Archive for the ‘Angelina Jolie’ Category

Chabad’s Hollywood Cult

June 18, 2008

Angelina Jolie’s father, Jon Voight will be rewarded at a “Noahide” conference next week in Florida:

Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight has been announced as the recipient of the Tzedekah Award from Noahide Nations. The Tzedekah award will be presented for the very first time by Noahide Nations at its first Noahide World Conference being held June 26th – 29th in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

http://www.noahidenations.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=520&Itemid=88888892

This article is from 2001.


Chabad’s ‘Cowboy’

Sue Fishkoff -The Jewish Journal

August 23, 2001

Anyone who’s ever watched the annual Chabad Telethon, to be aired live this Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight on UPN Channel 13, knows that it’s the single most graphic demonstration of this Chassidic group’s ability to rope in big-name Hollywood celebrities.

The show was first broadcast in 1980, when it was co-hosted by Carroll O’Connor and Jan Murray as a fundraiser to replace Chabad headquarters in Westwood after a tragic fire. Since then, a long list of glitterati have shown up each year to sing, dance, tipple a bissle and appeal for funds to help Chabad’s drug rehab center in Los Angeles and other social service projects.

James Caan and Elliot Gould, fixtures from the beginning, have been joined by the likes of Sid Caesar, Bob Hope, Michael Douglas, Whoopi Goldberg, Shelley Winters, Tony Danza, Judd Nelson, Regis Philbin, Steve Allen, Edward James Olmos and Valerie Harper. In 1997, the cast of “Friends” produced a special segment that aired only on the telethon. One-time Chabad fellow traveler Bob Dylan has made four surprise appearances. Former Vice President Al Gore stumped for the cause three times.

In its first year, the telethon netted $1 million. Last year, it topped $6.5 million. The show is so hip, it’s engendered a rash of telethon-watching parties all along the Hollywood circuit as folks gather in living rooms to see who’ll show up next to kick up their heels in a mass hora with Chabad’s West Coast founder and director Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin.

One of the most intriguing figures on the telethon is Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight, a regular for more than a decade. Like many of those who plug the Chabad cause, he’s not Jewish, but what makes his involvement unusual is that it’s so extensive. Not only has he been co-hosting the show for years (along with several other Chabad fundraising events; notably the group’s Israel-based “Children of Chernobyl” effort), but he’s now a friend of the Cunin family. He studies Torah and reads Chassidic literature — having, by his own admission, a bookcase filled with the writings of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson — and he seeks out Chabad centers whenever he’s on location for a new film.

Two years ago, while shooting the NBC miniseries “Noah” in Melbourne, Australia, Voight gave a call to 20-year-old Tzemach, one of Shlomo Cunin’s 13 children, then studying in a local yeshiva, and asked for help in researching the part. Voight acknowledges that the final film was “controversial” (at one point, Voight somehow morphs into Abraham, and pleads with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah), and he says that without the information he gained from studying with the Cunins, it would have been a lot worse. “It may not be accurate biblically, in terms of the story, but I think in the end it was pretty good. There are good little lessons in it. I haven’t said this on television, but it was a battle to try and make it a decent portrait.”

The 62-year-old actor first met Cunin in 1986, as a return favor for a friend who helped Voight hold a press conference for a Hopi leader at Temple Beth El. Cunin invited him down to Chabad’s drug rehab center in Pico-Robertson. “I walked in and saw a lot of weight lifters, real characters,” Voight recalls. “In the back area I see this guy sitting at a table — big beard, with a hat on. He looked like a rabbi. He was in his shirtsleeves, and he was hand-wrestling these guys. They were all lined up and, one after another, he’s putting them down. Then someone told him I was there, so he put on his coat, grabbed me and gave me a hug. I said, ‘this is my kind of guy.'”

Voight’s commitment to the Chabad cause goes way beyond his admiration for Cunin’s arm-wrestling skills. In the mid-1980s, the actor embarked on a period of spiritual seeking. “I made some mistakes in my early life, and had to recover from them,” he admits. Voight was brought up Catholic and has no intention of converting to Judaism. But he says that of all the religions he studies, he has a special fondness for Jewish learning and values. “Judaism is an amazing fountain of information. It’s not the only answer, but I have tremendous regard for it.”

Voight remembers studying the Bible as a boy in Catholic school, and being particularly taken with Genesis and the stories of the Hebrew prophets. “I think the Bible is helpful in that it describes the lives of people who strive and who fail, and who pick themselves up and continue on. All the great prophets had their difficulties, yet they overcame them.”

The star of “Midnight Cowboy,” Best Picture of 1969, and “Coming Home,” for which he took home his own Best Actor award in 1978, Voight is a gentle, soft-spoken man, who is obviously deeply taken with Judaism, Lubavitcher Chassidism and the Cunin family.

“One of the big things about the Jewish religion is that its fruit is the deed. I think that is portrayed perfectly by Chabad, and that’s why I’m with them.”

Voight never met the Lubavitcher Rebbe, whom he calls a “great and extraordinary leader.” But Schneerson sent his thanks to Voight through Cunin, along with a request that the actor speak out on the telethon in support of the seven Noahide commandments. (These are basic laws of human morality, supposedly given to the nations of the world by God at the time of Noah as a precursor to the Ten Commandments.)

Voight did so. “They appeal to my own sense of what I feel is a high purpose, which is to try to get everyone to an understanding of what they’re asked to do, what life’s responsibilities are. These very simple seven laws of Noah are good basics.”

Hollywood could stand some of that message, Voight believes. “We’re given the idea by our culture that if you have enough money, enough cars, enough women, everything’s taken care of. It’s perfectly all right to be as selfish as you want. There couldn’t be a more poisonous message.”

Saying that he’d love to “spend the rest of my life in yeshiva,” Voight says he knows that’s unrealistic. “If we look for truth, we can be in a constant state of exuberance. That’s what I find in Chabad. They create an energy of positive thinking and good cheer, and through that, they’re able to do tremendous good work. Those who scoff at them are simply keeping themselves from that energy, and that’s unfortunate.”

http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/chabads_cowboy_20010824/

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Chabad’s Hollywood Cult

June 18, 2008

Angelina Jolie’s father, Jon Voight will be rewarded at a “Noahide” conference next week in Florida:

Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight has been announced as the recipient of the Tzedekah Award from Noahide Nations. The Tzedekah award will be presented for the very first time by Noahide Nations at its first Noahide World Conference being held June 26th – 29th in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

http://www.noahidenations.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=520&Itemid=88888892

This article is from 2001.


Chabad’s ‘Cowboy’

Sue Fishkoff -The Jewish Journal

August 23, 2001

Anyone who’s ever watched the annual Chabad Telethon, to be aired live this Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight on UPN Channel 13, knows that it’s the single most graphic demonstration of this Chassidic group’s ability to rope in big-name Hollywood celebrities.

The show was first broadcast in 1980, when it was co-hosted by Carroll O’Connor and Jan Murray as a fundraiser to replace Chabad headquarters in Westwood after a tragic fire. Since then, a long list of glitterati have shown up each year to sing, dance, tipple a bissle and appeal for funds to help Chabad’s drug rehab center in Los Angeles and other social service projects.

James Caan and Elliot Gould, fixtures from the beginning, have been joined by the likes of Sid Caesar, Bob Hope, Michael Douglas, Whoopi Goldberg, Shelley Winters, Tony Danza, Judd Nelson, Regis Philbin, Steve Allen, Edward James Olmos and Valerie Harper. In 1997, the cast of “Friends” produced a special segment that aired only on the telethon. One-time Chabad fellow traveler Bob Dylan has made four surprise appearances. Former Vice President Al Gore stumped for the cause three times.

In its first year, the telethon netted $1 million. Last year, it topped $6.5 million. The show is so hip, it’s engendered a rash of telethon-watching parties all along the Hollywood circuit as folks gather in living rooms to see who’ll show up next to kick up their heels in a mass hora with Chabad’s West Coast founder and director Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin.

One of the most intriguing figures on the telethon is Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight, a regular for more than a decade. Like many of those who plug the Chabad cause, he’s not Jewish, but what makes his involvement unusual is that it’s so extensive. Not only has he been co-hosting the show for years (along with several other Chabad fundraising events; notably the group’s Israel-based “Children of Chernobyl” effort), but he’s now a friend of the Cunin family. He studies Torah and reads Chassidic literature — having, by his own admission, a bookcase filled with the writings of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson — and he seeks out Chabad centers whenever he’s on location for a new film.

Two years ago, while shooting the NBC miniseries “Noah” in Melbourne, Australia, Voight gave a call to 20-year-old Tzemach, one of Shlomo Cunin’s 13 children, then studying in a local yeshiva, and asked for help in researching the part. Voight acknowledges that the final film was “controversial” (at one point, Voight somehow morphs into Abraham, and pleads with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah), and he says that without the information he gained from studying with the Cunins, it would have been a lot worse. “It may not be accurate biblically, in terms of the story, but I think in the end it was pretty good. There are good little lessons in it. I haven’t said this on television, but it was a battle to try and make it a decent portrait.”

The 62-year-old actor first met Cunin in 1986, as a return favor for a friend who helped Voight hold a press conference for a Hopi leader at Temple Beth El. Cunin invited him down to Chabad’s drug rehab center in Pico-Robertson. “I walked in and saw a lot of weight lifters, real characters,” Voight recalls. “In the back area I see this guy sitting at a table — big beard, with a hat on. He looked like a rabbi. He was in his shirtsleeves, and he was hand-wrestling these guys. They were all lined up and, one after another, he’s putting them down. Then someone told him I was there, so he put on his coat, grabbed me and gave me a hug. I said, ‘this is my kind of guy.'”

Voight’s commitment to the Chabad cause goes way beyond his admiration for Cunin’s arm-wrestling skills. In the mid-1980s, the actor embarked on a period of spiritual seeking. “I made some mistakes in my early life, and had to recover from them,” he admits. Voight was brought up Catholic and has no intention of converting to Judaism. But he says that of all the religions he studies, he has a special fondness for Jewish learning and values. “Judaism is an amazing fountain of information. It’s not the only answer, but I have tremendous regard for it.”

Voight remembers studying the Bible as a boy in Catholic school, and being particularly taken with Genesis and the stories of the Hebrew prophets. “I think the Bible is helpful in that it describes the lives of people who strive and who fail, and who pick themselves up and continue on. All the great prophets had their difficulties, yet they overcame them.”

The star of “Midnight Cowboy,” Best Picture of 1969, and “Coming Home,” for which he took home his own Best Actor award in 1978, Voight is a gentle, soft-spoken man, who is obviously deeply taken with Judaism, Lubavitcher Chassidism and the Cunin family.

“One of the big things about the Jewish religion is that its fruit is the deed. I think that is portrayed perfectly by Chabad, and that’s why I’m with them.”

Voight never met the Lubavitcher Rebbe, whom he calls a “great and extraordinary leader.” But Schneerson sent his thanks to Voight through Cunin, along with a request that the actor speak out on the telethon in support of the seven Noahide commandments. (These are basic laws of human morality, supposedly given to the nations of the world by God at the time of Noah as a precursor to the Ten Commandments.)

Voight did so. “They appeal to my own sense of what I feel is a high purpose, which is to try to get everyone to an understanding of what they’re asked to do, what life’s responsibilities are. These very simple seven laws of Noah are good basics.”

Hollywood could stand some of that message, Voight believes. “We’re given the idea by our culture that if you have enough money, enough cars, enough women, everything’s taken care of. It’s perfectly all right to be as selfish as you want. There couldn’t be a more poisonous message.”

Saying that he’d love to “spend the rest of my life in yeshiva,” Voight says he knows that’s unrealistic. “If we look for truth, we can be in a constant state of exuberance. That’s what I find in Chabad. They create an energy of positive thinking and good cheer, and through that, they’re able to do tremendous good work. Those who scoff at them are simply keeping themselves from that energy, and that’s unfortunate.”

http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/chabads_cowboy_20010824/

Alisa Rosenbaum (stage name: Ayn Rand)’s "Philosophy" for the Dumb Goyim Gets a Boost

October 10, 2007

Atlas Shrugs Again

Marc E. Babej and Tim Pollak 09.28.07, 6:00 AM ET

… The autobiography of former Rand acolyte Alan Greenspan, in which he credits her for his development, just got published with big fanfare. In recent weeks, both The New York Times and The L.A. Times have run articles about her work. Atlas Shrugged has been featured prominently in a recent episode of AMC’s hit series Mad Men. A movie version of the book, starring Angelina Jolie in the main role, is slated for release next year.

Meanwhile, sales of Ayn Rand titles have tripled since the early 1990s–in fact, more are being sold now than at any time in history. Atlas Shrugged sales on Amazon in the first nine months of this year are already almost double the total for 2006. As of this writing, Atlas ranks 124th on Amazon’s sales charts. Compare that to The Da Vinci Code at 2,587.

Objectivism is also making inroads in education and academia. Under the leadership of Executive Director Yaron Brook, the Ayn Rand Institute budget has more than tripled since 2000, to over $7 million. Thanks in large part to book donations by ARI, next school year more than a million kids will be reading Ayn Rand in high school.

Rand, an ardent advocate of rational egoism and capitalism, might have been the bane of academics in her lifetime, but now objectivism is taught at more than 30 universities, with fellowships at several leading philosophy departments. Next year, ARI plans to enter the Washington, D.C., think tank world with a center devoted to the advocacy of individual freedom and capitalism …

http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2007/09/27/unsolicited-advice-aynrand-oped_meb_0928unsolicited.html

Angelina Jolie to Star in Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’
September 22, 2006

Angelina Jolie will star in the movie adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, the ambitious 1,100-page novel by Russian-born [Judaic] American writer and philosopher Ayn Rand [Alisa Rosenbaum], Variety reported yesterday.

Rand, who also wrote the novels Anthem and The Fountainhead , which was made into a movie in 1949, was also known for her Objectivist philosophies, which she developed and included in many of her books, including Atlas Shrugged.

According to the website for the Ayn Rand Institute, the basis of Objectivism is “Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.” “The Collective” was a group of close confidants, students, and proponents of Rand and Objectivism. Members of The Collective established the Ayn Rand Institute and continue to spread Objectivism, the way Rand did in the ‘60s and ‘70s with her own monthly magazine, The Objectivist, in which she published essays about her beliefs.

http://www.thebookstandard.com/bookstandard/news/hollywood/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003155760

Alisa Rosenbaum (stage name: Ayn Rand)’s "Philosophy" for the Dumb Goyim Gets a Boost

October 10, 2007

Atlas Shrugs Again

Marc E. Babej and Tim Pollak 09.28.07, 6:00 AM ET

… The autobiography of former Rand acolyte Alan Greenspan, in which he credits her for his development, just got published with big fanfare. In recent weeks, both The New York Times and The L.A. Times have run articles about her work. Atlas Shrugged has been featured prominently in a recent episode of AMC’s hit series Mad Men. A movie version of the book, starring Angelina Jolie in the main role, is slated for release next year.

Meanwhile, sales of Ayn Rand titles have tripled since the early 1990s–in fact, more are being sold now than at any time in history. Atlas Shrugged sales on Amazon in the first nine months of this year are already almost double the total for 2006. As of this writing, Atlas ranks 124th on Amazon’s sales charts. Compare that to The Da Vinci Code at 2,587.

Objectivism is also making inroads in education and academia. Under the leadership of Executive Director Yaron Brook, the Ayn Rand Institute budget has more than tripled since 2000, to over $7 million. Thanks in large part to book donations by ARI, next school year more than a million kids will be reading Ayn Rand in high school.

Rand, an ardent advocate of rational egoism and capitalism, might have been the bane of academics in her lifetime, but now objectivism is taught at more than 30 universities, with fellowships at several leading philosophy departments. Next year, ARI plans to enter the Washington, D.C., think tank world with a center devoted to the advocacy of individual freedom and capitalism …

http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2007/09/27/unsolicited-advice-aynrand-oped_meb_0928unsolicited.html

Angelina Jolie to Star in Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’
September 22, 2006

Angelina Jolie will star in the movie adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, the ambitious 1,100-page novel by Russian-born [Judaic] American writer and philosopher Ayn Rand [Alisa Rosenbaum], Variety reported yesterday.

Rand, who also wrote the novels Anthem and The Fountainhead , which was made into a movie in 1949, was also known for her Objectivist philosophies, which she developed and included in many of her books, including Atlas Shrugged.

According to the website for the Ayn Rand Institute, the basis of Objectivism is “Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.” “The Collective” was a group of close confidants, students, and proponents of Rand and Objectivism. Members of The Collective established the Ayn Rand Institute and continue to spread Objectivism, the way Rand did in the ‘60s and ‘70s with her own monthly magazine, The Objectivist, in which she published essays about her beliefs.

http://www.thebookstandard.com/bookstandard/news/hollywood/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003155760