Tiffany Haddish Loves Being Jewish. We Talked to Her About It.
Like me, Tiffany Haddish will be celebrating her bat mitzvah in December, but that is where the similarities between our coming-of-age ceremonies end. Mine was on the eve of my 13th birthday, in the suburbs of New York City, and Tiffany’s will be a red carpet event on her 40th birthday, the day her Netflix special Black Mitzvah is released.
“For a long time, I didn’t even know Black Jews existed. I didn’t know anything about Judaism for a long time,” Tiffany Haddish tells me in the middle of our conversation. We were discussing what people’s reaction to her opening up about her Jewish identity have been — on Alma, the reaction to her announcement of Black Mitzvah and her plans for a bat mitzvah were met with sheer joy.
Black Mitzvah, her special that will be released on December 3, is basically one long d’var Torah, telling the audience that she is there to teach. She talks about what she’s learned in her life — from her histories with men, to her experiences in foster care, to when she bombed a stand-up show on New Year’s Eve because she was extremely hungover. She even talks about her history with other religions — her mother was a Jehovah’s Witness (they have the best butterscotch candies), she had a brief stint with Scientology (she quickly left because she hates bunk beds), and Catholicism didn’t quite do it for her (the wafers are not seasoned, the “wine” is just grape juice).
And, of course, she talks about Judaism.