Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Profile: Warner Bros

So let's see...

Hirsch -> Harry. OK.
Abraham -> Albert. Fine.
Schmuel -> Sam. Obviously.
Jacob -> Jack. WHY?

Interesting that today Jacob is the #1 boy's name in America, and has been for the last few years...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Profile: Barry Manilow

Manilow was suggested by Ron from Dallas, Chris from Leeds, Alan from Miami, Sten from Ottawa, and Mila from Alexandria, who was kind enough to point us to the incidents described in this profile.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Profile: Dr. Katz

I'm pretty sure that readers will now point out the Jewish family sitcoms that we somehow did not know about...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Profile: David Cameron

Mila from Alexandria, VA and Jacob from Stockholm suggested Cameron. Gotta love the British headline, though: David Cameron ‘could be a direct descendant of Moses’. As. If.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jews in the News: Jews in the World Cup

Prior to the World Cup, we had some trouble finding a Jew. We already profiled Jonathan Bornstein and Benny Feilhaber, and Jonathan Spector's Jewishness was suspect (he turns out to be 1/4th)... besides, we wanted to profile a non-American. Thankfully, confirmation of Walter Samuel's Jewishness was printed in Haaretz, so we went with him.

But we almost went with... wait for it... Algeria's goalkeeper, Rais M'Bolhi. An Israeli website reprinted a rumor from a French publication that M'Bolhi's mother was a Jewish Algerian. There is no confirmation, and M'Bolhi is Mulsim (as is his Congolese father), so we'd probably go with "Not a Jew"... Except we didn't want to profile a third-string Algerian goalkeeper who never even played for his national team until a month ago.

Well, the Algerian starter messed up in the opening game, and M'Bolhi was called upon. He shut out England, and almost did so to the US, only to be denied by an amazing last minute goal from Landon Donovan (both Bornstein, who started the match, and Feilhaber, who came off the bench in the second half, played in the game).

Sorry, M'Bolhi. You came close again, but no cigar. Still, Not a Jew.

Profile: Lothar Matthaus

According to Wikipedia,
In December 2008, 47-year-old Matthäus married then 21-year old Ukrainian model Kristina Liliana Chudinova. The ceremony was held in Las Vegas. They met a year earlier at an Oktoberfest beer festival. They currently live in Tel Aviv, Israel, where Liliana studies journalism in a local university there.

Supposed Jewish grandmother, living in Israel... who knows, maybe there's some hope for Lothar afterall...

And here's my favorite clip from Lothar's stay with the MetroStars of MLS. He tries to teach DC's thug Ben Olsen that the ball is... round.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Profile: Steve Martin

Steve Martin, always one of our most-searched queries, peaked when he hosted this year's Oscars. Strangely, very few searched for his co-host, Alec Baldwin...

Martin was suggested by Frank from Prospect Park, PA, Marc from Israel, and Max from New Jersey.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Profile: Sophie Winkleman

So, since Sophie is supposed to be an actress, what has she been in? A couple of British TV shows, and not much else.

We previously mentioned Sophie in "Jews in the News".

Friday, June 18, 2010

Profile: Bruce Lee

Wow. Never thought we'd profile this one. Thanks to Adam from California for sending us on the path.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh, those meshuggenah goyim! Trucks

So I'm driving home from work yesterday, and I see... THIS:

Not only is there huge signage on the side, but also on the back, on the cabin, and on the front.

Turns out that the truck is from a shipping company Sam Kholi Transport, whose website says the following:

Our main focus at Sam Kholi transport is To present to the world that Jesus Christ is lord not a swear word.

If you notice on our trailers you will see the name of Jesus Christ. Our heart yearns for the world to know that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Hollywood has portrayed a different image, an image that portrays Jesus Christ as trash as a bad word. The Most Holy, the Most Majestic created our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our mission is to use trucking to spread the word to America and God willing all the way to England.

I'm glad with their main focus is not delivery of goods (bibles? holy water? community wafers?) safe and on time, but rather spreading the gospel.

Five minutes after seeing the truck, I was almost ran off the road by a psycho SUV. My first thought? "Jesus f@#$ing Christ". Now I wonder if that would have been my first thought if I hadn't seen that truck...

Profile: Stephen Strasburg

Strasburg struck out Fred from Cincinnati, Wayne from San Diego, Sam from California, Jim from Tampa, Jonathan from LA, John from St. Pete, Eric from Ohio, Mike from DC, Stephen from Montreal, and Wayne from Poughquag, NY....pardon, Strasburg was suggested by all those guys. Easy mistake. Thanks guys!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Profile: Sid Gillman

Interesting, why are there so many Jews associated with the San Diego Chargers? Gillman, Ron Mix, Igor Olshansky, David Binn...

Gillman was suggested by Glen from New Jersey and Jeff from New York.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Profile: Chuck Schumer

Interestingly, Schumer is only the third Jewish Senator from New York (no, NOT her). The first two were Herbert Lehmann and Jacob Javits.

Schumer was suggested by Hana from DC.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Profile: Hannibal Lecter

Now, that being said, it's not like Hannibal's backstory is completely accurate in the first place. For one, he had a sister named Misha, which is not a girl's name in either Lithuania, Russia, or Poland. It's the shortened version of the male name Mikhail, making Misha a Russian version of Mike.

Hannibal was suggested by Stephen from Montreal.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jews in the News: All of us, again

We get a lot of emails saying that Jews are a religion, not an ethnicity. To which our answer is... "see the FAQ". Well, today, the New York Post had a big article about results of a recent genetic study that proved that yes, Jews are an ethnicity.

The first study, by researchers at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, found that Jews across the globe share distinct genetic traits that are different from other groups and that trace back to the ancient Middle East.

So there.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Profile: Walter Samuel

The two American World Cup Jews, previously-profiled Jonathan Bornstein and Benny Feilhaber, are subject of this thorough article. It also mentions a third, Jonathan Spector, who is at least 1/4 Jewish, grandson of former Boston Celtic Art Spector.

But we wanted to profile someone non-American for the World Cup. And Samuel was always a case where the Jewishness was not clear. This Haaretz article helped out, and it also names another famous soccer player with supposed Jewish roots: David Trezeguet of France (he's not playing in this World Cup, however).

Big thanks to reader Maxim from Israel for pointing out the latter article. Samuel was also suggested by Lee from London.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Profile: Michael Cera

This is a momentous occasion for us. No, not because we're finally profiling the oft requested Michael Cera (and seriously, he's been suggested so many times, the list of suggesters reads like a lost lyric from Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire: Syd from Toronto, Max from Toronto, Jay from New Jersey, Cole from Alberta, Rob from LA, Brian from LA, and Tom from Haifa).

No, this is (we hope) the last time we're doing the whole "Hey he's so obviously Jewish....but he's not" profile construct. Say goodbye folks. Frankly, this was probably one time too many as is.

The good news is, for those who were hoping for a different result, that most of Cera's characters ARE Jews (check out that Hebrew letter door hanger in Juno, for example).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Settling the Score: Kronk

Thanks to Nathan from Michigan for sending us the link to the evidence of Kronk's Jewishness. The Youtube clip is here, and the frame in question is below:

Originally, we assumed Kronk was DREAMING about being Jewish, hence the "Not a Jew" verdict. But seeing that "photo"... that changes things.

Yes, and I realize I just spent 15 minutes re-evaluating the Jewishness of a marginal fictional character. What can you do. Comes with the job. Thanks, Nathan!

Profile: Jaden Smith

Jaden's mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith, was suggested by Nick from NYC. And originally, this was gonna be a profile of her, but...

Let's just say I'm a little upset about this Karate Kid movie. Yakov even thinks I went a bit overboard on this one. No, I say. You don't mess with greatness.

Wax on... wax off.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Profile: Andrew Zimmern

Zimmern was suggested by returning suggester Mila from Alexandria, VA. And yes, that is an actual picture of the camel penis he's about to eat (already ate?).


Friday, June 4, 2010

Profile: Herman Munster

Big thanks to Joe from Scranton for one his always terrific suggestions. Here's Joe's take on Herman, which became the basis of this profile:

According to Wikipedia, Herman Munster's birth name is "Malkin," the Jewishness of which you covered in your fine Evgeni Malkin profile. That just suggests the possibility, but it got me thinking.

In the case of Superman, we have a character with a Jewish name created by a Jewish writer who, arriving in America through extraordinary circumstances, proceeds to pass as ordinary.

In Herman Munster, we have the reverse mythology. A character with a Jewish name created by a Jewish writer (Allan Burns) arrives in America through extraordinary circumstances and attempts to pass as ordinary.

The difference is that, Herman fails at that, and I wonder if it isn't possible to read that as a dark parody of the Jewish assimilation story. Superman lets us imagine Jews as retaining all that sets us apart at the same time as we do all that we are supposed to do as Americans. Herman Munster shows us an immigrant who only thinks he's assimilated. Everyone but Herman sees how unsuited he is for typical American life. I grant you that the ways in which he is generally unsuited -- extraordinary size and strength and a simpleton's sweetness -- are not typical Jewish stereotypes, but they are (if we think, for instance, of Chelm) one variant of the stereotype.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Profile: Kitty Dukakis

You know what country has a Jewish first lady? Iceland. Yes, ICELAND. Go figure.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Profile: Rembrandt

Will have to stop by Rembrandt's "Jewish" house next time I'm in Amsterdam. That and a few other places. Yeah... that's the ticket.

Rembrandt was suggested by "bjeweled" from Bangor, Maine. Not his real name. Or her real name. We hope.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Profile: Gabe Kapler

Gabe was suggested by Bruce from Beverly Hills, site mainstay Moishe from La Jolla, Bob from (gasp!) Iowa, and Sarah from Boston who tells us that Gabe Kapler is a HOT baseball player.

Maybe he should look into air conditioning?

Top 10 Profiles: May

1. Sandra Bullock (0)
2. Scarlett Johansson (0)
3. Mel Gibson (+1)
4. Adolf Hitler (+3)
5. Michael Cammalleri (+118)
6. Gwyneth Paltrow (-1)
7. Jesus Christ (+8)
8. Charlie Chaplin (+5)
9. Tina Fey (-3)
10. Harrison Ford (+9)