Filmmaker Cries, ‘Yoo-hoo!’

By Gabriel Sanders

Published May 04, 2007, issue of May 04, 2007.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Filmmaker Aviva Kempner has a theory about what makes a good sitcom.

“All the best ones,” she said, “have people walking into and out of each other’s apartments: ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Friends,’ ‘The Honeymooners,’ ‘I Love Lucy.’ And who’s the one who first developed that? A Jewish woman from New York.”

Kempner, who charmed audiences with her 1998 documentary “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,” has turned her directorial talents toward a new “berg” — Gertrude Berg, the meddlesome Molly Goldberg of the 1950s hit series “The Goldbergs.”

“Gertrude Berg,” Kempner told The Shmooze from her film studio in Washington, D.C., “was the Oprah of her time. The Oprah of radio and TV.”

Kempner’s film, tentatively titled “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” — a nod to the show’s catch phrase — is not quite finished yet, but those looking to catch a 20-minute sneak peek can do so next week at the MacDowell Centennial Film Series at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Kempner has twice stayed at MacDowell, the fabled New Hampshire artists’ colony that has hosted more than 5,000 writers, artists, composers and filmmakers since its inception in 1907. During her most recent stay, two years ago, she worked on her Berg script.

“It’s an irony,” Kempner said, “but to concentrate on my script, I had to go to a place where there were no neighbors yelling, ‘Yoo-hoo.’”

An excerpt from Kempner’s work in progress will be screened at MoMA on May 6 at 2:30 p.m. and May 12 at 6 p.m.


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.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • 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.