The Hebrew Hammer

Director: Jonathan Kesselman
Screenwriters: Jonathan Kesselman

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


What Jewish kid hasn't fantasized that Rambo, Wonder Woman, or the Sundance Kid were yids who could swoop down and make the world safe from teasing gentile classmates? Finally, as if summoned from the imaginations of misfits everywhere, comes the Hebrew Hammer—a badass mofo with chutzpah enough to kick ass for the Tribe. Sporting pais (earlocks) and black leather, he's a Manishewitz-slugging Semitic Superfly, a titan of tolerance, who, as a Jew-boy at Catholic school, endured his share of scorn…especially when it came to Hanukkah.

So when Santa's evil son Damien topples jolly Saint Nick and threatens to wipe out Hanukkah altogether, who you gonna call? As Damien demonically pushes the Christmas spirit on Hassidic children (using none other than highly addictive It's a Wonderful Life videos), the Hammer has no choice but to mount a serious offensive. Enlisting Esther from the "Jewish Justice League" and Mohammed, chief of the "Kwanzaa Liberation Front," he ventures to the Holy Land, the North Pole, and even to his mother's Sabbath dinner table, all in hot pursuit of the red-suited rogue.

"Christening" a wacky new subgenre, "Jewxploitation," writer/director John Kesselman serves up a stylin' live-action spoof that irreverently milks stereotypes and bravely pokes fun at that which is usually sacrosanct.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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