If you're one of the likely thousands of Jewish viewers who tunes in weekly to "How I Met Your Mother," hoping that the answer to the titular situation is "through JDate," here's a word of encouragement--if not about the character's religious roots, then about the actor who portrays him.
Although I'm not sure how he escaped detection by Jewish media outlets eager to embrace the nice, funny Jewish boys of prime time and cinema (see also "Braff, Zach" and "Rogen, Seth"--plus, I'm predicting, Jason Segel, pictured second from left) until now, here's HIMYM's lead actor Josh Radnor (Ted Mosby) profiled in the Forward (in photo, sitting in the chair), and revealing his Jewish communal connections (Columbus Torah Academy, Livnot, Reboot) in a way that pretty much guarantees he'll soon be receiving fundraising phone calls from alumni associations.
Writes writer Rebecca Spence, who apparently got to go visit Radnor in his home in the Hollywood Hills:
He is among the mafia of Hollywood writers and actors who, like Sacha Baron Cohen before him, spent their childhoods at Jewish camps and Jewish day schools. A Midwest native, Radnor grew up in Bexley, Ohio, which he describes as a “30% Jewish suburb.” He attended Columbus Torah Academy through the eighth grade, and in 1997, he studied in Israel on the Livnot program. In one sense, his religious education may have informed his passion for the theater. “I’ve always loved sitting around, reading text and talking about it,” he said, noting that it’s something he first learned how to do while parsing Jewish texts. “I’ve thought, ‘You know, I would have been a good yeshiva bokher.’”
This winter, Radnor spent three days in Paradise, Texas, with some 60 others, including Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder and director of the Jewish theater company Storahtelling. “The thing I love about Reboot,” Radnor said, “is that it’s a genuinely conflicted place. If there’s one thing I love about Judaism, it’s that ‘wrestling with angels’ aspect.”
Well, first of all, shame on Amichai for not introducing me. But secondly, if Radnor ever wants some chevruta time or to read a great new Jewish magazine for our generation, he knows who to call. I've also got a local gal/HIMYM fan who'd love to meet him. And if he'd like a place to crash in Israel this summer, he should give me a call and he can drop by the ROI Summit (applications due this Friday!). Believe me, it would be legen--wait for it...wait for it...--dary.