11 Jewish Celebrities On Their Moms by the Forward

11 Jewish Celebrities On Their Moms

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It’s Mother’s Day!

For the moms among you: we thank you for your sacrifice. For the non-moms among you — call your mom.

Obviously, you wrote your Mother’s Day card weeks ago, but just in case you’re running a little late (ie. forgot), we’ve rounded up some of the most inspiring Jewish celebrity quotes about mothers. Get inspired:

Kate Hudson: “You know what, I am damn proud of

Goldie Hawn: “The truth is that no matter how old we are, as long as our mothers are alive, we want our mother. And it’s a very powerful relationship if it’s healthy. I miss my mother today. I think the transition does happen but I don’t think we ever lose our positioning because we don’t want to lose our mother. It’s a very, very interesting walk.” — Associated Press

Jake Gyllenhaal: “Well, one thing I always do is I always bring my dates to my mother’s house for the first date,” he said, joking. “I think that’s a good move. My mother believes arranged marriages might be able to work. Ya know what I mean, like in a good way,” he added. “She thinks that if she picked for me that I’d do a lot better.” — People Magazine

Gloria Steinem: “Before I was born, [my mother] had what was then called a nervous breakdown. So the truth is, I don’t quite know what happened. Decades later, when I was in college, she was in a mental hospital for a couple of years, and she finally got some help. I asked one of the doctors there … He said the closest he could come was that it was an anxiety neurosis. I asked him if he would say her spirit was broken, and he said yes. It was only then that I began to understand she had given up being a pioneer reporter, given up on her friends, and everything she loved … Like so many women, I was living out the unlived life of my mother — so I wouldn’t be her. But the price I paid was that I distanced myself internally. I wasn’t as close to her then as I now, in retrospect, wish I had been.” — Interview

Seth Rogen: “For a Jewish mother, having a country wage war on your son is the worst. No Jewish mother should have to deal with that. If Kim Jong-un only knew what he was doing to my mother! He would know he had exacted his revenge.” — Rolling Stone

Diane Von Fursteberg: “I didn’t used to talk nearly as much about my mother. I took her for granted, as children do their mothers. It was not until she died in 2000 that I fully realized what an incredibly huge influence she had been on me and how much I owe her. Like any child, I hadn’t paid much attention. I’d brush her off, or even pretend not to hear. I bridled, too, at the unsolicited advice she persisted in giving my friends. Now, of course, I feel I have had the experience and earned the wisdom to hand out my own unsolicited advice, and I press every lesson my mother taught me on my children, grandchildren, and anyone I talk to. I have become her.” — The Woman I Wanted To Be

Norah Ephron: “If you came to [my mother] with a tragedy — and God knows children have a lot of tragedies — she really wasn’t interested in it at all. She wasn’t one of those mothers who went, ‘Oh honey, tell me what happened to you at school. What did the bad girls do to you?’ No. She just would say, ‘Oh well, everything is copy.’ And all she meant was that someday you will make this into a funny story, or a story, and when you do, I will be happy to listen to it, but not until then. I think she basically taught us a very fundamental rule of humor — probably of Jewish humor if you want to put a very fine definition on it, although she would not think so — which is that if you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you, but if you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your joke, and you’re the hero of the joke. It basically is the greatest lesson I think you can ever give anyone. I always worry I didn’t teach it well enough to my own kids, because I was such a good mother. I always said, ‘Oh honey, tell me what happened to you.’ I’m kind of mystified that she didn’t, ‘cause it really is weird and sort of against human nature practically, but that was just who she was.” — Academy of Achievement

Larry David: “She wanted me to work in the post office. She begged me to take a civil service test. I don’t think I would have made a good postman. … I could have put up with the rain and the snow. The hail – forget it. — The Hollywood Reporter

Mayim Bialik: “My mom was raised by Eastern European immigrants who never spoke English in the home and worked in sweatshops and assembly line piecework as tailors. They were Orthodox but also very “old country” so for my mom, that kind of Judaism didn’t speak to her a lot. My dad was raised by a more assimilated mother (she came to the US as a child) and an American-born father. They moved out of the Bronx to Long Island and went to more of a “Reform” style synagogue. I was raised Reform but with some remnants of my mom’s Orthodoxy: 2 sets of dishes, lighting candles, Yiddish spoken, and emphasis on fun holidays like Passover and Chanukah.” — Chabad.org

Melissa Rivers: “There was never any particular moment when it dawned on me, “Gee, my mom is famous.” A life on the red carpet and in the eye of the fashion world was the norm. But when we were at E! together in 1996, that’s when I started to realize her place in history and pop culture. I hate saying pop culture because she transcends pop culture. She did so much as a performer, and she did so much for women and other comics.” — The Hollywood Reporter

Joan Rivers: “She died in my mid-to-late forties,” she says. “She was so smart and funny. My friend Alice told me at her funeral that my mother once said to her, so proudly, ‘Joan isn’t just a star. She’s a superstar! And she did it all herself!’ It still makes me cry. Both of my parents got to see me host Carson, thank God. That’s all anyone wants: to have their parents see they’re going to be all right in life.” — New York Magazine

Joan Rivers BONUS: “My mother could make anybody feel guilty – she used to get letters of apology from people she didn’t even know.”

[h/t New York Magazine]


Anne Cohen

Anne Cohen

Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg , she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.

11 Jewish Celebrities On Their Moms

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