The judge who ruled over a trial in the newest season of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black looked familiar to many viewers. And not because he’s a famous actor, but a famous mohel. Yes, you read that right. Cantor Philip Sherman — yes, he’s also an associate cantor — is an actor in his free time.
His day job is associate cantor at Congregation Shearith Israel in New York (also known as the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue), and he’s an in-demand mohel. Sherman typically performs four or five circumcisions a day. (In our Kveller HQ, we personally know at least seven babies who were circumcised by him. A small world!)
So when we saw him in an episode of Orange is the New Black, you can understand our surprise.
In an interview with JTA, Sherman explained how he got the role: “When you have an audition, if you have the stuff to help make you look the part, you bring it and you wear it, so that’s the idea.” So, obviously, he wore the black robe he wears as a cantor, which looks similar to the ones sported by Supreme Court justices.
Sherman’s scene lasts only around a minute, but he’s still very proud; it is his favorite part he’s ever gotten. He explained, “The really amazing thing about that is that it’s a real part in a real show, where I’m not playing a rabbi or cantor or some Jewish guy.”
Go, Cantor Sherman!