‘The Goldbergs’ creator on that Jewish culinary ritual.
Special To The Jewish Week
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It’s easy to feel like you really know Adam Goldberg. He’s warm and funny. He asks questions with genuine interest and listens attentively. Having a conversation with him quickly makes you feel like you’re talking to an old friend. Another reason it’s easy to feel like you know him is because, if you’ve seen ABC’s hit sitcom, “The Goldbergs,” which he writes and produces, you’ve had an inside look at his 1980s childhood in the Philadelphia suburb of Jenkintown, Pa.
Yes, those are children dressed as Santa Claus—Israeli Arab children.
In Jaffa, a mixed Jewish-Arab part of the Greater Tel Aviv municipality, which plays a prominent role in the New Testament and is home of the famed St. Peter’s Church and to some 6,500 Christian residents, Christmas becomes visible each year – unlike in most of Israel, where it is barely noticed.
Last year I jokingly titled a blog post “Christmas in Anatevka,” since my daughters and I had spent the big day watching “Fiddler on the Roof.”
This year, I felt like we really did spend Christmas morning in Anatevka. That’s because we were on the main drag (aptly called Main Street) of Queens’ very Jewish Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood.
If the Arab Spring were to fulfill its revolution, what would happen? An anti-Christian “genocide,” fears Christian Solidarity International, a human rights group. Those who know the situation firsthand say that Christians in the Middle East are increasingly fearful and have been the victims of church bombings and street-beatings. If this were a real reformation it would entail not only democratic elections in countries like Egypt (where the repressive Muslim Brotherhood leads the pack), but tolerance for differences and dissent.
With Chanukah just a few days away, and Christmas not far behind, the Intertubes are not surprisingly very, very congested with interesting Chanukah-Christmas Chatter. (Isn’t it cool that each of those three words starts with C-H, but in each one it’s pronounced differently? Clearly I’ve been spending a lot of time with my learning-to-read 5-year-old!)
I know I promised you some December Dilemma resources.
But in the meantime, here’s an example of what NOT to do should you be invited over the home of an intermarried relative who has a “towering” Christmas tree “decorated with blue tinsel and blue ornaments, topped with a lit Star of David”:
I asked Marlene how she could so blatantly disrespect the Jewish religion by having such a sacrilegious symbol in her home. Perhaps I went too far when I asked if she thought her grandparents, who were Holocaust survivors, would approve.
On Sunday I had the honor of giving a talk at The Museum of Jewish Heritage on the so-called December Dilemma. I’m posting an edited version of my speech here, along with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s brilliant “Can I Interest You In Chanukah?,” which, because I love it so much, I had to include in the speech:
I’m going to start today, as I started a column a few years ago, with the story of the Jewish boy who got Christmas presents from the family dog.