Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

On this day: A Jewish family on TV

January 17 1949: The Goldbergs hits TV screens

    Created by a writer named Gertrude Berg in 1928, it began life as a radio programme but 20 years later made the transition to the small screen. Following the drama of life in the Bronx and particularly the meddling Jewish mother Molly, played by Gertrude, it later became a play and a Broadway musical.

    Although popular with audiences, its transmission was not without complications as cast and crew became victims of the Red Scare, One of its stars, Philip Loeb was named but Berg refused to drop him from the cast, triggering CBS to stop showing it. Loeb later committed suicide in a New York hotel room.

    The Goldbergs went off the air in 1962 and, no doubt, if it were to air a modern audience would be somewhat less comfortable with the blunt humour and obvious stereotypes.

    But as one commentator pointed out: "This series has done more to set us Jews right with the 'goyim' than all the sermons ever preached by the Rabbis.” Molly Goldberg and her family should be credited with paving the way for Jewish-centric programmes like Seinfeld and overtly Jewish characters on series such as Friends and the West Wing.

    What the JC said:Gertrude Berg, as Molly Goldberg, is the eternal Jewish wife and mother, over solicitous for the welfare of her husband, hyper-sensitive about what is happening to her children and always with an eye open for the chance of arranging a good shidduch. There are so many shy and diverting digs at Jewish foibles, and the laughter and tears mix readily. I heartily recommend this refreshing account of Jewish domesticity

    See more from the JC archives here

UK News

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

JC Reporter

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86
UK News

TV's Judge Rinder wants to 'make grandmother pr...

Charlotte Oliver

TV's Judge Rinder wants to 'make grandmother pr...
World

The oldest American? She's only 113 (and Jewish)

Anonymous

The oldest American? She's only 113 (and Jewish)
UK News

Preview: Antiques Roadshow HMD special

Rosa Doherty

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Preview: Antiques Roadshow HMD special
World

Frum businessman ‘bribed police’

Sandy Rashty

Frum businessman ‘bribed police’
World

Trump missed grandson’s brit

Sandy Rashty

Trump missed grandson’s brit
World

Rosh Hashtag: New Year gets a digital twist

Lucy Cohen Blatter

Rosh Hashtag: New Year gets a digital twist
TV

When antisemitism came out of the closet

David Herman

When antisemitism came out of the closet
World

Chasids in daring river rescue

Josh Jackman

Chasids in daring river rescue