Look, I don’t really know a lot about Coronation Street. I know that it’s a British soap, and that it’s been airing six episodes a week since December of 1960, and that it has a rotating cast of loopy characters that makes the Trump administration look timid by comparison. But I do know that the show has a Jewish character, and that this Friday, said Jewish character sparked a nationwide outrage.
On last Friday’s episode, the character, Nicola Rubinstein—who, you may be interested in knowing, is the long-lost daughter of Pat Phelan as well as the caseworker who met Seb Franklin at the Young Offenders’ Institute after he attacked Jackson Hodge, the ex-boyfriend of Faye Windass—was cooking Shabbat dinner for friends. Except that last Friday night, in the show as well as on real life, was the eve of Yom Kippur, and a good Rubinstein was more likely to be in shul hearing kol nidre than at home roasting a Cornish hen.
Incensed, the show’s Jewish fans wrote in and tweeted to say that the show’s producers ought to correct the error. But in true British fashion, the producers, their upper lip ever stiff, responded calmly but firmly that no mistake was made.
“We have already established in earlier scenes that Nicola is not particularly religious,” said a spokesperson for the show,”and Nicola doesn’t follow all the Jewish traditions, although she is proud of her parents and her heritage.” And even if Nicola was observing Yom Kippur, the spokesperson added, the dinner depicted on the show was being prepared at 5:30 p.m., putting it well in pre-fast territory and making it entirely possible for Nicola to begin repenting by the time the holiday kicked in at 6:43 p.m. It all makes perfect sense, but just to be sure, Nicola should make sure she takes all her meals in the sukkah next week.