Elliott Gould, 64, most famously known as Ross and Monica's father in the hit show Friends is currently staring in a three-part video series aimed at helping Diaspora Jews to rediscover their roots. The actor, who studied alongside Rabbi Nachman Braverman at the Aish HaTorah yeshiva, is revisiting his own roots with this new venture.
Available on the Jewish website aish.com, "Listen to Grandpa, Andy Ling" is an educational Jewish satire complete with Talmudic references and Yiddish slang.
Its creator is none another than Golden Globe winner Jason Winokur, the writer behind 3rd Rock from the Sun. Winokur now resides in Jerusalem and is a student at the Aish HaTorah yeshiva.
The show tells the story of Andy Ling (Randal Parks), a professional loser and son of a Chinese father and Jewish mother. Having lost all his money and alienated his parents, Ling turns to his grandfather, played by Gould. Behind its snarky humor the show aims to touch on issues relevant to many US Jews struggling with their religious identity.
First episode of 'Listen to Grandpa, Andy Ling'
"We're always trying new things and this is a little out of the box," says Rabbi Nehemia Kupershmidt, Ais.com's chief editor and one of the show's producers. He explained that the thought behind the show was to upload humoristic videos with educational value.
The website teamed up with Winokur who jumped at the opportunity and introduced the producers to Danny Kaufman, an American director and graduate of Aish HaTorah yeshiva in Los Angeles.
The show proved to be a major online success. "We didn't think it would become such a viral hit," Rabbi Kupershmidt says. "But we knew it would benefit from featuring a real celebrity. Elliot Gould is like family to us and welcomed the offer. He even said that his character reminded him of his own grandfather. "
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