Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
Volume 25, Number 4, Summer 2007
pp. 3-17 | 10.1353/sho.2007.0099
This essay examines the recent upsurge in overt Jewish identity in American popular culture, using the film Meet the Parents (2000) and its sequel Meet the Fockers (2004) as a case study to demonstrate how the Jewish Jew is no longer avoided and when portrayed does not fall victim to stereotyping. While looking at these two films together, I describe a broader evolution in media from the de-ethnicized Jew, and for that matter the de-ethnicized Jewish actor, to performers flaunting (and thereby celebrating) Jewishness in a Christian-centric society that has found acceptance of the Other. The paper also questions what about Jewishness is cool and describes how viewer subjectivities influence the perception of coolness.