Jewess of the YearPart of: The Almas 5779
We’ve given you our awards for best television, movies, music, books, celebrities, and internet things of 5779. Now, it’s your turn! All week, we’ll be running a bracket on our Instagram stories (@hey.alma) to vote for Jewess of the Year.
The qualifications? To be a Jewish celebrity woman. (And yes, we’re reclaiming Jewess. As Arielle Kaplan wrote in Alma, “I motion to reclaim Jewess, because it was never the anti-Semites’ to begin with. They stole it, and I’m taking back what’s rightfully ours.”)
Anyhoo, since it’s a bracket, we have to seed the celebrities, even though they are all especially lovely. We seeded them based on their past year (5779, remember! The Jewish year!). Below are the 16 Jewesses in the running, alongside articles with 18 things to know about each one.
(1) Beanie Feldstein
As we’ve written, this was Beanie Feldstein’s year. She starred in Booksmart, was announced to star as Monica Lewinsky in the new season of American Crime Story, and is set to film a movie musical with BFF Ben Platt over the next 20 years. It’s only natural that Beanie is our number one ranked seed. It was her year.
(2) Rachel Bloom
Rachel Bloom also had a magnificent year — mainly, she stuck the landing with her show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, then performed at Radio freakin’ City. As we wrote, the show cemented her as a star, proving that Rachel Bloom was ascendant this year.
(3) Zoë Kravitz
Zoë Kravitz starred in Big Little Lies, was the only good part of the Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, the Harry Potter spin-off sequel, got married to Karl Glusman, covered a bunch of magazines (that Rolling Stone one tho!!), announced a collaboration (and dropped it) with YSL beauty, was one of the faces of Tiffany and Co, was the voice of Mary Jane in Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and was nominated for a Grammy as part of Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer (she sings on “Screwed”). NBD. It’s Zoë’s world and we’re all just living in it.
(4) Ilana Glazer
Like Rachel, Ilana Glazer — alongside Abbi Jacobson — also stuck the landing on Broad City, saying goodbye to the show beloved by millennial Jewesses everywhere. Ilana also had a banner year outside of Broad City — she continued her activism, hosted a series of events with her organization the Generator Collective (including one at a synagogue that she had to cancel), and toured with a stand-up show called “The Planet is Burning,” which will be on Prime Video at some point! And she partnered with Nike!
(5) Abbi Jacobson
Abbi Jacobson also had a year! Not only did she win our award for best celebrity book, she was also behind the magnificence that was Broad City. (It’s honestly rude the show didn’t get any Emmys!) She also voiced the main character in Disenchantment (an animated fantasy series). Go Abbi go!
(6) Natasha Lyonne
While some of our favorite Jewesses were wrapping up their beloved shows, Natasha Lyonne was just getting started. She starred in Russian Doll, which premiered this past year to rave reviews (including ours). She also finished her time as Nicky Nichols in Orange is the New Black — as we covered on Alma, “Nicky experiences major character development in the last season, doing a total 180 from constantly making a mess of her life to becoming the ultimate Jewish prison mom.” And off screen, Natasha is just really, really good at Twitter.
(7) Rachel Weisz
Rachel Weisz is probably the most enigmatic Jewess on this list. She really only appears during press for her films, isn’t active on social media, and is reluctant to share any personal information. However, as we know, this was a year of Rachel Weisz films! She was nominated for her role in The Favourite (which, she was amazing) at the Oscars, BAFTAs, Critic’s Choice, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards. She’s also making her entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe — it was announced at ComicCon this year that she’ll star in the new Black Widow film.
(8) Yael Grobglas
Some Israeli representation! Jane the Virgin came to an end this year (so many shows ending, so sad), but Yael Grobglas — in the final two seasons — had a real breakout moment. She brought to life Petra Solano, and turned her from the telenovela villain to someone you actually cared for. Mazel tov, Yael!
(9) Tiffany Haddish
Doesn’t it feel like Tiffany Haddish is suddenly everywhere?! After her breakout year starring in Girls Trip, she’s landed lots of gigs. She was the voice of Tuca in the canceled-too-soon Tuca & Bertie, voiced characters in The Lego Movie 2, Bob’s Burgers, and The Secret Life of Pets 2, and starred in a film called The Kitchen and the TV show The Last O.G. Oh, and not to mention her incredibly inclusive and hilarious new Netflix special, They Ready, featuring six of her favorite rising comedians.
(10) Alison Brie
One word for Alison Brie: GLOW. That’s really her whole deal lately, and we’re not mad about it. She made her directorial debut in episode 7 in season 3, and really stands strong as the protagonist of the show. Other things Alison did this year? She was a voice in The Lego Movie 2, made an appearance on Drunk History, and was announced to star in a new movie, The Rental, that will be her husband Dave Franco’s directorial debut. Actors directing things! Exciting!
(11) Jenny Slate
Jenny Slate was in a freakin’ superhero movie in 5779! Along with her role in Venom, she had a big year voicing characters in Big Mouth, The Secret Life of Pets 2, and Bob’s Burgers. But the most exciting moment of her year? When she was the graduation speaker on Cuttyhunk Island, for a class of one. (Home to her fiance Ben Shattuck’s artist residency!)
(12) Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman has a lot upcoming (5780 will be big), but didn’t exactly do much this year. She had a brief appearance in Avengers: Endgame, starred in Vox Lux (which was kinda a yikes film), and that was really it. But! She made the news for her work with #TimesUp — hell, yeah! — and we still can’t get over the fact that she is going to play Thor. Yes, Thor!
(13) Tracee Ellis Ross
Lucky number 13: Tracee Ellis Ross! In 5779, she continued to star in black-ish, continued to get nominated for awards, continued to be amazing on Instagram, and continued to just kick ass. We love you, Tracee!
(14) Hari Nef
26-year-old Hari Nef made her big screen debut in Assassination Nation, a film that was called a “war on toxic masculinity.” The press didn’t love the film, but we love Hari! She also had a recurring role in the TV show, You and continues to kill it on Instagram.
(15) Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot didn’t do much this year, but that’s okay! We still love her! She was busy filming Wonder Woman 2! We can’t wait!
(16) Mila Kunis
Same goes for Mila Kunis — she kept a low profile this year but we still think she’s great! Do you, Mila!