A Kosher Butcher?
By Zeddy Lawrence
Editor's note: The following comes courtesy of the website
Totally Jewish.co.uk which is edited by the author, who had written
episodes of EastEnders and was once profiled in the Walford Gazette.
The plot is a bit of a spoiler for stateside public TV viewers, but a
worthy series development that couldn't be overlooked nonetheless — at
least Walford Gazette co-founder Dan Abramson (r.i.p.) would have
Being Jewish may be passed through the maternal line, according to
Orthodox halacha. But it seems that when it comes to EastEnders
halacha, pretending to be Jewish is something you inherit from your
Cast your mind back to Guy Ritchie's 2000 flick Snatch and you
may recall that Mike Reid, who played the patriarch of Walford's
Butcher family, Frank, swapped Albert Square for Hatton Garden. More
importantly, he also swapped his trademark porkpie hat for altogether
more chassidic headgear and peyot, masquerading as diamond dealer Doug
'The Head' Denovitz.
Sounds authentic, but it was all just a scam. Fast forward eight
years and back in Albert Square Frank's youngest daughter seems to
have seen Snatch and been rather impressed with her on-screen dad's
For now Janine — the Butcher child born with not just her own
brains but also those clearly left behind by big brother Ricky when he
emerged from the womb — has decided that she too can make a mint (or
in EastEnders terms perhaps that should be make a Minty) by also
conning people into believing she's Jewish.
Which brings us to the soap wedding of the year — or rather
chuppah of the year — when golddigger Janine, pretending to be a nice
Jewish girl by the name of Judith Bernstein, ties the knot in Hendon
United Synagogue with elderly sugar daddy David.
Having convinced her groom that her own family were all killed in
a car crash, the plan comes a cropper when Ricky, Billy and Pat learn
of the ceremony and decide to attend — the latter proclaiming in shul:
"She's about as Jewish as a bacon sandwich!"
Meanwhile, when David, played by Harry Towb, quizzes the two men
about the fact their not wearing kippot, Billy declares: "We're not
Orthodox," and Ricky adds: "We're unorthodox."
Charlie Brooks, who plays Janine, told Digital Spy that her
character took being Jewish very seriously. "It was a full commitment
for her. She doesn't do anything by halves. As soon as her groom's
dead though, Judaism's dead as far as she's concerned."
Janine's wedding ran in the U.K. on EastEnders, BBC1, 8pm,
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