Judaism Representation in New Girl

December 17, 2021
Sami Cohen

Parker, Colorado, United States

Class of 2023

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New Girl. If you haven’t seen this show, STOP reading and go watch. Then come back and finish reading after you’ve watched at least an episode. I came across New Girl by accident. I was bored and scrolling through Netflix recommendations and flukily clicked. Best mistake I’ve ever made.

New Girl was easy to fall in love with. Jam-packed with comedy, love, and craziness, the show follows a quirky woman who got cheated on and moved in with some random roommates she met on the internet. Smart, right? I quickly fell in love with each character. Coach’s inability to read the room, Nick's awkwardness, Jess’s originality, Winston's cat obsession, and Schmidt’s… Jewishness. Yes, you read that right. A Jewish character in a popular show. Rare.

I was honestly a bit thrown off at first. In the least stereotypical way possible, he just seemed Jewish. When the Christmas episode came around I was intrigued. What were they going to say? Was I right? Sure enough, good old Schmidt advocated for Hanukkah. I love The Office and Friends, but I’ve never gotten to have that personal connection to a character. I have never seen that part of myself in the T.V. shows I religiously watched. New Girl provided a sense of security in a way, an underlying feeling that I was seen.

Schmidt is also the funniest character I think I’ve ever watched. Knowing that a character, so loved worldwide, so highly regarded, is Jewish, is a special feeling, as I’m sure it is for many Jewish watchers around the globe. Max Greenfield was actually a guest at IC a few years back, which goes to show. I am beyond grateful I stumbled across this silly little show, a show that quickly became my most watched. A show I can pretty much repeat by heart at any hour of the day.

In this day and age, it is more prevalent now, than ever before, to see Jewish representation all around. Whether it’s in a T.V show, or advocating for days off school for the Jewish holiday, or being a part of community gatherings for programs, it is up to us to advocate for our representation. Every view, every petition, every conversation matters. So whether it’s through a T.V show, or anything else, strive to be a part of that representation. As Schmidt would say, “Judaism, SON!”

Sami Cohen is a BBG from Rocky Mountain Region and is a big fan of sunsets, Taylor Swift, and a good book.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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