Celebrity Jews

Inside Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer

A friend referred to me a July 2015 post on the Religion News Service website: “Confessions of Amy Schumer’s childhood rabbi” by Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin. From 1988 to 1995, he was the rabbi of the Long Island Reform synagogue where Schumer, 34, belonged with her family. He presided over Schumer’s bat mitzvah, as well as the bar mitzvah of her older half-brother, Jason Stein. The rabbi recalled liking the whole family very much (including father Gordon Schumer, 65, and mother Sandra Schumer, 67). About Schumer, Salkin says: I remember [her] as a sweet, funny kid who often asked probing and humorous questions in religious school.”

Amy has at least once referred to herself as “half Jewish,” so I wrote to Salkin, who now serves a Florida temple as a senior rabbi, and asked him an awkward question about Amy’s mother: “Is Sandy Schumer a Jew-by-choice?” The rabbi replied in one sentence: “Sandy Schumer is Jewish.”

As for Amy describing herself as half Jewish — well, it was in the context of a jocular exchange in which that comment made comic sense. The Comedy Central series “Inside Amy Schumer” began its fourth season on April 21.

Series and season endings

The series finale of “The Good Wife” will air at 9 p.m. May 8 on CBS. Julianna Margulies, 49, who won two best lead actress Emmys for playing the title character, told Entertainment Weekly that Michelle King, in her 70s, and her husband, Robert King, who created the show, “always said it should end after year seven. I think they’re right, but … it’s going to be very hard to let go of a character and this family.” Reliable reports say Josh Charles, 44, who played the lead character Will Gardner (killed at the end of season 5), will appear in the finale in a flashback scene.

James Burrows

The season finale of “The Big Bang Theory” airs at 8 p.m. May 12 on CBS. Judd Hirsch, 81, will guest star as Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) never-before-seen anthropologist father. Last month, Galecki told an industry audience that he recruited Hirsch earlier this year when both attended an NBC tribute to James Burrows, 75 (Burrows directed Hirsch in “Taxi” and has directed episodes of  “Big Bang”). Galecki told the audience he drew elements from Alex Reiger, Hirsch’s “Taxi” character, in molding the Leonard character. Both Alex and Leonard, he said, acted as the voice of reason in their group — while actually they were as confused as their friends.

At the movies

Anton Yelchin

Patrick Stewart is said to be truly frightening in “Green Room” as a diabolical club owner. The story: A raggedy punk band agrees to play a run-down, backwoods club. When they get there, they find out that Darcy (Stewart) and his patrons are neo-Nazis. After the gig when a band member returns to the green room to get the cellphone she left behind, she and a colleague witness a murder by Darcy’s racist associates. Darcy then orders the band members killed, and the rest of the film consists of cat-and-mouse action. It all plays out in and around the backstage area, which adds to the film’s intensity. Anton Yelchin, 27, co-stars as Pat, a member of the band who proves to be Darcy’s most resourceful enemy. It opens Friday, April 29.

Also opening April 29 is “Mother’s Day,” a holiday film directed by Garry Marshall. Like his previous flicks, “New Year’s Eve” and “Valentine’s Day,” it is a collection of shmaltzy, interrelated stories relevant to the title and featuring a big cast, including Kate Hudson, 37.


Nate Bloom

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