Oprah in Jewish Wonderland


Oprah Winfrey’s encounter with the Chasidic communities of Brooklyn is scheduled to air on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Sunday, Feb. 12.

On Wednesday evening, Chabad posted an exclusive 11-minute interview with the queen of talk show, where she sings the praises of the Chasidic lifestyle to interviewer Motti Seligson.

This marks a potential high point for Oprah in Jewish communal relations. 


Her previous best was a 2006 endorsement of Elie Wiesel’s "Night" through her famed book club, which catapulted the book to the New York Times best-seller list. That year, Oprah visited Auschwitz with Wiesel and invited the winner of a BBYO essay contest onto her show. In the recent Chabad interview, Oprah notes that she is en route to dinner with the Nobel laureate.

Oprah’s low point came in 1989, when a guest who claimed to have witnessed satanic ritual killings over the course of her Jewish upbringing, an appearance which the talk show host later apologized for.

Quote we were hoping for in the Chabad interview:

"You get a sheitl — and YOU get a sheitl!"

You can browse all of Oprah’s Jewish moments in the JTA Archive.

Archive Notes: Oprah also produced the 1999 TV movie adaptation of Tuesdays With Morrie.


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