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.

Film fest selection returns to the big screen

Originally released in July 2013 in Israel, Hunting Elephants made the Toronto Jewish Film Festival's roster of must-see films. Nearly two years to the day after its initial showing, the film returns this Friday to three Rainbow Cinema theatres in Greater Toronto Area.

The film centres around Jonathan, a boy genius with severe social problems. After losing his father in a traumatic event, his mother leaves him at his grandfather nursing home and he's forced to reconnect with the bitter old man, who never sought to stay in touch. While there, Jonathan meets a host of eccentric figures, including his grandfather's friend Nick and past Lehi underground members who used to rob banks for their country during the British occupation.

From acclaimed writer and director Reshef Levi, the mad-capped caper climax is about a plan to rob the bank Jonathan's late father worked for. It co-stars Patrick Stewart, known for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation who was last seen in last summer's blockbuster X-Men Days of Future Past as Prof. Charles Xavier. In Hunting Elephants, Stewart  portrays Jonathan's uncle as a near-caricature of himself, an Englishman and frustrated Shakespearean actor trying to get his hands on his sister's inheritance.

Call it Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with an Israeli twist.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

‘Little Israel’ in the happiest place on Earth?

Don't get your hopes up folks, this is just a joke, but how good would it be if this news were true from the House of Mouse?

I don't know about you, but if Disney World in Orlando, Fla., carved out some land to represent the Jewish state, I would make aliyah to "Little Israel" tomorrow.

Here's an excerpt of an article written by Rube Silverhill and posted today by The Israeli Daily:

The Happiest Place On Earth just got a little happier, as Disney announced the opening of Little Israel at Epcot Center this past weekend. The multinational corporation has carved out some land to represent the Jewish State, providing authentic cultural experiences all staffed by out-of-your-league chicks rocking casually slung assault rifles.

As Epcot is known for showcasing technological innovations from around the world, Little Israel features the Iron Dome Missile Defense system. Sirens playing “It’s A Small World After All” air every 15 minutes, luring tourists into bomb shelter-themed gift shops. Meanwhile, colorful fireworks displays are sent up to destroy candy-filled projectiles sent from Little Gaza (which can’t be made any smaller and thus will be its actual size). ‘Cast members’ in the Little Tel Aviv section appear unaffected by the sirens, and continue going about their day relaxing on the beach and eating at outdoor cafes.

To read the article in its entirety,  click here.