Celebrity Jews – Schwimmer, Pittsburgh Notes & More
SCHWIMMER IS INNOCENT AND MORE
Recently, the Blackpool, England, police posted a video of a suspect wanted for stealing a wallet and cell phone from a restaurant. Tips flowed in, many identifying the subject as “Ross Geller,” the character David Schwimmer, 51, played on Friends. On Oct. 24, Schwimmer tweeted to the police: “Officers, I swear it wasn’t me. I was in New York. To the hardworking Blackpool Police, good luck with the investigation. #itwasntme.”
Matthew Broderick, 57, joined the cast of the ABC show The Connors on Oct. 30 as a guest star. He’ll appear in an arc of episodes as the boyfriend of Jackie (Laura Metcalf).
A few weeks ago, MSNBC host Ari Melber, 38, had as his guest David Corn, 59, the chief Washington correspondent for Mother Jones magazine, and they had a rare primetime “Jew Bro” exchange. Corn, knowing that Melber is a big rap music fan, said: “Come up with a rap lyric word for collusion.” Melber replied: “First of all, David, the D.J. doesn’t take requests here. [Pause] I’m just kidding, I’m dying to be a bar mitzvah D.J. and if I do, I’ll take requests. It’s what a good D.J. does.” Corn replied: “I can only regret that you were not there for my bar mitzvah.”
In the Oct. 25 issue of the JN, I reported that CBS News added Bianna Golodryga as a fourth anchor to its morning show. Golodryga, 40, was born in the former Soviet republic of Moldova. She was 18 months old when she and her family came to the States as political refugees with $75. After settling in Houston, her parents embarked upon what would become successful careers.
By now, everyone knows that the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter said he was enraged by the role of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in helping refugees. On Oct. 28, Golodryga told her CBS colleagues how HIAS helped her family. HIAS, she said, bought her family’s airline tickets to America and, therefore, “[The shooting] hits close to home.” She added, “I remember my parents every month, as much money as they could, maybe $20 a month, they would write checks to pay HIAS back for bringing us here.”
Like many others, I was struck by the vibrant nature of Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill Jewish community. So I wasn’t surprised when a quick search revealed that a number of famous Jews were born and/or raised in Pittsburgh. But here’s my “quick list”: Actor Jeff Goldblum, 66; high-tech and sports businessman Marc Cuban, 60; Lorin Maazel (1930-2014), violinist, composer and conductor of many top orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony; reporter Howard Fineman, 69; and New York Times editor Bari Weiss, 34.
Both Fineman and Weiss grew up in Squirrel Hill and noted in recent TV news appearances that they attended the neighborhood’s Tree of Life synagogue and were confirmed there. Weiss wrote (Oct. 27) a moving op-ed piece for the Times about the shooting — “A Massacre in the Heart of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: Squirrel Hill will continue to live by the values that Jews have sustained for more than 2,000 years. They can never be gunned down.” (Her title references that Fred Rogers lived in Squirrel Hill).