Family Goy. Get it?
Season 8 Episode 2 of Family Guy, titled Family Goy had a very notable plot line wherein Lois, the mother on the show, discovers that her own mother is a holocaust survivor and that her and her children are in fact Jewish. Lois confronts her parents and her mother Barbara Pewterschmidt (nÃ©e Hebrewberg nÃ©e Hebrewbergmoneygrubber) explains:
Lois: Mom you’re Jewish?
Barbara Pewterschmidt: I’m sorry I never told you dear. When we were married your father made me conceal the fact so that we could get in to country clubs.
Carter Pewterschmidt: It was the right thing to do.
Barbara Pewterschmidt: It was the right thing to do dear
Indeed. In a similar vein, Culture Shuk revealed the story of Denise Brown, the founder of Dallas’ City Ballet who had kept her Judaism hidden for nearly 70 years. A French Jew, she had worked in the Resistance, survived the Nazi occupation and then married an American enlisted man who, according to the Dallas Morning News, insisted she not let his racist/anti-Semitic parents know she was Jewish.
Denise honored her husband’s request. His father and mother went to their graves never knowing that Gene’s wife is Jewish. “My father-in-law had some very weird ideas,” Denise says, managing a wry smile. “He told me that all the Jewish people have crooked toes…Denise kept her Judaism hidden from the larger community as well. She and Gene spent years raising their children at University Park United Methodist Church. A CPA who spent 35 years working as finance director for the city of University Park, Gene died in 1991. “I remember as a teen Dad going on about the ‘damn Jews,’ ” Evelyn says. “I said, ‘If you hate them so much, why did you marry one?’ And he said, ‘I was going to make damn sure she never acted like one.’ “”
Hobbled by the fear she felt under Nazi occupation, Denise never publicly acknowledged her Judaism until a grand daughter Madison’s Bat Mitzvah where Denise presented her father’s tallis, last worn during WWII, to Madison. Denise is still kind of scared:
“I am not ashamed of the fear I felt. I knew I didn’t want my children to live through another Germany, which could happen again.” She pauses, and says with a sigh, “To be honest, I still haven’t stopped worrying … that it could happen again.”
Never you mind Denise! In the diaspora, let alone in Dallas, jack booted thugs are always just around the corner. Hiding in fear of imminent anti-Semitism, hiding your Jewish identity, to quote Carter and Barbara Pewterschmidt, is “the right thing to do.”
It was the right thing to do dear.