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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Michael Richards: Jewish by Association?


    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Just when it seemed Michael Richards was about to leave the most troubling incident of his career behind, his publicist is having to explain how the comic could consider himself to be Jewish.

    Last week, crisis-management expert Howard Rubenstein acknowledged that Richards had shouted anti-Semitic remarks in an April standup comedy routine - well before his appearance earlier this month in which he harangued hecklers with the n-word. But he defended Richards' language about Jews, saying that the comic "is Jewish. He's not anti-Semitic at all. He was role-playing."

    As Rubenstein's assertion circulated, Jewish organizations and commentators pointed out that the man who played Cosmo Kramer on "Seinfeld" has not converted to Judaism and neither of his parents are Jewish.

    Which makes him ...

    "Technically, not having been born by blood as Jewish and not formally going into a conversion, it was purely his interpretation of having adopted Judaism as his religion," Rubenstein told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "He told me, 'I'm Jewish,' when I asked him.

    "He said there were two mentors who raised him and who had a big influence on his life, and they were Jewish. He said, 'I agree with the concepts and the religious beliefs of Judaism and I've adopted Judaism as my religion,'" Rubenstein said. "He really thinks of himself as Jewish."

    What do some Jews think?

    "You can't feel Jewish. It's not a matter of feeling. You can convert to Judaism. You can't not convert to Judaism and then be Jewish," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

    Hier defined being Jewish from two perspectives, if someone hasn't gone through the process of formal conversion.

    "From the Orthodox point of view, if that person has a Jewish mother, he would be considered Jewish," Hier said. "In the Reform tradition, there's also a patrilineage. Under those categories, he would not fit."

    Rabbi Mark S. Diamond of the 280-member Board of Rabbis of Southern California agreed.

    "There are many people who appreciate Jewish customs, who may embrace aspects of Jewish culture and practice, but that does not make them Jewish," he said.

    After his tirade came to light, Richards apologized on David Letterman's "Late Show" on CBS, saying his remarks were sparked by anger at being heckled, not bigotry. He also apologized to the Rev. Al Sharpton, and apologized Sunday on the Rev. Jesse Jackson's syndicated radio program.

    Rubenstein said Richards wasn't available for an interview Tuesday.

    "He wants to rest," the publicist said. "He's been talking to his psychiatrist."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Re: Michael Richards: Jewish by Association?

    For a conservative, you certainly focus a lot of your energy on politically incorrect comedians. At least, I've noticed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: Michael Richards: Jewish by Association?

    Quote Originally Posted by ianmatthews
    For a conservative, you certainly focus a lot of your energy on politically incorrect comedians. At least, I've noticed.
    That's because if I had to guess, the only reason he switched to being a conservative is because of the war on terrorism. Earlier this year he was a liberal.

    That goes to show you how much influence the two parties have tried to put on "who you are" by your thoughts on the war on terror. Hello - the war on terror has only been around for the last five years and there were two parties way before then. Just because you have a certain stance on the war doesn't automatically throw you out of one party in to another.

  4. #4
    TheWorker Guest

    Re: Michael Richards: Jewish by Association?

    it doesnt say whether he was yelling anti-semetic remarks towards people he perceived to be jewish/arab or whether he was making anti-semetic remarks in his routine.

    in this country, racist and bigotist remarks in comedy is allowed. i dont thin kthere is anythign funnier than when a black guy makes white/black jokes....

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