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Ben Stiller satirizes Adam Sandler’s ‘Chanukah Song’ at Mark Twain Prize ceremony



(JTA) — Ben Stiller offered his own High Holiday alternative to Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” as his fellow Jewish comedian accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

During an awards ceremony that took place on March 19 and aired last night on CNN, Stiller asked from the stage at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts how Sandler’s novelty song, first heard on “Saturday Night Live” in 1994, became a seasonal standard.

“It’s really just a list of rhyming celebrity names, and yet it goes multiplatinum and it’s become a holiday radio staple that my daughter forces us all to listen to after we light the candles every year,” said Stiller.

Pretending to be baffled by Sandler’s success, Stiller imagined what his own representatives would have said had he proposed his own song about Yom Kippur. He then went ahead and sang its “killer opening line,” which included a reference to a notorious slapstick scene in Stiller’s 1998 film “There’s Something About Mary”: “It’s time to atone / So let’s get in the zone. / Got my d–k caught in my zipper / and now it is Yom Kippur.”

It wasn’t the only Jewish moment in a night dedicated to a comedian who, in the course of a tenure on “Saturday Night Live” from 1991-1995 and more than 30 films since, has often displayed his own Jewishness, including playing an Israeli in “Don’t Mess with the Zohan” and starring in what may be the first and only big-budget Hanukkah animated film, “Eight Crazy Nights.”

Fellow comic Chris Rock told a lovely story about meeting Sandler when they were both struggling comics. Rock, who was among just a handful of Black kids at his Brooklyn elementary school, spoke about the one time he was invited to another kid’s house to play. The boy’s name was “David Moskowitz — a Jew,” Rock said, with evident admiration.

Years later, after their sets at a Manhattan comedy club, Sandler invited Rock to hang out with Sandler and his friends at his New York University dorm. Rock said the invitation meant a lot to him as a kid who often felt left out. “The Jews — they’re just nice,” he said.

Although the typical Sandler character is an often crude and frequently angry man-child, his generosity to fellow comics and actors was a recurring theme of the evening, which included presentations by Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Steve Buscemi, Luis Guzmán, Conan O’Brien and David Spade. His longtime collaborator Tim Herlihy called him a “mensch.”

Sandler’s mother, Judy Sandler, got in a dig about her son’s penchant for wearing baggy sweat pants and T-shirts despite the billions of dollars his films have grossed. “He’s a fashionista, they say, but I say he’s a slob,” she said.

In choosing Sandler, 56, for the prize, named for the 19th-century writer and humorist,  Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said Sandler has “entertained audiences for over three decades with his films, music and his tenure as a fan favorite cast member on SNL. Adam has created characters that have made us laugh, cry and cry from laughing.”

Previous Jewish winners of the award include Carl Reiner, Lorne Michaels, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal and Jon Stewart. The 2019 prize went to  Dave Chappelle, who last year angered many Jewish viewers with a monologue on “Saturday Night Live” making light of antisemitism accusations against rapper Kanye West and basketball star Kyrie Irving.

The post Ben Stiller satirizes Adam Sandler’s ‘Chanukah Song’ at Mark Twain Prize ceremony appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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