How Debbie Reynolds Became Carrie Fisher’s Perfect Jewish Mother

Posted on January 8th, 2017
Benjamin Ivry for The Jewish Daily Forward

The witty, multitalented performer Debbie Reynolds, who died on December 28 at age 84, just a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher, surprisingly found herself associated with Judaism both on screen and off.

From celebrity notoriety as the decidedly non-Jewish spouse of Jewish singer Eddie Fisher, Reynolds survived her marriage’s breakup and went on to be cast onscreen as Jewish or crypto-Jewish mothers in later life. TV viewers relished her appearances in the hit comedy “Will & Grace” as Bobbi Adler, Grace’s mother, a frustrated singer and actress who interferes with her children’s personal lives, to the dismay of her husband Martin Adler, played by Alan Arkin. Joyce Antler’s “You Never Call! You Never Write!: A History of the Jewish Mother” classes Bobbi Adler as a “stern-faced, nagging, guilt-tripping caricature” alongside Jewish mothers on such sitcoms as “The Nanny,” “Seinfeld,” and “Suddenly Susan.” Yet unlike these characters, Bobbi Adler as incarnated by Reynolds benefited from the actress’ exuberant glee, charm, and good looks, even when acting out naughtily.

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The Jewish Starlets of India’s “Bollywood” Cinema

Posted on January 1st, 2017
BY ABBY SHER for Jewniverse

The Jewesses of Bollywood were small but mighty.

Bollywood – a term often used to describe India’s film industry – produces a thousand films annually that are viewed by 3 billion people worldwide. What many of those viewers don’t know is that Jewish women essentially birthed this rich art.

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8 Jews To Watch Out for at the Golden Globes This Year

Posted on December 25th, 2016
By Thea Glassman for The Jewish Daily Forward

Nominations rolled in Monday morning for the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and there’s plenty for us to get excited about.

From “Transparent” to Natalie Portman, we rounded up all of the Jew-iest shows and Jewish actors to get a nod this year.

The award show, hosted by comedian Jimmy Fallon, will air live Sunday, January 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. PST and 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST.

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Rembrandt And The Jews

Posted on December 18th, 2016
Diane Cole for The Jewish Week

It’s a myth that won’t go away that Rembrandt was Jewish. (His mother was Catholic; his father Protestant.)   But is there a Christian artist whose renderings of Biblical scenes speak more deeply to the Jewish soul?

No argument there, judging from the overflow crowd that piled into the auditorium of New York’s Yeshiva University Museum on a recent Sunday to hear an all-star line-up of scholars and intellectuals discuss the enduring connections between Rembrandt and the Jews. The symposium, which featured Simon Schama and Leon Wieseltier among others, was co-sponsored by the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought of University and by the Yeshiva University Museum. The Straus Center’s director Meir Soloveichik and the museum’s director, Jacob Wisse, moderated the day’s events.      

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Meet 7 Orthodox Comics Who Are Making Comedy Kosher Again

Posted on December 11th, 2016
Simi Horwitz for The Jewish Daily Forward

Comedy isn’t kosher. Jewish law forbids Jews from voicing mockery, criticism and just plain negativity —precisely those elements that are part of almost all comic routines. But that’s just for starters. Ultra-Orthodox comics face a range of rules: no foul language, double entendres, or risqué allusions. If they’re performing for seriously Orthodox audiences, all comments about women (including wives and mothers) should be brief or cut altogether. Scandalous and even nonscandalous pop-culture references are out. And then there’s that pesky lashon hara, derogatory speech that is also forbidden.

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