Jennifer Rosenberg of Walnut Creek on the set of “Jeopardy!” Her episode aired on Nov. 24, 2020. (Photo/Courtesy Jeopardy Productions)
Jennifer Rosenberg of Walnut Creek on the set of “Jeopardy!” Her episode aired on Nov. 24, 2020. (Photo/Courtesy Jeopardy Productions)

Walnut Creek lawyer tests her mettle on ‘Jeopardy!’ in one of Alex Trebek’s last episodes

The category was “A Star Is Born.” The answer: “April 30, 1985 in Rosh Ha’Ayin, Israel gave us this wonder of a gal.”

Walnut Creek attorney Jennifer Rosenberg hit her buzzer immediately.

“Who is Gal Gadot?” she pronounced, winning her first $100 on “Jeopardy!,” the long-running game show where the answers are questions, and the categories test contestants’ knowledge — and buzzer speed.

“I have the biggest trivia head, and always have,” Rosenberg told J. after her show aired on Nov. 24. “Most of the contestants are super nerdy, like me.”

It was the third time she’d auditioned for the show, this time entirely on Zoom. But she flew to Los Angeles for the Sept. 14 in-person studio taping, where strict Covid protocols were observed. “We all had to sit 6 feet apart,” she reported.

Host Alex Trebek, who was suffering from pancreatic cancer, taped a week’s worth of shows that day, as usual. Unfortunately, Rosenberg didn’t get to shake his hand. “He really stayed away from everyone, and I couldn’t blame him. He was super professional, very nice, and he got through everything,” she said of Trebek, who died seven weeks later.

Rosenberg is married to Rabbi Raphael Asher, the founding rabbi of Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek, who retired in 2014 after 33 years on the pulpit. That could be why, in Double Jeopardy, she zeroed in on the category “Religion.” Bingo! She nailed the first response. The answer: “There is no God but him,” to which she replied: “Who is Allah?”

Jennifer Rosenberg of Walnut Creek with “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek at the Sept. 14 taping, weeks before Trebek died. (Photo/Courtesy Jeopardy Productions)
Rosenberg’s souvenir photo with host Alex Trebek showed social distancing in force during the taping. (Photo/Courtesy Jeopardy Productions)

“I was hoping for a Jewish question,” she said, but the closest she got was Gal Gadot.

The taping “went by in a flash,” she reported. “It was a lot of fun.” Rosenberg came in third, just $100 behind the second-place contestant. Neither could get close to the returning champion, Henry Baer of Lafayette. “He always got to the buzzer first,” she said.

Sadly, Rosenberg won’t be able to try again. Aside from champions, contestants get only one shot at “Jeopardy!” gold. “I felt bad I didn’t win,” she admitted. “But all my friends and family cheered me on anyway.”

Competing on the show is a lot different than watching it at home, she said.  “Everyone’s a star in their living room.”

Sue Fishkoff

Sue Fishkoff is the editor emerita of J. She can be reached at [email protected].