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SJ Super 7

by: Caroline Westbrook and Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2004-05-18

Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: the Beastie Boys return, the Jewish Chronicle turns up in yet more unlikely places, and Israel misses out on Eurovision glory.


1. JC Readers strike again: not content with turning up in Suzie Gold, the Jewish Chronicle has been making its mark on Sunday morning television. Eagle-eyed viewers of Channel 4’s music show Popworld might have spotted its Jewish presenter Simon Amstell flipping through a recent issue of the paper on this weekend’s show while conducting a phone conversation with The Beastie Boys.


2. Comeback of the week: Speaking of The Beastie Boys, the rap trio are set to make a welcome return to the music scene with their first new album since 1998’s Hello Nasty. To The Five Boroughs is released on June 15, but the first single from the album, Ch-Ch-Check It Out, is released later this month, complete with a video in which the boys don dodgy wigs and attack people with baguettes.


3. Ukranian Odyssey: now that Ukraine have shot to victory in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, could the former Soviet country become the next big Jewish tourist destination? It certainly has the credentials – quite aside from the country’s Jewish history, which goes back thousands of years, it has the fourth largest Jewish community in the world (after the US, Russia and Israel) – over half a million Jews live there, with the biggest community being in the capital, Kiev.


4. Even more Eurovision: Israel might have given us some good songs in the past, but this year’s entry, by Israeli performer David D’Or, was not one of them. The song, Leha’amim, went from poor operatic to camp rock ballad and it came as no surprise when it got knocked out at the semi-final stage. That said, D’Or only narrowly missed out on a place in the final, coming 12th in the semis. “We are very disappointed, we did believe in the song,” said a spokesman for the singer. Better luck next year!


5. Barmitzvah boy: rocker Lenny Kravitz has announced he is to make his film debut in the comedy drama Barbecues and Barmitzvahs. Kravitz has compared the film, set for release next year, to those of Woody Allen, saying: “It’s about someone in my position growing up between two cultures. It’s like Annie Hall or Manhattan.”


6. Jewish roots: Something Jewish’s current favourite album is Adonai and I, which gives a roots reggae spin to a bunch of classic Jewish tunes. The brainchild of New York musician David Gould, the CD includes the likes of L’Dor V’Ador, Hiney Ma Tov, Leha Dodi and two versions of Adon Olam. And Gould is apparently hard at work on the follow-up, which gives similar treatment to Pesach tunes. Find out more at:


7. Weird weddings: Something Jewish finally had the chance to check out Adam Sandler’s most recent film, 50 First Dates, this week – and discovered that the most memorable scene involved Sandler marrying his onscreen girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) in a Jewish wedding on the beach. Makes a change from your average chupa.