Celebrity Jews: MLB stars, Judd Apatow, Jason Segel and more

In the major leagues now

Scott Feldman

If you’re keeping score, here are the Jews in the major leagues: Ryan Braun, 28, outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers, 2011 National League MVP; Craig Breslow, 31, pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks, former A’s player from 2009 to 2011; Ike Davis, 24, first baseman, New York Mets; Scott Feldman, 29, pitcher, Texas Rangers, grew up in Burlingame and played for the College of San Mateo; Ian Kinsler, 29, second baseman, Texas; Jason Marquis, 33, pitcher, Minnesota Twins; Kevin Youkilis, 33, third baseman, Boston Red Sox; and Danny Valencia, 27, third baseman, Minnesota.

Braun, Kinsler and Feldman have Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers. The first two were raised secular, while Feldman’s family belonged for a time to Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame. Valencia and Davis have Jewish mothers. Davis was raised secular, while Valencia was raised religiously Jewish. The rest of the players have two Jewish parents.

Look for these players, who had some major league time last season, to be called up: Josh Satin, 27, second baseman, Mets, and Ryan Lavarnway, 24, catcher, Boston.

 

San Francisco ‘Engagement’

The romantic comedy “The Five-Year Engagement” opens Friday, April 27. The movie starts off in San Francisco, where Tom (Jason Segel, 32) and Violet (Emily Blunt) have fallen in love and get engaged. Violet is Catholic and Tom is Jewish, which provides fodder for a scene where their respective fathers argue about how much of their respective religious traditions will be part of the wedding. (David Paymer, 57, plays Tom’s father.) However, the wedding is put off when Violet gets her dream job at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The job is supposed to last only two years but is extended to five. Meanwhile, wedding plans repeatedly are put off as Tom unhappily works at a bakery (filmed at Zingerman’s, a famous Ann Arbor Jewish deli and bakery).

Alison Brie, 29 (NBC’s “Community”), plays Violet’s sister. The screenplay is by Segel and Nicholas Stoller, 36, who also directed the film. Stoller directed Segel in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008), which Segel wrote alone. He also directed Segel in last year’s “The Muppets” and, you guessed it — they co-wrote that film, too. “Five-Year” scenes were shot around San Francisco and in Glen Ellen in Sonoma County.

 

Nice Jewish ‘Girls’

Zosia Mamet

The comedy-drama “Girls,” which premiered on HBO April 15, follows the lives of five women in their early 20s who are sorting things out after moving to New York City. The series is produced by Judd Apatow, 44, and was created by Lena Dunham, 25. Dunham co-stars as Hannah. (Dunham is the daughter of a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father).

Zosia Mamet, 23, plays Shoshanna, whom Dunham describes as “The type of young woman who proudly displays her ‘Sex and the City’ poster in her bedroom, and wears light pink velour jumpsuits. A Jewish American Princess with an unexpected inner life.” Mamet is the daughter of playwright David Mamet, 64, and his ex-wife, actress Lindsay Crouse, a devout Buddhist.

Zosia’s credits include playing the lesbian character Joyce in “Mad Men.” (Zosia’s father became a “serious” practicing Jew around the time his marriage to Crouse was ending. His second wife, actress Rebecca Pidgeon, 46, with whom he has two children, is a convert to Judaism).

Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at middleoftheroad1@aol.com.

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.