Hoopster wears his heart on his shoes
NBA rookie Deni Avdija, who plays for the Washington Wizards, wrote “yizkor” (meaning “remember”) on his sneakers before playing in a game last week that coincided with Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Wizards even tweeted a video of announcer Justin Kutcher explaining the significance of the traditional phrase as Avdija (an Israel-born, 6-foot-9 forward of Serbian heritage) entered the game, explaining that it was a “somber day.” The clip was posted to the Hebrew-language Twitter account the team has started in order to cater to Avdija’s enthusiastic Israeli fans.
דני אבדיה הגיע הערב לאולם בשחור ורשם על הנעליים "יזכור" pic.twitter.com/jOYmKPBaVW
— Washington Wizards 🇮🇱 (@washwizardsil) April 7, 2021
Stars assemble for this year’s Oscars
The Oscars are planning an “ensemble cast” to present this year’s awards on April 25. On the list are a number of previous years’ winners and nominees, including Joaquin Phoenix and Harrison Ford. The event will be produced by a committee of Hollywood veterans, including Stacey Sher, a star producer who has worked on films as diverse as “Reality Bites” and “Django Unchained.” But even with all these details, no one really knows what the ceremony will really be like — it’s set to be held in multiple locations, including Union Station in Los Angeles.
Sephardic history hits the small screen
The trailer is out for your next binge watch. Yes Studios, the Tel Aviv–based producer and distributor behind “Fauda” and “Shtisel,” has branched out into costume drama with its new show “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” the story of a Sephardic family. Judging from the first look, it’s not light fare, set as it is against the backdrop of the Ottoman Empire and Israel’s War of Independence. It stars Michael Aloni (Akiva in “Shtisel”), Itzik Cohen (Capt. Gabi Ayub in “Fauda”) and newcomer Swell Ariel Or, among others. It will be a multilingual show, with characters speaking in Hebrew, English, Arabic and Ladino.
Actor really wants to apologize
Hank Azaria is sorry. The prolific screen and voice actor is known for his many roles on “The Simpsons,” including Indian American shopkeeper Apu, a part Azaria voiced with a thick, fake accent. He stepped away from the role in 2020 after he realized the negative impact it was having on people, including a boy at his son’s school who brought it home to him personally. He has tried to make amends. “I really do apologize,” Azaria said in an interview with the podcast “Armchair Expert.” “It’s important. I apologize for my part in creating that and participating in that. Part of me feels like I need to go to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologize.”
Skydiving journalist is very old
He may not have been a celebrity before, but Walter Bingham, 97, has just been crowned “oldest living journalist” by the Guinness Book of World Records. The accolade is just another feather in Bingham’s cap, as he’s already the holder of the title “oldest radio talk show host (living).” Born in 1924 in Germany, he fled to the United Kingdom, where he lived until 2004, when he moved to Israel. He celebrated his 95th birthday by skydiving and plans to do it again if he lives to 100, he said.