Photo Credit: Leah Mark via Wikimedia
Roseanne Barr at the Hard Rock Café, January 2010

Appearing once again on the Rabbi Shmuley Boteach podcast, comic Roseanne Barr said she plans a move to Israel, and would not be watching the network spinoff of her successful show—now without her.


Earlier this year, the show, bearing her name, was cancelled after Roseanne had tweeted: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj” (sic), which was interpreted as comparing former President Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape. The Disney-owned ABC network is bringing the show back this season, without Roseanne but with the entire rest of the crew, as “The Conners.”

“I have an opportunity to go to Israel for a few months and study with my favorite teachers over there, and that’s where I’m going to go and probably move somewhere there and study with my favorite teachers. I have saved a few pennies and I’m so lucky I can go,” Roseanne Barr told Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, noting: “It’s my great joy and privilege to be a Jewish woman.”

It appears that the rabbi and the comedienne have been Torah study mates on a weekly basis for some time now, learning the parsha together over the phone. The first third of Sunday’s podcast is, in fact, dedicated to an exchange of their views about Ki Tavo, last week’s parsha. Their discussion comes across as one between a rabbi and his favorite student.

Roseanne Barr (originally Borisofsky), was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Jewish immigrants from Russia and Lithuania, and her Jewish upbringing was influenced by her devoutly Orthodox Jewish maternal grandmother. According to an interview with the Jewish Journal, Roseanne’s parents kept their Jewish heritage secret from their neighbors and were even involved in the Mormon church. “Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning I was a Jew; Sunday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, and Wednesday afternoon we were Mormons,” she recalled.

As to her thoughts about making Aliyah, in a 2011 interview, Roseanne said she would like to run for Prime Minister of Israel, suggesting bringing women into leadership positions in politics and religion constitutes tikkun olam.

Roseanne ran for the Green Party’s presidential nomination in 2012, and came in second, behind Jill Stein. Later that year, she won the presidential nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party, with running mate Cindy Sheehan. The two women had disagreements almost from the start of the campaign, which resulted in the VP nominee leaving the campaign. Roseanne received 67,326 votes nationwide, placing sixth overall with 0.05% of the popular vote. Stein placed fourth, with 469,627 votes, or 0.36% of the popular vote.

About her very successful show which will try to repeat its success with her on the outside, Roseanne told Rabbi Boteach: “I’m not going to curse it or bless it. I’m staying neutral. That’s what I do. I’m staying neutral. I’m staying away from it. Not wishing bad on anyone and I don’t wish good for my enemies. I don’t. I can’t. I just stay neutral. That’s what I gotta do. I have some mental health issues of depression and stuff. I got to stay in the middle or I’ll go dark, and I don’t want to go dark again. I’ve done it.”

“After all, I was married to Tom Arnold. Ha ha,” she said.