Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gene Simmons to bring brand expertise to Toronto

On May 25, a one-day conference will share with attendees how five internationally renowned best-selling authors and thought leaders employed cutting-edge thinking and real-world experience to tackle today’s most critical marketing issues.

Headlining this year's conference is the co-founder of Kiss and author of Me, Inc., Gene Simmons, who will impart key strategies on how to unleash your inner rock God in business.

Born Chaim Witz in Israel in August 1949, Simmons has been an American rock icon for 40 years.. Learning both from his triumphs and failures has helped him continue to sell out stadiums around the world, as well as help him get Kiss inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, obtain his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and make him the media mogul he is today.

For more on the chance to network with Simmons and more than 1,500 of Canada’s most influential marketers, explore what The Art of Marketing Toronto has to offer by clicking here.

Netanyahu addresses the nation on Yom Hashoah

The official ceremony marking the commencement of Yom Hashoah was held April 15 at Yad Vashem to remember the martyrs, heroes and six million Jews whose lives were lost during the Holocaust (1939-1945).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to the podium and delivered the following address.



For a full transcript of the PM's address, go to here on cjnews.com.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Goldberg and Baruchel's Goon 2 is good to go

Good news for fans of Goon, the little sports comedy that could: it looks like a sequel is on the way.

Like the original, the new film was co-written and is being co-produced by Montreal hockey enthusiast, Canadian actor, writer and producer Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg of Vancouver, better known as Seth Rogen's production partner.

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, Goon earned just under $6.5 million worldwide after a late-winter release in February 2012.

It wasn't a huge haul, but it was enough for the film to be honoured with Telefilm's Golden Box Office award as the top-earning English-language Canadian film that year, which undoubtedly helped to green-light the sequel.

In July 2013, Baruchel told The Canadian Press the sequel script was nearly completed, and "if all goes according to plan, we'll be shooting this time next year."

Baruchel's projected production start was just a little bit off, by about a year. While the original was shot in Manitoba, principal filming in Ontario will begin in three months time.

"I'm proud as hell of the first one, but I think we're going to smoke it with No. 2," Baruchel said.

It will be a bit darker, but will have "a bit more gravitas," he added.

The film's lead actor, Sean William Scott, portrayed a good-natured bouncer who becomes a minor league hockey team's enforcer. Baruchel co-starred along with the likes of fellow veteran Canadian comic actor Eugene Levy and Ray Donovan's Liev Schreiber.


After production wraps, Baruchel will begin work this fall in Toronto on a second season of his TV series Man Seeking Woman, which airs on FX Canada and is executive produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Oregon accuses SodaStream of mislabelling

The bullseye on the "West Bank" manufacturer of home carbonated beverages has returned.

The Israeli company SodaStream has been forced to change the labelling on parts of its product line, specifically those produced in its main facility in Ma'ale Adumim.

As reported here last November, the factory is schedule to close by the end of 2015 and move to Israel's southern Negev region, to the community of Lehavim near Be'er Sheva

In the meantime, the company has been forced to bow to the ruling of the Oregon Department of Justice (ODJ), which maintains it has violated the state's Fair Trade Practices Act by giving products made in Ma'ale Adumim a "Made in Israel" label when the parts are actually sourced from the West Bank settlement.

The act, which is meant to protect consumers, makes false representations and false advertising of a consumer product illegal and holds retailers accountable if they sell such products.

Does the label change compromise the quality of SodaStream's product? The answer is most certainly no.

Under the guise of human rights, boycott, divestment and sanctions movement supporters want to harm Israeli exporters around the world. Petitioning regulatory bodies to argue that Israel and its successful businesses conduct illegal practices, act unethically or operate in ways that undermine Palestinian society is a key tool in their toolkit.

Rod Such, speaking on behalf of the PDX Boycott Occupation Soda! Coalition, made the following statement: "Many people of conscience refuse to purchase products made in Israel's illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank, but in the case of SodaStream, they were deceived by false labelling that claimed the products were produced within Israel's internationally recognized borders."

Palestinian employees are valued by SodaStream, so much so that CEO Daniel Birnbaum very much wishes to keep them on and arrange for them to follow the facility when it moves to Lehavim. Work permits issued by the Israeli government would allow them to enter Israel each day for their shifts.

Alas, aside from all that the BDS movement is doing to undermine the company, SodaStream is reportedly facing significant declines in revenues and profits as North Americans increasingly shift their drinking habits in favour of juices and teas.

As a result, 2015 is looking no better than 2014 turned out to be.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A new kind of Dayeinu from the Maccabeats

Over the years that we've been posting to Heebonics, the holidays don't quite feel like the holidays until the Maccabeats put out their newest video.

Well Heebonics readers, we've found it.


Chag Kasher v'Samayach!

Adele's award-winning track anchors a Passover tale

Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter Adele's chart-topping hit Rolling in the Deep may have been released five years ago, but imagine if you will the story of the Passover deliverer Moses adapted to fit the stick-in-your head melody of the much-loved chanteuse.

That's what Felicia Sloin did to produce Floating in the Reeds, a new parody for 2015.


Try retelling the Passover tale yourself in song at this year's seder table.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

First Wonder Woman, and now Gadot's a Gucci girl

While we're still months away from seeing Israeli model and actress Gal Gadot's portrayal of DC comics amazon princess Wonder Woman in Zac Snyder's Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice, earlier this week, Gadot took to her Facebook page to announce that she'd been chosen as the new face of Gucci fragrances, a prestigious role previously held by contemporaries Blake Lively and James Franco.

Gadot's star power appears to be rocketing to great heights, with contracts to take the great DC warrior princess from Batman v Superman to DC's Justice League and then on to her own solo Wonder Woman feature film.

Gadot's 30th birthday, which she celebrates in April, comes a few weeks after her return to the big screen next Friday, reprising her role as Gisele in the seventh instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise.

Over the past few months, Gadot also joined an incredible cast list of Hollywood veterans in two movies that recently finished filming: Triple 9 alongside Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet and Woody Harrelson, as well as the new thriller Criminal with Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and Ryan Reynolds, and directed by Israeli-American Ariel Vromen.

Look to the sky: it's not Superman but Gal Gadot taking the world by storm.