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march / april 2007:

The Jewish Paparazzi

By Laurie Heifetz

Funny, Tisdale doesn't sound Jewish

Screaming, young fans applauded Ashley Tisdale as she created handprints at Planet Hollywood at the release party for her debut CD, Headstrong, featuring the singles, “Be Good to Me” and “He Said She Said.” The 21-year-old singer-actress, who stars in the Disney Channel’s wildly popular High School Musical, is known for being the first female to grace the Billboard 100 chart with two songs simultaneously.

I chatted with her proud mom, Los Angelino and former New Jerseyan, Lisa Morris Tisdale. Did Ashley have a bat mitzvah? “No. She was busy working, unfortunately, on the road. She’s not totally Jewish. She’s half — my husband’s not, so she was raised a little bit of both.” Any Passover plans? “I have no idea,” she laughed. “We’re never home. We’re always traveling. So, we try to do good holidays wherever we are. And, if we’re with my mother and my family, we celebrate it with them.”

Sassy Sarah

Sarah Silverman told me in the green room at her sold-out show at Caroline’s comedy club that she enjoyed football Sundays with her boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel “because all the guys bring their babies. It’s like their wives’ day off kinda ... But, it’s, like, tons of little, one-and-two-year-olds, so I love it. Oo!” It sure sounds like she wants one. Silverman claims, “No, but I love them.”

Is she getting engaged? “No interest in having the government involved in our love,” she replied.

How does she feel being a comedy icon? “Great. I’m just waiting for the equal-and-opposite backlash ‘cause I guess I’m [laughs] negative, but I’m trying to really feel it and let it make me happy.”

The sultry comedian is co-writing a movie script for a romantic comedy with the head writer from her show that “will involve retarded adults.” Is that going to be controversial — the ‘r’ word thing?

“No, I think it’ll be sweet,” she said.

“But they’re truly retarded?” we asked.

She replied, “In a perfect world.”

Like father, like son

At the wild Wizard of Oz-themed Heatherette show during Fashion Week’s Fall 2007 Collection, I met Art Garfunkel’s charming, cute son, James. The lanky 16-year-old revealed, “I haven’t had a bar mitzvah yet, but it’s never too late, and I’m still open to doing one. I’m very proud of my Jewish heritage. My mother’s not Jewish. Well, she’s a Buddhist, actually, but she was raised Christian. I celebrated both the Jewish holidays — all the holidays.”

He’s got strawberry-blond curly hair and green eyes, and is working on an a CD that will probably be out in a year and a half. “I sing, I write, I co-produce, I do it all,” he exclaimed. “I play guitar, and the piano a little bit, but mostly I’m an entertainer, so I do my own stuff.”

No rest for the weary

At the Rock ‘n Roll and Cholent weekend at the West Side Institutional Synagogue, music producer and Orthodox Jew David Fishof, and owner of the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, regaled the crowd with his tales.

Roger Daltry of The Who stopped an Orthodox couple on the Upper West Side one Friday afternoon, asking, “What time is Shabbat over?” They inquired where he was from, he replied London, and they invited him for dinner. He politely declined and thanked them.

The real reason? Fishof had told Daltry that he couldn’t make it to The Who’s Jones Beach concert Saturday night because the Sabbath ended late and he was staying in the Catskills. Daltry promptly called Fishof Friday afternoon, and informed him that it didn’t end that late. Fishof remained in the Catskills, anyway.

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