Celebrity Jews

New on DVD

With the “Seinfeld” boxed gift set, television’s greatest show has finally made its way to DVD. The first three seasons of the ultimate show about nothing, are now available and if you purchase all three together, you’ll also receive a copy of the original script and “Seinfeld” salt and pepper shakers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. … For guilty pleasure addicts everywhere, the first season of FOX’s wildly popular The O.C. by creator Josh Schwartz. … “Ali G Indahouse — The Movie,” starring Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. … Jon Favreau’s Christmas tale “Elf” starring fellow Yids James Caan and Ed Asner.


Fiddling isn’t only left to the purview of bearded men on rooftops. Meet Miri Ben-Ari, the sizzlin’ hip-hop violinist making waves with the likes of Kanye West and Jay-Z. The 26-year-old classically trained Israeli violinist has already worked on a lot of hip-hop albums and will release her debut solo CD early next year. For the impatient, her first single, “Sunshine to the Rain,” drops this month.

Roseanne’s slaughterhouse

Roseanne was set to make her TV comeback in a recurring role on CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” (that’s the one with Charlie Sheen, for those of you who don’t watch), but she bailed at the last minute when the show’s writers crafted her character as a parody of the real Roseanne. Camryn Manheim was her zaftig replacement and, ironically, starred in a recent episode called “A Kosher Slaughterhouse Out in Fontana.”

Ruth the warrior

Many people don’t know it but, before she was a sexpert, Dr. Ruth was a soldier to be reckoned with in the Israeli Defense Forces. She tells the New York Post that she was a “lethal sniper” and was not too shabby a grenade thrower either. She also tells the newspaper about the time she was almost killed. “The strangest thing was that all I could think about was whether there might be some blood on the brand-new shoes I had just gotten for my birthday, and amazingly there wasn’t even a drop on them, which was all I cared about in some kind of strange denial.”

Israel is real

Mark Burnett has made it official, telling Ha’aretz that he has no plans to make “Survivor: The Middle East.” “No. The whole region is not conducive. Certainly not Israel with the settlements and the problems with the government now.” In other reality TV news from the Holy Land, Donald Trump should watch his back. Israel’s answer to “The Apprentice,” called “The Ambassador,” will pit 12 contestants against each other. According to a press release, “the winner will become the ultimate Israeli ‘ambassador’ — a representative of Israel throughout the world. He or she will travel the world, meet and speak with students, school children, government bodies, broadcasters, etc. — all as a part of the Israel at Heart organization.”

Notable quotables

“I get like 400 Holocaust scripts. That’s what you get for being the openly Jewish actress.” — actress and Israel activist Natalie Portman in The New York Times. … “The most precious thing in our land is freedom. My parents came from Russia because of the freedom of this country — to be able to say what you think and do what you want to do. When something goes against freedom, we’re at risk. The blacklist was such a period: Imagine that talented writers were refused the right to write.” — Legendary actor Kirk Douglas upon receiving the Freedom of Expression Medal from the Institute of Modern Letters. For the history buffs out there, you’ll recall that Douglas helped blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo use his real name in the credits for “Spartacus” in 1960.

Columnist Benyamin Cohen is the editor of Jewsweek magazine (www.jewsweek.com).