Mila Kunis left the Soviet Union at age 7 with her family. All she remembers? “I was told we were moving down the street," she says — when they were actually moving to the United States.
At…the time, Mila was unaware of the anti-Semitism her family faced. “My parents went through hell and back," the mom-of-two now realizes. "They came to America with suitcases and a family of seven and $250, and that’s it." Mila landed her first acting role at age 14 on That '70s Show, co-starring with her now-husband Ashton… >> Read More
In mid-2016, Dani Shapiro discovered that the man she thought was her father was, in fact, not her father. Up until that point, she believed she descended from her father's prominent Orthodox family.…She grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community, attending yeshiva, speaking Hebrew. Yet, in one DNA test, who she thought she was completely shifted. Don't worry — we're not spoiling anything. While this is the big, inciting moment of Inheritance, Shaprio's fifth memoir, so much of her incredible story focuses on the aftermath. Kveller had the… >> Read More
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a lot of things. It's a super Jewish show; it's a show that unabashedly loves its heroine; it's critically acclaimed and consistently sweeps awards shows.
But one…thing Midge, the main character of Mrs. Maisel, isn't: A present mom. We've talked about Midge's parenting before — Kveller contributor (and Call Your Mother co-host!) Jordana Horn wrote about how Mrs. Maisel may be marvelous, but she's a terrible mom. This critique weaves throughout other reactions to the show; a Lilith essay headlined "Is Midge Maisel a Bad Mom?… >> Read More
Elizabeth Banks's breakout role was in the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer, and since that 2001 film, she's gone on to produce, direct, and act in a wide range of films. She stole our hearts as…Effie in The Hunger Games trilogy— and when her directorial debut, Pitch Perfect 2 was released, it was the best debut for a first-time feature film director. This month, Banks lends her voice to The Lego Movie 2 (which features a Lego Ruth Bader Ginsburg!). We figured it was high time to dive into why we love her so… >> Read More
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, is due to give birth to her first child in April 2019. As the date approaches, it appears the royal rumor mill is working overtime, prompting Meghan's friends to…defend her, most recently in a People cover story and a Serena Williams subtweet. What caught our eye here at Kveller were reports in British tabloids The Sun and Hello! claiming that Meghan was breaking with royal tradition by hiring a doula to assist in the birth. Reportedly, Meghan hopes to have "a natural birth if she can have… >> Read More
Andy Cohen is finally a dad! The Jewish TV personality told the world in December he was expecting a baby via surrogate (watch the heartwarming announcement here), and then, and on New Year's Eve, he…declared to Anderson Cooper how he was so excited for his "Semitic baby." Well, his Semitic baby is finally here! (And well-timed, too: Just last week, the Real Housewives threw him a seriously epic baby shower.) Weighing 9 pounds, 2 ounces, Cohen's son was born via surrogate at 6:35pm on Monday, February 4. Cohen posted to Instagram,… >> Read More
Sophia Shalmiyev left the Soviet Union at age 11 with her father, an Azerbaijani Jew. Her parents had been estranged since her father had a judge deem her alcoholic mother "unfit" to parent. Once…they moved to the U.S. in 1990, she never saw her mother again. Shalmiyev's recently published book, Mother Winter, chronicles her childhood and her move to America, her subsequent return to Russia to search for her mother, and her own journey into motherhood. Shalmiyev, 40, began working on Mother Winter about four years ago, just after… >> Read More
As you likely know, here at Kveller we've been giving some shoutouts to our favorite Jewish moms. So we figured that this week we'll switch it up a bit and turn to a dad. Make that a hot Jewish…celebrity dad. Taika Waititi — also known as Taika Cohen — is a 43-year old New Zealander. He's directed Thor: Ragnarok, been nominated for an Oscar (for his 2004 short, Two Cars, One Night), and has made a World War II satire film starring Scarlett Johansson that's set to be released this year. Waititi is Dad… >> Read More
As a 14-year-old, actor Richard E. Grant wrote a note to Barbra Streisand.
Grant, who is now 61 and is nominated for an Oscar for his role in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, shared the message to his…Twitter on January 29th. "You don't know me yet," Grant wrote in 1972, "but I am writing to offer you an idea you might like to consider. My name is Richard and I live in a small African kingdom called Swaziland in south-east Africa." He tells Babs that since he and his family saw Funny Girl,… >> Read More
Andy Cohen is super excited for his "Semitic" baby, whose imminent arrival he announced in a heartwarming video in December.
And you know who else is super excited about the baby? The entire Real…Housewives crew! A group of "OG" Housewives (as Cohen calls 'em) — Kyle Richards (Beverly Hills), Ramona Singer (New York City), Vicki Gunvalson (Orange County), Teresa Giudice (New Jersey), and NeNe Leakes (Atlanta) — organized a blowout baby shower to celebrate. Cohen serves as the executive producer of the Real Housewives franchise, and hosts the end-of-season reunions.… >> Read More
In 2016, author Dani Shaprio wrote an essay ahead of the publication of her fourth memoir, "When You Write a Memoir, Readers Think They Know You Better Than They Do."
"People who have read my work…feel as if they know me," she writes. "And while certainly there is a powerful intimacy inherent in the experience of reading memoir, readers who meet me seem a bit embarrassed by this intimacy, as if, rather than having read my books, they have seen me naked without my consent. They seem to think of… >> Read More
We love Gal Gadot; you love Gal Gadot. The Israeli mom of two catapulted to worldwide superstardom as Wonder Woman, and her bubbly, down-to-earth vibe is admirable. She's used her celebrity for good:…she has been an advocate for victims of domestic violence, encouraged Israelis to get vaccinated, visited children's hospitals, and is simply not here for any gendered bullshit. She's spoken openly about the challenges of the whole work-life balance thing, explaining, "The Jewish guilt I feel about being a working mom is the hardest thing." But… >> Read More
Fair warning: This post is not about the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, dancing the hora — though it's very possible she may have done just that at her Jewish wedding to her first…husband. Nay, this is about Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall — the second wife of Prince Charles — but don't stop here! This is well worth a read. You see, it's rare to catch a glimpse of anyone in the royal family dancing, let alone dancing the hora to the tune of "Hava Nagila." And yet,… >> Read More
Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky are expecting baby number three!
Clinton, 38, and Mezvinsky, 41, are already parents to 2-year-old Aidan and 4-year-old Charlotte. Clinton announced…the news over Twitter on January 22nd, telling her 2.43 million followers that they cannot wait to meet their "newest addition" this summer. Marc and I have loved watching Charlotte be such a wonderful big sister and we’re excited to watch Aidan become a big brother! We cannot wait to meet our newest addition later… >> Read More
We thought 2018 was the year of Ruth Bader Ginsburg — but 2019 is also shaping up to be a very RBG-centric year. The documentary about her life was just nominated for an Oscar (mazel tov!) and,…in spite of recent health issues, the 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice shows no signs of slowing down. Which brings us to some very important news: Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be in the Lego Movie sequel. Yes, the iconic Jewish feminist is entering the world of animated Lego minifigures — which is something we didn't know we needed… >> Read More
The Oscars are a mess this year. First Kevin Hart was hosting, then he refused to apologize for past homophobic comments saying he's already addressed them (um, he hasn't), then Ellen Degeneres tried…to get the Oscars to let him host (which was its own mess), and then the Oscars said there would be no host. Oy. But one bright spot in the tumultuous host-no-host situation: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the organization that gives out the Oscars, a.k.a. Academy Awards) announced on Twitter that… >> Read More
Jewish actress Rachel Weisz is a seriously inspirational woman. She has had a long and accomplished career (and she's not slowing down anytime soon!), she's an advocate for women, and she gave birth…to her second child at age 48. (She also has a son, Henry, with Jewish director Darren Aronofsy, born in 2006.) Even though she is super private, we've diligently unearthed a few of the reasons why Rachel Weisz is our favorite Jewish mom — and no, it's not because she happens to be starring in The… >> Read More
We'll come right out and say it: A TV series about two aging white dudes in Los Angeles certainly doesn't sound appealing.
But it's worth getting over your biases. Netflix's The Kominsky Method…manages to rise above its premise with authentic humor and emotional meditations on getting old (which, let's face it, we all are). Starring Jewish actors Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas, the story is a credible portrayal of aging, family, grief, masculinity, and what happens when it feels like life is moving on without you. With… >> Read More
Andy Cohen, the funniest Jewish TV host in the game, recently announced he's going to be a dad! The host of Watch What Happens Live, 50, is expecting his first child via surrogate. (The video of the…announcement is heartwarming. Trust us.) On New Year's Eve, Cohen co-hosted CNN's show from Times Square with Anderson Cooper. Cohen reflected on how he never thought it would be possible for him, as a gay man, to have a family. "I did it with a surrogate," he explains. "You know, when I was growing up...… >> Read More
Andy Cohen shared some exciting news on his final broadcast for the year of Watch What Happens Live. The Jewish television personality, 50, announced that he's expecting a baby via surrogate.
"I…over share and I expect everyone around me to do the same. Tonight, I want you to be the first to know that after many years of careful deliberation, fair amount of prayers, and the benefit of science, if all goes according to plan, in about six weeks time, I'm going to become a father… >> Read More
Was 2018 the year of Ruth Bader Ginsburg? With a new biography, a documentary, a biopic, and so much more, the 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice dominated the pop culture landscape this year. On her…25th anniversary of being appointed to the Supreme Court, she's not slowing down anytime soon. (Not even broken ribs can stop her!) As 2018 year winds down, we're looking back at the year in RBG. All the movies, books, and yes, even podcasts can be overwhelming to navigate. We know you're busy — even the most… >> Read More
It's rare that on-screen rabbis are played by real rabbis. Ben Stiller, for example, portrayed a rabbi in the movie Keeping the Faith, and Kathryn Hahn plays Rabbi Raquel Fein in the Amazon series…Transparent. But The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an exception. What is probably the most Jewish series on TV cast an actual rabbi to play a rabbi in a pivotal scene in one of its Catskills episodes. In the scene, Astrid — Midge's sister-in-law — is observing Tisha B'Av, one of the saddest days in the Jewish year.… >> Read More
In a show filled with Jewish references and Jewish jokes, the three-episode arc that brought The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to the Catskills was possibly the highlight of the series so far.
We're…going to break down every moment. But first, some history: Beginning in the 1920s, and lasting through the 1970s, the Catskills were once a major vacation destination for American Jews. Jewish families from New York fled the sweltering city for the relative cool provided by a mountain climate — and the social scene was hopping,… >> Read More
The new biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg is so worth your time. But you don't have to take our word for it — apparently even the Supreme Court Justice herself thinks so.
According her nephew,…Daniel Stiepleman, who wrote the screenplay for On the Basis of Sex, Ginsburg has already seen it multiple times. Ginsburg is helping to promote the film, which is about the early rise of her career. Now that they're doing press, one evening Stiepleman said he offered to have dinner with his 85-year-old aunt, instead of… >> Read More
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a very, very Jewish series. Centering on Midge Maisel, a Jewish housewife who becomes a stand-up comedian after her husband leaves her, the show is bursting with…Jewish jokes. But what is so great about Maisel is how is how spot-on it is about the little Jewish details. The references to everything from the Mi Sheberach prayer to Jewish grandmas playing Mah-Jongg are amazing. Just for you, we've ranked the 20 best Jewish references in the second season. (Warning: spoilers ahead!) 20. Turning… >> Read More