Poor and Working-Class Jews are Underrepresented in Pop Culture, New Analysis Argues

From JTA (October 5, 2023)

As the WGA, the screenwriters’ union in Hollywood, returns to work following a five-month strike, the authors of a new analysis of Jewish representation have a message for its members: The world needs more Jewish characters who aren’t rich.

Portrayals of wealthy Jewish families spending big on lavish affairs — such as the characters in Adam Sandler’s latest movie, “You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” — present a distorted picture of American Jews and their financial need, according to the analysis, released Monday by a partner of the Jewish Funders Network that is focused on poverty.

“People are still very surprised to hear that 20% of the Jewish community is experiencing poverty,” said Rachel Sumekh, the Jewish Funders Network’s project executive for TEN, formerly known as the National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty. “One of the reasons why our narrative is outdated is Hollywood and the media, and what Jewish stories they tend to tolerate.”