Celebrities

Baby brigade

Adam Sandler, 42, and his wife, Jackie, had a baby girl they named Sunny Madeline on Nov. 2. According to Sandler’s Web site, “Everyone is healthy and happy.” The Sandlers have another daughter, Sadie, who was born in 2006. Adam and Jackie married in a big Jewish wedding in 2003, shortly after Jackie converted to Judaism.

Maybe Sandler could arrange a play date with Mayim Bialik‘s kids. The former star of the TV series “Blossom” (about a teenage girl) just gave People magazine the details about her new baby. Bialik, 32, and her husband, Michael Stone, had a baby boy in August that they have named Frederick Heschel. Bialik says: “His first name is for my grandpa, and his middle name is for Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma.” Bialik and her husband also have a 3-year-old son, Miles.

Bialik and Stone are actively involved in their Conservative synagogue and in many other Jewish community events. Bialik earned her doctorate in neuroscience at UCLA in 2007 and she still takes an occasional acting job. The first two seasons of “Blossom” (1991-1993) will appear on DVD this January, with a lot of extras including an interview with Bialik. Tweens who have never seen “Blossom” might enjoy watching it with their parents.

Local successes

Former major leaguer Ruben Amaro Jr., 43, has been named the general manager of the world champion Philadelphia Phillies. Several writers have pointed out the similarities between Amaro and President-elect Barack Obama — biracial men now both at the top of their respective fields. Ruben’s Catholic paternal grandfather, Santos Amaro, was a great Cuban baseball player, but he was dark-skinned, so no American major league team would sign him. Santos’ son, shortstop Ruben Amaro Sr., did make the majors in 1958 and played until 1969. But he endured some racial abuse and didn’t have an easy time securing a post-career coaching job in the majors.

Amaro Sr. wed a white Jewish American woman from a middle-class family. Although the marriage didn’t endure, the couple made sure Amaro Jr. got a first-class education at a fancy private school, topped off with a biology degree from Stanford. He also got a Jewish religious education and had a bar mitzvah.

Amaro Jr. played baseball for Stanford and he was on the 1987 Cardinal team that won the national college championship. He made the majors in 1991 and while he certainly wasn’t a superstar, the outfielder impressed management with his grit and intelligence. Shortly after his retirement in 1998, Amaro Jr. became the Phillies’ assistant general manager.

Also … Congrats to U.C. Berkeley computer professor Richard M. Karp, 73, one of three winners of this year’s Kyoto Prize. His award, which includes a $500,000 check, was for his work on measuring the difficulties of certain computational problems. His other awards include the Einstein Fellowship and Lady Davis Fellowship, from the Technion in Haifa, and an honorary Ph.D. from Israel’s Weizmann Institute.

Post-election note

Turns out that cast member Seth Meyers wrote most of the great sketches that Tiny Fey did on “Saturday Night Live” as Sarah Palin. Fey says she added a few lines and edited a few things, but Meyers did most of the writing. Meyers told NPR’s Terry Gross that McCain and Palin’s staffs saw their candidates’ sketch scripts in advance, but asked for virtually no changes. He added that Republican politicians very rarely ask for changes, but Democrats do. Gross asked Meyers why he thought that was so. Meyers replied, “Because Republicans know that Democrats won’t use their ‘Saturday Night Live’ appearances to attack them, but Republicans will use such appearances against Democrats.”

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

Nate Bloom

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