film star Seth Rogen to be honored for promoting Jewish identity, Yiddish

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Seth Rogen, a Jewish-American Hollywood actor and filmmaker who is studying Yiddish for a role, will be honored by a group devoted to promoting that language.

The Workmen’s Circle, a group whose mission is to strengthen Jewish identity based on social justice and Yiddish language, will honor Rogen, 37, in a ceremony Monday in Manhattan, the New Jersey Jewish News reported Wednesday.

“It’s something that’s always been just a very big part of my life,” the actor said of his Jewish identity in an interview with NJJN. “The first jokes I ever wrote were about it; it was a very inherent part of who I was.”

Rogen is studying Yiddish for his role in “American Pickle,” a film based on a short story by Simon Rich, in which the main character, Herschel Greenbaum, a Yiddish-speaker who immigrated in 1918 to the United States, emerges fully preserved from a pickle barrel a century later, to meet his great-grandson in Brooklyn.


Rogen, 37, and his father, Mark, who worked for the organization in Los Angeles in the early 2000s, will receive the Generation to Generation Activism award during the ceremony.

Growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Rogen went to a Habonim Dror summer camp and a Talmud Torah elementary school, which provided the material for his first standup sets. He headlined a Workmen’s Circle event in Los Angeles when his father worked there.

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