A-List Atonement: How Hollywood Breaks the Yom Kippur Fast
Harvey Weinstein eats kreplach and gets his head rubbed for luck at Ron Perelman's, Gary Newman goes to Gail Berman's, and Gal Gadot tucks into soup.
It was 36 years ago when Gail Berman first hosted a dinner for close friends and family at her Manhattan apartment to observe the conclusion of Yom Kippur's 24-hour fast. Berman, now a veteran Hollywood producer, and her husband, Bill Masters, will be hosting yet another "break fast" on Oct. 12, opening their Pacific Palisades home to 100 friends and family at sundown. Along with Paul Reiser, they're customers of Gary Greengrass, who owned a Barney Greengrass outpost at Barney’s in Beverly Hills for 18 years, and is exporting his New York-style noshes like smoked sturgeon, nova, whitefish salad and bagels. “We do a big mail-order business to machers and studio heads in L.A.,’’ he says. But Gail Berman and Bill Master's house is where Fox TV Group co-chairman and CEO Gary Newman will be. "We have been doing that for about 20 years, since she moved it to L.A.," says Newman. "There are people there whom I see all the time, and there are people whom I see once a year. It's a beautiful event."
Another industry-heavy break fast occurs at Bob Daly and wife Carole Bayer Sager's, where "breakfast at night" is served: omelets, smoked salmon, whitefish and blintzes. Barbara Davis will be there. "Their food is so good," gushes the philanthropist. "They have egg salad, chicken salad, just about everything, and it's really special holiday food — it's the best."
At the Little Holmby home Leslie Siebert shares with husband Steven, the Gersh Agency senior managing partner serves her grandmother Evelyn's noodle kugel. "It's the only thing I know how to cook — everyone loves it," she says. Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh breaks fast at his parents' home in Brentwood, where the new dad (he has a baby boy with wife Jessica) orders in from Beverly Hills' Nate 'n Al Delicatessen. Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot tells THR she breaks her fast with soup.
Entertainment attorney Eric Brooks, a partner at firm Bloom Hergott, opens his Santa Monica home to more than 150 guests including family, friends and neighbors. Anonymous Content manager-producer Alex Goldstone goes there with his husband and son. "I enjoy doing it," Brooks tells THR. "I love getting my friends together from all difference circles, including Hollywood. Everybody looks forward to it."
New Yorkers offer a special take on the term “power breakfast." At his Upper East Side townhouse, billionaire Ron Perelman gathers Harvey Weinstein; Brett Ratner; Ron Delsener, who has promoted concerts for Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie; 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft; and MTV founder and president of entertainment enterprises at iHeart Media John Sykes. "I am so lucky in my life that Ron Perelman invites me to his place, where the food's amazing, the artwork's even better, and his company is best of all," says Weinstein. "I go, [my wife] Georgina goes, and the kids usually go. We love it. He serves every kind of Jewish delicacy known to man. Me? I love kreplach — it reminds me of my grandmother, who we used to go to for break fast. And every time I break fast with Ron, who is superstitious about me, he has to rub his hand against my head like he's rubbing a mezuzah. I keep it nice and fuzzy for him." Ratner says he goes to worship. "[Perelman] has a temple in his complex, so for many years, I pray with him. I finish praying and then go there to break fast," Ratner tells THR, noting that he loves the food at Perelman's event, but he raves about the time he broke fast in Paris with Moroccan-Jewish food. ("The best food I ever had in my life!") "The food is kosher at Ron's house — it's the real deal."
Uber music lawyer Allen Grubman will have a meal at home with his children and grandchildren, catered by Eli Zabar, while David Geffen’s private chef actually spent days studying how to make challah at Zabar’s kosher bakery. Also in NYC, Clive Davis hosts his four children, their spouses and offspring. "We have traditional Jewish food that's been expanded to include veal parmesan and spaghetti," he says. Like Ratner, Don Rickles will pray. "I go to temple," he jokes, "but leave if the service is too long." — Additional reporting by Beth Landman
GLUTEN-FREE? VEGAN? 4 HOLIDAY OPTIONS
By Abigail Stone
264 W. Pico Blvd.; 310-968-9380
A vegan, gluten-free and kosher family-run bakery lauded by Emmy Rossum for its full range of sweet treat and breads, from bagels and challah to babkas and sticky buns.
Locations in Hancock Park, Downtown and Venice
A spread that includes Cafe Gratitude’s aptly named Irresistible (a coconut cream pie), Surrendering (their gluten-free brownie), and one of their seasonally flavored cheesecakes — currently mocha and pumpkin — will have your guests counting the moments until three stars appear in the sky. The plant-based restaurant is a favorite with Kerry Washington, Jake Gyllenhaal, Connie Britton and Olivia Wilde.
8282 Melrose Ave.; 323-782-9245
Drawing plant fans from Paul McCartney to Beyonce is the Jann's Bagel — with vegan lox made from carrots. (Bagels are not gluten-free.)
7564 Sunset Blvd.; 323-851-0700
The delicious vegan fare at this West Hollywood cafe, including gluten-free bagels and cashew cream cheese, draws fans like Alicia Silverstone and Drew Barrymore. Top their vegan, raw cheesecake with fruit for a festive addition to your break fast.
5904 N Figueroa St.; 323-259-9555
Highland Park’s popular GOOP-approved gluten-free vegan cafe can bag their bagels — available in onion and cinnamon raisin — and their cookies to go with advance notice. They also offer cashew cream cheese. Stylist Coliena Rentmeester and fashion designer Jenni Kayne are fans.
2379 Westwood Blvd.; 310-475-5771
Regulars Mel Brooks, Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis enjoy gluten-free bagels, mandelbrodt and rugelach, made fresh daily on-site.
Rising Hearts Bakery
10836 Washington Blvd.; 310-815-1800
Gluten-free, this Culver City spot offers bagels — and bialys. The challah is made from rice, not one of the five grains for Shabbat blessings, so try the oat bread.
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.