jewishness?

Another thing that gets me is when I meet non-Jewish women who, when they find out I'm Jewish, go into great detail about how they love Jewish men and how many they have dated. (As a Jewish woman, this upsets me for other reasons too...)

It's easy to see when someone has, let's say, an Asian fetish. While the word may signify it, the "fetish" does not have to be at all sexual. It can be a strong interest in the language or in the culture, through which a person may find acceptance and understanding. This then may lead him or her to date a person from an Asian background.

Is this so with Jewish culture? Sure, there are people who convert to Judaism, who find it more accepting than the culture in which they were brought up. But, from my personal experience, it seems that many are only interested in the Jewish body as a sexual object...that based on the standard social perceptions of Jews, we are exotic and different to a point.

I know that women from various ethnic groups do get reactions like “Oh, I LOVE Black/Latino/Asian/Purple People Eating women” so I do realize that it is sort of universal to be an ethnic minority and have someone love you. But I have asked friends who are Black and Latino whether or not people come up to them and say "Oh, I've dated a Black girl/Latino girl." Their reactions (i.e. looking at me like I'm crazy) tell me that, no, no one has every done that. And they are surprised when I say how often it happens to me. I've asked other Jewish friends and a few have said that this does indeed happen to them too, so I know I'm not alone.

I have been told to brush it off, that it is nothing more than social ignorance, but I can't. A man saying to me that he has once dated a Jewish girl means that he, in some form, has a pre-conceived notion of who a Jewish girl is. Thus his reaction to me may change based on whether or not the relationship with this woman was good or bad. Or I have to live up to the standards set by a Jewish woman who I have never nor will ever meet. It is another way in which we (Jews) get boxed in.

As frustrating as it is, I feel like maybe I can't avoid it. Unless I move to Israel. Or New York.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

When In Doubt...Ask a Jew!

So the other night, I watched TLC's new reality show "Shalom in the Home". The plotline goes something like this...Family is in shambles. Kids hate parents. Parents hate kids. Dog caught in the middle. Enter the very well known Rabbi Shumuley Boteach. Because of his vast knowledge of human behavior (and the fact that he himself has what, 8 kids?), the good Rabbi comes to these families' rescue and saves them from becoming even more dysfunctional.

Ok...great...he's a problem solver who happens to be Jewish. Chabad-Lubuvitch Jewish. Fantastic.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for what he preaches. The show, to my surprise, is not all that bad. It's an A-Typical "Get Your Life Together" reality TV show. Just like "What Not To Wear" except minus the fabulous fashion.

But putting the "life lessons" aside, is Rabbi Boteach's appearance on this show good for the view of Jews in America? No, he is not representing all of us, not in the least. But can some of his actions on the show be hurtful to how mainstream America i.e. Midlle America i.e. non-Jews see our community. Though he isn't the first Jew to be on reality television (there have countless Jews on The Real World, Road Rules Survivor, The Apprentice etc), he is one of the first and few who is VISIBLE Jewish. He wears a kippah. He has a long beard. He has a slightly stereotypical Yiddish accent. And he's going to places where there aren't a whole lot of Jews.

Like the popularity of Matisyahu, I'm still not sure about how I feel about this issue of "visible" Jews becoming commodities for mainstream America. It's almost like they are trying to bring a watered down version of the traditional values we have in Judaism to a non-Jewish audience.

If you have any thoughts about this, please...leave a comment. Also if you have any thoughts on the fact that Lee, the not so visible Orthodox Jew on The Apprentice, lost in the final round, feel free to leave that too.

Jewschool's Hip Hop Exclusive

Jewschool has a great post about the Hip Hop Industry's reaction to the Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America's, Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, comments about rap music. Check it out.

Sorry about the light posting lately. I've been a bit busy.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

What do Elvis and Bending Spoons Have In Common?

Israeli mind controller Uri Geller wants to build a museum dedicated to the paranormal in the first house Elvis Presley ever owned. Unfortunately, that may not be happening...

Geller, who thought he had purchased the Memphis property in an eBay auction last month for $905,100, learned on Friday the sellers had turned around and sold the 3,000-square-foot (280-sq-metres) house to a foundation set up by Mike Curb, the longtime music producer.

The King of rock 'n' roll lived in the house at 1034 Audubon Dr. for 13 months before moving to Graceland, the now-famous Memphis estate where he died in 1977.

It was not immediately clear what Curb, elected lieutenant governor of California in the late 1970s, paid for the four-bedroom, two-bath home Elvis bought in 1956 with royalties from "Heartbreak Hotel."

And you better believe he is fighting this one. What I don't understand is why doesn't he just use his powers of the mind to get the house back to him? If it works on spoons, it should work on EBay right?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Hope You're All Having A Good Shavuot...

...what better way to celebrate Moses getting the Ten Commandments than with a piece of Cheesecake. Here's a link/repost to keep you smiling.

Golem @ The Brooklyn Museum

Tomorrow (June 3rd), Klezmer/Punk favorite Golem will be performing at the Brooklyn Museum for the musuem's Target First Saturday.

It's from 6-8 PM and is FREE. Plus you get to see art in Brooklyn. What more could you ask for on a Saturday evening.

New Music Update: Terry Poison

If you took a Brooklyn Hipster and a British punk/mod, put them in a bag, added a heavy hand of Israeli attitude and then shook the shit out of it, you might get a sound similar to Terry Poison.

This Israeli Pop group is coming at you...in more ways than one. With their tongue-in-cheek attitude and sexy styles, this trio is like a Jewish Charlie's angel...there's lead singer Louise Khan ("Being unstable and bitchy is part of her mystique"), keyboardist Petite Maler and bassist Gili Saar. Their "Charlie" is producer/DJ Bruno Grife who, according to their website, is pimping these ladies hardcore.

I know that they just had a show last night at Madame Jo Jos in London and they are probably heading back to Israel for a few shows. Whether they've been to the US yet, I'm not sure and when they are coming here...well who knows. And while I was hoping to be able to offer you an MP3 of their music, I wasn't able to find one. So instead, I'm offering up a YouTube of the music video for their song "Buzz on the Bell"

You can, of course, check out more Terry Poison tracks at their MySpace page