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Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish

By Abigail Pogrebin

Sixty-two of the main entire Jews in the USA converse intimately—most for the 1st time—about how they consider approximately being Jewish. In surprisingly candid interviews performed via former 60 Minutes manufacturer Abigail Pogrebin, celebrities starting from Sarah Jessica Parker to perfect courtroom Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from Larry King to Mike Nichols, exhibit how resonant, the most important or incidental being Jewish is of their lives. The connections they must their Jewish historical past variety from hours in synagogue to bagels and lox; yet everyone speaks to the load and satisfaction in their Jewish heritage, the burdens and pleasures of observance, the moments they’ve felt such a lot Jewish (or not). This publication of shiny, own conversations uncovers how being Jewish suits right into a public existence, and likewise how the author’s evolving non secular id used to be replaced by way of what she heard.

· Dustin Hoffman, Steven Spielberg, Gene Wilder, Joan Rivers, and Leonard Nimoy speak about their startling encounters with anti-Semitism.
· Kenneth Cole, Eliot Spitzer, and Ronald Perelman discover the demanding situations of intermarriage.
· Mike Wallace, Richard Dreyfuss, and Ruth Reichl exhibit attitudes towards Israel that adjust from unquestioning loyalty to advanced ambivalence.
· William Kristol name callings on the proposal that Jewish values are incompatible with Conservative politics.
· Alan Dershowitz, raised Orthodox, talks approximately why he gave up morning prayer.
· Shawn eco-friendly describes the strain that incorporates being baseball’s Jewish star.
· Natalie Portman questions the ostentatious bat mitzvahs of her hometown.
· Tony Kushner explains how being Jewish ready him for being homosexual.
· Leon Wieseltier throws down the gauntlet to Jews who haven’t taken the difficulty to review Judaism.
These are only a couple of key moments from many poignant, frequently fabulous, conversations with public figures whom such a lot people concept we already knew.

“When my mom obtained her nostril task, she sought after me to get one, too. She stated i might be happier.”—Dustin Hoffman

“It’s a history to be pleased with. after which, too, it’s anything that you just can’t get away as the international won’t allow you to; so it’s a superb factor you will be pleased with it.”
—Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“My spouse [Kate Capshaw] selected to do a whole conversion before we have been married in 1991, and he or she married me as a Jew. i believe that, greater than the rest, introduced me again to Judaism.”—Steven Spielberg

“As a person who used to be born in Israel, you’re installed a place of shielding Israel since you know the way a lot is at stake.”—Natalie Portman

“Jewish introspection and Jewish humor is a fashion of surviving . . . if you’re now not good-looking and you’re now not athletic and you’re now not wealthy, there’s nonetheless one final desire with ladies, that's being funny.”—Mike Nichols

“I felt not just this huge, immense satisfaction at being a Jew; I felt this huge, immense void at now not being a better Jew.”—Ronald O. Perelman

“American Jews, like americans, have a really consumerist perspective towards their id: they choose and select the bits of this and they like.”—Leon Wieseltier

“I inspiration if I had immediately hair and an ideal nostril, my complete occupation will be different.”—Sarah Jessica Parker

“I’ve continuously rebelled a bit whilst humans say, ‘My Jewish values lead me to actually care concerning the poor.’ i do know a few Christians who care in regards to the terrible, too.”—William Kristol

“There have been again and again while I stored silent approximately being Jewish as I bought older, while Jewish jokes have been told.”—William Shatner

“‘Jew bastard’ used to be anything I heard a lot.”—Leonard Nimoy.

“I constantly loved shiksas.”—Larry King

“It in particular says within the Torah so you might consume shrimp and bacon in a chinese language restaurant.”—Jason Alexander

“Yom Kippur is whatever I do alone, with not anyone else, simply because i feel that my courting with God is mine and mine only.”—Diane von Furstenberg

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I'd listen her speak about her event whilst i used to be becoming up,” says von Furstenberg now, moving in her black suede pants on her leather-based couch. “It used to be continuously there. yet to me, she might in basic terms discuss the great things: the camaraderie; basically the good stuff. ” I ask von Furstenberg if she had a feeling of being Jewish transforming into up. “Not at all,” she says as she shakes her head firmly. “Because i used to be born too just about the conflict. ” Her element is that survivors like her mom frequently disengaged from Judaism after their terrible event.

I discovered to ski and we've got a kosher home,” Groopman says, taking a look happy. one among his sons is an “Arabist” at Columbia who constructed his curiosity, partially, due to his father’s friendship with Jordanian King Hussein’s nephew, Prince Talal. Groopman handled Talal for melanoma they usually stayed involved. “We’re super close,” Groopman says, gesturing to a photo on his table. “And that’s his spouse, who comes from a truly widespread Lebanese kinfolk; my son stayed on the royal palace with them. they're direct descendants of Muhammad—the Hashemites.

She gestures to a sofa in her sitting region. Ginsburg, usually defined as small and soft-spoken, seems nearly miniaturized in her extensive place of work area, previously occupied by means of the overdue Thurgood Marshall. Dressed all in black—slacks, shirt, stockings, sandals, a scarf draped round her shoulders—she appears like a frail Spanish widow instead of one of many 9 strongest jurists within the land. yet it’s transparent that regardless of her petite body, small voice, and a up to date conflict with colon melanoma, Ginsburg—age seventy after we meet, the second one girl at the bench within the court’s background and its first Jewish member due to the fact Abe Fortas—is ambitious.

Possibly sometime it's going to suggest a bit extra whilst CBS, NBC, or ABC has a Jewish anchor; I don’t comprehend. To the level that i would like to be noticeable as a job version, i would like it to be for a way I’ve lived my lifestyles, and how I’ve performed my paintings. I’ve labored rather challenging, and that i labored opposed to exceptional odds and that i believed in me and what I do and how I do it. And the lesson there's ‘Don’t hand over. ’ There are 1000000 hindrances. and perhaps one in all them is you’re fats and perhaps considered one of them is you’re Jewish and it doesn’t topic: care for it.

Wallace grew to become with reference to a Palestinian named Fayez Sayegh, an erudite Arab student whom he met in 1957 while he interviewed him for evening Beat—Wallace’s first talk-show software. “He opened my eyes to the plight of the Palestinians, to the existence they lived,” Wallace recollects. “I had the chance again then to speak to every kind of individuals and get myself an schooling of types. I nonetheless correspond sometimes along with his widow; he’s been useless for a very long time. ” Wallace says his first journey to Israel used to be emotional.

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