8: Video excerpt, "HappyISH," Season 1, Episode 9, 2015.
HappyISH is a satirical comedy-drama series written and created by Shalom Auslander for Showtime. It aired for one season in 2015. In this clip, Lee, an artist who struggles balancing work and parenting, takes her son Julius to Hebrew school to give him a sense of spirituality but winds up feeling alienated by its optimistic, over-earnest tone and simplistic answers to complicated theological questions. Lee, estranged from her Jewish faith and family, wants to share something of Jewishness with her son, but does not find what she is looking for in this satirized portrait of Hebrew School.
Suggested Activity: Discuss the following questions with your students: What do you think Lee came to this Hebrew School hoping to find? What does she find instead? What are the implicit criticisms of Hebrew school in this clip? This episode aired on Showtime to a mixed audience of Jews and non-Jews. How might Jews and non-Jews perceive this scene differently? Ask your students to describe the teacher. How does her approach to, or relationship with, Jewishness appear to be different from Lee’s? How does this portrayal of a Hebrew school teacher compare to the portrayals of teachers in the other resources in this kit?
Source: HappyISH, season 1, episode 9, “Starring Mr. Mike, Joseph McCarthy and Alfred Bernhard Nobel,” directed by Shalom Auslander, aired June 21, 2015, on Showtime, accessed March 9, 2017, http://www.sho.com/video/36598/hebrew-school.