Jews in the News: Jamie Lee Cutis, Hal Linden and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

New Girl Finis, and More

 The last (ever) episode of “New Girl,” the hit Fox series, will air on Tuesday, May 15, at 8PM. This special one-hour episode will be set three years ahead from the previous episode and catch us up with changes in the lives of the main characters. Suffice it to say that all the main characters are happy, including Jess (played by series’ title star Zoe Deschanel) and Schmidt (MAX GREENFIELD, 37). Guest stars include ROB REINER, 71, and JAMIE LEE CURTIS, 59, as Jess’s parents and ZOE LISTER-JONES, 35, as Schmidt’s former paramour, Fawn Moscato. 

In 2015, Deschanel wed a Jewish guy in what the press described as a “secret ceremony” and they now have two kids. “US Weekly,” not a great source, said she converted to Judaism before the wedding, but didn’t provide any details. This 2015 story has been repeated all over the Net, but there’s been no confirmation since 2015.

HAL LINDEN, 87, will guest-star in an episode of “Law & Order: SVU” that will air on Wednesday, May 16, at 9PM. A rape claim is made by a woman living in an assisted living facility. She has Alzheimer’s and her mental state brings her allegation into question. Linden plays a mysterious man from her past.

Linden, the star of the hit series “Barney Miller,” was recently honored by the Los Angeles Jewish film festival with a major award. Shown at the festival was his new indie film, “The Samuel Project.” Linden plays a German Jewish refugee who tells his grandson about the Holocaust. Linden has been a spokesman for the Jewish National Fund for 20 years, raised money throughout his career for Jewish charities, and has visited Israel many times.

 He recently told the “Jewish Journal” he plans to keep on acting as long as he can. “Acting is a great profession,” Linden told the Journal. “You start from zero every time. That point between words on a page and flesh on a stage is the most creative part for an actor. I appreciate the process more than the results. That’s where the joy is.”

 At the Movies

Opening May 11 in many cities is the documentary “RBG” and the dramatic film “Disobedience.” “RGB” is about the life and career of Supreme Court Justice RUTH BADER GINSBURG, 85. While Ginsburg has become a pop culture icon for some, relatively few know about the tremendous legal legacy she created even before she joined the Court or the details of her personal life. “RBG” explores how through “pure grit”, and the aid of a great husband, she was able to balance being a wife, mother, law professor, groundbreaking litigator, and judge. (This documentary will only have a short theater run, so look for it soon on streaming services).

“Disobedience,” which has earned universally great reviews, is based on a novel by Brit NAOMI ALDERMAN, 44, that centers on the London Orthodox community. The film opens with the death of an Orthodox rabbi after a fiery sermon (ANTON LESSER, 66; “Qyburn” on “Game of Thrones”). His rebellious daughter, Ronit (RACHEL WEISZ, 48), returns from New York for his funeral. She soon gets re-acquainted with the two best friends from her youth: Esti (Rachel McAdams), and Dovid (Alessandro Nivola, who had a Jewish paternal grandmother). Esti and Dovid are married and Dovid is a kind, much-admired Orthodox rabbi. Huge complications ensue when Esti shows she’s interested in a physical relationship with Ronit, who is already out as a lesbian.

Something Heavy; Something Light

Now famous comedian Michelle Wolf is not Jewish.  The “Times of Israel,” while mentioning her tour of Israel a few years back, stated she is not Jewish. Also, LARISA KLEBE, the Deputy Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive, a quite good website, says she asked Wolf if she was Jewish by messaging her via Instagram last year and Wolf replied that she isn’t Jewish. Do “Google” Larisa Klebe and Michelle Wolf and you’ll find two articles she wrote about Wolf. The most recent one is a smart exploration of how the criticism of Wolf often veers into anti-Semitic tropes.

Remember PAIGE DAVIS? This musical actress was the perky host and star of the TLC series series “Trading Spaces” for most of its original run (2000-2009). Early in April, the show was “rebooted” (new episodes Saturday at 8PM). Davis, 48, is again the host and the premise is the same: couples swap homes and have a limited budget to re-do each other’s homes with the help of a designer.


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