10. ‘House of Cards’ takes on the ADL
(Netflix/JTA Photo Service)
The Anti-Defamation league had some sharp words for “House of Cards,” the Netflix series starring Kevin Spacey. One early plotline satirized the ADL as an over-the-top, paranoid organization, accusing the secretary of state in the show of anti-Semitism when he criticized Israeli settlements. ADL President Abraham Foxman called out the show for “distorting” the ADL’s image, saying he would merely be “sharply critical” in such a case. (Nonetheless, Foxman said, being portrayed in such a high-profile show was “a form of flattery” for the organization.)
9. (SPOILER) ‘Homeland’ season finale features the Mourner’s Kaddish
Season 2 of the hit series “Homeland” featured a uniquely Jewish spin moment in the finale. After a deadly terrorist attack, Saul Berenson, the Jewish character portrayed by Mandy Patinkin, recites the Mourner’s Kaddish in flawless Aramaic. Patinkin said in an interview that the moment was actually improvised. “It wasn’t written in the script, but all of a sudden I thought, ‘What would Saul do?’ I say it all the time myself, this prayer which I learnt as a kid,” he said.
8. FHM crowns Mila Kunis Sexiest Woman in the World
Mila Kunis says she ultimately wants a family over a movie career. (Gage Skidmore/JTA Photo Service)
Mila Kunis, the Ukraine-born Jewish actress, was named the British magazine FHM’s Sexiest Woman in the World for 2013. Jewish women worldwide rejoice.
7. Bar Refaeli kisses a nerdy kid in a Super Bowl commercial
Bar Refaeli, the Israeli supermodel and international sex symbol, made thousands of American dreams come true as she kissed a nerdy kid in a Super Bowl commercial for GoDaddy, a domain-name registering service.
6. Edon Pinchot, a kippah-wearing musical prodigy, reaches the semifinals of ‘America’s Got Talent’
Edon Pinchot, 14, of Skokie, Ill., made it to the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent,” wowing viewers of the NBC reality show with his uncanny mix of Adam Levine and Justin Bieber. This summer, the Orthodox Jewish teen — the fourth of five children — brought his singing talents to Camp Mesorah.
5. Rappers give their Jewish lawyers some love, documented in video supercut
Jewish lawyers apparently have joined the litany of things rappers like to brag about having, in addition to bling, babes and BMWs. In this supercut, compiled by Slacktory, rappers from Killer Mike to Vince Staples salute their Jewish attorneys.
4. Sarah Silverman’s dad lays the smackdown on meddling rabbi
Sarah Silverman talking to Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show,” Oct. 26, 2012. (NBC/JTA Photo Service)
Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt, an Orthodox rabbi, decided to let Sarah Silverman know just what he thought of her career: Mostly that as an unmarried, childless woman, she was wasting her time and neglecting “the most basic desire of the feminine soul.” Naturally the letter infuriated plenty of people — notably Silverman’s dad, Donald, who made it clear just what he thought of Rosenblatt’s aggressively trumpeted Jewish values.
3. Seth MacFarlane makes a not-so-kosher Jewish joke at the Oscars
Using a talking teddy bear, Oscars host Seth MacFarlane irked the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center with a joke about Jews controlling Hollywood. JTA’s Ami Eden has some helpful tips for MacFarlane and other aspiring Oscars hosts.
2. Ginsberg and the Manischewitz account, ‘Mad Men’ (Season 6, Episode 10)
Michael Ginsberg, played by Ben Feldman, is the new Jewish copywriter on the AMC award-winning show “Mad Men.” (Michael Yarish/AMC/JTA Photo Service)
Louis Ginsberg, the hapless, complex Jewish adman played by Ben Feldman, has lots to contend with. Last season saw the revelation of his dark origins — he was born in a concentration camp. In this episode, Ginsberg struggles with anxiety about his profession as he works to create material for the Manischewitz account. “They’re good people, they’re your people,” says new guy Bob, who’s been called in to soothe Ginsberg. “They sell wine for religious people of all faiths.”
1. ‘Princesses: Long Island’
Bravo’s new reality show followed six young Jewish women living at home with their parents as they quest to find the perfect nice Jewish boys to marry. With episode titles like “Shabbocalypse Now,” the show draws heavily on the Princesses’ Jewish roots — including this memorable scene, where Team Manischewitz and Team Verklempt battle it out in a Jewish trivia game. The stakes? Shots of arak imported from Israel.