‘Mad Men’ comes to minyan


Never underestimate the miraculous confluence of Jews and Torah.

True story.

After minyan this morning a bunch of us minyan-aires were standing around eating bagels and lox and discussing post-Thanksgiving frequent flyer travel. That's when a woman I've never seen before came up and introduced herself. She asked, in turn, who I was and what I do. It turns out that she knows one of my colleagues, and that in the not-too-distant past, she was featured in the Jewish Journal, as part of our ongoing series on Holocaust survivors.

“And what do you write about?” she inquired.

“Oh, Hollywood, mainly,” I told her. “But I also write about other things.”

I elaborated about my non-Hollywood work. 

“My granddaughter wants to be a journalist,” she confessed, “but we're trying to discourage her. It's a difficult field.”

“Well, it can be,” I said. “The whole profession is in flux right now, but the work can be very gratifying.” 

She asked if I would speak with her granddaughter. I said of course… how old is she… we have internships… yadda yadda. I even offered for her granddaughter to attend to one of our editorial meetings. She was very grateful. She asked if I would put my contact information in her iPhone.

“Maybe I can help you too,” she said, as I punched my digits into her device. “My son-in-law works on 'Mad Men.'”

Obviously, my ears perked up.

“Oh really?” I replied, thinking that whoever her son-in-law is, he probably works in the writer's room or something like that. “What's his name?”

“Matt Weiner,” she said.

And that is just one reason why I will continue to attend daily minyan and say Kaddish for my mother with great fidelity. Never underestimate God's wonders, in Hollywood and beyond.