Ariel Frenkel Just Gave Us the Most Jewish Episode of ‘The Bachelor’ Ever

I never thought I'd see someone being romantically fed gefilte fish on national television, and yet...

Spoilers ahead for season 27, episode 8 of “The Bachelor.”

There are a few things I don’t think I’ll ever see in my lifetime. For example, I doubt I will live to see humans migrating to Mars or a world completely free of fossil fuel emissions. Until yesterday, I also never thought I’d see someone being spoon-fed gefilte fish on an episode of “The Bachelor.” But hey, the world is full of surprises!

In last night’s episode of the ABC reality dating series, Bachelor Zach Shallcross traveled across the United States to visit the hometowns and meet the families of his final four love interests. This included visiting New York City, home of Ukrainian Jewish contestant Ariel Frenkel.

“When someone enters my family or enters my life, they need to know how important it is for me to be proud of my Judaism, to be proud of my family and to be proud of where I come from,” Ariel said on the show. As such, Ariel first took Zach to Sarge’s Jewish deli in Manhattan where the couple enjoyed pastrami, cow tongue (an old-world Jewish comfort food) and gefilte fish.

Before Zach met her family, Ariel also took the time to explain her parents’ experience as immigrants to the United States and the effect it’s had on her. “My parents fled the Soviet Union and it was very difficult for them,” she said. “They were persecuted for being Jewish.”

Going on, she added, “Being first generation, I spend every day being extremely proud of what my family created and who they made me out to be.”

Later, we finally meet Ariel’s family, and while it was a highlight of the episode for me, things did not go as well for Zach. Brother Bobby and dad Feliks grilled the Bachelor with fairly reasonable questions like, “What’s Ariel’s birthday?” and, “Why should she choose you?” and the very Passover appropriate inquiry from Feliks, “How is my daughter different than all other choices?” Unfortunately for Zach, he really didn’t have very good answers.

Still, some pretty great tweets did arise from Zach’s conversations with Ariel’s family and the episode as a whole:

Ultimately, Ariel still received the first rose at the end of the episode, which means we will see her in the drama-filled Fantasy Suites episode.

Regardless of what happens, it’s been pretty amazing to witness “The Bachelor” franchise start to morph from a Christian-centric show to one which heavily features Jewish contestants like Ariel Frenkel and last season’s Jason Alabaster — along with Jewish culture. Plus, if fan-favorite Ariel and Zach don’t end up getting engaged, I think her becoming the next Bachelorette is absolutely in order.

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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