Celebrity Jews

Play ball

The baseball season began this week. The following players were on a major league team as of March 29, have at least one Jewish parent, and don’t identify with a faith other than Judaism. This list was prepared with the help of Jewish Sports Review newsletter.

Brad Ausmus, Houston; Scott Feldman, Texas; Shawn Green, Arizona; John Grabow, Pittsburgh; Mike Lieberthal, Philadelphia; Jason Marquis, St. Louis; Scott Schoeneweis, Toronto; Adam Stern and Kevin Youkilis, both Boston. (Gabe Kapler, Boston, is still recovering from an injury and the Red Sox cannot put him on their roster until May 15.)

Feldman’s from Burlingame and was a star player at the College of San Mateo. Also, two Jewish minor league players (Jake Wald and Brian Horwitz) were on the Giants’ spring training roster, but didn’t make the final cut.

Turning to football, Jewish Sports Review just named local guys David Kalk and Robin Meadow to its 2005 all-star team of the best Jewish college players in the country. Kalk is from Mill Valley and plays for MIT. Meadows, a Concord native, plays for the University of Washington.

Wallace retires

“60 Minutes” reporter Mike Wallace, 88, says that this season will be his last with the show.

Last year, Wallace talked about his Jewish background to author Abigail Pogrebin. He recounted how he grew up in a moderately observant home and he says he still recites the Sh’ma prayer every night before retiring. However, he has not been a practicing Jew in his adulthood and only his first wife (he is now married to No. 4) was Jewish.

Wallace says he was hurt by charges that he was a “self-hating Jew” because of some hard-hitting pieces he did on Israel and he defined himself in general terms as a supporter of Israel.

He told Pogrebin that he has to remind his son, Fox cable newsman Chris Wallace, that Chris is, in fact, Jewish. (Mike had Chris with his Jewish wife.) Wallace explained that Chris was raised by a non-Jewish stepfather, is married to a non-Jewish woman and barely acknowledges being Jewish. (Why a Jewish couple named their son Chris is a question Pogrebin didn’t ask.)


The Forward recently reported that comedian Jackie Mason has a 20-year-old daughter named Sheba Mason. She’s now trying to make it as standup comedian while attending college in New York. But it’s not a happy father-daughter tale.

Jackie was involved for 10 years with Sheba’s Jewish mother, small-time entertainer Ginger Reiter, but they never married. He fought a long paternity case until court-ordered tests proved he was Sheba’s father.

Sheba has a sense of humor about her dysfunctional family. She says: “My mother is a bit of a nut job. She’s one of those leftovers from the ’60s. Other kids would come home from a date to find milk and cookies on the table. My mother would leave a joint and a pregnancy test.” As for her father, she jokes: “My father’s also a standup comic, on Broadway, and I’m proud of it, I really am — but sometimes I just wish I had a better-looking comedian for a father, like Rodney Dangerfield or Rosie O’Donnell.”

Mazel tov

Fred Savage, best known as the star of “The Wonder Years,” announced that he is expecting his first child with his Jewish wife and former childhood friend, Jennifer Stone Savage.

Columnist Nate Bloom , an Oaklander, can be reached at [email protected].

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.