Blog: For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Jews... Or, Much A-Blog About Nothing...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jews in the Media

Ok folkies, I'll admit that this post is probably not going to rate high on the "interesting" scale, but what can ya do? It's from one of those diary entry thingies that I've been doing for my Religious Studies classes--so there you go. Inspiration for this post came from this site

Emblems and symbols of Judaism seem to be more and more apparent in American television and pop-culture these days. It has been talked about for quite some time that Jews are over-represented in the performing arts--there are only about 6 million Jews in the United States. The new trend, however, is people who are not Jewish playing with dreidels, using Yiddish words as slang, and otherwise displaying bits of Jewish culture without actually identifying as Jewish. The television show, "The Knights of Prosperity" features the cast members in a Judaica shop in Queens--they are Black, Indian, Latina, Italian, and Irish. On "Grey's Anatomy" Sandra Oh plays Dr. Cristina Yang, who identifies as Jewish when helping her castmates through the ritual known as shiva even though she only sees her Jewish stepfather on Yom Kippur and openly admits that she is not religious. Celebrities such as Madonna and Demi Moore sport Kabbalah bracelets and have gotten into Jewish mysticism. Yet there seem to be few characters who are fully Jewish who are able to embrace their heritage and faith in the media. Sure, there are those comedians and actors such as Fran Drescher and Adam Sandler--but even they are portrayed in such a kitschy, over-the-top manner that they are not allowed to be viewed as "normal". What does this say about our culture? Are we just trying to be inclusive--or are we compensating for the overwhelming amount of anti-Semitism all around us?


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