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6 Degrees (no Bacon): Jewish celebrity roundup


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Lena Dunham at the 2014 SXSW Festival.

Dunham on Woody Allen

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (JTA)-Comedian Marc Maron is incredibly skilled at getting famous people to move past surface PR stuff and engage in organic, in-depth conversations. His "funny, brainy romp" with Lena Dunham on Monday's edition of his WTF podcast is a perfect example of this. The creator and star of "Girls" chatted with Maron about being raised in the art world, feminism, Oberlin College (her alma mater) and criticism of "Girls."

But let's get to the important stuff. Here, the Jew-ish highlights.

On growing up amongst observant Jews in Soho: "I lived in a community that was only Hasidic people and artists," Dunham says, clarifying that the Hasids did not actually live in her neighborhood, but owned businesses there. "I think I didn't understand that it was a religious preference-I thought it was some peoples' style. I thought, some people dress like punks, some people like to wear big hats and grow beards and tendrils from their heads. I don't think I understood it signified anything."

On Woody Allen: "In the latest Woody Allen debate I am decidedly pro-Dylan Farrow and decidedly disgusted with Woody Allen's behavior. But for me, when people go through his work and comb through it for evidence of child molestation, that's not the point," says Dunham, who has been very vocal on Twitter about the importance of victims of sexual abuse speaking out. "I'm not comfortable living in a world where art is how we convict people of crimes."

On Philip Roth: Dunham thinks Roth is a better artistic hero than Woody Allen, despite his treatment of women (they're adults, and if they've read his work they've been warned, she tells Maron, which basically totally contradicts her "you can't judge an artist by their art" point, but we'll let this one slide). That said, she does feel a bit conflicted about liking him so much. "Being a feminist obsessed with Philip Roth is not the most clean-cut position, but his life's work, his legacy, the whole thing is all super compelling to me."

Jemima Kirke does Shabbat with 'super-Jew' husband

Jemima Kirke is just like us-if only we were cooler and more bohemian, occupied an entire Brooklyn brownstone and tattooed our Shabbat guests.

In the March 10 issue of New York Magazine, the "Girls" star gives us a peek into her life, which includes making art, being a mom, getting groped by her cute, "high-end" rehab-building husband Michael Mosberg, and-yes-challah.

"We do Shabbat sometimes. Mike went to Yeshiva law school. He's super-Jew and super-corporate. That's why I was so attracted to him when I met him: the contradiction," says the actress, whose mother is of Israeli and Iraqi descent.

The next shot features Mosberg in a yarmulke, and in the one after that Kirke is administering that after-dinner tattoo, which is obviously the hipster version of Birkat Hamazon.

Beyonce to play Israel?

The upcoming Israeli summer might just be getting even hotter.

According to a Sunday report on Israel's Channel 2 news, Beyonce will be stopping over for a gig at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park on June 15.

The thing is, the date does not appear on Beyoncé's website. Plus, as Israeli fans may remember, a 2009 rumor that the pop star would visit never panned out.

If this thing really happens, Mrs. Carter will join a long list of big-name performers to visit Israel this summer, including Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Justin Timberlake.

Seth Rogen dishes on weed-smoking celebs

We just can't stop talking about Seth Rogen lately! Sorry if you've had enough, but this clip from Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" is just too Jew-packed to resist.

Last week the show's host Andy Cohen got Rogen to play a round of "Spill the Herbal Tea," in which the writer, actor and Alzheimer's advocate was asked to admit which celebs he'd "blazed up with." Check out the startling results.

James Franco: "It's depressing for me to say but I've never smoked weed with James Franco, because he doesn't smoke weed!"

Paul Rudd: Yes, lots of times.

Sarah Silverman: Ditto.

Snoop Dogg: Naturally.

Barbra Streisand: "No, but we talked a lot about it a lot." That said, Rogen did reveal that the diva has smoked with Peter Sellers.

Jonah Hill: Yep.

Willie Nelson: No, but believe it or not, Cohen has. Mazel!

Bill Maher: Jay Leno is like Israel

Jay Leno's induction to the TV Hall of Fame on Tuesday was preceded by a spirited and vaguely controversial introduction from Bill Maher, who compared the former "Tonight Show" host to a small Middle Eastern country some of you may have heard of.

"Jay reminds me a little of Israel," Maher said of Leno. "He isn't perfect, but he's held to a standard I don't think anybody in the world is expected to live up to but him."

Maher also addressed the accusations that Leno had "stolen" Conan O'Brien's dream by taking back the reins of the "Tonight Show" from O'Brien after a ratings drop. Despite the obvious Middle East conflict/Late Night War parallel, the host of HBO's "Real Time" opted for a different analogy on this topic, pointing out that this was like saying Tom Cruise had robbed Maher of the lead role in "Top Gun."

J-Tweet of the Week: Roseanne Barr might move to Israel

Comedian Roseanne Barr revealed via Twitter on Wednesday she is interested in making aliyah.

Here's what went down: Barr, who currently lives on a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii with her fourth non-Jewish husband, responded to a Times of Israel story about the aliyah organization Nefesh B'Nefesh with this tweet: "aliyah 2014"

Next, Nefesh B'Nefesh chimed in. "@TheRealRoseanne Hey Roseanne, are you interested in making Aliyah? We can help!"

She responded: "yes-I am. thank u-dm me"

Then, according to The Times of Israel, the two parties actually did chat via direct message.

The star of the hit sitcom "Roseanne" and 2012 presidential nominee was raised by Jewish parents in Salt Lake City. While she was influenced by her Orthodox Jewish grandmother, her parents kept their religion secret from neighbors and had connections to the Mormon church. For more details on her truly fascinating, stranger-than-fiction life (alleged incest, brain injury, adoption, and more) check out Barr's autobiography.

It has just been reported that Barr is being sued by the parents of George Zimmerman for tweeting their address, which could possibly help to put this whole aliyah thing into perspective.

Meet the new (Jewish) Bachelorette

"The Bachelor" came to a disappointing close Monday, with leading man Juan Pablo Galavis not proposing. Luckily, something good did come out of the show's 18th season: The selection of the next "Bachelorette."

Andi Dorfman, a 26-year-old Jewish assistant district attorney from Atlanta, won hearts and headlines when she eliminated herself from the show after having it out with Juan Pablo, who, it seems, is a tad self-absorbed.

"I've never been with anyone who's asked me so little about myself," Dorfman said of the man who she pointed out didn't even know what religion she practices.

Andi wasn't the only one leery of Juan Pablo-her dad Hy didn't love him, either. He expressed doubts on air, and online.

We have confidence Andi will find love-and someone Hy approves of-on what will be the 10th season of "The Bachelorette." In fact, we can hear the glass breaking already.

For the latest Jewish celebrity news, visit JTA's 6 Degrees (no Bacon) blog.


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