Jews in the News: Judy Sheindlin, Amy Koppelman and Max Fried

Judge Judy & Ina Garten Return; Post-Partum Depression Ain't Just the Blues; More

On Nov. 1, JUDY SHEINDLIN, 78, better known as “Judge Judy”, will return to the “media bench” in a new series called “Judy Justice.” I say “media bench” and not “TV bench” because “Judy Justice” will be streamed-only. It will not be on broadcast TV.  Long story short: even though Judge Judy was one of the highest-paid people on TV (around a million dollars per EPISODE), she and CBS had a falling-out.

“Judy Justice” will stream on IMDB TV, which is owned by Amazon. It is a free app (with ads) that you can download or add to your Roku, AppleTV, or Amazon Fire app “line-up.” A new episode will stream every weekday. It’s promised the new show will be “jazzier”, but details are scarce, save for the “reveal” that Sheindlin will wear a burgundy red judge’s robe.

Judge Judy’s new law clerk is SARAH ROSE, her granddaughter. Rose, who is about 25, is now in law school. I’ve checked a few articles on the Judge’s extended family and I just wasn’t able to find out if Rose is the Judge’s biological granddaughter. No scandal—it’s actually a nice story.

Judge Judy had a son and daughter with her first husband, a Jewish lawyer. Her second husband, the late Judge JERRY SHEINDLIN, had three children by his first marriage and Judge Judy helped to raise them. Three of the now-grown five are lawyers. Judge Judy, to her credit, refers to the children of all five of her “kids” as her grandchildren.

 Another seasoned Jewish superstar, INA GARTEN, 71, will host a new season of her hit cooking show, “The Barefoot Countessa.” The premiere episode (“Modern Cooking”) will stream on Oct. 31 on the Food Network. Also, last week, Garten announced a “big deal” with the Discovery+ channel. “The Barefoot Contessa” program will continue on the Food Network, but next year she’ll launch a new program called “Be My Guest.” An hour-long version will stream on Discovery+, with a half hour version on the Food Network.

 Garten cites Martha Stewart as a principal mentor and, in a less than “six-degree” way, Stewart is connected to AMY KOPPELMAN, 47, the director and the writer of the film “A Mouthful of Air” It has a limited theater opening on Oct. 29. If you can’t catch it in a theater, watch when it begins streaming.

The film is based on Koppelman’s 1997 novel of the same name. The central character is Julie (played by Amanda Seyfried), an upper-middle class Jewish woman with a “nice” Jewish husband. As the novel/film opens, she has a one-year-old boy and has been unable to overcome a severe case of post-partum depression. In recent interviews, Koppelman notes that post-partum depression is often discussed today, but back in 1997, she was hard-pressed to find a reference to it on the internet. She added that she, herself, had a long history of depression that antedated her first pregnancy. She went off her “meds” while pregnant, but quickly realized she couldn’t function if she stayed off them after she gave birth.

 Koppleman was born Amy Levine and was raised in New Jersey. In 1982, she wed her husband BRIAN KOPPELMAN, now 55, at the Central Synagogue in Manhattan. Brian is now best known as the co-creator and “showrunner” of the hit Showtime series “Billions”. Brian’s father, CHARLES KOPPELMAN, 81, has held big entertainment-related jobs for decades. He was head of the Martha Stewart company (2005-2011).

I doubt it is a coincidence that “Billions” star Paul Giamatti has a major role in “Mouthful of Air”. By the way, while Giamatti isn’t Jewish, his only child is being raised in his mother’s Jewish faith.

“The Motive”, a hit Israeli documentary series, will begin streaming on Netflix on October 28. “The Jerusalem Post” says: “It tells the grisly and baffling story of a 14-year-old boy who murdered his parents and two sisters with his father’s rifle in Jerusalem in 1986. The boy said a green creature entered his mind and told him to kill his family.”

As I write this, the Atlanta Braves and the L.A. Dodgers are vying for the National League title and the Houston Astros are battling the Boston Red Sox for the American League title. As previously noted, the Braves have a star Jewish pitcher, MAX FRIED, 27, and Houston has a star Jewish 3rd baseman, ALEX BREGMAN, 27. Well, add Braves’ outfielder, JOC PEDERSON, 29, to the “Jewish player watch list”. He was traded to Atlanta in July and has his bat has greatly aided Atlanta.


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