Excerpt: 'Stars of David : Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish' by Abigail Pogrebin

I'm talking to Parker before she starts taping the last season of Sex and the City, and I'm curious about the show's explicitly Jewish character, Harry Goldenblatt -- Charlotte's paramour. (At the time we spoke, Harry had told Charlotte he couldn't marry someone who wasn't Jewish and she was considering conversion.) "We live in a city that's full of Jews," says Parker, who is also the show's executive producer. "The fact that we haven't dealt with it more and also didn't do better fleshed-out Jewish characters bothered me," Parker says. "And I still worry that Harry Goldenblatt is too clichéd. That's the problem with being a man on our show. It takes time for dimension to come. We have this great actor, Evan Handler, and he's really sexy and he's smart and I'm excited about the potential of that. But I think we have to be careful that he doesn't become the false cliché of the loud, boorish Jewish lawyer who's aggressive; that he is dignified and interesting and smart and sexy and witty and flawed and all the things that make any guy interesting. I'm excited about it, but I hope we do it well." In other words, if they do it poorly, it could be bad for the Jews. "If I watch a television show about somebody and there's a Jew on there -- I don't mean fiction, I mean reality -- and there's a guy on there named Goldfarb and he's a jackass, I'm like, 'You're bad for the Jews.' It's one more excuse for bigots to say, 'Look at the Jews.' And I'm very protective that way. I'm very ashamed of stereotyping and one person doing a great disservice to millions."

A couple pass our table wheeling their newborn in a carriage, and Parker comments on how cute the baby is. She chats easily with these strangers -- they clearly recognize her despite her pulled back hair and lack of makeup -- and it's an unremarkable conversation, like any other between new parents and a mother-to-be from around the neighborhood. It occurs to me that Parker is not just on the cusp of childbirth but of all the childrearing issues that follow; she realizes it will be up to her to shape this new Broderick's identity, when she's still not quite sure of her own. "If there was a temple I could go to," Parker says, "to get guidance -- counsel of some kind, or just a place to sit and contemplate, whatever that means for me.… If there was a place where you could come in and they say, 'This is what we're going to talk about today and let me put it in context for you and see whether it applies to you or not,' and hear great music and be with people who are like-minded, I think you'd have a much more growing population of people who practice the Jewish faith."

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