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Jewish-American Hall of Fame

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The Jewish-American Hall of Fame Announces That Its 47th Annual Inductee is Radio and Television Pioneer Gertrude Berg (Better Known as Molly Goldberg)

The Jewish-American Hall of Fame was founded in 1969; it is a division of the non-profit American Jewish Historical Society (founded in 1892). Every year it inducts one or occasionally two noteworthy men or woman in various fields. Past honorees include Albert Einstein, George Gershwin and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

New York, NY, April 09, 2016 --( The Jewish-American Hall of Fame has announced that its 47th annual inductee is radio and television pioneer Gertrude Berg (better known as Molly Goldberg). She appears on a plaque, designed by renowned sculptor Eugene Daub, that will join nearly 50 past honorees on display at the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond. The dynamic Molly Goldberg is shown leaning out of her Bronx apartment window shouting “Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Bloom” (as she opened her television show). The same design, with the addition of the original cast members, appears on limited edition 2-inch medals, which are given to contributors of $50 or more to the non-profit Jewish-American Hall of Fame. For further information visit their award-winning website or call 818-225-1348.

Gertrude Berg was born Tillie Edelstein in New York City in 1898. Her father, Jake Edelstein, ran a resort in the Catskill Mountains where Tillie worked and eventually created and performed skits to amuse the guests' children. She met an older Englishman, Lewis Berg, one summer at the resort, and when she turned eighteen they married. A few years later, she started to pursue her writing and acting careers full time, changing her name to Gertrude Berg.

Berg began writing radio scripts based on a fictional family she had formulated as a young woman, now calling them “The Goldbergs,” a combination of her mother's maiden name and her husband's last name. “The Goldbergs” premiered on radio in 1929 with Gertrude filling in for the role of Molly until another actress could be found. She was so good that when she was sick for a week the public sent in mass amounts of fan mail asking, "Where's Molly?" Audiences loved listening to the stories and struggles of the Goldberg family and their neighbors, and instantly took to the warmth and guidance of the accented Molly Goldberg.

In 1947, following her 17 year run on radio, Gertrude saw television as a new exciting media, and a new opportunity to reinvigorate and reintroduce “The Goldbergs” following World War II. “The Goldbergs” premiered on CBS in 1949, with Gertrude Berg as lead writer, star, and producer yet again.

A year later, Gertrude Berg won the first best actress Emmy Award in history. The Goldbergs eventually moved from the Bronx to the suburbs, and continued until 1954, after which Berg also wrote and produced a syndicated film version that remained on the air for another few years.

Gertrude Berg’s pioneering show “The Goldbergs” blazed the trail for “I Love Lucy” and all other sitcoms to follow!

Picture is available upon request.
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Jewish-American Hall of Fame
Mel Wacks

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