Thursday, May 29, 2014

Israeli Couple Gets Engaged with Justin Timberlake; Revealed They're Already Married

TURNS OUT THAT THE ISRAELI COUPLE that got engaged to be married after having Justin Timberlake take a selfie photo with them was already married.

Last night at the Justin Timberlake's Israel concert at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israeli couple Eliran and Ilana Elgozi got Justin Timberlake to pose for a selfie. How did they do it? Eliran Elgozi held up a sign saying he'd propose to his girlfriend if Justin got off stage and posed for a photo with the couple. So Justin Timberlake jumped off the concert stage and took the selfie with the couple's camera. Then Timberlake said, "Now you gotta do it."

With that, Eliran took out a ring and proposed marriage to Ilana. Of course, it was a highlight at the outdoor concert in Tel Aviv attended by over 40,000. Turns out that Eliran Elgozi has already been married to Ilana Elgozi for a couple months.

Was it just a way to get a celeb selfie with Justin Timberlake? Eliran Elgozi explained in a post on Facebook, retold in an article in The Times of Israel, that it was not simply a ploy to get attention and a picture, but a much-deserved romantic gesture to his wife.

Justin Timberlake on stage in Tel Aviv, Israel 2014
Elgozi said, “Anybody who knows us knows that we have traveled a path that hasn’t been so short or easy,” he wrote. “Our first marriages were not so great (to say the least), and our wedding — how shall we say, everything that could have gone wrong did. We were not sad. Anybody who knows us knows that we always try to make the best out of what we have. And thank to our amazing friends we managed to have something modest, [albeit] far from the dream wedding of the bride. There was a feeling of loss in the air.”

Here's the video of Justin Timberlake taking the selfie with the Israeli couple at the Tel Aviv concert:

He recounted that after the wedding, he promised himself that he would make up for the less-than-spectacular nuptials and show his wife, who had stood beside him when he “slept on a mattress, didn’t have a shekel for a cucumber and didn’t leave him when he was alone and had no family,” how much she meant to him. Eliran began to formulate the plan after his wife bought the tickets for right in front of the stage.

"Luckily Justin is an amazing guy… and helped me do it the right way this time,” Eliran wrote. “It was even more than I could have imagined."

Even though it wasn't a legitimate marriage proposal, it made for a great moment at the Justin Timberlake Tel Aviv concert and Justin will probably never know the difference.

Rabbi Jason Miller, a co-founder of, is an educator, entrepreneur and blogger. He also writes the Jewish Techs blog. Follow him on Twitter at @RabbiJason.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sarah Silverman Talks About Brother-in-Law Yossi Abramowitz's Run for Israel's President on the View

ON A RECENT EPISODE of The View, Sarah Silverman came out and discussed her role in the new movie "A Million Ways to Die in the West."

Not only did she discuss her boyfriend, the Welsh actor Michael Sheen, but she also talked about her brother-in-law Yossi Abramowitz's run for President of Israel.

Yossi Abramowitz is married to Sarah Silverman's sister Susan, who is a Reform rabbi. The Abramowitz-Silverman family lives in Israel.When guest host Margaret Hoover mentioned that Sarah Silverman's sister is an Orthodox rabbi, Sarah didn't correct her.

According to an article in JTA, "American-born solar energy entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz is running for president of Israel.
Abramowitz, 50, the CEO of Energiya Global Capital, a Jerusalem-based solar developer, announced his candidacy in a column published Thursday in the Jerusalem Post.

Sarah Silverman with ex-boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel and her sister Rabbi Susan Silverman and brother-in-law Yossi Abramowitz
Sarah Silverman with ex-boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel and
her sister Rabbi Susan Silverman and brother-in-law Yossi Abramowitz

“President Shimon Peres has done great things. To continue this momentum, Israel must field a President who embodies innovation and the ‘Start-Up Nation,’ a president who will foster hope and a bright future for the younger generations who are desperately seeking social and economic stability,” Abramowitz said in a statement. “I would lead government development to promote an investment-friendly climate.  I would strive to improve Israel’s standing in the global arena and embrace the strengthening of pluralism among all Israelis.”

Abramowitz is credited with co-founding the Israeli solar industry. He made aliyah in 2006.
Other candidates include Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Silvan Shalom of the Likud party; Binyamin Ben-Eliezer of the Labor party; Nobel Prize laureate Dan Shechtman; Meir Sheetrit of Hatnua; and former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner.

A candidate must have 10 nominations from Knesset members to run for the position. The president is elected in a secret ballot by the Knesset and must have an absolute majority of the votes.

Here's the clip of Sarah Silverman on The View:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Seth Meyers Isn't Jewish But Gets a Yarmulke

SETH MEYERS TOOK A COUPLE MINUTES of his late night television show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, to explain that Seth Meyers is not Jewish. Why did he do this? Well, it turns out that a guest on the show the night before presented Meyers with a Montreal Expos kippah (yarmulke) thinking that the talk show host and former Saturday Night Live star was Jewish (video below).

So, Meyers had an intimate 2-minute monologue while seated behind his desk in which he explained that while his paternal grandfather was Jewish (hence the Jewish surname), he is not Jewish. Meyers then went on to say that every Jewish person thinks that he's Jewish because of the last name, the face and basically everything about him.

Meyers talked personally about his Jewish wife, Alexi Ashe, whom he married under a chuppah last year and his Jewish in-laws who were initially disappointed to learn he wasn't Jewish when he was dating their daughter. Today, Meyers says he observes Passover with his wife's family and considers himself Jew-ish ("it's the only religion that has 'ish' at the end of its name!). He jokingly explained that he doesn't like to tell Jewish people that he's not Jewish because that sounds like something you'd say to get membership into a 1950s country club.

Seth Meyers and his Jewish wife Alexi Ashe (Wiki Commons)

Meyers promised to wear the Montreal Expos kippah at next year's Passover seder... until his wife tells him to take that off because it looks ridiculous.

Rabbi Jason Miller is the co-founder of the blog and a rabbi, educator and blogger who lives in Detroit, Michigan with his wife and three children. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @RabbiJason.

Donald Sterling and Adam Silver - Jew vs. Jew

BY NOW THE ENTIRE WORLD knows that Donald Sterling, a Jew, and owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, holds racist opinions of African-Americans. What you might not know is that the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, is also Jewish. Following Silver’s prepared statements in which he announced that Sterling was banned for life from any association with the NBA, I heard this question from one of the journalists:

POPJEWISH-Rabbi Josh Hess (Orthodox)
"I'm curious -- you spoke about your personal response to this. In terms of Donald Sterling self-identifying as Jewish and you doing the same, as well, I'm wondering whether there was a specific kind of pain associated with that for you and if you felt a certain responsibility within the Jewish community to be responding to this in this way?"

I was taken aback. Why did the journalist feel the need to turn this into a Jewish issue?  Leave us out if for once! We've got enough problems to deal with. On the other hand, I felt a sense a pride knowing that at this seminal moment in NBA and American history, a Jewish commissioner was responsible for reprimanding a Jewish owner for his discriminatory views. Perhaps the listening audience was unaware of this. Turns out that the journalist who asked the question, Howard Megdal, is also Jewish. Silver responded beautifully:

"I think my response was as a human being, and I used the word distraught before. I spoke on Saturday morning directly to Chris Paul, to Doc Rivers, and it wasn't even anger at that point. I mean, there was a certain somberness, and frankly, I felt sort of most strongly and personally for that team. While this affects every player and anyone associated with the NBA family, for those players and those coaches to go out and do what they need to do and play at the highest level in the world and have this hanging over themI think caused me to have a certain sadness, I would say, about the entire situation. I think this is regardless of anyone's religion, ethnicity, nationality. I think this is incredibly hurtful."

LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Together
LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver