• Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS, “both sons of Jewish refugees who instilled them with vigorous work ethics,” have emerged, post-the group’s apparently premature farewell tour in 2000, with an album full of “odes to teamwork.” [Reuters]
• Later this month, Jewish women from around the world will “tackle” Israel’s Negev for a week to compete for the title of Desert Queen; stilettos not recommended. [JPost]
• New York City’s super-hip Soho Synagogue has hired super-hip designer Dror Benshetrit to remodel its new digs. [Mediabistro]
• Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand have both withdrawn themselves from the host committee for liberal Israel lobby J Street’s conference this month. [Politico]
• Playing host to last month’s Limmud conference for Jewish education has reaffirmed the Jewish community in Birobidjan, Russia, which Stalin once proposed as a Jewish homeland, and which also boasts a kosher vodka called “Jewish Happiness.” [JPost]
Hadara Graubart was formerly a writer and editor for Tablet Magazine.