By Symi Rom-Rymer
With weather in the 90s and a three-day weekend to look forward to, it’s no time for a heavy post. So instead, here’s some fun Jewish TV mind candy:
I thought I’d kick things off with a sketch from the early years, “Jewess Jeans.” A parody of the then-popular Jordache jeans commercial, Rhonda Weiss (played by Gilda Radner) skillfully plays with our notions of what it means to be both Jewish and sexy.
One of my strongest memories of Hebrew School is watching the Bar Mitzvah episode of The Wonder Years. Ever year at some point, our teachers would trot this out as a clean, satire-free look at Jews on TV. Sometimes I wonder if they also wanted to use this episode as warning: if you stray from the fold, you will end up like Kevin’s family, WASPY and bland. But if you stay, you, too, can be part of an eccentric and loving Jewish family, like Paul’s. The choice, of course, was obvious.
Lastly, I can’t end this post without a clip from my current favorite Jewish character on TV, Glee’s Rachel Berry. She may not be the most lovable character, or even the best poster child for Judaism, but she’s got a voice—to steal from Mike Myers—“like buttah.”
Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below.
Symi Rom-Rymer writes and blogs about Jewish and Muslim communities in the US and Europe. She has been published in JTA, The Christian Science Monitor and Jewcy.