SJ Super 7
by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-06-07
The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture. This week: we salute the Beastie Boys as they return to the UK Top 10, and reveal kosher undertones to their hit single. Plus the kosher side of Hellâs Kitchen, Jonathan Shallitâs new project and New Yorkâs non-kosher tap water.
1. Beasties check out charts: Rap trio the Beastie Boys have made a welcome return to the charts with their first single since 1999, with Ch-Ch-Check It Out going straight in at No 8. However, Jewish fans should pay close attention to the lyrics and theme, which might just be the most Jewish thing the boys have ever done. Not only do they namecheck Star Trek and pay homage to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in the video (who are also listed in the credits) but they also refer to Einstein, Lorne Greene (Canadian-born star of Bonanza and Battlestar Galactica), Miss Piggy (voiced by Jewish Muppets co-creator Frank Oz) and âbaby Bubbaâ.
2. Kosher Hellâs Kitchen: As well as providing plenty of entertainment, the ITV1 show Hellâs Kitchen also featured a Jewish connection â in the shape of celebrity chef Edwina Currie. The former politician reached the final four of the show, which saw a bunch of celebrities running a restaurant for chef Gordon Ramsay, before being voted out by viewers.
3. Bagel King: Fast-food giants Burger King have unveiled the latest addition to their menu â and itâs bagel-shaped. However, those who keep kosher shouldnât get too excited â the Chicken Caesar Bagel not only features non-kosher poultry, but it also contains cheese.
4. Britneyâs kosher habit: Following in the footsteps of fellow singer and Kabbalah fan Madonna, Britney Spears has switched to a kosher diet. Spears, who recently topped the charts with Toxic, is apparently sticking to food prepared with vegetable oil, as well as steering clear of gelatine and other non-kosher fare. She just can't be bothered with serious diets and would much rather stick to one routine when it comes to food,â said a spokesperson for the singer.
5. Shallittâs talent hunt: Jonathan Shallitt, the man who helped steer Charlotte Church to stardom, is turning to reality TV for his next project. Shallitt will be going head-to-head with Pop Idol judge Neil Fox in the new ITV1 show No Talent Required, in which the pair have two weeks to turn a bunch of no-hopers into
6. Donât drink the water: Concern is mounting among Orthodox communities in New York as to whether the local tap water is kosher or not. Apparently the water supply is home to a species of crustacean known as a copeped â which poses no threat to human health but a bit of a problem for the Jewish community, given that crustaceans are forbidden under the laws of kashrut.
7. Mikveh gets a makeover: Women living in or around Golders Green, North London, now have the chance to make use of a brand new, ultra-modern mikveh which has just opened there. Special features of the ritual baths include an online booking system, similar to that of a cinema, and 12 private bathrooms with electronic buttons, allowing users to page an attendant.