You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sarah Silverman Brings Her Unorthodox Humor to Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – Sarah Silverman brought her rape jokes, boundary-busting comedy and foul-mouthed charm to the Jerusalem Cinematheque Thursday evening, appearing as a special guest at the 16th annual Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival and attending a screening of her HBO documentary, “We are Miracles.”

Silverman, whose sister Susan is a well-known feminist rabbi in Jerusalem, joked that the fest’s timing was perfect as it allowed her to also attend her nephew’s bar mitzvah next week. Prior to the screening, the comedien was honored with an achievement award, presented by Cinematheque founder and Jerusalem film maven Lia Van Leer, who told Silverman, “You are a miracle!”

Silverman was given a gold Chanukah menorah, which she joked looked like a pair of brass knuckles before slipping it onto her right hand to prove her point.

After the screening, Silverman returned to the stage for a Q&A with Israeli comic Einav Galili, who is best known for her work on the satirical news program “Matzav HaUma” (State of the Nation). Silverman’s rabbi sister is known for campaigning for women’s rights at the Western Wall, and Galili touched upon politics by saying as she sat down, “This is the Jewish Film Festival so I would like to ask you about your experiences at the Western Wall.” After an awkward pause, she added, “That was a joke. I do not want to ask you.”

But Silverman, who had visited the Western Wall with her sister earlier on Thursday to light Chanukah candles, brought up the topic later herself. She found it absurd, she said, that the women at the gender-segregated prayer site were relegated to a much tinier space than the men, and that it was impossible to enter the site without wearing modest dress.

“I come from a family of rule breakers and people who are like, I don’t get the whole thing,” she told the audience. “Everyone said when you come to [to the Western Wall] you’re going to feel so connected, but then, there’s like this much room for the men,” she said, showing a wide space with her hands, “and this much room for the women,” she added, pushing her hands together. “You’re perverts and we have to wear unflattering length skirts because of that? That’s you. That’s your thing.”

Silverman, who also used the Q&A to speak about her love for Joan Rivers, admitted that there are issues in the Middle East on which she remains naïve.

“I had these T-shirts I was going to bring here. They said in Hebrew and Arabic, ‘be brave and love each other,’” she said. She had been planning to pass them out in Israel until her boyfriend, Michael Sheen, explained that the situation was a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a T-shirt.

“I guess, yeah, if I was a Palestinian or an Israeli and I saw you in that T-shirt I would probably be like, f*ck you,” she admitted. “But I brought them with me anyway, because they look good on my boobs.”

More Scene

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

  • Katy Perry, Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna

    Katy Perry and Anita Hill Honored at the DVF Awards

    Katy Perry was among the honorees at the 10th Annual DVF Awards on Thursday night. The singer was recognized for her advocacy work with both UNICEF and the LGBTQ community. “Music has opened the doors for so many opportunities for me,” she said while accepting the inspiration award. “The ability to meet people and champion [...]

  • Chrissy Metz'Breakthrough' Film Premiere, Arrivals, Regency

    Why 'This Is Us' Star Chrissy Metz Could End Up Performing at the Next Oscars

    Chrissy Metz made her live-singing debut on Sunday when she performed “I’m Standing With You” from her new movie “Breakthrough.” Was that just a step on her way to performing at the Oscars? Could be. The song was written by 10-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren. “They said Chrissy had to sing it and I was [...]

  • Bob IgerSimon Weisenthal Gala honoring Bob

    Disney's Bob Iger Blasts Hateful Political Discourse and Social Media: 'We Can Do Better'

    Bob Iger didn’t mince words while being honored Thursday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Upon receiving the Humanitarian Award at the organization’s National Tribute Dinner from Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO delivered a scathing critique of social media and the current state of political discourse. “Hate and anger are dragging us [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content