Television

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Taylor Dayne, 2011

Celebrity Cook-Off's Taylor Dayne wins hearts with matzah ball soup

by  Kate Bigam

I happen to think “Leslie Wunderman” would’ve been a fine stage name, conjuring up images of a sort of Jewish Wonderwoman, but I guess ‘90s pop star Taylor Dayne didn’t agree.

Topics: Television, Food
Debbie Friedman

The Lives They Lived: Jewish women to remember in 2011

by  Leah Berkenwald

“[Debbie Friedman] emphasized the value of every voice and the power of song to help us express ourselves and become our best selves. As she wrote for JWA's online exhibit Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution: 'The more our voices are heard in song, the more we become our lyrics, our prayers, and our convictions.' The woman who wrote the song that asks God to 'help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing' herself modeled for us what that looks like.”—Judith Rosenbaum.
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Gaby Dunn

How Gilda Radner taught me to love my nose

by  Gaby Dunn

I have my mom’s nose.

Patti Stanger of Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker

Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger: Jewess With a Bad Attitude?

by  Kate Bigam

Is there such thing as being a Jewess with too much attitude? Increasingly, it looks like the answer may be yes, and the evidence is in Millionaire Matchmaker star Patti Stanger.

Topics: Television

Raysa Rose Bonow, 1931 - 2011

There are the doers in this world and there are the passive people who live vicariously through the doers. Thinking and learning is doing, because it makes you active and aware of your life

Remembering Kitty Carlisle Hart

by  Alan Kravitz

If ever there was an unofficial Queen of New York City, Kitty Carlisle Hart was it.

Topics: Television, Film

Remembering Shari Lewis

by  Leah Berkenwald

Today in 1998, children's television favorite Shari Lewis, a puppeteer who created the characters Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse, passed away at the age of 64 from cancer. Shari Lewis' tv shows including Shari-Land, The Shari Show, Lamb Chop's Play-Along and The Charlie Horse Music Pizza pioneered the use of participation in educational children's tv programming.

Topics: Television, Children

“Dinah Shore Show” debuts on NBC radio

August 6, 1939

Frances “Fanny” Rose Stein remade herself into Dinah Shore shortly before beginning a career on America’s airwaves with the debut of her variety show

Edna Barrabee Grace, 1914 - 2010

Prominent Boston-area therapist Edna Barrabee Grace enjoyed a long and successful career counseling couples. She helped many save their marriages by teaching them simply to be nice to each other.

Rachel Berry's nose job

by  Leah Berkenwald

Glee might be a poorly written, pandering, and completely infuriating show, but it remains to be the only mainstream TV show today with a lead female character who is open about her Jewish identity. The topic of this week's episode, "Born this Way," was about Jewish women and nose jobs. In the episode, stereotypical Jewish girl Rachel Berry, played by Lea Michele, considers getting a nose job.

Topics: Television

June Salander, 1908 - 2010

June took the opportunity to study Torah with the rabbi and five other women and, at age 89, became the oldest woman in Rutland to celebrate her bat mitzvah.

Rachel Berry from Glee

Why Rachel Berry deserves our compassion

by  Leah Berkenwald

Recently in The Forward, Jay Michaelson compared four characters from “Glee” to the “Four Children” from the Passover seder tradition. What I loved about the piece was Michaelson’s point that for young Jews, Jewish identity is one variable in a multi-variable identity that youth will embrace, when and if they find it meaningful. What bothered me about the piece was the language Michaelson used describing Rachel Berry, the analogous “Wise Child,” as an “irritating control freak” and “intolerable.” It was particularly difficult to read this because, well, I used to be Rachel Berry.

Jasmine Einalhori: The next great kosher chef

by  Kate Bigam

I can’t cook much beyond macaroni and cheese (I’m learning!), but I love a good cooking show. In fact, on nights that aren’t Wednesdays, it’s likely I’ll mention at least once that I wish “Top Chef” were on every evening; I love all iterations of it, including “Just Desserts,” “All-Stars,” and even the subpar “Masters.”

Topics: Television, Food
Glee Cast on GQ Magazine Cover, 2010

Glee's sexy cover as a "teachable moment"

by  Galit Breen

I am such a Gleek. So naturally I was fascinated by the uproar caused by the risque, but let’s just face it crazy-hot, GQ photo shoot that Leah blogged about here.

Topics: Feminism, Television

Gail Dolgin, 1945 - 2010

Gail Dolgin balanced her activism in the cause of social justice with an equally fervent commitment to the life of the spirit and was active in a close and cohesive spiritual community.

Jean Carroll, 1911 - 2010

Jean Carroll was a stand up comedian in the truest, truest essence ... [She] just stood there in front of a microphone and talked. She was what today we would call a monologist... If she was sitting a table with Don Rickles and Jack Benny, she could hold her own.

Rebecca Lipkin, 1960 - 2009

Acclaimed journalist Rebecca Lipkin's colleagues and friends have penned glowing tributes about her storied career, consummate professionalism, and supreme news savvy. But it's obvious that she's equally revered for her warmth, inherent goodness, and sense of fun and adventure.

Estelle Getty, 1923 - 2008

... 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.

Polly Spiegel Cowan, 1913 - 1976

The legacy that my mother left went beyond the immediate family. She was part of a great movement that profoundly changed American society. On a personal level, the legacy of her commitment inspired the succeeding generations of our own family. We, her children and grandchildren, remain committed to the beliefs of prophetic Judaism: to help the poor and the needy and to seek justice.

Kitty Carlisle Hart, 1911 - 2007

Once she became a famous performer, Hart was always aware of which musical theater greats shared her lineage. "Everybody in the theater was Jewish," she declared matter-of-factly. "Except Cole Porter." She only gradually became aware of antisemitism around her. "I went to a dinner party – and in those days, everybody dressed up for dinner parties," she recalled. "And they were talking about the Jews in a way that was just awful. It was unbearable. And I got up in the middle of dinner, and I said, 'I am Jewish, and I won't sit here and listen to this kind of talk for another five minutes.' And I left. The bravest thing I ever did."

Jewish girls of "Glee" gone wild?

by  Leah Berkenwald

Earlier this week, Glee's Diana Agron and Lea Michele were on the cover of GQ with co-star Cory Monteith in what can only be described as a hypersexualized spread.  Diana Agron plays popular cheerleader Quinn Fabray.  Lea Michele plays the know-it-all Jewish girl Rachel Berry. Both actresses are Jewish. (We have blogged about Jewishness on Glee here and here.)

Topics: Television

TLC's Sister Wives: A Closer Look

by  Leah Berkenwald

I returned home from my cousin’s wedding Sunday night, happy and exhausted with barely enough energy to flop onto the couch and turn on the TV. That is how I found myself watching the two new episodes of TLC’s Sister Wives, a reality TV show about a modern polygamous family.

Topics: Television, Marriage

Will America's Next Top Model Be Modern Orthodox?

by  Elizabeth Imber

There has been a lot of talk lately in the Jewish community about a particular contestant on the CW’s reality hit America’s Next Top Model (ANTM). Esther Petrack, an 18-year-old, self-identified Modern Orthodox Jew, is an aspiring model on the show. When asked by Tyra Banks, the show’s host, whether or not she observed Shabbat, Esther said yes and proceeded to explain all that that entailed. But Tyra fired back that contestants on ANTM work on every day of the week. Would Esther be prepared to break the Sabbath in pursuit of her modeling dreams? “Yes, I would do it,” Esther replied.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" -- When Genealogy Meets Reality TV

by  Gwen

After hearing various archivists, historians, and librarians rave or moan about the genealogy TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” I finally got a chance to see it for myself. This show is run by the genealogy database Ancestory.com and takes various celebrities on journeys to discover their roots in an odd blend of reality TV confessionalism and historical inquiry. This is the show that recently helped “Sex and the City’s” Sarah Jessica Parker discover a distant ancestor involved in the Salem Witch Trials.

Topics: Television

Why We Must Boycott "The Biggest Loser" Casting Call for Jews

by  Leah Berkenwald

I just found out that NBC's The Biggest Loser is looking to cast Jews in it's upcoming season. The casting agents will be in Boston July 24 and are even offering a handful of "VIP audition passes" through JewishBoston.com.

Topics: Television
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