10 TV Jewish Mothers We Love (or Hate)



A Mother’s Day special! Because if you’ll put all of them in a blender and add some guilt, you’ll get your mom! And you love your mom, don’t you? Well it wouldn’t hurt you to say it more often.

1. Sylvia Fine (“The Nanny”)

In a show that turned an eccentric Flushing-Jewish stereotype into an art form, Sylvia Fine, portrayed by Renée Taylor, was the queen. Constantly visiting the princess, Fran, and the Queen-mother, Yetta, Sylvia Fine (née Rosenberg) was a New York Jewish mother in a nutshell – overbearing, loud, hungry and mostly dominant.  Oh, and loud too.


2. Judy Geller (“Friends”)

Monica and Ross’ mom (Christina Pickles) behaved almost the exact opposite of Sylvia Fine. She was quiet, frowny and mostly judgmental of her only daughter. Judy’s main jobs were to never comment on the inappropriate things her husband Jack (Elliot Gould) says, and to make condescending remarks toward Monica — about her lack of a love life, career choices, and not being as successful as her older brother (in other words, for pulling a Monica). On the bright side, after listening to all of that kvetching, it was hard not to be in Monica’s corner.


3. Sheila Boflovski (“South Park”)

Kyle’s mom set a new standard — good or bad, we leave to you. Eric Cartman isn’t a fan, but again we’ll let the read decide what to make of that. Known for constantly asking/yelling “what what what???,” the mother of the only Jewish family in South Park is loud (with a thick New York accent, although she’s from New Jersey), noisy, flag-bearer of the PTA and is extremely over-protective of her sons Kyle and Ike, and will not rest until prime-time television is completely slur-free (a “tribute” to all the mothers who were against “South Park” when it first came out).


4. Joan Rivers (“Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?”)

She may seem like a fictional character, but Joan Rivers is as real as reality TV tells us she is. Yet another New Yorker, the television host known for her raspy voice, plastic surgeries and red-carpet appearances has shown off her mothering skills in We TV’s latest show  “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” which chronicles her moving in with daughter Melissa in Los Angeles. It all seems pretty unreal, but anything’s possible with Rivers.


5. Helen Seinfeld (“Seinfeld”)

Although George Costanza’s mother Estelle may seem like a better choice, she happens to be Italian, and so we have Jerry’s mother, Helen Seinfeld. Helen (Liz Sheridan), a Florida transplant, is certainly willing to argue with husband Morty when he needs a reality check. But she’ll also back him up when it’s Jerry who needs a good talking to — whether its because he never visits Uncle Leo or he got caught making out during “Schindler’s List.”


6. Ida Morgenstern (“Mary Tyler Moore Show” & “Rhoda”)

Rhoda’s mother (Nancy Walker) is one of television’s most famous Jewish mothers. She was a Bronx natural, a housekeeper who took no crap from nobody, and with confidence and opinions for greater than her small physical size (4′ 11″).


7. Mrs. Wolowitz (“The Big Bang Theory”)

We only hear Howard’s mother’s voice, but it’s enough to give you a pretty full picture. In fact, not seeing Mrs. Wolowitz (voiced by Carol Ann Susi) actually enriches her character, an, err, overbearing, loud mother who doesn’t seem to notice that her son has grown up to become a genius, and still treats him like a kid. Hey, don’t blame the messenger. Howard is the one who calls her a “crazy old mother.”


8. Andrea Zuckerman (“Beverly Hills, 90210”)

Everyone else was pining for Brandon, Brenda, Dylan and Kelly, but those with a soft spot for Jewish moms had Andrea (Gabrielle Curtis). She only become a mother to Hannah in the later seasons, but she was a mom from the very beginning. She was a caring, nerdy, moody, over-achieving buzzkill, who worked to be a good influence on Brandon, her biggest crush (silly goy, never chose her).


9. Linda Richman (Saturday Night Live)

One of Mike Myers’ most famous characters, Richman is a middle-aged Jewish woman and host of “Coffee Talk,” who wears a lot of gold, big hair and dark glasses and is obsessed with Barbra Streisand. How can you not love a Jewish mom who has Americans of every stripe saying “verklempt” and pronouncing it “buttah”?

10. Minka Kropotkin (“Rugrats”)

Tommy Pickles’ grandmother (the mother of Didi) is a typical bubbee — and suitable for a children’s television show. With a thick Eastern European accent, Minka(voiced by Melanie Chartoff) is a loving and caring woman, but not afraid to state yell her opinion, especially when it comes to arguing with her husband, Borris.

Do you think we missed anyone? Comment and let us know!




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