Celebrity Jews: Dylan goes to shul

Dylan goes to shul

Legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, 66, showed up for Yom Kippur services this year at Congregation Beth Tefilliah, an Orthodox congregation affiliated with Chabad in an Atlanta suburb. Dylan was in the area to play a concert the evening following the conclusion of Yom Kippur.

Shmais.com, a news service about happenings in the Lubavitcher (Chabad) community, reports that Dylan arrived at the service with two other men and took a seat at the back of the synagogue. Rather quickly, some of the 900 congregants recognized their famous guest. Dylan was honored with the sixth aliyah and afterward had a number of prayers said for members of his family. He stayed on for the sermon and for the Yizkor service.

Shmais reports that when Dylan was called to the Torah, “the shul was silent and lots of people changed seats to get a better look.”

It appears to be Dylan’s practice to attend Yom Kippur services at a Chabad-affiliated synagogue. In the 1990s, he was “spotted” at Chabad services in California and Minnesota. In 2005, he attended Yom Kippur services at a Chabad synagogue in Oyster Bay, N.Y., where he was also granted the honor of the sixth aliyah.

Meanwhile, “buzz” is building for the new Dylan biopic, “I’m Not There,” which got mostly good reviews when it played the recent Toronto Film Festival. Scheduled to open in November, this unusual dramatic film has six actors, male and female, play Dylan during different times in his life. It is directed and co-written by Oscar-nominee Todd Haynes (“Far from Heaven”), who is Jewish on his mother’s side.

Film notes: Berg and Blair

“The Kingdom” and “Feast of Love” open in theaters Friday, Sept. 28. “Kingdom” is a thriller about an FBI agent (Jamie Foxx) who puts together an elite team (Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman) to travel to Saudi Arabia to hunt down a terrorist mastermind. The movie, which has good advance buzz, is directed by Peter Berg, whose father is Jewish. Berg also directed the football film “Friday Night Lights.” As an actor, Berg is best known for playing Dr. Billy Kronk on “Chicago Hope.”

“Feast” stars Greg Kinnear as a nice guy who is married to Selma Blair, until she leaves him for another woman. His best friend (Morgan Freeman) encourages him to date again and he meets a good woman. Still, Kinnear is afraid his heart will be broken again. (Blair, 35, was born Selma Beitner and had a bat mitzvah.)

New season, new comedies

“The Big Bang Theory,” which started Monday, Sept. 24 on CBS, is about a beautiful, ditzy woman who moves into an apartment across the hall from two nerdy young physicists. Among the two nerds’ nerdy friends is scientist Howard Wolowitz, played by Simon Helberg, 26. Helberg, who had a bar mitzvah, had a small role on “Studio 60.” (Mondays, 8:30 p.m.)

“Cavemen” is based on the popular Geico auto insurance ads featuring cavemen living, somehow, in the present. Starring as one of the show’s three “main” cavemen is comedian Nick Kroll. Kroll, 29, has a long stand-up career and he co-wrote the recent book “Bar Mitzvah Disco,” which is based on memories Kroll solicited from Internet users about their bar or bat mitzvahs. (Starts Tuesday, Oct. 2 on ABC.)

Columnist Nate Bloom , an Oaklander, can be reached at middleoftheroad1@aol.com.

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.