Posted to Chabad News on

‘The View’ takes an Ugly Rip at Chabad

By Debbie Schlussel of

The attacks on Jews–especially Orthodox Chassidic Jews–don’t just take place in Mumbai, India, or during a late-night anonymous act of vandalism on a synagogue in North Carolina.

The attacks on Jews have spread to ABC daytime talk shows, watched by millions of mindless, easily propagandized women.

More in the Extended Article.

On Wednesday, January 21st’s edition of the anti-male hag-fest, “The View,” Barbara Walters and her fellow co-hostesses engaged in a vile, anti-Semitic discussion with actress/comedienne Susie Essman. The stuff they said about Chassidic Jews–calling the women ugly, saying they have bad taste in clothing, have “weird,” “bizarre” customs–would never be tolerated if they substituted the word “Muslim” or “Black” for “Chassidic Jew.” I am not a Chassidic Jew–but since most Chassidic Jews do not own TVs and don’t waste their time watching this mindless garbage, I am the only one who noticed apparently.

The discussion took place in a segment featuring unfunny comedienne and actress Susie Essman, who appears in HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” She was on the show to promote her appearance in an upcoming CBS movie, “Loving Leah,” about a Lubavitch Chassidic Jewish woman who marries her late husband’s brother, a handsome cardiologist. (It stars Ricki Lake, so you know it’s gonna be awful.)

Essman–who is nominally Jewish, like Sarah Silverman–began the discussion by saying that being in the movie she learned that Chassidic Jewish women have terrible taste in clothing, that they’re “weird” and practice “bizarre” old religious customs, and that they cover up and they’re ugly. “Have you seen what these women look like?”

Resident Alzheimer’s patient, Barbra Walters said, “The way they dress, that’s related to Islam, right?” Hilarious. Um, the Jewish religion was around for centuries before Islam ripped off its rules from Judaism and Christianity. I suppose we got the Bible from the Koran, too. What a dummy. Remember this, the next time she does another one of her cockamamie religion specials (in which she sympathizes with HAMAS homicide bombers).

Sherri Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg, and airhead Elisabeth Hasselbeck laughed at her comments and agreed with them, saying nothing like, “Hey, stop your bigotry.” Walters didn’t object either.

To her credit, the only one who kinda sorta defended Chassidic Jewish women was Joy Behar, though she calls them “wacky.” “Well, they’re just like every other group of women–some aren’t pretty and some are.” To this, Susie Essman responded with a face and a noise indicating she thought they were all ugly. Look at the picture of Susie Essman, above. I’m sure you’ll agree that she’s not exactly in a position to call anyone else “ugly” or accuse them of poor taste in fashion.

Article Continued on


  • 1. upset wrote:

    This is disgusting….and the ironic thing is, is that I watch this show, I actually like watching these old women yak about their opinions. What do they know about us that they think they have the right to say these things? THey don’t even have the full picture of what it MEANS to be a Lubavitcher, they’re just focusing on this movie that this woman made that doesn’t even follow what we do! And it’s better that we respect ourselves and dress Tzniusly and wear shietles that dress the way THEY do! It’s better that we have morals and dignity… and comparing us to Muslims? WHAT is that? I’m sure if someone started making statements about black people, whoopie would slap them across the face!
    I hope these people learn to shut themselves up and keep their stupid opinions to themselves.

  • 3. hakoras hatov wrote:

    This is hysterical! “ What do you know about the Hassidic religion?” Ha!! Their ignorance is amazing! You may want to give credit to the author of this article her name is Debbie Schlussel

  • 4. boruch hoffinger wrote:

    Read a drop, watched a drop – curious.
    Quick! Quick! Get out there
    I go around the streets of Crown Heights almost
    every day to teach The 7 Noahide Laws.
    Did u know that . . . there’s a NEW, Jewish-owned
    liquor store on the S/E corner of Utica Avenue and Carroll Street?
    Went there today, from Frankels’ shul, at 10:10AM to put Tefillin on the owner, but he was closed.
    My son Hershy spoke to him about 2 months ago and it seems the owner, a Russian Jew, might want to stock some Kosher wine. I bought vodka there erev Succos because I couldn’t get to Kingston Ave. on time.

  • 5. Shocked and Awed wrote:

    I actually like that show and catch a snippet once in a great while just for the amusement factor.
    I read the article and initially thought, “oh I’m sure this is just an over reaction from someone about one or two small comments taken the wrong way, besides, three of the six women discuseed are Jewish, so……” Then I watched the clip, and my heart sank. I get that these women are not frum by any stretch of the imagination, I get that Susue Essman was playing a role that was “foreign” to her, but I am really stunned at not only the comments, but the overall attitude of the dicussion.
    I really think that the show needs to make an on air apology about this incident. If any other “group” had been the subject of this segment, there would be a protest outside the studio. We should expect no less.
    One last thing, in these trying times what with the economy and related events in the news, what is happening in Israel, and Europe with anti-semitism, I am never surprised by the things people will say regardiing the Jewish people, and there are more than a few non-Jews I thought of as friends who have surprised me with what they have said concerning recent events; this comes unfortunately as no surprise. That said, it truely breaks my heart to see three Jewish womman
    who make a living sitting around and talking on a show produced and owned by Jews, saying these kind of things for a few cheap laughs.

  • 6. moshiach wrote:

    You can also mail them a letter at:

    ABC’s The View
    320 W. 66th Street
    New York, NY 10023

    Att: Brian Frons

  • 7. yidden wrote:

    I just called, it’s immpossible to get through, you can’t even leave a message, but I finally got a guy and asked him to please give a message to Brian Fons. Everyone should try, call if you can!

  • 8. A Shliach wrote:

    Funny – a mekurav of mine mentioned this movie, since he watched it last night. Of course, like other movies, it seems like they did fairly no research, as Yibum is not even practiced nowadays, so the whole thing is bogus. Hollywood as usual.

  • 9. They went too far wrote:

    After hearing this , I’ve completely lost any respesct for these ladies especially Barbera Walters , the one with supposidely the most common sense.
    By all means , everyone , no matter if you watch this show , or if you’ve never even heard of this show, to please call the number to ABC @ 212-456-7777 and request to speak to Brian Frons the President of Daytime Television ABC and let your voice be heard . Let him know that anti -semitism is unacceptable on his airwaves !
    P.S. Sherri Shepperd herself wears a wig , I wonder what’s underneath that ?

  • 10. Pentax wrote:

    I strongly suggest that you don’t just contact ABC
    since they really don’t care and have nothing to lose.

    Now if you are smart you would call or email
    Corporate Disney because they have lots to lose since
    ABC is their subsidiary.

    The only way this would work though is if the trader
    says he won’t trade Disney and the family says they won’t
    use any Disney product or it’s subsidiaries.

    Corporate Disney:
    Corporate Disney: 818 560 1000.

  • 11. Feigie wrote:

    Where is this show taped? Get a group of classy tznius women to get tickets to be in the audience. Shock them at how intelligent, beautiful, tznius and informed we are!

  • 12. Mimi wrote:

    Anti Semitism?

    Or maybe just ignorance?

    Any letters sent would be much more effective if tame and informative.

  • 13. Moishie wrote:

    I would have referred them to Richard Sylvan Selzer better known as “Mr. Blackwell” the world known fashion ctitic who recently passed away.

    He would have taken one look at those view beauties and made chopped meat out of them and of course being Jewish himself it would have been poetic justice.

  • 16. Henny Chanina wrote:

    Kol Hakavod to you and your publishing site! You bring about more awareness of what is going on in the world out there. I guess that reinforces each of us why the TV, news and any other shows out there are all the same rubbish not meant for any, Jew especially children. (Don’t we all see the damaging effects on our happiness, peace and inner security when we delve ourselves into the ideas, horrifying news flashes which just confuse, iritate and mesmerize us at times.
    Thanks again!
    I sign with the desired pride and happiness of a Jew,

  • 18. i saw it wrote:

    The movie was not about Lubavitch women it was depicting a Jewish woman from Williamsburg. It specifically showed the train station in Williamsburg, the J,M, and Z line and the women were supposed to be dressed the way Williamsburg women dress but unfortunately they looked more like all of the chassidic types of women mixed into one. The rabbis on the other hand looked lubavitch. And I think they specifically tried to make her look horrible showing that this is what frum jewish women look like… after all it is a movie and all about being dramatic. Oh and most of the actors weren’t even jewish just random goyish looking people who the viewers are associating with jews. This is exactly what is wrong with people who do not have their facts straight making movies about frum chassidish people. And to top it all off, the woman ends up frying out and joining a reformed synagogue. So if you ask me, i’d say that the plot was set up to make fun of chassidic people and show how this woman becomes “normalized”.

  • 19. offended wrote:

    who made this dumb movie “loving leah” anyway. i dislike when jewish customs are explained to gentiles. a lot of what we do and the way we live seems odd to them. i wouldn’t be surprised if it was written and directed by someone who wanted to put out a warped message about frum women. common! they could’ve given her a nicer more glam/stylish wardrobe… etc.
    comparing chassiddism to muslim finatics or generalizing about pretty or not pretty woman in a group is a racial prejustice, and to laugh about it?!?! guess it proves who the real self-hating jew is….

  • 21. Jo Flatbush wrote:

    Besides that the Halacha is very clear that they only get marriedif theyreally like each other because if they don’t want to get married, wether he or she, they don’t and they do chalitsa.
    This lady probably knows that,and what she should have done if she was honest is to start by saying that that the truth is that this situation where people so different normally don’t end up geting married, but she wanted to create a situation where this happened and see where it leads to.
    Lets find out where she leaves and send to her the shluchim to do mivtzoim with her. I hope the shluchim are also good looking to complete the picture and her tshuva.

  • 22. Katch wrote:

    I guess I can find it funny, its pretty crazy that they think ALL jewish woman are ugly because that is absolutely not true…I hear many non-Jewish men saying, JEWISH GIRLS ARE BEAUTIFUL…all the time…and its true!

  • 23. female wrote:

    truth be told: we do have seemingly strange customs. however, they should not be mocked.

    but what does male-hating have to do with it. was the article written by a male?

  • 24. david wrote:

    substitute “black” in for everytime they say “jew” or “chassidic Jew”… and you still think it’s ok in this society. Sharpton would be protesting in the streets to have these women FIRED!!

  • 26. esti wrote:

    No matter how bad what they said about hasidim is, the lashon hara in this article is really not called for. I don’t think this site should have posted this.

  • 28. an offended lubavitcher wrote:

    My letter to Brian Frons:

    Last week I was able to see the segment of The View on Wednesday, January 21, 2009. I was very upset by what I saw, and attempted to reach you via phone. The first two times I called, I was transferred to the wrong area. The third time I was treated very rudely by an intern or secretary named Shannon. (She refused to give me her last name.) She told me nothing would be done to correct the misinformation and blatant antisemitism expressed on the show. I asked that she take my name and number hoping against hopes that you would be given the message and possibly call me back. I did try again to reach you, and this time a man with a British accent hung up on me as soon as he heard my name.

    That said, let me explain why I was so upset. I am a Chabad Lubavitcher. As you are well aware, this past November saw the most horrific attack take place against a Chabad House in Mumbai. It was later revealed that this attack was the target, not an unfortunate mistake. The Chabad house’s rabbi and rebbitzen were brutally murdered. This past Chanukah, there were attacks on several public menorahs around the world. And recently, with the war in Gaza, religious Jews around the world have been victims of attacks, both on the synagogues and on their persons. With this in mind, imagine how horrifying it is to watch a television show make terrible remarks about Jews. If you were to substitute any other nationality instead of the word Jews, I think there would have a been a huge out cry. I don’t understand how those women could sit around and laugh, saying Lubavitcher women are ugly, bad dresses, and wear gross wigs. Would they have said African-American women are ugly? Would they have said that Muslim or Hindu women do not know how to dress? Since when did it become acceptable to criticize an entire group of people? There are many women around the country who have never, ever met a Jew. And now, this is the opinion they have of Lubavitcher women. And while it is true that not every single Lubavitcher woman is as “glamorous” as a Hollywood starlet, this is not our goal in life. We believe that the true beauty of a woman is found within. There is no need to flaunt ourselves with low cut dresses. Most Lubavitcher women are raising very large families while adhering to the laws we hold dear. In addition, they often work outside of the home, and manage to do it all without nannies or live in help. Also mocked on this episode was the reason why a religious woman covers her hair. It is not because we worry about turning some other man on. It happens to be a very beautiful law. When a woman marries, her hair becomes holy. It is something that she shares only with her husband. THAT is the reason we cover our hair, both outside of the home and in the home as well.

    I really feel that you show has done a terrible disservice to the entire Lubavitcher community by allowing these remarks to go unanswered. There are many very excellent representatives within the Lubavitcher community. It would correct this mis-justice if you were to allow some of these lovely ladies to appear on your show and explain who and what a true Chabad Lubavitcher is. Maybe you can even help to improve the idea that is out there that we are so “wacky”. We are, after all, just humans like you and the other ladies on the view.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I do sincerely hope you will do what is right. I would be happy to assist you in reaching the right people to come to represent Lubavitch.

  • 30. ABC wrote:

    The looks of the people on The View are as attractive as their intelligance levels. Absolutely moronic, I only care since the words leave an impression, but what a stupid show a bunch of shiksas talking nonsense and getting emotional for the biggest stupidities.
    Who cares

  • 31. another comment wrote:

    someone should definitely notify abc’s the view. i am pretty sure they take feedback seriously and discuss it on the show…its all ignorance and people need to learn.

  • 32. xcher wrote:

    Come on people. Grow up and get thicker skin. Please don’t complain and come off as children who cant handle being made fun of. They mention us of all people because of our strength, not weakness. They perceive us as stronger than them, which is why they’ll knock us and never say, black people, who they instinctively perceive as weaker.

    We get plenty of good press. Completely ignore these idiots and you’ll come off as stronger.

    The best response is absolutely none. You guys shouldn’t have even posted it as most of your readership does not watch television (I should hope).

    If “spreading the light” and “doing good” is a good enough response for a massacre, it ought to do for now as well.

  • 33. y, kfar chabad wrote:

    Oh “Debbie Debbie,”… (Stern refference, you’ll get it, I’m sure) you’r supposed dislike for people, who rip on religious and chassidishe jews, hasn’t stopped you from going on Howard Stern’s show, promoting you’re website time and time again.

    Stern, whome I’ve personally heard voice similiar sentiments if not worse, (and i have a sneaky suscipicion that you too, share such sentiments)

    that not withstanding, you’r one hundred percent on the money, regarding Barbra Walters, and her ABC “specials”,

    and personaly, at the risk of sounding “prust”, a lil’ bit, i can speak on behalf of chabad, that jews in general,and chabad-lubavitch in particular, have an AMAZING gene pool, and what’s more, the ones (the women) who dress tzniusly, are 10 times “hotter” and more beutifull, then any of them or their daughters. Period. Anyone with me?

  • 34. Letter to the Editor Writer wrote:

    Yes, we as Lubavitchers should speak out and we should do it coherently and respectfully and intelligently. It will and does make a difference! The letter posted by an “offended Lubavitcher” is a good example; but we must all be careful when we do post or send letters to carefully edit all that we send. (Yes, unfortunately there were some typos in this well-written letter as well.)The reason I say this is that I have seen other publications (ie. The Village Voice and others)go to this site and mock statements printed here and belittle us. Grammar and spelling mistakes do not help the matter.

    Let’s do what we need to do to defend ourselves and do it with dignity, intelligence, and thoughtfulness.

  • 35. anonymous wrote:

    It’s not about how many heads you turn, it’s about how many hearts and minds you turn.

  • 36. AIR HEAD Walters wrote:

    Imus in the morning , a national syndicated radio show that had millions of listeners, was fired for making fun of a group of female African American basketball players HAIR and the View air heads can laugh at Jewish woman with impunity.
    It’s wrong and a double standard that we should not allow.
    I hope everyone will write and call ABC and all the producer and even more important the advertisers of the show. As we all know we are in the mitts of thought economic times no company can offered to affined of alienate potential or current costumers .
    We need an All Sharpton to rally in front of their offices like he did to Imus.
    The Jewish community at large deserves and should receive an apology from these woman.
    I understand the Barbra Walters is one of the executive producers of the show. I would hope that a woman in her position should know a little better than to make such a statement.
    “The way they dress, that’s related to Islam, right?” What an AIR HEAD she is as stupid as she look
    These people, like Walters, sit all day and talk about many different topics and one can think they know what they are talking about, like in the previous president campaign. But when they comment on topic that are well know to us they revile how truly ignorant they are.
    As one married to a truly beautiful Jewish woman I am offended by your statements and you should be embraced at your own ignorance.

  • 37. SHTUS SH-EIN KOMOHU wrote:

    WHO do you think these idiots are talking to on the “view”???

    They are talking to moronic imbsiles in nursing homes and other pathetic losers who are NOT working, and have nothing better what to do than to watch a stupid panel of dumb GOYIM, (and even dumb-er wannabe YIDDISHE GOYIM) who think THEY have the right “view” of the world!?

    Who cares what a mamzeres (or mamzer) says or thinks?!

    Are you going to worry about the opinions of every shikkera goy & goya, who take drugs – and live like animals?!

    They go around wearing scant clothes – that years ago, people would even had more covering on thier dogs and cats, and today they are NOT ashamed one bit! ADERABA, it’s a “style” These are the people you are NISPAEL from!?!?

    Maybe this is a WAKE-UP call NOT to emulate the GOYISHE ways and styles – maybe this is a wake-up call for yidden to be TAKEH more tznius-minded, and TAKEH be separate from GOYIM and GOYISHKEIT?

  • 38. Judy Lederman wrote:

    show me the episode…how do I know that Ms. Schlussel isn’t misinterpreting what actually was said on this episode?

    The movie stank anyway. I’ve never seen anything so unrealistic in my life – and it NEVER said these were Chabad Chassidim – they could have been Satmar for all the detail the movie DIDN’T have.

  • 41. A Prideful Jew wrote:

    As many great people have done throughout history when spat upon, I raise my head in pride and continue on in life.

  • 42. mn wrote:

    oyy vay!! to all you women who are offended: i fell really bad for you. your egos were all put down. may you all feel better soon….

  • 43. anonymous wrote:

    When I watched the clip I was letdown. Since we all do have beautiful hair we reserve it only for our husbands. Isn’t it quite obvious why we are like this compared to the secular world where over half of marriages are ruined through extra-marital affairs? Enough said!!! There is a unique beauty to modesty. :)

  • 45. Elishevs wrote:

    Wow, I’ve viewed the clip on you tube and read all of your comments thus far posted and I must say that your collective response has been disheartening. The comments Susie Essman made were made out of ignorance. She obviously doesn’t have many Chasidic friends, nor does she travel in our circles so even though it is true that she should not have made comments on a subject she is not well educated in it does not free us to react to them with animosity and an evil tongue. Shouldn’t we try and set an example and “practice what we preach”? As in the teachings of the Alter Rebbe, we are taught to be humble and self-effacing. To try our best to rid ourselves of the pridefulness that only serves to bolster our ego and separate us further from our fellow man and from G-D. If such comments serve to send us into such a tizzy, what is this saying about the concepts that we hold dear. If someone doesn’t like the way we look, what matter? We dress the way we do for G-dly reasons, not for approval from others. Secondly, the Tanya says that we are not to give expression in though, speech, or action to any animosity toward our fellow man, but instead to act with kindness toward him. I am very disappointed that the web site would post such an article condoning this type of Lashon Hara. The author attacked everyone on the panel whether deserved or not. Who are we to judge anyone, that is G-d’s job, not ours and we should conduct ourselves in such a manner. By lashing out like this against ignorant comments it makes us worse that the offender. It drags us down into the mud with them. What was our patriarch Joseph’s response to the conduct of his brothers? Forgiveness, love and kindness…

  • 46. y, kfar chabad wrote:

    to “ABC”

    you wrote: “but what a stupid show a bunch of shiksas talking nonsense and getting emotional for the biggest stupidities.
    Who cares”

    first of all most of them are not “shiksa’s”, Behar, Walters, Essman, and Shepherd (? I THINK), are actualy yidden. (jews for nothing, though)

    and second, how dare any of you get mad at them , when all of you share worser sentiments about THEM and their people. Since when have lubavitchers, become so conciencious, and cared for “political correctness”

    i write this not cynicaly, but as a proud INTELLECTUALY HONEST Lubavitcher,

    Pay no attention, to a group of babble-mouth, and pretend to care. Instead maybe send them each flyers, on tznius, etc. or a copy of the WONDERFULL!!! book: “Jewish Alternatives in Dating, Love and Marriage” by Pinchas Stopler? (i’m almost sure that’s the title).

  • 47. Chaim wrote:

    Despite the original positive premise of this article, it was marred by excessive, irrelevant negative statements to the point I couldn’t even finish it.

    Please use more discretion when posting such stories in the future.

  • 48. Gloria wrote:

    I was not lucky enough to have been brought up in a Chabbad household. My mother showed me the basics and I have grown from there. The more I learn about my beautiful religion the more I want to do. I do not watch these mindless talk shows because that is exactly what they are, let’s remind ourselves of that. However this mindlessness is dangerous and whoever suggests that we get a “thicker skin” should remind themselves that antisemitism often starts with a joke but always starts with ignorance and we need to be careful, never let our guard down. Don’t forget our new president is more than half way to a minyon, so if anything goes wrong it is not the blacks that will get the blame but us Jews once again.

  • 49. disgusting wrote:

    all the same, thank you for at least tring to cover the women with black blotches and so males do not have to look at untzniusdike women

  • 50. Jamie wrote:

    Barbara Walters is Jewish so it suprises me that she is so ignorant. Goldberg proclaims to be Jewish but I doubt she ever went through a kosher conversion. Jan Behar is Jewish as is Essman. What’s with these women? I am not Chassidic but I have been around many of the Chassidic women and some are beautiful. Stunning. Some not. Pretty much like the rest of the population. Somehow they think modest clothing is ugly. They are a sad group of women and the show is nothing more than a gossip corner. Nothing interesting going on there at all.


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