Bat-Mentsch and Mrs. Robinson? Jew-ish Gentile UPDATE

My piece yesterday about Jew-ish Gentiles in pop culture  (The most popular non-Jeff Smith post our site’s long, storied history!) sparked considerable discussion.

My challenge to identify a “should-be-Chosen-person that I failed to choose” was met ably by John Newton who suggested Anne Bancroft, who was raised Catholic, but who brilliantly and realistically played Jewish characters (such as in Keeping the Faith) on screen.  But as Diane Hertz Warsoff noted, Bancroft ultimately converted to Judaism when she married Mel Brooks.  (Who’d have thunk he was Jewish?!?)

However, surely her iconic character, Mrs. Robinson, qualifies.  We can be confident that Benjamin Braddock’s Cougar was not a Jewess, as her authorized biographers (both real Jews) noted: Jesus loves her more than she would know.  Wo Wo Wo.

Another reader, Mark Schneider, made a terrific discovery.  Apparently, I am not the only person who has theorized that Batman/Bruce Wayne is a Jew-ish character.

Check out this 2005 piece, “Bat-Mentsch” by Alan Oirich in the Jewish World Review:

The Dark Knight, as he has come to be called, is not generally considered to have such transparently Jewish beginnings as, say, Superman whose escape from Krypton was based on the story of Moses in exodus, or Fantastic Four’s The Thing, who was officially outed as a member of the Jewish people in a comic book a couple of years ago.

But there have always been some Jewish underpinnings to Batman, and the newly released origin film “Batman Begins” addresses some of them in a way that previous films about the character never came near. If Superman is a Moses, a Samson, then the newly begun Batman is An Abraham, A Pinchas, a Maccabee…

Read the rest here.


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