Abe Vigoda, a beloved actor, passed away at the age of 94 today, at the home of his daughter in New Jersey. With deep set eyes, and a weary look, he gained fame in his fifties as Tessio, a mafia capo, in “The Godfather” and Detective Phil Fish on “Barney Miller.” His Barney Miller role earned him three Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Over the past three decades, comedians joked that he was dead, a website kept progress over his still being alive, the Beastie Boys rapped about him in their 1986 album, “Licensed to Ill”, and he recently appeared in a Snicker television ad. Born Abraham C Vigoda in New York City, he was the son of Samuel Vigoda, a tailor, and Lena Moses, both Jewish immigrants from Russia. He began acting at the age of six, and in the 1960’s, he starred in a Strindberg drama and appeared frequently at the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Are some U.S. Presidential candidates increasing their Jew-baiting to garner votes in Iowa and New Hampshire? Or it just my imagination? Donald Trump, whose daughter and son-in-law are Jewish, creeped out many attendees in December at the Republican Jewish Coalition candidates’ forum by calling several attendees out for their wealth and desire for control. Age old Jewish stereotypes. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) created a furor among some by deriding Trump’s “New York Values.” Where I come from, “New York Values” is a code word for “Jewish” values. I still have seen no public admonitions of this from the RJC-Republican Jewish Coalition leaders. Has Hillary Rodham Clinton joined in now, too. She has rarely spoken of her faith. But on Monday afternoon, in rural Iowa, she told a small group about how her belief in God has helped guide her politics and criticized those who use Christianity to “condemn so quickly” and “judge so harshly.” She said, “I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am Methodist.” Why has she decided to bring this up? Maybe it is to slightly hint… hint.. wink… wink.. that her main opponent is Brooklyn-born non-Christian, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
The Jewish Community Center in Maitland, Florida was briefly evacuated on Tuesday, after a caller threatened to harm children via an explosive at the JCC’s preschool and elementary school. No explosives were found. In Palm Beach Gardens, the Mandel Jewish Community Center was also evacuated Tuesday due to a bomb threat.
Foreign Policy magazine profiles a Jewish cult, Lev Tahor, and its leader in a January article, detailing its flight from child abuse and other charges in Israel, Brooklyn, Canada, San Juan La Laguna, a Mayan village, and its current residence in Guatamala City.
A correction was printed in The New York Times today that stated that its January 15, article “The Jerusalem Journal” about Palestinian residents of Jerusalem’s Old City facing evictions by Israeli organizations. Editors noted that it gave an incomplete descriptions of the legal disputes in several cases. The descriptions were based on the tenants’ accounts and should have included additional information from court documents or from the landlords.
Need a pill yet? Consider reading Quartz-India’s profile of the leader of one of the largest pharma companies (CIPLA), Yusuf K Hamied, the son of a Muslim father and Jewish mother in predominantly Hindu Mumbai.
Fortune reports that Nestle’s Nespresso is suing an Israeli competitor – Espresso Club- for running an ad with a George Clooney look-alike. Clooney has been a spokesmodel for Nespresso for nearly a decade. The suit asks for $50,000 USD.