Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gadot gets more screen time as Wonder Woman in new flick

Although it was initially reported that Gal Gadot would only have a brief cameo as Wonder Woman in the upcoming sequel to Zack Snyder's take on the Man of Steel, new images for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice show the Israeli beauty featuring far more prominently in the storyline by Chris Terio and David S. Goyer.

Fans of the DC Universe who have followed the exploits of these three heroes, from their beginnings to the formation of the Justice League, know that a very close-knit relationship and bond forms between Detective Comics' most popular protagonists.

From the film's first official poster to Entertainment Weekly's 2015 Comic-Con special edition, the Amazonian warrior princess is front and centre between the Dark Knight and the last son of Krypton. It's a similar placement to the comic art we posted here at the time of Gadot's casting.

Few details are known as to how each of the heroes will find themselves battling against one another, only to emerge as the first and greatest team of superheroes (they came together in 1960, before Marvel's Avengers in September 1963).

We may get a softening of Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman by the time Dawn of Justice concludes, as this image of Diana Prince and Bruce Wayne together at a party in once-stately Wayne Manor suggests.

The blockbuster, scheduled to hit theatres next summer, will also introduce us to Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry, a.k.a Aquaman, and Ezra Miller's Barry Allen, better known as The Flash.

Jerusalem couple uncovers 2,000-year-old mikvah

Making headlines around the world, the Israel Antiquities Authority has confirmed that a mikvah discovered underneath the living room floor of a family home in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem neighbourhood is approximately 2,000 years old.

The ritual bath – used in conversions to Judaism and to fulfil family purity laws – was also a treasure trove containing stone vessels and pottery dating back to the period of the Second Temple, which was destroyed in 70 BCE.

The family residing in the home had purchased it three years ago, but were fearful to report their finding at the time, believing that the authorities would hold up a planned renovation or prevent them from staying there.

There fears were put to rest, and now the home is far more valuable to them than they had ever dreamed.

See how they made the discovery in the video clip below.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Conspire2Inspire and help children in need

After a successful launch last year, Conspire2Inspire, one of the largest young professional events in the country returns to build on the $30,000 it raised in a short-term campaign for ChaiLifeline Canada, a not-for-profit organization that helps children suffering from serious illnesses, and their families.

This year's committee of philanthropic-minded young professionals in Toronto will gather approximately 400 of their peers June 30 to the ultra-trendy Airship 37 event venue.

Conspire2Inspire2 will both kick off the summer and raise awareness for Chai Lifeline programs that need help to continue providing support to more than 350 Canadian families.

"Funds raised from the committee's social media, marketing campaign and ticket sales this year will be directed to one of five programs. We hope our young professional guests to Tuesday's wrap party will volunteer to get involved with Chai Lifeline and the program of their choice,"  said event chair Tracie Kuchinsky.

The recipients of this year's funds will be:
  • Send a child to Camp Simcha, an overnight camp for sick children
  • Shining Stars, an after school program
  • Chai Lifeline Canada's trip to Disney World
  • Heart to Heart, a Big Brother/Big Sister program
  • Chai Lifeline Canada's toy campaign
The night will feature an open bar, entertainment and light refreshments. If you haven't purchased your ticket yet, there's still time.

 For further details, visit the Conspire2Inspire2's Facebook page.

Watch for post-event photos in upcoming editions of The CJN and the all-new Socialite page.

The King and the Whopper set to return to Israel

While the love affair with traditional fast food chains in North America appears to have run its course – as McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell are being shunned in favour of healthier, fast-casual options such as Chipotle, Panera Bread, etc. – the King is returning to Israel.

In 2009, Burger King closed all locations in the Holy Land, ceding the territory to the Golden Arches, its arch nemesis.

But in a recent $12-million (US) deal, Pierre Besnainou, a partner in Carmel Winery and the Chefs Meals & Service catering company, acquired the rights to open 50 new franchise locations throughout the Jewish state over the next five years.

It's truly a Whopper of a deal.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Music Fills The Soul comes to Baycrest

It's been almost a year since the young professional initiative Music Fills The Soul launched in Toronto, bringing together talented musicians and vocalists to perform for the elderly.

What began at Bayview Extendicare was then sought after by Four Elms in Concord, Ont., Brookside Court & Hilltop Place and then booked by Thorne Mill on Steeles in March of this year.

A milestone fifth show is scheduled for Sunday, June 21, at Baycrest, one of the world's premier academic health science centres and care facilities for seniors.

The team behind the undertaking continues to deliver smiles to the faces of those in need of constant care who, because of limited mobility, often find it hard to venture out and find entertainment themselves. Treating them to the music of legendary hit-makers from yesterday and today fills their days and nourishes their souls.

Event chair and principle organizer Julie Ruchlemer had this to say in advance of Sunday's cavalcade of local talent taking to the stage: "It's a magical experience. We continue to look forward to giving back and adding an hour of joy to the lives of our seniors."

For more information visit Music Fills the  by clicking here.

Related: Volunteers sing classics for seniors

A Terminator takes over Waze

To coincide with the big-screen release of Terminator Genisys, a reboot of the cinematic series that supercharged the film career of the Austrian-accented and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1984, Skynet is replacing the navigation app Waze's assistant with the voice of the T101.

According to USA Today, the Israeli-designed traffic and navigation app that was sold to Google in 2013, landed the action movie star by forming a partnership with Paramount Studios.

For anyone unfamiliar with the franchise, director James Cameron's vision was of a dystopian future where humanity fights for its survival against a sentient computer network and its enforcers of the new world order, the Terminators, who are exterminating mankind. Sarah Connor and her son John are humanity's best chance at averting the pending apocaplyse, or at the very least starting a rebellion to defend its continued existence.

It took just a single hour for the Hollywood actor to record all the necessary automated prompts, ranging from the simple "turn left" to his messages as you begin and end your journey: "I'm a Terminator Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, and you're coming with me" and the ever famous "Hasta la vista, baby."

What was just science fiction then is a bit of reality now.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Art Garfunkel returns to Israel after 17 years

Art Garfunkel, one half of the folk-rock duo Simon and Garfunkel, gave a moving performance this week at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.

A native New Yorker, Garfunkel, 73, has mostly been a solo act since parting ways with singer-songwriter Paul Simon in 1970. The music they made defined a generation in the 1960s and has had lasting appeal.

Garfunkel's set list included some of the duo's classics, including Sounds of Silence, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965, and Bridge over Troubled Water, which was also the title of their final studio record, one of the best-selling albums of all time.

The capacity of Bloomfield Stadium pales in comparison to the numbers for Simon and Garfunkel's famous 1981 reunion concert in New York's Central Park, which attracted more than half a million people. The pair last played Israel together in 1983 as they neared the end of their reunion tour.

Amid performances of his solo material and songs by the duo, and accompanied by his son James on guitar, Garkfunkel read a selection of his own prose poetry off the back of envelopes, making it an event for all artistic tastes not been seen by fans since his last solo concert in the Holy Land back in 1998.

He has clearly left an indelible mark on fans the world over.