Jewish Television Characters



Every year at this time, we salute our Jewish friends at Hanukkah. This year we are doing a revised list of television’s most beloved Jewish characters.

We will start with one of the most iconic Jewish television characters, Jerry Seinfeld. star of the classic “show about nothing” Jerry is neurotic and sarcastic which are traits of what the network at the time of the show said were “New York” Jewish.  People wonder if George Costanza was Jewish as well. With the parents that he had, it is possible that he was as well.

george and his parentsgeorge and jerry

Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander were Jerry and George on “Seinfeld.” Estelle Harris and legendary comic Jerry Stiller were George’s parents Estelle and Frank Costanza

Everyone’s favorite “Friends” had Jewish characters as well. Monica and Ross were both Jewish . Actor Elliot Gould made quite an impression as Jack Geller, their father. Courteney Cox was not really Jewish , but David Schwimmer is .

geller family

Another television show that featured a Jewish character was “Will and Grace”. Debra Messing embraced her Jewish roots as neurotic Grace Adler. Movie legend  Debbie Reynolds was her mother show biz crazy Bobbi Adler. Grace made every JAP dream come true by marrying a Jewish doctor , Leo Marcus played by Harry Connick Jr.

grace and leo

 Fran Drescher’s show “The Nanny” featured television’s funniest Jewish women. Drescher portrayed Fran , who became a nanny to the very wealthy and handsome widower Max Sheffield. Max was a Broadway producer who eventually in storybook fashion falls in love and marries Fran. Viewers also enjoyed the exploits of Fran’s mother and grandmother, Yetta.

fine family

Fran is pictured here with her mother, Sylvia played by Renee Taylor and Yetta played by Ann Morgan Guilbert

Larry David was the everyman on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Larry shows his funny and cynical side in Hollywood. Here is one of the most memorable moments when Larry gathers his stars together from the mega hit Seinfeld that Larry created.

curb your enthusiasm

On “Entourage” , Vinnie wouldn’t gotten where he was without this man. Chicago’s own Jeremy Piven was super agent Ari Gold. Piven embraced his own Jewish roots as the harried agent and family man.

ari gold

Simon Helberg plays the Jewish member of the nerd gang on “The Big Bang Theory” Howard has accomplished quite a bit for being the least educated of the group . He has gone to space and was the first to get married.  He had a sad occasion when he lost his mother this year. (The actress who voiced his mother passed away in real life and the producers decided to let the character die as well.)

howard and bernadette

Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch are Mr and Mrs Wolowicz

Bebe Neuwirth entertained audiences in two series as the droning Dr Lilith Stern Crane. She was also the Jewish mother to her and Frasier’s son, Fredrick .

lilith and frasier

For ten years, Sandra Oh portrayed Jewish cardio goddess Cristina Yang on “Grey’s Anatomy” . She was every body’s person and a bad ass surgeon.

meredith and cristina

ABC takes viewers back to those great eighties with the latest Jewish family “The Goldbergs” .This includes another Chicago actor, the very funny Jeff Garlinard


Before there was a “House of Cards” or an adulterous President on “Scandal”, there was Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing”. Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff were Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler, the two member’s of the Bartlett White House who were Jewish.

west wing

Mandy Patinkin has made quite a name for himself as a Broadway star and movie star. He embraces his Jewish roots as Saul Berenson , a CIA operative on “Homeland”.

Episode 507

John Munch is one of television’ s longest running characters. Richard Belzer brings his personality and Jewish background to the homicide detective on “Law and Order SVU”

munch on law and order


Paulo Costanza has Italian roots but brother Hank aka Mark Feurstein is every mother’s dream a Jewish doctor on USA’s hit “Royal Pains”

hank and evan lawson

 Even in a small little town in Colorado, there is a Jewish family . Kyle is the little Jewish boy on “South Park”

kyle on south park

Lea Michele of “Scream Queens” made her mark  as the Kosher Diva , Rachel Berry on “Glee” Her idol was , of course, Barbra Streisand

rachel berry glee

 Peter and his friends always make sure to shop at Goldman’s Drugstore, owned by the very geeky Mort Goldman on “Family Guy”

mort goldman

It isn’t well known if Attorney General , David Rosen of “Scandal” is really Jewish, but his portrayer the awesome Joshua Malina is. Fun fact: David went to Dartmouth just like Shonda Rhimes, and Meredith Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy”

david rosen

The Simpsons’ contribution to Jewish culture is none other than Krusty the Clown, his father was a rabbi

krusty the clown

The Puckerman brothers on “Glee” love to sing and they especially love to sing about Hanukkah like in this song. Here we have Mark Salling and Jacob Artist .

puck and his brother glee

Finally we end with two people from the show destined to be a classic “Mad Men”

Ben Feldman started out as an angel on “Drop Dead Diva” till he went back to heaven. He really made a mark as Mark Ginsberg , adman at Sterling and Cooper

ben feldman michael ginsberg

Maggie Siff made such an impression as JAP Rachel Menken that they brought her back again in the final season as a similiar character. Rachel was a love interest of the infamous Don Draper

rachel menken

Once again Chitownstarconnections wishes everyone a Happy Hanukkah!!!


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