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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-11-08



The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: another Simpsons character is revealed to be Jewish, Madonna promotes Israeli tourism, The Milken Archive launches in the UK, and coming soon – Esther The Movie.

1. Duffman is Jewish! Another Simpsons character has come out of the Jewish closet. In the episode Co-Dependent's Day, which had its UK premiere on Sky One on Sunday night, Homer and Marge attend an Oktoberfest-style party in Springfield. While there, Duffman, the representative of the breweries that make Homer's favourite beer, let slip a pre-scripted reference to the Third Reich. Feeling embarrassed, he then muttered, "I'm Jewish and I do this?"

2. Purim on film: A new movie focusing on the story of Esther is set to go into production. One Night With The King follows her from her humble beginnings as Hadassah to her new role as Esther, the Queen of Persia, and her fight to save the Jews from destruction. One-time Bros drummer-turned-film-star Luke Goss has been snapped up to play the role of the king, here renamed Xerxes instead of Ahasuerus (we don't know why).

3. Madonna speaks out for Israel: Not only does Madonna like Israel, she wants to encourage other people to visit it. The queen of pop, who has adopted the bibical name Esther is now set to front an advertising campaign to encourage more people to jet off to the Holy Land after her own trip there for a Kabbalah conference over Rosh Hashanah.

4. Milken's UK debut: The US Milken Archive, which has been releasing tons of Jewish music over the past 18 months – some of which hasn't been heard since your own Booba saw it – has now launched itself in the UK. 10 of its most popular CDs, featuring work by the likes of Leonard Bernstein and Kurt Weill, are among the first to be issued here, with a further two set to follow each month. At a recent press launch for the collection, Milken's artistic director Neil Levin revealed they have also filmed over 1000 hours worth of Jewish video. You can find out more at:

5. Heeb on film: Twentysomething US magazine Heeb is crossing the pond for a special film event in London next month. The Heeb Film Festival, which runs from December 16-19, kicks off with a screening of Palindromes, the latest from cult Jewish filmmaker Todd Solondz, and also promises other new movies, as well as a string of classics including The Marx Brothers in A Night At The Opera and the Billy Wilder satire The Apartment. The whole thing takes place at the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead, North-West London, and for more information on what's on:

6. Rowetta keeps going: Something Jewish's X-Factor favourite Rowetta is still going strong as the contest progresses. This week she wowed judges with her version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and scored enough votes to make it to the final six. Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether her fellow contestant Steve Brookstein is a Semitic Steve. Sure, he's got a Jewish name - but is his nature too Gentile?
7. Go Naked for Chanukah: Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies have got in touch with their Jewish roots with their latest album. Lead singer Steven Page is Jewish, and it's reflected in their album Barenaked For The Holidays, with three tunes – Chanukah Blessings, Chanukah Oh Chankuah and that old classic, I Have A Little Dreidel. Want to know more?
Visit their website: