Mayim Bialik, Actor and Jeopardy! co-host, joined American Jewish University Chief Innovation Officer, Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, for a conversation about Judaism, antisemitism, and her upcoming projects
LOS ANGELES—On December 6th, American Jewish University (AJU) hosted Mayim Bialik - actor, writer, and neuroscientist - for a virtual conversation about her Jewish journey, antisemitism in the media, and her upcoming projects. Interviewed by AJU Chief Innovation Officer, Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, Mayim shared her mission in life, how she navigates being Jewish on set, and the backlash she has received from sharing aspects of her religion.
Rabbi Hirsch began the event by asking Mayim about her Jewish identity and how she got her start in acting. Mayim shared that, coincidentally, how these two aspects of her life came to a major head – on the same day. “[My first major film,] Beaches, came out the day of my bat mitzvah,” Mayim explained. “My bat mitzvah was a very important day for me, and it was a very interesting time in my life in terms of my career. My life was kind of never the same.”
Expanding on being Jewish in Hollywood, Mayim Bialik touched on dealing with antisemitism in the media, bluntly sharing that “there are people who simply don’t like Jews.” Instead of trying to change that, she tries to “ensure that the antisemitic voices on social media aren’t louder than the conversations I have with my family around the Shabbat table.”
Rabbi Hirsch then shifted the conversation to her legacy and Mayim’s mission in life. “I want to leave this world a little more repaired than when I entered it,” Mayim shared. “That is straight from what our people have been told to do, and I believe that spiritually, historically, genetically, and culturally, I am connected to a legacy.”
To watch the full conversation, visit: aju.edu/mayim
About AJU: American Jewish University (AJU) is a thriving center of Jewish resources and talent that serves the Jewish community of the twenty-first century. A portal for Jewish belonging, AJU equips students, faculty, campers, and learners of all ages with the tools to create the ideas, build the structures, and develop the programs to advance Jewish wisdom and elevate Jewish living. For more information, visit www.aju.edu.
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ben [at] miller-ink.com (Ben Parnes)rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" and rachel.richter [at] miller-ink.com (Rachel Richter)rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank"
Michelle Starkman, M.A., MBA
Vice President, Communications