Thursday, May 17, 2012 | return to: arts


Actor ‘comes home’ in Jewish series


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Elliott Gould, 73, is starring in a three-part online series aimed at helping diaspora Jews rediscover their roots. The Oscar-nominated film and television actor, who studied alongside Rabbi Nachman Braverman at the Aish HaTorah yeshiva, is revisiting his own roots with this new venture.

Elliott Gould
Elliott Gould
Available on, “Listen to Grandpa, Andy Ling” is an educational satire complete with talmudic references and Yiddish slang.

Its creator is Jason Venokur, who won a Golden Globe for writing on “3rd Rock from the Sun.” Venokur now lives in Jerusalem and is a student at the Aish HaTorah yeshiva.

The show tells the story of Andy Ling (Randall 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 U.S. Jews struggling with religious identity.

“We’re always trying new things, and this is a little out of the box,” said Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith,’s chief editor and one of the show’s producers.

“We didn’t think it would become such a viral hit,” Coopersmith says of the video series. “But we knew it would benefit from featuring a real celebrity. Elliott 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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