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casting feature

How To Cast Jewish

Here we try to provide some helpful guidelines on how to cast Jewish. As the debate on who can and who can’t play a Jewish role continues to rumble on, as provoked by our self-appointed spokespeople like David Baddiel and Maureen Lipman. But what is “Jewish” and how do we define it? We have decided […]

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Seinfeld Yomi: The Contest

Jarrod Tanny shares another of his daily Talmudic discussions of the sitcom Seinfeld. “THE CONTEST”, s4e9, first aired on November 18, 1992. GEMARAH:  Fellow Sages, let’s get started, said Rav Huna convening the meeting. The reason I sent out an advanced notice to prepare for our shiur is because our subject for today, “The Contest,” […]

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On “Jewface”

Daniel Livingstone criticizes the current complaining over so-called Jewface. It almost pains me to engage with a debate as silly as this, but folk are having a right broigus over “Jewface”. Arguing about non-Jewish actors playing Jewish parts and questioning why people don’t react the same as for, say, “Yellowface”, where a non-Asian actor takes […]

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Ridley Road

Joseph Finlay reviews the history and politics of Ridley Road and prays there is not a second series. Before September 2021 I didn’t know I needed a BBC drama about British Jews fighting fascists in 1960s London. And having seen all four parts of Ridley Road — I’m still not sure I do. As a […]

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Challenging TV Stereotypes

Barbara Borts discusses Jews on recent television. We are the stars of this past couple of weeks. Everywhere you look, there we are. There is Ridley Road, Paris Police 1900, Scenes from a Marriage, and, on Shabbat past, Yentl. There was even more, but let’s stop there. Ridley Road and Paris Police 1900 concern themselves […]

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The Jewish Kardashians

Sue Fox stays up late binge-watching Netflix’s latest Jewish reality show. It’s too hot to sleep. There are things I could do at 2.00 am like ironing, reading, listening to Proust on Audible, learning a new language or writing a chapter of the book I’ve been working on forever. Nothing appealed quite as much as the seven (or […]

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‘Shalom, Jackie’: The end of ‘Friday Night Dinner’

Sue Vice laments the end of an era. As confirmed by Channel Four’s anniversary documentary, Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years and a Lovely Bit of Squirrel, broadcast on, fittingly, Friday 28 May 2021, the series has now finished. There will be no more weekly visits by twenty-something Adam and Jonny to the suburban Jewish home […]

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New Trek is Jew-Trek

First airing in 1966, Star Trek was always heavily influenced by Jews and Jewish thought but now it’s Jewier than ever. Famously Kirk, Spock and Chekov were all played by Jews (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Walter Keonig). Some of the writers who worked on the original series such as the noted sci-fi authors Harlan Ellison (City […]

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Britain’s Small Screen Jewish Gangsters

Contining with our series on Jews and Crime, Nathan Abrams explores British Jewish gangsters and criminals on the small screen. The image of the British Jewish gangster isn’t an obvious one but we’ve had two significant crime families on British television in recent years. McMafia (BBC, 2018) was an eight-part British crime drama television series […]

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The Party Started Three Decades Ago

Nathan Abrams responds to an article in The Guardian about British Jewry’s alleged awakening from its timidity. Hadley Freeman’s assertation that ‘British Jews have always been self-effacing, but we’re starting to show our chutzpah’ overstates the point. Freeman is right that Corbyn’s tenure as leader of the Labour Party has obscured that fact but British […]

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