Secrets of the Real Jewish Aunties

April 20, 2010

Jill Zarin, co-star of The Real Housewives of New York on Bravo, and her mother Gloria Kamen and sister Lisa Wexler, host of The Lisa Wexler Show, are authors of Secrets of A Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love.  From friendships to love, marriage and children, the book covers many aspects of life with laugh-out-loud stories and pointed advice the women have learned as Jewish mothers and Jewish daughters. But as I said to the women when I visited them in Jill’s home in New York City, the book could have easily have been called: Secrets of a Jewish Mother and Some Pretty Savvy Aunties. Lisa and Jill’s Aunts Cooky and Gloria (called by her Yiddish name Nessie in the book to avoid confusion with Gloria the co-author) are featured throughout the book with sage advice from the heart of the Jewish Auntie. Jill invited me into her home to sit down with the authors and learn a little Jewish Mother - and Jewish Auntie - wisdom. On a personal note, I want readers to know how incredibly warm this family is. I first met the family at the authors’ book party at Zarin Fabrics a few days before we shot these videos. When I mentioned to Gloria that my own Jewish mother has passed away 21 years ago, she immediately invited me to call her to talk. Her husband Sol told me warm stories about Jill and how she started a disco party business when she was 18 and how he’d always known she’d be a success. And when I met Aunt Cooky (Gloria’s younger sister), she gave me her card so that we could keep in touch - she also told me to skip the email address and call her directly. When I saw Aunt Cooky a few days later at her sister and nieces' book signing, she walked right over to me with an idea for a guy for me to meet. (Jewish Aunties and Mothers are born matchmakers we learn in the book). Aunt Cooky hadn’t stopped thinking about me, she said. Such a Jewish Auntie! I also want to mention that when I arrived at Jill’s apartment the women had barely slept for three days doing press for the book. They had been on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live! on Bravo until midnight the night before and were up early for a Today Show appearance. They were exhausted and I almost wanted to cancel on their behalf, but they insisted on connecting with the Savvy Auntie audience because they recognize the important role aunts play in a child’s life. My warmest thanks to Jill, Lisa and especially Gloria for spending some time with Savvy Auntie – one of the only exclusive interviews with all three authors. We talked about how their aunts have been so influential in their lives, why Jill’s first days as an Auntie helped save her sister Lisa’s life, and Gloria gave us advice as only Gloria could on saying Thank You. Check out video interviews with the ladies here!