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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-10-28

Matt Lucas is a comedy winner

Matt Lucas

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: the year's best new Chanukah song, Sarah Michelle Gellar dominates US cinemas, Peter And The Wolf gets a kosher makeover, and Matt Lucas wins another award for Little Britain.

1. Chanukah comes early: One of the funniest new arrivals online is a Chanukah song based on the 2003 hit Hey Ya!, by rap duo OutKast.! The new song is chock-full of references to latkes and lighting candles, as well as pondering the different spellings of Chanukah itself – and
it also comes complete with some very clever graphics. See for yourself at: http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/1235_chanukah_fun.htm

2. Gellar has a big Grudge: The Grudge, the latest film from semitic star Sarah Michelle Gellar, has stormed to the top of the US box office in its first week on release. The movie, a remake of a Japanese shocker about some spooky goings-on in a house in Tokyo, made nearly $40m in just three days. UK audiences get to see it on November 8.

3. Ben's back: Best new film trailer of the week is the one for Meet The Fockers, the sequel to Meet The Parents, which is shaping up to be one of the most ewish films of 2005. The trailer not only introduces us to Ben's screen parents, played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, but it also features a sequence in which Streisand's character proudly displays a small souvenir from her son's Bris. No prizes for guessing what it is, of course. The film opens in the UK in February.

4. Kosher pig: SJ's favourite new CD is Pincus and The Pig, a Jewish revamp of the Prokofiev classic Peter And The Wolf. The CD, which mixes the familiar music with Yiddish-tinged narration, is by Shirim, a band featuring members of the experimental Jewish combo Naftule's Dream. You can find out more at: www.shirim.com

5. Sunny speaks Hebrew: Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler is not only open about his Jewishness, he uses it to great effect in the latest Snicket book, The Grim Grotto, when one of the characters, baby Sunny, begins inadvertently speaking in Hebrew. Anyone who has read the books will know that Sunny speaks in a series of unintelligible words and phrases which only her brother and sister understand – but in this book those so-called unintelligible words include 'shalom' and 'yomhuledet' (Hebrew for Happy Birthday) among others. It's not the first time Handler has made Jewish references in the series – a previous book saw him refer to something as being as "welcome as a swarm of wasps at a barmitzvah". The Grim Grotto is out now.

6. Little Britain's big award: SJ's favourite British Jewish comic Matt Lucas scored a triumph at the National Television Awards in London on Tuesday night. Lucas picked up the award for Most Popular Comedy programme for Little Britain, along with his co-star David Walliams – and proceeded to deliver an acceptance speech in the style of Vicky Pollard, one of the show's most popular characters.

7. Bekay makes his mark: Bekay is a new Jewish rapper from Brooklyn who's already attracting lots of comparisons to Eminem thanks to his rapping style and powerful lyrics. The 23-year-old (who won't reveal what his real name is), has already released one album, Hungry Broke and Determined, and has another, The Future Fo Hip-Hop is Now, on November 16. Find out more at: www.bekayrap.com