“Mum” is the word when it comes to England’s Jewish Competition

England’s Channel 4 has landed in a bit of hot water over their latest hit: “Jewish Mum Of The Year“. Some critics have taken offense at the “Survivor”-style competition, in which eight “Mums” are challenged to do typically Jewish mother tasks, such as organize a Bar Mitzvah and find a date for a single 29 year old. (Upcoming challenges will presumably include “Not Being Mad, Just Disappointed” and “Wiping That Little Bit Of Shmutz Off Your Cheek Even Though You’re 32″)

Meet Your Mummy

British actress Maureen Lipman (Recognizable to us uncivilized Americans for her cameo in National Lampoon’s European Vacation) voiced her opposition to The Daily Telegraph:

“It is very damaging, with anti-Semitism being what it is. Not to mention that being a Jewish mother is nothing like the way they portray it.
“It is just the next stage in this culture of humiliation on television, and I think it is appalling.

The winning Mum will be awarded, among other things, a column in England’s The Jewish News newspaper, with whom the show is partnered. The panel of judges includes columnist Tracy-Ann Oberman (yeah, we had to wikipedia her too) and Yiddish Scholar/Bruce Vilanch look-alike/Amazing Beard have-er Dovid Katz.

My Yiddishe Mustache

It appears, though, that the charges of inviting anti-semitism hasn’t dampened audience enthusiasm for the show, whose website features recipes for chopped liver and “Jewish Chicken Soup” (As if there’s any other kind) and a glossary of yiddish and Hebrew terms.

Judging from what we’ve seen of the show, we’re already looking forward to next season’s inevitable spin-off: “This Is Why I Go To Therapy, Mum!”

What do you think?

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5 Responses

  1. kyle broslofsky

    the brits aren’t just ashamed of their anti-semitism, they revel in it! (it’s a british thing… you wouldn’t understand.)

  2. Gee

    I can see why this is definitely offensive, but then so are things like Jersey Shore to Italians, etc. These reality shows are just a new version of the old exploitation films of the 70’s.
    Although as an expat American Jew here in the UK, I kind of welcome it in the hope that it will at least make English Jews more visible in the culture. The majority of UK Jews seem to be very conservative and isolated, so as a Reform Jew living out in the country I feel very alone and like being a Jew is weird an unusual, something I never felt in the US, at least the Northeast US. Hopefully the UK will maybe pay more attention to us now, and maybe even start selling matzoh in shops!

  3. David

    Somehow the mothers in this clip don’t have the same effect without a Brooklyn or Israeli accent.


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