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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-07-23

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: Amy Winehouse gets a Mercury Music Prize nomination, Oi Va Voi make their mark on Israel, Ali G conquers the US and William Shatner records his second album – 36 years after he released his first.

1. Amy does it again: not content with picking up a bunch of Brit nominations earlier in the year, singer Amy Winehouse is in the running for another award – her album Frank has been shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Winehouse faces some stiff competition from the likes of hit-makers Franz Ferdinand, Keane and Snow Patrol but bookies have made her joint second favourite to pick up the prize. The winner is announced on September 7.

2. Shatner sings: 36 years after he made his recording debut with The Transformed Man, Star Trek legend William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk) is to release his second album. Has Been will be in the shops in September and features, among others, a cover version of the Pulp hit
Common People (in which Shatner teams up with singer songwriter Joe Jackson).

3. Musical mission: hip British band Oi Va Voi, who blend traditional Jewish sounds with dance music and world beats, have been hitting the headlines with their first tour of Israel. The band, whose debut album Laughter Through Tears was released in 2003, spoke to The Times earlier this week about their decision to visit the holy land. "We never thought twice about coming to Israel," said lead singer and violinist Sophie Solomon. "But we made the decision that the best way to deal with the politics of it was for everybody to handle it in their own way. It's a very personal thing."

4. Robot Jews: Jewish actor Shia LaBoeuf has landed his biggest film role to date, starring alongside Will Smith in the futuristic blockbuster I Robot, which opens in the UK in August. LaBoeuf (his first name is pronounced 'Shire' by the way), comes from a Cajun-Jewish background and was last seen on screens in Holes, starring alongside Henry Winkler.

5. Yiddishe Madonna: Not content with becoming a Kabbalah devotee and changing her name to Esther, the Queen of Pop is now rumoured to be making plans to record a number of songs in Yiddish. Maybe she should take a look at Something Jewish beforehand, as we've got a few
suggestions of Jewish musicians and artists she might like to team up with – find out more at:
http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/1097_my_yiddishe_madonna_.htm

6. Ali G takes on the US: Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is set to become a huge star across the pond, after the second series of Da Ali G Show debuted on US screens to critical acclaim. The New York Post called Cohen a "Brit wit sensation" and said the show was "terrifyingly
funny," while the Boston Globe said that Cohen "commands respect". The comedian, who is engaged to actress Isla Fisher, is currently renting a mansion in Hollywood belonging to celebrity couple Jennifer Aniston
and Brad Pitt.

7. Kosher canines: If you're a Jewish dog owner, why not treat your pet to a new collar or leash emblazoned with the Star of David? These are just two of the Jewish Dog Products available from Member Of The Dog Tribe, a company promising 'Jewish products for the modern Jewish dog' – to find out what else is on offer, visit: http://www.m-o-d-t.com/