I had to leave teaching. I couldn't handle the money and prestige.
Emmy® Award-winning and Golden Globe® nominated writer, actress and comedian
How did you come to do what you do?
I always wanted to be a teacher and I eventually became a high school English teacher in Chicago. While there, I studies improv with Second City, and realized I really loved it. I then moved to San Francisco and did improv with some big names and really fell in love with the craft. I was ready for a big change at that point in my life and it was calling me. As I say in the show 'I had to leave teaching. I couldn’t handle the money and prestige.'
What's your favorite Jewish holiday or tradition?
Passover: because perseverance is really the essence of this holiday and of being Jewish. There is this joke, you know, they tried to kill us and we survived.
What's your favorite Jewish food?
Chopped liver! I wasn't kidding in the show. My son still hates it to this day.
What's your earliest memory of being Jewish?
My aunt and uncle lived in our building. My earliest memories of being Jewish are celebrating Shabbat with them. When I asked my mom why we don't celebrate Shabbat she would say 'would you rather cook for 9 hours or take an elevator?'
How do you incorporate judaism into your daily life?
I always considered myself Jew-ish, but when I adopted my son Jake, it was important for me to raise him Jewish. We joined a temple, he went to religious school, and had a Bar Mitzvah.
We celebrate the holidays with good friends and light candles in memory of my mom and dad.
You talk about having a Jewish heart, what does having a Jewish heart mean to you?
Having a Jewish heart has nothing to do with being Jewish. It's about doing good deeds, showing acceptance, being tolerant, funny, and compassionate.
What does it mean to be a Jewish American woman in 2017?
One of the reasons I wanted to do this show and how it came to be was to dispel the myths and stereotypes of the Jewish wife. People talk about the guilt, the nagging, the women who never cook. My mother was not those things; she was clever, smart, and sarcastic. The Jewish American woman does everything.
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For the duration of its run, the producers of "Not That Jewish" have graciously subsidized the ticket price, which will allow a donation of $25 to cover the cost of an $85 ticket. Your pledge of $25 or more will allow us to make free tickets available to Jewish Community Centers around the New York area, who've been the target of increased bigotry, antisemitism and threats of violence.