Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

The Top Ten Jewish Characters in Movies

We look at the most entertaining, most hilarious, and most iconic Jewish characters in film

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: June 13th, 2014 in Culture » Film » News

The Top Ten Jewish Characters in Movies

In previous Top Ten lists, we’ve covered the best Jewish film directors, the best actors, the best Jewish stoner movies, and even, the best Judd Apatow films. Needless to say, Jews and Hollywood go hand and hand. And while we’ve also covered the best Jewish characters in TV shows, the amount of Jewish characters in movies out there is staggering. There’d be no way of mentioning each one worth merit, but after much research and investigation, we bring you the top ten of the most entertaining, most hilarious, most iconic Jewish characters in movies.

So zap some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show:

10.


Zohan Dvir

Played By: Adam Sandler

Movie: You Don’t Mess With The Zohan

Released: 2008

Known for both his portrayal of outlandish characters and encouraging open dialogue about the Jewish faith and culture, it’s no surprise that Adam Sandler would take on the role of a counter-terrorist for the Israel Defense Forces turned hairstylist. His character, Zohan, is both gut-busting hilarious while also genuinely moving. Despite the hilarity and comedic flair of the film, the ultimate message of the movie is one of peace and resolution between Israelis and Palestinians.

9.


Cher Horovitz

Played By: Alicia Silverstone

Movie: Clueless

Released: 1995

The embodiment of teenage youth and naivety, Cher Horovitz, as played by Alicia Silverstone, shows that life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you’re young. The daughter of a lawyer and the school’s go to girl, Cher is quick to judge others. However throughout the course of the film, she learns that words don’t mean much in comparison to actions and that rather than looking outwards for solutions, you have to look inwards.

8.


Mordechai Jefferson Carver

Played By: Adam Goldberg

Movie: The Hebrew Hammer

Released: 2003

Starring Adam Goldberg, this film and it’s title character Mordechai Carver (aka, the Hebrew Hammer) faced a string of controversy when it was first released. Critiques and media criticized the film for stereotyping the Jewish community. However, despite the backfire, this movie brings attention to the inequality surrounding religious holidays throughout the month of December in the funniest of ways. The movie focuses on a man trying to save Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, from the wrath of an evil Santa Claus wannabe.

7.


David Greene

Played By: Brendan Fraser

Movie: School Ties

Released: 1992

Following the story of David Greene, as played by Brendan Fraser, the movie about anti-Semitism in a private school during the 1950’s is a must see for anyone who loves film. David Greene is a student on a football scholarship who, upon admission to the school, discovers his classmates are prejudice against Jews. In fear he hides his religion, keeping it to himself… until one schoolmate tells the others out of jealousy. A tale of what it means to be brave and true to yourself in hard times, School Ties is worth a watch.

6.


Sgt. Donny Donowitz (aka. The Bear Jew)

Played By: Eli Roth

Movie: Inglorious Basterds

Released: 2009

If you haven’t seen Quentin Tarantino’s incredible take on the events of World War II, then you’re seriously missing out. Inglorious Basterds focuses on fictionalized events and a fabricated ending to the second World War, including a group of American soldiers that hunt down Nazi war criminals one by one. One such member of this team is Sgt. Donny Donowitz, played by Eli Roth, known by the Nazis as the Bear Jew, who’s known for beating in the skulls of the Nazis with a wooden baseball bat. Bloody, entertaining, and a wild ride, this movie is worth a watch if only for Roth’s action with a bat.

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