The se­ries in which we in­ves­ti­gate the Semitic qual­i­ties (or oth­er­wise) of some­one in the news this week

The Jewish Chronicle - - FEATURES -

Sylvester Stal­lone has taken the brave step of at­tempt­ing to pass for a heavy­weight boxer at the age of 60 in the fi­nal (he says) in­stal­ment of the Rocky se­ries, Rocky Bal­boa. The crit­ics have gen­er­ally been kind to Stal­lone (see our re­view on page 43). But will the suc­cess of the movie, in which an age­ing Bal­boa re­turns to take on the new heavy­weight champ, per­suade Stal­lone to come back one last time to per­form the Zim­mer frame shuf­fle or storm the old folks home as Rambo? While you ponder this, we at­tempt to dis­cover whether there is any­thing re­motely Jewish about the Ital­ian Stal­lion.


Stal­lone, for all his Ital­ian man­ner­isms and Si­cil­ian looks, is part Jewish, al­beit a small part. His great grand­mother on his mother’s side was one Rosa Rabi­novich from Odessa, Ukraine. Fur­ther­more, Stal­lone is a New Yorker — and you can­not grow up in the Big Ap­ple with­out ab­sorb­ing a lit­tle Yiod­dishkeit. Also, Stal­lone is a univer­sity grad­u­ate with an ’ology (well, nearly, he dropped out of col­lege in Mi­ami in his third year). Not to men­tion that box­ing is ac­tu­ally an honourable Jewish pro­fes­sion with many top ex­po­nents — Ted “Kid” Lewis, Jack “Kid” Berg, Gary “Kid” Ja­cobs. So why not Sly “Kid” Stal­lone?


Sly’s full name is Sylvester Gar­den­zio Stal­lone — Ital­ian enough for you? His act­ing is the very an­tithe­sis of Woody Allen — all ma­cho pos­tur­ing and blue-col­lar angst. Take Rambo, for ex­am­ple: what Jewish sol­dier would ever go ram­pag­ing into an­other coun­try in an at­tempt to res­cue a kid­napped comrade (er, ex­cept the Is­raelis, per­haps)? Oh, and here’s the clincher. He owns a bull mas­tiff called Butkus.


He’s a part-Yid­dishe Zayda from New York work­ing in Hol­ly­wood. How Jewish do you want?


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