Weekly Quiz

The Oscars

What is Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Patricia Arquettes Jewish connection?

AHer paternal grandfather Cliff Arquette (also known as Charley Weaver) was Christian, her father was Muslim, and her mother was Jewish. She and her four siblings (all actors) were raised with no religion. She is the only one who now considers herself Jewish. Her sister Rosanna is Catholic, her brother Richmond is Muslim, her sister Alexis is Protestant, and her brother David is Buddhist.

B. Arquette, who is Jewish, had her first performing role as Queen Esther in a Hebrew School Purim Shpiel at the Chicago Sinai Congregation. Though only 11 years old at the time, she told her parents that she knew acting was what she wanted to do with her life. She even refused her parents offer to get her braces because she said that her crooked teeth would help her with character acting.

CBoyhood, in which Arquette starred, was filmed over 12 years, with the cast and crew working together for a couple of weeks annually. In year thirteen, sad that there was no plan to film again, Arquette (who is Jewish and had never had a bat mitzvah) decided that it would be fun to bring everyone together again, so she invited all involved to a “Boyhood Bat Mitzvah” celebration. She read a haftorah, gave a speech comparing her movie son Mason to the Biblical Isaac (each had issues with his father), and led everyone in the hora.

DHer father (who was Muslim) and her mother (who was Jewish) sent her to a Catholic school, where a teacher told her she couldn't take communion because “your mother is Jewish and she’s going to hell.” Arquette replied, “I think your Jesus and my Jesus are different.”

EWhen Arquette was 6 years old, she appeared on Hollywood Squares, sitting in the lap of her grandfather Charley Weaver (Cliff Arquette), who was the regular occupant of the shows bottom left square. When host Peter Marshall asked her, “Is this the most exciting event you've ever been to?” Patricia replied, “No, I had more fun at my brother David’s bris.”

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Brian Williams

Which of the following Brian Williams stories is true (unless, of course, it turns out not to be)?

AIn 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, Williams was reporting from Gaza when an Israeli airstrike destroyed a house a few hundred yards from where Williams was standing. Said Williams on the Nightly News broadcast, “We were close enough that we could feel the impact of the rocket as it landed, and the resulting smoke and dust from the building collapse caused us to retreat to our vehicle. It was a very frightening moment.”

B. In 2013, Williams appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, where he spoke of reporting from Israel during Operation Desert Shield, the first Gulf War in Iraq, in 1990. “This was my first war assignment for NBC News. I was stationed in Tel Aviv, far from the fighting, with no expectation of trouble (and not looking for any). I was simply interviewing Israelis on the street about the war that was happening ‘down the block.’ Suddenly there was a siren, and everyone ran to the nearest bomb shelter. As Saddam Hussein's scud missiles rained down on Tel Aviv, I thought to myself–and Dave, this is the gods honest truth–I remember thinking ‘Toto, Ive a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.’ ”

C. In 2006, Williams was flying in an Israeli military helicopter over northern Israel when, as Williams said, “There were Katyusha rockets passing just underneath the helicopter I was riding in,” leading Williams to say to a general who was on the same helicopter, “It wouldn’t take much for them to adjust the aim and try to do a ring toss right through our open doors, would it?”

DWilliams was the speaker at the UJA-Federation of New York's 2013 Annual Campaign event which raised $45 million. Said Williams, “Growing up in Middletown, New Jersey, my parents taught me that there was nothing more important than helping others, which led to my becoming a volunteer firefighter for the Middletown Fire Department during my high school years. With all that I’ve done in my career, nothing has meant more to me than being a part of that organization, with its brave and dedicated group of men and women. I believe that this is this same feeling which drives the thousands of volunteers and professionals of UJA-Federation and I am proud to stand before you tonight in that spirit.”

ESpeaking at the annual Network Affiliates meeting in 2012, Williams said, “Ive had many amazing experiences in my life, from inspiring Elvis Presleys dancing, to meeting President Kennedy (Im still embarrassed about having to pee). From fighting in Viet Nam and saving Lieutenant Dan’s life, to meeting John Lennon on the Dick Cavett show, to starting the Bubba Williams Shrimp Company. But Im most proud of the time when I got a felafel with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin and convinced them to sign that peace deal.”

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Grammys-2015

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, a Grammy nominee for this year's Best New Artist, has what Jewish connection?

A. Israeli horticulturists at the University of Haifa have developed a breed of azalea which is resistant to petal blight, a common plant disease. They have named this new breed the Iggy Azalea, as the lead scientist is originally from Iggy Azalea’s home town of Perth, Australia.

B. In 2010, Iggy participated in the Sar-El Australia program, where young people travel to Israel as volunteers on kibbutzim, army bases, and hospitals. Iggy spent three months working on a kibbutz near Ashdod.

C. Iggy was discovered by Jewish rapper Matisyahu, who was performing in her hometown of Mullumbimby in New South Wales, Australia. After hearing her perform in a local club, he invited her to join him on his tour and introduced her to audiences in Israel, the United States, and around the world.

DThough she is not Jewish, her grandfather was a Sephardic Jew who emigrated from Greece to Australia at the start of World War II. His name was Yechiel "Yechi" Azaria, from which she derived her stage name of Iggy Azalea.

EIn 2014 Iggy was performing at a private bar mitzvah party in Beverly Hills when her pants split while she was twerking, providing an unexpected show for the guests.

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Patriots

Robert Kraft, owner of the Super Bowl winning New England Patriots (and who is Jewish) was the Columbia University graduation speaker in 2005. What was the focus of his talk?

AThe Four Is – Integrity, Intelligence, Initiative, and Imagination.

B. The Four Fs – Family, Faith, Philanthropy, and Football.

C. The Four Cs – Cooperation, Compassion, Charity, and Courage.

DThe Four Ps – Prayer, Philanthropy, Patriotism, and Phootball.

EThe Four As – Achievement, Ambition, Accountability, and Air Pressure.

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