The JOSEPHS Test For Accurate Media Portrayals of Orthodox Jews
by screenwriter Yael Levy
- Are there any Orthodox characters who are emotionally and psychologically stable? (Half a point if they occasionally smile. Two points if you’d want to hang out with any of them.)
- Are there characters who are Orthodox whose religious life is a characteristic but not a plot point or a problem? (Half a point if they can get through an entire scene without touching a religious object, mentioning a Torah verse, or speaking pedantically to the other characters.)
- Can the Orthodox character find her Happily Ever After as a religious Jew? (Or does it ONLY come about through leaving observance, and then all of her issues magically resolve?)
- And if the main plot points are in conflict due to religious observance— are any characters not Hasidic or Haredi and have the writers actually researched authentic religious observance from practicing members of the community they are attempting to portray?