'Gossip Girl' Under the Chuppah

By Gabrielle Birkner 

Published December 10, 2008, issue of December 19, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The CW’s hit series “Gossip Girl,” which centers on a group of New York City preparatory school students and their moneyed families, is getting an infusion of Yiddishkeit into its blue-blooded veins.

During a recent episode, Park Avenue matron Eleanor Waldorf (Margaret Colin) married her Jewish businessman boyfriend, Cyrus Rose (Wallace Shawn). The ceremony was replete with a rabbi (and an Episcopal priest), a chupah and a recitation of the Hebrew phrase Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li, or “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

In advance of the wedding, Cyrus teaches Eleanor’s icy and always calculating teenage daughter, Blair, played by Leighton Meester, how to eat a bagel — with lox, onions and plenty of capers — and even puts her in touch with her inner Jewish mother. “I’m not maternal,” Blair tells a friend who notices her newly nurturing ways. “I’ve just been spending too much time with Cyrus, and I’m turning Jewish. Come on, I see kugel.”

The “Gossip Girl” plotline is reminiscent of “Sex and the City” and the love story between the show’s resident Episcopal princess, Charlotte, and the Jewish divorce lawyer for whom she ultimately converts.

“It’s often used for comedic effect,” said Elana Levine, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the author of the Dr. Television blog, of the anomalous prime-time pairings, in an interview with The Shmooze. “It’s about heightening the sense of difference between the WASPy woman and a stereotypical Jewish man, and playing up the opposites-attract aspect of their relationship.”


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!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • 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.