Seth Rogen and his father were honored for their contributions to Jewish culture.
On Monday, comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director Seth Rogen, 37, and his father, Mark, received the “Generation to Generation Activism Award” from The Workers Circle, a Jewish organization in New York City. The award recognized their contributions to Jewish culture, activism and promotion of the Yiddish language.
The Workers Circle, founded in 1900 as the Workman’s Circle, is a group that seeks to strengthen Jewish identity based on social justice and the Yiddish Language.
The father and son worked for the organization in Los Angeles, California in the early 2000s.
Rogen, a Canadian-American, is proud of being Jewish. He attended Habonim Dror summer camp and a Talmud Torah elementary school in Canada. Most of his acting roles portray him as Jewish. His comedy is filled with Jewish jokes, as well.
For the filming of his upcoming movie, “An American Pickle”, where he plays a Yiddish-speaking Jewish pickle maker who emerges from a pickle barrel after being stuck there for 100 years, he studied Yiddish.
The filming took place in Pittsburgh, last year, when the Tree of Life synagogue massacre occurred.
“When you’re Jewish, the idea that people hate Jewish people is abstract and confusing in many ways,” he told the Post. “And then something like that happens, and it reaffirms the otherness that people feel toward us.”
Rogen laced his short speech with several Yiddish words, reported the Post.
Describing himself, he said, “I was always told I have shpilkes (nervous energy) as a kid by my grandmother when I couldn’t sit still.”
He referred to the award with his father as giving him “a lot of nachas (pride).”
The comedian also threw in a bit of Jewish-mother humor. During the event, a live auction for a 10-minute Skype session with Rogen was offered. “My mom almost bought the 10-minute Skype [session] with me just so she can talk to me,” he joked. Then, impersonating her, he said, “You never call!”
Rogen also poked fun at the other Jewish women in the room. “There’s a large amount of Jewish mother energy,” he said. “I’ve been asked by 200 women if I’ve had enough to eat.”
Noting an anecdote about his father’s activism, he said, “If you believe in something, you should stand up for it, and yell about it, and scream about it, even if it will make you look so nuts that your own wife pretends not to know who you are.”