Morey Amsterdam’s Good Luck Rabbi

Douglas Wood
Submitted by Douglas Wood March 10th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner


I guess playing comedy writer Buddy Sorrell on one of the greatest sit-coms of all time (The Dick Van Dyke Show) wasn’t enough for Morey Amsterdam. So he felt compelled to achieve immortality by producing this “Good Luck Rabbi” tchotchke. This chalkware figure is named “Mr. Mahzel” (“mazel” means “luck” in Yiddish.) On the back is “Copyright 1962/Morey Amsterdam.” So much for the commandment about worshipping false idols.

12 Responses to “Morey Amsterdam’s Good Luck Rabbi”

  1. Allee Willis

    Allee Willis

    This is FANTASTIC! I’ve been getting more and more interested in Jewish Kitsch. I’m a tribe member and have always collected it but since starting AWMoK.com as well as throwing my Sound of Soul party recently (https://www.alleewillis.com/parties/sound-of-soul-party/index.htm) where my collection of Soul Kitsch was featured I’ve gotten a lot more inquiries into whether I collect Yid stuff. So I’ve been dragging it out lately, kvelling over this collection I’ve had tucked away for years. But I must say I don’t have anything quite as astounding as this rabbi made by MOREY AMSTERDAM!! I do wish it looked like him as he has such a classic Jewish look but just having his name on it is enough is enough to classify it as wonderful Jewish kitsch.

    Huge hands and feet.

  2. MyFunCloset

    MyFunCloset

    I’m thinkin’ our Rabbi’s Dad was Irish leprechaun and Mom was Japanese.
    Not sure what to do in life, he turned to religion, studied the Torah and now gives the sermons with a punch line. Imagine him as a bobblehead.

  3. Avatar

    rsmtrouble

    I am so glad you posted this. I have this piece as well. It belonged to my great Aunt. We helped her move out of her home when she became elderly and this was one of the items I wanted for myself. He sits proudly in my china hutch and I love him! He is so cheesy yet awesome!

  4. Avatar

    rsmtrouble

    I did take some other things, mostly serving pieces. But one other piece I have inparticular is a framed Marc Chagall print. It’s called “Rabbi with a Torah”. It was done in the 1930’s and I assume the print was purchased bu my grandmother for my great-grandfather sometime in the mid 1900’s. I have had a heck of a time finding any info on it whatsoever online. I have no idea of it’s value, but it’s an awesome print nonetheless!