Are the Bravermans Jews? – Kveller
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Are the Bravermans Jews?

I used to be one of those people that didn’t own a television. Y’know, I liked the idea of reading books. But then, when I was pregnant, we went to Costco to buy things for baby and came home with a large flat-screen television for mommy.  Now that I actually have that baby and my nights are spent, sigh, at home, I’ve come to love this TV.

The Bravermans on NBC's Parenthood

And now that I’ve gotten that I’m-actually-smart-really!-even-though-I-watch-network-dramas thingy out of the way, let us discuss NBC’s

The show follows the extended Braverman family–the parents, their four grown children, and their children’s children. Most of them (weirdly) live together in the Braverman compound, a sort of bohemian paradise that would be worth at least a few mil.

The real burning question here: Are the Bravermans Jews?

There’s a bit of chatter about this on the internets. On NBC’s own board, somebody posted:

I like the show a LOT!! Unfortunately, I feel the focus on Jewish culture is too greatly emphasized. The names of all the characters are overemphasized as is the fact that they are the Bravermans. Please try to tone it down.

It is true that they emphasize their name in a clannish, proud sort of way, but I’ve seen nothing distinctly Jewish about them (aside from their name).

Braverman is considered a Jewish name from the Ukraine or Poland, a variant of Braver (at least according to And there are the many Bravermans that are Jews, like the  Minister of Minority Affairs of Israel, Avishay Braverman.

And then there’s
Bye Bye Braverman
, the 1968 comedy directed by Sidney Lumet about four Jewish friends in Manhattan–including a Yiddish writer from the Upper West Side and a poet from the Lower East Side–trying to attend the funeral of their dear friend Leslie Braverman.

So far, these Berkeley Bravermans have done nothing to indicate that they are more than a goyishe family with a  Jewish last name. So, I guess we’ll have to wait for December when their true identities–menorah or Christmas tree–will be revealed to all.

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