The 7 Best Jewish Moms on TV (and Streaming)

May 11, 2017Marissa Solomon

It’s common knowledge at this point that we’re living in the Golden Age of Television, but did you know that we’re also living in the Golden Age of Jewish Mothers on Television? With shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Transparent, and The Goldbergs, we have more Jewish moms to watch on TV than ever before. While we celebrate the moms we love this Mother’s Day, let’s also celebrate the moms we love to watch.

Beverly Goldberg, The Goldbergs

Beverly Goldberg is everybody’s favorite “smother.” Her wit and strength are unstoppable, and her fierce protectiveness of her children makes her hilarious – and dare I say, heartwarming - to watch. She also has a killer ‘80s wardrobe and dance moves.

Naomi Bunch, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Naomi Garfinkel Bunch has a lot of chutzpah. Sure, her high standards for her daughter, Rebecca, drove Rebecca to quit her job and move across the country for a boy she dated one summer at camp, but Naomi always does what she thinks is best. She knows that lotion makes a great gift, and she’s tight with her rabbi. Also, Naomi is featured in what is arguably the best Jewish comedy song of all time. Now would be a great time to start watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (both seasons are on Netflix) if you aren’t already.

Frankie Bergstein, Grace and Frankie

Of all the Jewish moms on this list, Frankie Bergstein is the kookiest. She says exactly what’s on her mind and is always ready to stick it to the man – even if that man is Kenny Loggins. She’s extremely confident and intensely caring. She is also excellent at puns.

Bobbi Wexler, Broad City

Bobbi Wexler is only in two episodes of Broad City, but it’s all she needs to prove that she’s the best New York Jewish mom on television. She knows where to find the cheapest manicure, where to buy the best knock-off handbags, and she’s on a first-name-basis with the staff at Zabar’s. Plus, she's incredibly supportive toward both of her children, and she’s willing to learn just about anything from them. Bobbi Wexler cares.

Maura and Shelly Pfefferman, Transparent

Most of the mothers that we see on television are only there in their capacity as moms, but Maura and Shelly Pfefferman are representing their own stories in refreshing and empowering ways. They are both proof that it’s never too late to find yourself, and in Shelly’s case, proof that it’s never too late to write and perform a one-woman show.

Marilyn Kessler, Difficult People

Marilyn Kessler is one of the funniest characters on television. She’s a therapist, playwright, actress, but in her own words, she’s “just a woman.” She gives tough love, and she takes every opportunity she can to make sure her daughter, Julie, is safe. You’ve got to admire the confidence of a woman who deems herself the most brilliant person alive. 

For more Jewish content, subscribe to the Ten Minutes of Torah series.

Related Posts

Film Review: Golden Voices

October 4, 2021
In Evgeny Ruman’s bittersweet new film, Golden Voices, a pair of aging voice actors find their lives in upheaval after immigrating to Israel from the former Soviet Union. Victor and Raya, (Vladimir Friedman and Maria Belkin), are not only in a new land with an altogether new language, but also at a crossroads in both career and marriage.

An Accounting of the Soul?

August 31, 2021
A conversation with Ed Asner, z’l, died on August 29 at the age of 91. This article is adapted from The Actor Within (Wesleyan University Press).