Britney Spears has hired Jewish wedding planner Yifat Oren to help her plan her November nuptials to dancer Kevin Federline. And speaking of weddings, mazel tov to “Beverly Hills 90210” alum Tori Spelling who got married over the July 4th holiday weekend. She married actor-writer Charlie Shanian who, from this point forward, will now be known only as Mr. Tori Spelling.
Good news/bad news
Here’s the good news for Hollywood uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer: His reality show “The Amazing Race” returned this month for its fifth season and is a darling among the critics and won the first-ever Emmy for reality television. Now, the bad news: The Bruckheimer-produced “King Arthur” is getting horrible reviews across the board. Maybe he’ll have better luck with his next project, a “C.S.I.” spin-off that takes place in New York and debuts this fall on CBS.
Scrubs’ star Zach Braff better start clearing his mantle. His new film “Garden State” (which he wrote, directed and starred in) is racking up awards for the 29-year-old thespian. Earlier this year it garnered rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, prompting an unprecedented bidding war among distributors. And just last month it picked up the best feature award at the Maui Film Festival. The film, which is a poignant coming-of-age tale, treats viewers to a five-minute discussion on why some Jews only go to synagogue once a year.
Madonna likes Kabbalah. We know that’s not news, but consider these tidbits culled from recent news reports: Madonna keeps kosher, wears tefillin, sits near the mechitza, gives charity to Jewish causes and is going to the holy land for Sukkot. Just take our word for it: She’s way more religious than many readers of Celebrity Jews.
The most powerful Jew in Hollywood (who lives in New York), Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein, is calling it quits with his wife after 18 years of marriage. After not living up to his promise to cut back on his long hours (after all, he’s in a custody battle of another kind with Disney head Michael Eisner), the couple have amicably separated. “Harvey has never worked as hard as he has in the past year,” said one insider. “He’s married to his work.” Apparently. But we just want to know who retains the lucrative film rights to “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the controversial Michael Moore documentary that Weinstein financed, in the divorce settlement.
Several celebs were spotted at the recent Toronto bat mitzvah of the daughter of Roots clothing tycoon Michael Budman including “Saturday Night Live” maven Lorne Michaels. Others in attendance included Anjelica Huston and Martin Short. We’re told the bat mitzvah photographer sold his photos to the National Enquirer.
Waiter … there’s a Shmuley in my soup
In recent weeks Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has been lambasting the Kabbalah Centre in the press for using Madonna as its spokesperson. So it must’ve been a bit awkward when Shmuley and Madonna’s husband, director Guy Ritchie, were both seen dining at the upscale Manhattan kosher eatery Solo. “It was like the showdown at the OK Corral,” says a source.
Columnist Benyamin Cohen is editor of Jewsweek magazine (www.jewsweek.com).