All of the characters on Seinfeld are Jewish?

There was at least one episode where Elaine’s non-Jewishness was a major plot point. A series of Jewish suitors found her irresistable simply because she was a shiksa.

I guess a history of pogroms makes you leary of any gentile asking you too many questions about your Jewish heritage, but it’s a fair topic. Unless the individual bringing it up has a proven track record of antisemitic behavior or is targeting you for conversion. Short of that, your religion/heritage is a completely fair topic of discussion. As is that of the person asking you all the questions. And as for his being a conservative… Are political conservatives any different from political liberals in this specific regard?

I’d always thought that George and family were Jewish, until Mr. Costanza actually goes to his family’s home town in Italy in one episode. Then I learned that Costanza is a very ancient Italian name, having evolved from Constantia. Churches of Saint Constantia are called Santa Costanza in modern Italian.

In the Godfather, the guy that played Moe Greene, who’s name escapes me, was an Italian playing a Jew and Abe Vigoda was a Jew playing an Italian.

As far as making the show more accessable to Christians, I think the gentile characters made it less offensive to Jews. The ep where George converts to Lat Orth would have had different implications. There is a certain tension underscoring a fictional Jew converting to a branch of Christianity that is not there if a Christian converts to a different branch of Christanity. This is true irregardless of the fact that the charactor of George is totally not religious no matter what his ancestors may have been.

Oh, yeah, and people can be both Italian and Jewish, but it’s unusual enough that it worth an quick explanation and a reason if it’s the background of a sitcom character, or viewers are just confused.

I always took it that George’s mother was Jewish (sitting down to play Mah-Jongg … ? c’mon …), his father Italian. This would make George technically Jewish (I’m also reminded of the discomfort in the Nazi Limo scene), though he was probably raised areligiously (his dad is too far out, with Festivus and all).

That’s nothing. I hear all the characters in “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” were black. That Will Smith, what a racist. Furthermore, it’s my understanding that everyone in “Designing Women” was a southerner, the entire cast of “Golden Girls” were old biddies, and the great majority of the cast of “WKRP In Cincinnati” dress badly.

Down with monocultural TV shows!

I think most of us, Jewish or not, would be uncomfortable in the Nazi limo.

Given! But I seem to remember something being said or suggested. I promise, the next time I watch the episode, I’ll be looking for it!


Moe Greene was played by Alex Rocco, who has played characters of many different ethnicities in his long career.,+Alex+(I)

I am so ashamed of myself wasting time on this…I have so much I should be doing, but I found a site that posts Seinfeld scripts. It’s just some fans putting it up, so it could be violating copyright law, so I won’t link to it.

Assuming the transcription is correct, nothing was mentioned in “The Limo” about George being Jewish. Nothing was mentioned about Jerry being Jewish either, and he know that he is. Nothing about Jews at all was mentioned in the episode with Elaine’s father; I was just remembering that one incorrectly.

Email me if anybody wants the link. Further clues may be found.

Just in case you don’t already know, it derives from shiksa.

Myself, I would spell it shiksappeal.

Me too! True story: I grew up in a very rural, mono-cultural place, and the “Jewishness” of Seinfeld went completely over my head when the show was first aired. Hell, I didn’t even know know Jerry was supposed to be Jewish, nor could I have recognized a typically “Jewish” name like “Seinfeld.”
Then I went to college, where my freshman-year roommate, a Buffalo, N.Y., native, clued me in. He said he had not known either, until a Jewish kid from New York City had moved to his neighborhood in high school. This kid seemed put off that nobody in my roommate’s neighborhood could tell immediately that he and his family were Jewish. And he explained that people like Seinfeld were immediately recognized as such “back home,” i.e. in the New York metro area.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s mother is not Jewish. Her father, who is, divorced her mother when Julia was quite young.

In one episode, Michael Richards as Kramer plans a Jewish singles function with authentic ethnic foods. He wants Jerry and Elaine to attend, and Elaine says, “Well, I’m not Jewish!” To which Kramer replies, “Neither am I.”

While Spelman College, the real-life model for A Different World, is “historically black”, 2% of its students are white.

Immigrants to America named “Benes” have been most commonly Bohemian (i.e., Czech), Slovak, or Hungarian. Fewer than ten percent are listed as “Hebrew” for race on Ellis Island passenger lists. The surname is pronounced Benesh.

And to anticipate an objection that you can be both Czech, Slovak, or Hungarian, and Jewish, the Ellis Island passenger lists categorize “race” (which, by the definition they used, included “Hebrew”) and “nationality” separately.

How can you say “in real life…in a show”?

How much diffenent is stereotypically New York Jewish from stereotypically New York Italian? Lenny Bruce wasn’t entirely wrong.

“…I don’t get it. I’m not allowed to ask a Chinese person where a Chinese restaurant is? I mean, aren’t we all getting a little too sensitive? I mean, somebody asks me which way is Israel, I don’t fly off the handle.”

  • Jerry, in “The Cigar Store Indian”

Other than that, I don’t remember it being mentioned. He appears to be an exceedingly nonpracticing Jew.

I never got the impression that George, Elaine, or Kramer were Jewish.

I always thought in the early episodes Jason Alexander was playing George to be a Woody Allen clone. Whether or not Woody Allen is Jewish, I have no idea.

He has indeed stated so in interviews.