The Shmooze

Famous Jews Talk Mom In Six Words

By Anne Cohen

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James Deen

Ever wonder what Jewish porn star James Deen thinks of his mother?

In collaboration with Larry Smith, founder of SMITH Magazine and the “Six-Word Memoir” project, the Forward asked some Tribe notables to give their six-word take on the woman who pushed them out into the world — literally and figuratively.

Below are their words of love to celebrate the walking, talking stereotype that is the Jewish Mother.

My mom is really, really awesome
— James Deen, 27, porn star, Los Angeles, about his mother.

Of course brisket travels by plane!
— Austin Ratner, 41, author of “In the Land of the Living, Brooklyn, about Susan Ratner.

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Tovah Feldshuh

Men: no piercings, no facial hair
— Tovah Feldshuh, actress, singer and playwright, New York, about Lillian Kaplan Feldshuh, 102.

Pioneer, changing Jewish community, building family.
— Ruth Messinger, 72, president of American Jewish World Service, New York, about Marjorie Wyler.

Courageous, gutsy, survivor, tenacious, protective, proud.
— Abraham Foxman, 73, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Bergen County, N.J., about Helen Foxman.

Grandma was a communist — we hit Marshalls.
— Mark Oppenheimer, 38, religion columnist for The New York Times, New Haven, Conn., about Rebekah Kirschner.

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Rachel Sklar

Just discovered Skype. It’s a mitzvah.
— Rachel Sklar, 40, founder of Change and the Ratio and TheLi.st, New York, about Corinne Sklar.

Mom was leaning in before Sandberg.
— Abigail Pogrebin, 47, author of “Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk about Being Jewish,” New York, about Letty Cottin Pogrebin, co-founder of Ms. Magazine.


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