Bringing ‘Shalom’ Into Oprah’s Afternoon Home

By Joshua Yaffa

Published June 16, 2006, issue of June 16, 2006.
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Look out, Dr. Phil — Oprah Winfrey just may be auditioning a new protégé. Just a few short weeks after hosting Elie Wiesel, the talk show diva will have as her guest an author and radio personality, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who will dispense his trademark brand of Jewish-inspired family counseling.

The show will be devoted to the concept of “Shalom in the Home,” the name (and theme) of Boteach’s reality television show on the TLC network.

“Television is not always a blessed medium,” Boteach told the Shmooze shortly after the “Oprah” episode was taped, “but [Oprah] has worked to make it one. We both share a great passion for rebuilding the institution of the American family.”

In the course of the hour-long episode, Boteach will counsel a range of families, from those with out-of-control children to those with passionless marriages. While his advice is not explicitly religious, Boteach believes that his approach toward family counseling is nonetheless “informed and inspired” by Judaism.

“I think Judaism is uniquely qualified to heal the American family,” he said. “Jews never had any sovereignty or empire to concern ourselves with, so our questions were always more introverted. How to keep my wife happy? How to instill the right values in my children? These are questions Jews have pondered for centuries.”

Boteach’s appearance is scheduled to air June 26.

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