Cartoon: Frozen relations


Watch: Idina Menzel sings ‘Let it Go’ with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots


If you liked Idina Menzel (Travoltified name: Adele Mazeen) at the Oscars, you’ll love love love her on “The Tonight Show.”

The “Frozen” star squeezed in next to host Jimmy Fallon and his resident band The Roots Monday night for what is definitely our all-time favorite version of the film’s hit song “Let it Go.”

Toy instruments + a very relaxed and natural Menzel + The Roots (!) = a perfect and delightful breath of fresh air for parents everywhere who have just about reached their “Frozen” soundtrack threshold. Trust us–after listening to the thing during every single car ride ever, this rendition is like a whole new world. We’re talking of course about the experience–not the “Aladdin” song.

Get ready to smile.

Top five Jewish moments from the 2014 Oscars


The high ratio of Members of the Tribe in Hollywood makes the Academy Awards sort of an inherently Jew-y event. That said, from Holocaust survivors to Semitic songstresses, there were segments from Sunday night’s ceremony that certainly can be counted as overtly Jew-y. Five, to be exact. Check out our highlight reel.

1. By far the most meaningful and emotional moment was when “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” snagged the trophy for best documentary short. The subject, pianist and oldest known Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer, passed away just last week at age 110. Upon accepting the award, director Malcolm Clarke recommended we all watch the film. Herz-Sommer, he said, will “help you live a happier life.”

2. Another tearjerker: The “In Memoriam” segment, listing those lost this year, including Harold RamisSid CaesarPhilip Seymour HoffmanShirley Temple, and James Gandolfini. (Among those missing from the list: Cory Monteith and Dennis Farina). Jewish diva Bette Midler made the whole thing sweeter and sadder with a performance of “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

3. Finally, after the 11 p.m. mark (sorry, sleeping kiddies) “Frozen” star Idina Menzel hit the stage for a soulful, albeit speedy, rendition of the hit song “Let it Go.” Making a bigger splash than the actual performance itself was an introduction from a loopy John Travolta, who mangled the Jewish singer’s name. As expected, this was blood in the water for the Internet sharks, who went full-on mental. Within minutes, Adela Dazeem’s Twitter account was live. “THANK YOU, JORN TROMOLTO!” tweeted the “Tony Award winning star of Wocked.” Dazeem now has almost 13,000  followers.

4. Mazel tov to Spike Jonze (aka Adam Spiegel) on scoring best original screenplay for “Her,” the sci-fi romance starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and the voice of Scarlett Johansson.

5. It’s impossible to talk about the 2014 Academy Awards in any capacity and not mention Matthew McConaughey’s high on life (we hope) Best Actor acceptance speech for “Dallas Buyers Club.” While the Methodist celeb didn’t get Jew-y, he did get spiritual, which sort of counts, right? McConaughey gave a very loud shoutout to God, prompting the Twittersphere to wonder who garnered more applause from the audience: God or Woody Allen, the latter of whom was mentioned all too briefly by Cate Blanchett when she stepped up to grab the Best Actress trophy for “Blue Jasmine.” Good question.

Idina Menzel to perform ‘Let It Go’ at Oscars


Change of plans for all parents hoping to get your kids to bed early on Oscar night: According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Frozen” star Idina Menzel will perform “Let It Go” at the ceremony Sunday, March 2.

“Let It Go” is nominated for best original song, up against “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “The Moon Song” from “Her” and “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2.” Pharrell Williams will take the stage to perform that last one, which means your evening just got even longer.

In the meantime, enjoy this  clip of Menzel talking about her days as a Hebrew school drop out, and singing a bit of her bat mitzvah parshah.

Report: Israel has frozen E. Jerusalem construction


Israel has frozen new Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that building would not stop, according to municipal officials.

The Associated Press cited two Jerusalem city officials in an article released Monday as saying that a de facto freeze had been put in place.

One city councilman told the AP that Jerusalem City Hall officials told him that they had received a verbal order of a construction freeze from the Prime Minister’s Office. Another councilman told the AP that the two committees that review construction plans for the city have met infrequently since last month’s visit by Vice President Joe Biden, during which the announcement of the approval of housing construction in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem caused tension between Netanyahu and the White House.

Meir Margalit, a city councilman from the dovish Meretz Party, told the AP that “The government ordered the Interior Ministry immediately after the Biden incident to not even talk about new construction for Jewish homes in East Jerusalem. It’s not just that building has stopped: The committees that deal with this are not even meeting anymore.”

Projects under construction would be completed, Margalit said.

Another councilman, Meir Turujamen, who sits on the Interior Ministry committee that approves building plans, said the committee, which had been meeting weekly, has not met since the Biden visit.

“I wrote a letter about three weeks or a month ago asking [Interior Minister Eli] Yishai why the committee isn’t convening,” he said. “To this day I haven’t received an answer.”

President Obama reportedly asked Netanyahu to declare a freeze on eastern Jerusalem construction in order to bring the Palestinians back to proximity talks on a peace agreement during their meeting last month at the White House. The Palestinians have said they will not enter new indirect talks with Israel until Jewish construction is halted in eastern Jerusalem.

Netanyahu had rejected an Obama administration call for a total construction freeze in eastern Jerusalem in a message conveyed recently to the White House, according to The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu did agree, however, to undertake confidence-building measures toward the Palestinians, including allowing the opening of Palestinian Authority institutions in eastern Jerusalem, turning over more West Bank land to Palestinian security control and discussing core issues such as permanent borders and the status of Jerusalem during indirect peace talks instead of waiting for direct negotiations.

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