Jews and psychics
Opening Friday, Nov. 6 is the comedy/drama “Men Who Stare at Goats.” Ewan McGregor plays Bob Wilton, a reporter who meets a shadowy guy (George Clooney) connected to an Army “psychic” unit. Then, a renegade psychic (Kevin Spacey) kidnaps the head of Clooney’s unit (Jeff Bridges). Wilton is caught in the middle of this mess. The director of “Goats” is Grant Heslov, 46, Clooney’s frequent business and creative collaborator.
Stephen Lang, 57, has a large supporting role as an Army general. Lang, who is co-head of the famous Actors’ Studio, is mostly a stage actor — but his film credits include playing two Confederate generals (George Pickett in “Gettysburg” and Stonewall Jackson in “Gods and Generals”). Lang’s father, businessman Eugene Lang, 90, was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 for his incredible philanthropy.
McGregor’s wife, Eve Mavrakis, is a French Jewish set designer. Their two children are being raised Jewish and the whole family has vacationed in Israel.
Ivanka converts — and weds
As you probably heard, Ivanka Trump, 27, wed New York Observer newspaper publisher Jared Kushner, 28, on Oct. 25. Five hundred guests attended the Modern Orthodox ceremony. Wedding guest Barbara Walters showed the invitation on “The View,” noting that it was in English and Hebrew. Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who supervised Ivanka’s conversion to Judaism, married the couple.
Ivanka, of course, is the daughter of mogul Donald Trump. In a recent “Nightline” profile she admitted that “nepotism got me in the door” — but added that her father would have fired her from her position, as a vice president in charge of overseeing major construction projects, if she didn’t perform well. (The “Nightline” site also has some nice wedding pics.)
Unlike her father, Ivanka comes off as a class act who tactfully protects her private life. “Nightline” quoted her as saying, “I’ve converted to Judaism not to marry him, but I am marrying him. I choose not to talk about this because I think in life there are some things that are personal and between people, and once I open this can of worms everyone will think it’s OK to have this discussion with me.”
Adam Lambert, 27, the runner-up in the last “American Idol” competition, will perform on the American Music Awards along with other top-selling “American Idol” contestants. (Airs 8 p.m. Nov. 22 on ABC.) Lambert’s single for the film “2012” is in stores now, and the single from his solo debut album will be released Nov. 24.
Lambert talked about his Jewish background in depth for the first time in a recent interview with the Detroit Jewish News. His father, he said, isn’t Jewish, but his mother is. He dropped out of Hebrew school at age 9 and “unfortunately” was not bar mitzahed. He added: “We did celebrate Chanukah as opposed to Christmas. So we stayed true to our roots that way. And we celebrated Passover occasionally. I mean, I hate to say it, but we were kind of Jewish by form … More of a heritage thing.”
Despite his statement, Lambert has done more for the Jewish community than many other Jewish celebs. He has frequently sung in synagogues, and you can listen to those charitable performances on YouTube — simply enter “Jewish” and his name in the search bar.