October 22, 1969 —
In 1848, Joseph Spiegel, a son of a German rabbi, emigrated to the United States. 17 years later, he started a furniture company. In 1904, the company became a catalog, a frontrunner in the mail order business. It still survives to this day, be it with different owners.
Oh, to sit at home, browsing through the glossy pages, trying to figure out if this or that sofa will fit this or that corner of this or that room! Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Oh wait, it doesn't. Well, Spiegel gave us more than just the catalog: one of his great-great-grandchildren is film director Spike Jonze.
Now that's more up our alley! Jonze, born Adam Spiegel, is responsible for brilliant, wonderful, thought-provoking movies like "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation." Through his partnership with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, Jonze explored the deepest reaches of one's self, turning it into Kafkaesque, yet somehow extremely watchable, films.
And none of it would have existed if a rabbi's son didn't come to America. So maybe we should cut mail order catalogs some slack? After all, we do have to buy a new couch...
What, Spiegel only sells women's clothing now?
Verdict: Borderline Jew.
June 1, 2011