Transparent probes fallout when Mort becomes Maura

The latest production of Jill Soloway, Hollywood’s go-to scribe for tales of Jews and sex, is the Amazon TV series “Transparent,” the story of a Jewish family whose patriarch has just revealed to his three grown children that he is transitioning to life as a woman. The show premieres Sept. 26, when the entire season will be available for streaming through

Jill Soloway

Decked out in a red polka-dotted miniskirt, striped tights and brown boots, Soloway, 49, presided over a recent writers’ meeting like a nurturing mom, jumping up from time to time to write key phrases on a drawing board. Scribbles on a nearby board included the words “Shabbat” and “sexercise.” “We’ve got to go back and figure out what’s happening at that shiva,” she said as the writers bounced around ideas for a crucial Jewish mourning sequence: Should the show’s lesbian couple break up during the episode? Should one character hook up with another for some unexpected hanky-panky? Will the entire family blame Maura, the father-turned-female, for not coming out sooner? Will one of Maura’s children complain that Maura never taught her to believe in God?

Just as Soloway is an unconventional executive producer — determined to run her TV show in a more feminine fashion than the “militaristic” style she said graces most television series — “Transparent” is groundbreaking on more than one front. The show depicts perhaps the first fully rounded transgender character ever on a TV series, in what in Soloway’s words is “the most Jewish show ever written.”

This article was reprinted from the L.A. Jewish Journal. To view the full story, visit

Naomi Pfefferman

L.A. Jewish Journal