Last month, in response to a spate of antisemitic incidents which started with Kanye West’s antisemitic tweets, Jessica Seinfeld, a cookbook author, philanthropist and, yes, Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, shared an Instagram post that went absolutely viral.
“I support my Jewish friends and jewish people,” it read, in blue letters on a black background. “If you don’t know what to say, start by saying this on your feed,” Seinfeld captioned the post.
It was shared by many celebrities, including three of the Kardashian/Jenner siblings and their mother, Kris Jenner (Kim Kardashian, West’s ex-wife, also shared a post on the subject, but not Seinfeld’s meme).
In an interview with the Today show promoting his new book “The Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Book,” Jerry Seinfeld, 68, publicly praised his wife’s Instagram post.
Sitting at the 2nd Avenue Deli and noshing on some Jewish staples like pickles and coleslaw (“is it Jewish enough for you?” Seinfeld asked), host Jenna Bush praised Jessica’s popular post and asked the comedian and father of three what he thought about the recent rise in antisemitism in the U.S. and the world.
While the comedian, who is known for not wanting to mix politics and comedy, didn’t directly respond to the question, he did have a lot of praise for his wife of over 20 years.
“She found a simple, and I thought non-aggressive, way to say something that, as we said, unfortunately needs to be said — but does need to be said,” he told Bush. “I thought that was very special and fantastic thing to do.” He added that finding a non-inflammatoory way to touch on the subject is “hard to do, right?”
“Most things in that venue is going to trigger someone, it’s going to inflame. We are so quick to inflame, right? Both sides of any debate. Women, gender, everything, right? This is the culture we live in. Flash paper. Instant, violent verbiage, right?” Seinfeld said.
“And she found a way to a way to sort of quiet it,” Bush added, as Seinfeld concurred with a “right.”
“And hopefully raise awareness,” she added.
Seinfeld has generally tried to distance himself from the conversation about Dave Chappelle’s antisemitic SNL monologue. When asked what kind of conversation he would have with Chappelle, who appeared on Seinfeld’s Netflix show, about said monologue, he told the Hollywood Reporter: “I don’t have a close relationship with him. We’re friends and it’s not a close relationship.”
“I did think the comedy was well-executed, but I think the subject matter calls for a conversation that I don’t think I’d want to have in this venue,” he said.
When asked if the monologue made him uncomfortable, he didn’t respond directly, and only added that he hopes “it provokes a conversation which hopefully is productive.”
Jessica Seinfeld’s post did give us a way to feel a sense of solidarity, and she helped, in her own way, to change this moment of antisemitism in the country into an opportunity to talk about the problem of antisemitism, especially among non-Jews and celebrities.
After her post was shared far and wide, the mother of three wrote that the “amazing response” to her post “gives me hope.”
“Hateful words turn to hateful violence. Reinforcing that message on your own platform, big or small, means everything, and it’s already making a difference,” she wrote.