Jake Davidson, a Jewish day school student from Los Angeles whose chutzpa is registered with local authorities as a lethal weapon, did get to take a supermodel to his senior prom. But was it a victory or a pity prom? You be the judge.
Back in March, Jake filmed himself asking Kate Upton out to his school prom, and upload the proposition to You Tube. The 21 year old super model tweeted: you can call me Katie if you want! How could I turn down that video! I’ll check my schedule : )
Apparently, he who lives by the You Tube upload dies by the You Tube upload: in April, Supermodel Kate Upton said she would not be going to the prom with Jake after all, presumably because of a busy schedule. : (
But then came prom night, May 23, and Jake Davidson was seen escorted by Danish Sports Illustrated Model Nina Agdal to Milken Community High School in Bel Air, Calif.
“Jake was waiting to hear from Kate and when Nina heard about it, she said ‘If Kate can’t go, I’d like to go’ because she never got to go to her prom,” explained Jake’s mother Cheryl.
If you’re interested, Nina wore a draped halter-top gown in soft green to the prom, which was held at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, Calif, according to many local reports.
After their prom date, Agdal tweeted: “Had such a great prom night. Thank you jakedavidson23 for being an awesome date!”
The city of Los Angeles went to the polls on Tuesday, May 21 and were faced with a choice between City Councilman Eric Garcetti, whose mother is Jewish – but not his father – and Wendy Greuel, LA’s City Controller, who would have been its first female Mayor. Greuel’s husband is Jewish and her son attends Hebrew school. Also, Greuel’s mother’s first husband was Jewish. And the third highest vote-getter in LA’s March primary, Jan Perry, converted to Judaism.
Yes, it’s California, where almost everybody is a little bit of everything.
In a tight race that remained tough to call until early Wednesday morning, Garcetti came out on top with 54 percent of the votes and Greuel with 46 percent.
“Thank you Los Angeles–the hard work begins but I am honored to lead this city for the next four years. Let’s make this a great city again,” Garcetti tweeted.
Garcetti’s mother is Jewish, although his father is Latino and was raised Catholic. Before Jewish audiences, Garcetti has referred to himself as a “kosher burrito.” His family attended synagogue on High Holy days, but he also attended Jewish summer camp and told the Los Angeles Times that he attended minyan while a graduate student at Oxford University.
Garcetti and Greuel are also both Democrats – LA’s mayoral race is non-partisan.
The winner replaces Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who is barred from running again for mayor after his two terms in office. Villaraigosa did not endorse either candidate in this election.
Villaraigosa, a high-profile Latino politician, chaired the 2012 Democratic National Convention. One of the most-watched moments of the Convention was the incredibly awkward floor change to the official Democratic Party Platform.
As Convention Chair, Villaraigosa was tasked with polling the delegates to change the Democratic Party Platform to reinsert language strongly supportive of Israel, and affirming God, which had been removed. To his everlasting embarrassment, Villaraigosa tried three times to achieve a clear two thirds majority voice approval required for the change. When his efforts failed to produce an obvious win, Villaraigosa nonetheless declared the measure had passed.
Yogurtland, a leading frozen yogurt chain, is following the lead of Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins and The Coffee Bean and has launched its first kosher store, the Beverly Connection location in Los Angeles.
The store is under the kosher supervision of the Rabbinical Council of California, according to the Kosher Today newsletter.
Yogurtland’s self-serve frozen yogurt shops allow customers to approach a wall of sweet and tart yogurt flavors and a topping bar. Paying by the ounce, consumers can choose among 16 yogurt flavors to create their own frozen treat and top it off their way.
“Certified kosher frozen yogurt from Yogurtland will be a welcomed treat for the kosher community,” said Rabbi Yaakov Vann, Director of Kashrut Services for the Rabbinical Council of California.
All of Yogurtland’s flavors are produced in a kosher-certified facility.
The FBI has arrested a Los Angeles man who allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme targeting the city’s Iranian Jewish community.
Shervin Davatgarzadeh, also known as Shervin Neman, was taken into custody on suspicion of defrauding $3 million from mostly Jewish Iranian-American investors, the FBI said.
According to the indictment, Davatgarzadeh posed as a hedge fund manager promising to invest in the Los Angeles real estate market.
He is suspected of illegally using the investments to pay for a lavish lifestyle for himself and his wife that included a $60,000 wedding ring, luxury cars and a new office.
Iranian Jewish community in Los Angeles has been rocked by a series of Ponzi schemes in recent years, according to the L.A. Jewish Journal.
A U.S. district court in March sentenced an Iranian-Jewish radio talk show host and businessman, John Farahi, to 10 years in prison for swindling $24 million from dozens of victims, mostly Iranian Jews.
In October 2011, Iranian-Jewish businessman Ezri Namvar was sentenced to a seven-year prison term for stealing $21 million from four clients.
The Doheny Glatt Kosher meat market controversy has reached the federal level, where the Dept. of Agriculture announced it is investigating accusations against Doheny owner Michael Engelmen that he sold meat that was not properly certified as kosher.
Rabbinical councils usually take measures in similar cases, and legal action against improper kosher meat certification is rare.
The controversy hit the headlines last week when a private investigator handed over to the Dept. of Agriculture videos and other material incriminating Engelman.
The investigator, Eric Agaki, said he launched his own probe several months ago after rabbis approached him with the claim that the prices for Doheny Glatt meat was “way too cheap.” Agaki then discovered that workers for Doheny allegedly put improperly certified meat in empty Glatt kosher boxes.
Actor Josh Malina, who played President Martin Sheen’s speechwriter Will Bailey on West Wing and the shrewd sports analyst Jeremy Goodwin on Sports Night, is also a good guy politically, and wants a better profile for Israel and for Jews in Hollywood.
The Sun Sentinel reports that Malina told donors and leaders of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County that the fact that there aren’t positive Jewish role models in Hollywood might be behind the sad phenomenon of so many Jewish college students experience little or no “feeling for Israel and sometimes their own Jewishness.”
Malina was speaking to more than 600 people during “The Event” at Boca West Country Club. The co-star of the new ABC series “Scandal” criticized his fellow Hollywood actors for not embracing Judaism or publicly supporting Israel.
He told his audience about sitting on the dais at a Los Angeles Jewish Federation rally for Jerusalem about 10 years ago, where very few Jewish celebrities on hand.
“Los Angeles is a town where you cannot shake a lulav without hitting a famous Jew,” Malina said. “How could they not be at this rally?”
He said he was appalled when he was told, “If it has anything to do with Israel, they won’t show up.”
He told the audience that his own Jewish identity came from growing up in a Jewish home, going to yeshiva and visiting Israel with his family.
Josh Malina was born in New York City. His parents, Fran and Robert Malina, were founding members of Young Israel of Scarsdale in New Rochelle where he grew up. Josh told an interviewer that the name “Malina,” which sounds more Hispanic than Jewish, is Polish for “raspberry.”
Malina said he and his wife, a convert to Conservative Judaism, raise their children in a Jewish home and with Jewish values.
His support for Israel “isn’t blind or inflexible,” Malina said.
“There are aspects of Israeli society, as there are for any society that could be improved. I think we do our own kids a disservice if we paint everything black and white, right or wrong, us or them,” Malina said, adding that he doesn’t keep those sides of Israel that appear in the news from his children.
Malina told the young parents in the audience to talk at home about all the issues that have to do with Israel, to support Israel and to visit with their kids.
Malina applauded the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s support of Jewish education, for sending teenagers to Israel through the Birthright program, and for their work within the community.
In Hollywood, “the instinct is to avoid controversy,” Malina said, meaning that because Israel is a controversial topic, it doesn’t get covered. He added: “I just think it’s a shame.”
He said he regularly speaks to Jewish groups around the country, and used do a lot of it during his stint on West Wing.
Rabbi Robert Silvers of Congregation B’nai Israel told the Sun Sentinel he was encouraged by Malina’s words. “He said acting is what I do and I have to be true to who I am,” Silvers said. “We can all stand up for Israel.”