Songwriter Sheppard Solomon Working for a Song

Songwriter Sheppard Solomon won’t be watching the eighth season of American Idol, which is now in full swing – even though the singing contest has gotten him a lot of work. His latest single, “Feels Like Tonight,” performed by American Idol‘s fifth season finalist Chris Daughtry, reached the top of the charts last year, helping American Idol‘s most successful rockster clinch the best band award at the American Music Awards. Solomon has written album tracks for other American Idol winners and finalists: Kelly Clarkson, David Cook and David Archuleta, not to mention artists who made it the “old-fashioned” way, like Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Enrique Iglesias and Paris Hilton. The singing contest bores the Jewish 39-year-old bachelor, and it reflects his growing disillusionment with the mainstream music business. “It’s become more about the wrong things,” he says during an interview at his home in the Hollywood Hills. “That’s why people don’t buy records. They don’t feel attached. It’s not real. It’s more plastic. People like Elton John, Bob Dylan, Sting, Jim Morrison – they were real artists with points of view.” READ MORE IN THE JERUSALEM POST

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Debra Winger explores Jewish/Arab day schools

Students at the Hand in Hand Max Rayne Bilingual School in Jerusalem didn’t know they were meeting a celebrity. They weren’t born when the films “Officer and a Gentleman” and “Terms of Endearment” garnered Debra Winger her Oscar nominations. But Winger’s tour last month to the Hand in Hand Arab-Jewish day schools was not necessarily meant to move the students, but to enrich her own understanding of pathways for Arab and Jewish co-existence. “I’d like to think I’m helping, but in the end, it feels selfish — how much I got out of seeing this and what it did to my heart,” the 53-year-old actress told a group of reporters in the library of the school’s new Jerusalem campus. Raised in a secular Jewish household in Cleveland, Winger volunteered on a kibbutz in 1972 and has maintained her connection ever since. In fact, she was introduced to the bilingual schools following a talk at the Jewish Federation in Florida on the occasion of Israel’s 60th anniversary. Speaking to the federation audience, she recalled a “fight” she had with an Arab American friend that was triggered by the Second Lebanon War, which broke out while Winger served as a judge for the Jerusalem Film Festival. “We couldn’t even talk to each other,” Winger told The Jewish Journal, recounting the episode. “She would forward me e-mails with newspaper articles for me to read, and I would reply, saying could you please replace

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