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Television

Joan Rivers and Jewish Comedy: A Remembrance

“I am not the ideal Jewish woman,” Joan Rivers admits in a comedy act filmed in the Jewish Women’s Archive film, Making Trouble. “I love to take [my audience] to the edge,” she says.  “I love to get them upset . . . And ruin their value system.” Known for her aggressiveness and her “unkosher” bawdy style, in critic Sarah Cohen’s words, Rivers (nee Joan Molinsky), Phi Beta Kappa Barnard graduate and daughter of a Brooklyn Jewish doctor, performed for over forty years. 

Tziporah H. Jochsberger

Having escaped the Holocaust on the strength of her musical talents, Tziporah H. Jochsberger went on to use music to instill Jewish pride in her students.

Frances Horwich

Frances Horwich was loved by parents and children alike for her educational television show, Ding Dong School.

Frieda Barkin Hennock

The first woman ever appointed to the Federal Communications Commission, Frieda Barkin Hennock argued that women had a disproportionate stake in the media and helped establish public broadcasting.

Eydie Gorme

Eydie Gorme’s regular musical appearances on Steve Allen’s Tonight! Show with her husband, Steve Lawrence, launched their joint careers as the duo responsible for hits like 1963’s “Blame It on the Bossa Nova.”

Dorothy Lerner Gordon

Dorothy Lerner Gordon used radio and television to give children access to literature, music, and news of current events.

Jennie Goldstein

Jennie Goldstein won the hearts of her audiences playing tragic roles in Yiddish melodramas, but when tastes changed, she showed her versatility by playing comic roles with equal skill.

The Final Rose, Finally

One of my least favorite things about summer—after bugs, overcrowded parks, and face-sweat—is the serious dearth of decent TV. My TV schedule disappears, and is replaced with an array of below-average reality shows. The only thing I’ve been watching with any regularity is The Bachelorette, a show that alternately bores me, amuses me, and causes me to exclaim to no one in particular, “Oh, come ON!!!!” an average of sixteen times per episode.

Mama Cass Elliot

A folk singer with a gift for turning formerly up-tempo tunes like “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” into unforgettable torch songs, Cass Elliot helped define the sound of her generation as a member of the Mamas and the Papas.

Marcy Syms

Marcy Syms became one of the youngest female presidents of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company when her family’s business, Syms Corp., went public in 1983.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Television." (Viewed on October 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/television>.

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