Television

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Shari Lewis

Shari Lewis won twelve Emmy awards for her children’s programming which featured puppets on variety shows and children’s shows, including Lamb Chop’s Play-Along.
Tara Metal Eating Pizza

My TV Schedule, My Self

by Tara Metal

Hello, Internet.  My name is Tara, I’m the new Director of Engagement & Social Media at JWA and I’m thrilled to introduce myself! I came to the Jewish Women’s Archive to creatively promote a mission that I strongly believe in—to document Jewish women’s stories, elevate their voices, and inspire them to be agents of change. I’ve been actively writing, posting to Facebook, and tweeting my heart out for the last two weeks—I hope you’ve noticed!—but this is my first JWA blog post. I have big plans for this blog, and I hope to bring you, dear readers, a thoughtful, funny, progressive place to think, share, and converse. Please be in touch—I want to hear from you! And in return, I promise to do my best to keep you entertained and interested while staying true to JWA’s mission.

Topics: Television

Joyce Brothers

Joyce Brothers used her unlikely success as a game show contestant to launch her career as one of the best-known media psychologists in America.

Gertrude Berg

Gertrude Berg was the lead actress and driving force behind The Goldbergs, which successfully made the leap from radio plays to national television and brought a Jewish family into mainstream American homes.

Lynn Sherr

Believing that the stories of strong women needed to be remembered and honored, reporter Lynn Sherr covered women’s issues as a journalist and brought the story of Susan B. Anthony to a new generation.

Peggy Charren

As founder of Action for Children’s Television, Peggy Charren balanced the need for quality children’s programming with a commitment to free speech for broadcasters.
Miriasha Borsykowsky and Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox's Brave New Platform

by  Miriasha Borsykowsky

I consider myself a feminist, and I also strive to combat other axes of oppression in my daily life, but sometimes I fall through. Far too often, I’ll stay quiet when I hear someone make a transphobic comment or a misogynistic remark. Some days I’m really not up to challenging that person, but other times I just let myself believe that it’s not my battle, that it doesn’t matter, that someone else will take care of it.

"Girls" Promotional Image

Jewish "Girls" Privilege and Marginality

by Shayna Goodman

Way back in 2012 when Lena Dunham’s Girls first aired, I admired Dunham’s sincere portrayal of broke young women with artistic ambitions. I could barely watch the show without cringing at its painful accuracies. Since then—since the show’s quick rise in popularity, the magazine photo shoots and Adam Driver’s Gap advertisement, Dunham’s perspective seem more stylized than real. Film and television portrayals of the lives of struggling twenty-somethings feel increasingly less unique and my experiences as a woman of the Girls generation—going to Brooklyn bars in a crop top etc.—feel aspirational and contrived.

Topics: Television
Fran Drescher

What Fran Fine Taught Me About Feminism

by  Miriasha Borsykowsky

I live in Vermont. There are no Jewish day schools here, no Jewish Community Centers, no kosher restaurants. I’ve been the only Jewish kid in class, having to sit and listen as a (non-Jewish) teacher explained that a mensch is someone who just “schleps through life.”

We have a Jewish community here—I am heavily involved with my synagogue and with Vermont’s branch of Young Judaea—but not a Jewish culture.

Then I accidentally found Fran Drescher’s show The Nanny while channel surfing at my Zayde’s cottage, and there it was, a culture I could take with me anywhere, as long as I had Internet or a DVD player.

Topics: Feminism, Television

Lynn Sherr

Anthony's home in Rochester—the centerpiece of this clip—remains a living symbol of the first stirrings of feminism in America.

Gertrude Berg in "Molly" as "Molly Goldberg"

The Goldbergs- Then & Now

by  Jordyn Rozensky

This week marks the anniversary of Gertrude Berg’s television debut as housewife Molly Goldberg. This week also marks the fourth episode of ABC’s new show, The Goldbergs. Interestingly enough: same name, different show—and very different times.  

Because there are few things in the world I like more than TV, I decided to sit down this week and honor Gertrude Berg by diving right into The Goldbergs.

Topics: Television
Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme

Blame It on the Bossa Nova: Remembering Eydie Gorme

by  Stephen Benson

I’ve been listening to Eydie sing today, particularly a standout performance of a song from the 1966 musical Mame.  I dare you to listen to her sing “If He Walked Into My Life” here and not feel the expressive pull, the regret, the heartache as she hits every dramatic emotional nuance of this difficult song.  Not only is she technically right on the money, she nails it with aplomb and finish.  Listen to it, and I guarantee you’ll feel what Steve Lawrence felt about her: “I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing.  While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.” 

Topics: Television, Music

Princesses of Long Island: We React

by  Chanel Dubofsky and Jordyn Rozensky

After the initial episode of Princesses of Long Island aired, I sat down with my friend Chanel Dubofsky  (who, it is worth mentioning, shares a name but none of the traits of one of the stars of the new reality TV show.) We decided to transcribe our conversation, as we attempted to take on and understand the issues behind the show.

Topics: Television
Coe Hall, January 2006

Princesses of Long Island: You Had Me at Shalom (or not)

by  Alexis Gewertz

I just finished watching the first episode of Bravo’s new reality show, “The Princesses of Long Island.” If you haven’t seen it, just think of a prequel to “The Real Housewives of Long Island.” The show focuses on 6 women in their late 20s who all live at home, have varying levels of codependency with their parents and are searching for their own “Prince Charming” while partying it up in Long Island.

Topics: Television
Estelle Getty at the 41st Emmy Awards, September 17, 1989

Estelle Getty: Golden Girl

by Jewesses With Attitude

Do I admire her because she's been described as "... evasive about her height, acknowledging only that she was under 5 feet and under 100 pounds?" Well, all the more points to Estelle Getty for being an itsy-bitsy powerhouse, but mostly I admire her for being a genuinely funny, talented woman, who never gave up on her greatest ambitions. In an industry where youth and beauty are often valued far above maturity and wit, Estelle turned the tables. She found success in her later years, cracked wise about it the whole time, and taught young women like myself a few things along the way.

Dinah Shore at the Miami Book Fair International, 1990

Moments in History: Jewish Entertainers of Television

by Jewesses With Attitude

Earlier this month we promised more from our new series Moments In History, which commemorates game changing Jewish women in entertainment.  Our last entry took a look at women on the silver screen—today we’ll explore memorable moments from the lives of four very different Jewish stars of the smaller screen.

Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters: Profiled by MAKERS

by  Jordyn Rozensky

In this amazing clip from MAKERS, Barbara Walters speaks of breaking not just the glass ceiling—but the steel ceiling. It’s hard to imagine Barbara Walters as anything other than successful and confident.

A 22-year-old’s first TV special: "My Name is Barbra"

April 28, 1965

"No major guest stars, not even any minor ones—just me and a bunch of great songs and some wonderful musicians."

Highclere Castle

Why this Modern Jewish Mother Loves “Downton Abbey”

by  Lauren Mayer

I'm not your old-fashioned Jewish Mother, who shovels guilt on my kids in whose lives I'm over-invested.

National Women's Convention March, November 1977

“Women Who Make America”

by  Ellen K. Rothman

For the past year, I’ve enjoyed paying regular visits to MAKERS.com, a growing online collection of video interviews with an impressive array of women who have made a mark on the last half century of American history.

Birth of “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” author Lillian Roth

December 13, 1910

In an era of celebrity tell-all’s and daily website revelations of almost anyone’s personal life, it’s hard to imagine the impact of the first public confession of a famous figure with a drinking p

Gloria Stern Penner, 1931 - 2012

In the 1970s, I was a vigorous believer that women needed better representation in business and society, and I worked hard to make that happen. I doubt my demeanor resembled the TV-film stereotype of the obedient, dutiful babe in the background.

"Girls"

Make way for "Girls"

by  Kate Bigam

I was really wary of watcing HBO's new female-driven comedy, "Girls." I'd heard a lot of not-great reviews and was afraid it would read like an emo version of "Sex and the City," which I was never fan of to begin with. I don't typically fall for awkward comedies a la "Arrested Development," either, as they tend to make me, well, uncomfortable - perhaps because my life often feels like an awkward comedy, and I like for my TV shows to hit a bit less close to home. Still, I was drawn to "Girls" because Lena Dunham, its writer, creator, and star, is just 25 years old - and, oh, she's also Jewish. It's also produced by funnyman Judd Apatow (also Jewish), who has turned out such comedic greats as "Anchorman," "Bridesmaids," and "Superbad." With a behind-the-scenes cast like that, I knew I had to give "Girls" a try.

Topics: Television
Birth Control

Backing up birth control, and each other

by  Chanel Dubofsky

In an ironic, but perhaps unplanned turn of events, this year's Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action comes the day after the premiere of season 4 of 16 and Pregnant. (And if you think I haven't been waiting for this television event since the end of last season...you would be wrong.)

Lady Grantham in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey's Lady Grantham: Honorary Jewess With Attitude

by  Alan Kravitz

"Is she Jewish?"

It's one of the first questions we Jews ask about anyone in pop culture who even slightly looks like one of the tribe, or has a "berg" or a "witz" as their name's last syllable.

Topics: Television
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