It’s no secret to any Simpsons-watcher that Jewish culture and humor play a noticeable role in the animated series. We have even blogged about it before here on the JOI website! With last’s month’s release of The Simpsons Movie, there is no better time to take advantage of The Simpsons’ Jewish leanings, positive and negative, to encourage participation in the Jewish community.
As reported by The Jerusalem Post, the move was dubbed in Hebrew for its Israeli release. How can the Jewish community use this opportunity for outreach and engagement? Perhaps, local communities can use clips from the Israeli version of the movie to teach an introductory course in Hebrew, or maybe a community can use the timeliness of the movie to promote a lecture discussing the Jewish inclinations of The Simpsons. As the Jpost article notes:
Though the film’s Israeli premiere marks the first time the Simpsons will conduct their affairs in Hebrew, the movie is hardly the family’s first exposure to Judaism or that other famous Jewish tongue, Yiddish. Members of the family have been familiar with the language since at least the show’s third season, when it was revealed that Krusty the Clown’s full name is in fact Herschel Krustofski, and that the pie-throwing children’s entertainer had been disowned years earlier by his father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, for not continuing the family tradition and becoming a rabbi.
The Jewish community can look to pop culture icons, such as The Simpsons, as entryways into the Jewish community for unengaged Jews and those who have a connection with Judaism.
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