Poet Louise Glück, seen here at the National Book Awards in New York City in 2014, is the winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature. (Photo/JTA-Robin Marchant-Getty Images)
Poet Louise Glück, seen here at the National Book Awards in New York City in 2014, is the winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature. (Photo/JTA-Robin Marchant-Getty Images)

WNBA’s Jewish Bird; Gadot as Cleopatra causes a flap; stars get naked for democracy; etc.

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High-flying WNBA Bird

Sue Bird has helped her WNBA team, the Seattle Storm, win the 2020 championship. It’s the 39-year-old’s 17th season in the league, but she’s still breaking records in assists. It’s also her fourth time collecting the trophy. A few years after Bird finished her illustrious college career at UConn in 2002, she obtained Israeli citizenship (thanks in part to her father being Israeli) mainly so she could more easily play for a team in the EuroLeague during the WNBA off-season.

Many sides of Lenny Kravitz

In a recent New York Times interview, rocker Lenny Kravitz talks about his years before stardom, the subject of his new memoir. His mother, an African American actress, married a white Jewish TV producer with whom Kravitz had a troubled relationship as a child. “I am deeply two-sided,” Kravitz said. “Black and white. Jewish and Christian. Manhattanite and Brooklynite.”

Gal Gadot vs. Marc Benioff?

The Genesis Prize, sometimes called the “Jewish Nobel,” is opening up this year. Instead of a committee choosing the winner of the $1 million price, anyone can vote at genesisprize.org through Oct. 26. Will it be a showbiz winner, like Sacha Baron Cohen, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand or Gal Gadot? Or will it go to Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, former UK chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks or a local boy, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff?

Cuts like a … Glück

The 77-year-old Louise Glück has received the Nobel Prize in Literature. She’s been publishing poetry since 1968, work that the New York Times calls “brutal and sorrow-filled.” Her father, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, was one of the men behind the X-Acto knife, a detail often mentioned in bios of Glück as befitting, considering her incisive and cutting language.

Cleopatra role causes a flap

Gal Gadot’s announcement that she is starring in a new biopic of Cleopatra is getting a mixed response. The film will be made by Paramount, which won a bidding war for the epic, and co-produced by Gadot, who will bring a feminist slant to the story. But an Israeli actress playing an Egyptian monarch is causing a flurry on Twitter, with some arguing that an Arab actress should play the queen (whose ancestry is believed to be Macedonian Greek).

You look hungry, eat something

Cooking show star Nigella Lawson has written a new book during the pandemic, a lyrical defense of the pleasures of eating. In an interview with the Guardian, she admits that her need to make sure everyone around her has eaten enough is a bit of a compulsion. “Well, it’s a bit of a Jewish thing, isn’t it?” she said.

Getting naked to help the vote

Stars are stripping in order to get you to vote. A new campaign by RepresentUs (encouraging people to send in their ballots) has celebrities such as Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman and Josh Gad baring almost all on camera as an attention grab. Tiffany Haddish, however, left on her necklace — a Star of David.

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.