Bintel Blog

Claire Danes' (Sobering) Chabad Memories

By Nathaniel Popper

  • Print
  • Share Share

Chabad Lubavitch is famous for their willingness to open their homes to Jews and non-Jews, including the goyische celebrities, such as Jon Voigt, who appear on Chabad’s West Coast telethon to cheerlead for the group. Sometimes, though, the encounters produce a more nuanced response — as is evident in actress Clare Danes’ memory of a Chabad Lubavitch wedding she attended in Brooklyn.

Danes’ tale is jammed into the last paragraph of an item in New York magazine about how little Danes knows about Brooklyn. The little she says about the wedding is remarkably evocative. She tells of how the event began on the sidewalk in front of someone’s apartment, presumably in Crown Heights, where Chabad is based.

“It was in February, and it was really cold and very, um, stripped down, the ceremony,” the star of the 1990s TV drama “My So Called Life” remembered.

From there, she says, the group moved to one of the nearby catering halls. The people “celebrated,” she said, “but the women and the men celebrated in separate rooms, and the women were not allowed to drink, and it was quite sad.”

Danes may have an opportunity for another encounter with Chabad when she plays Temple Grandin in an upcoming biopic about the autistic, animal-rights advocate. That is assuming the biopic covers Grandin’s extensive involvement in pushing the Chabad-owned, kosher meat company Agriprocessors to reform the way it treated its animals.

Like many budding young thespians, Danes had her shot at playing a young Jewess, in the 1997 film “I Love You, I Love You Not,”, but the film was panned and she hasn’t tried it again. In real life, Danes has lived in the more secular Jewish communities in Manhattan and Hollywood, and she showed how much she has learned about Jewish culture when she used some Yiddish to describe how out of place she was at that Brooklyn wedding.

“Shiksa did not belong, but shiksa was there,” she told New York magazine.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Temple Grandin, Lubavitch, Claire Danes, Chabad

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
Miriam Sh. Thu. Oct 15, 2009

Also, for many years she dated musician Ben Lee, who went to the same Jewish day school as me in Sydney (although last I read, he'd become a Hindu....)




Find us on Facebook!
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.