|Born||Nina Danielle Sklar
September 12, 1971
Oyster Bay, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Vermont|
|Spouse(s)||Eric Nederlander (1998; divorced)
Jerry Seinfeld (1999–present; 3 children)
Jessica Seinfeld (born Nina Danielle Sklar; September 12, 1971) is an American author of two cookbooks about preparing food for families and the founder of Baby Buggy, a New York City-based charitable organization that provides essential items for families in need throughout New York City. She is the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
Seinfeld was born in Oyster Bay, New York, the middle of three daughters, and grew up in a middle-class household in Burlington, Vermont. Her mother was a city social worker for more than fifty years, while her father is a computer software engineer. After graduating from the University of Vermont, Seinfeld worked in public relations for Golden Books Entertainment and Tommy Hilfiger.
Seinfeld founded Baby Buggy in 2001 following the birth of her first child. She started with a donation drive, whereby she asked people for their used baby supplies after realizing that her first child's products that were no longer of use could still be used by others. According to Seinfeld, “shortly after the birth of my daughter, Sascha, having slowly accumulated closets full of used—but very usable—baby clothing and equipment she no longer needed, I had a moral dilemma; as the daughter of a social worker, throwing out perfectly good baby gear was unthinkable; and yet there was no easy way to get it to a family who could use it. Thus, Baby Buggy was born.”
With a motto of “Love. Recycled,” Baby Buggy's goal is to help families in need access the essentials to ensure their safety and well-being. By providing concrete resources to families through a network of social service professionals, Baby Buggy seeks to alleviate the stress of living in poverty and help in the prevention of crisis. As of May 2013, Baby Buggy has donated over six million items to New York families since the organization was established.
Baby Buggy works with a network of over 50 community-based organizations (CBOs) that are carefully selected—each applies annually to become a recipient. Some of the organizations that have successfully applied to partner with Baby Buggy are: Organizations working with victims of domestic violence like Safe Horizon and New York Asian Women’s Center; multi-service sites like Single Stop East Harlem and Lenox Hill Neighborhood House; prenatal and NICU units at hospitals, like Woodhull and NY Presbyterian; immigrant and refugee-serving organizations like the International Rescue Committee; and parenting programs, such as the Nurse-Family Partnership program and the Harlem Children’s Zone’s Baby College.
About $2 Million of Baby Buggy’s budget is made up of in-kind product donations from individuals and corporations. Financial support for the organization comes through its Board of Directors, the Friends of Baby Buggy group, other private individuals, corporations and foundations. As of 2008, 88 cents of every dollar received by Baby Buggy went straight to programs. In 2013, Baby Buggy received its fourth Four Star rating from Charity Navigator. The charity is also an Accredited Charity of the Better Business Bureau.
In July 2010, Baby Buggy launched a layette collection with Target Corporation, with 10% of sales going to help families in need. The layette line was designed by illustrator and children’s book author Maira Kalman.
In October 2007, Jessica released her first cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food, which contains strategies and recipes for making healthy food appealing to young children. The book features traditional recipes, such as mac and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs, that get a nutritional boost from vegetable purees. Deceptively Delicious was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, became a #1 New York Times bestseller, remaining on the list for five months after its release. The book also reached #1 on Amazon.com and #2 on the USA Today bestseller list. Expert Joy Bauer added nutritional advice to the recipes, while Dr. Roxana Mehran and Dr. Mehmet Oz penned the foreword. A portion of the royalties from Deceptively Delicious were donated to Baby Buggy.
In October 2010, Jessica released her second cookbook, Double Delicious! Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives, which shared more healthy twists on traditional recipes, and incorporated vegetable purees, whole grains, and alternatives to processed sugars and flours. Like her first book, Double Delicious! was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
In 2013 she released her third cookbook, The Can't Cook Book, billed as "100 recipes for the absolutely terrified!"
Do it Delicious
In October 2010, Jessica launched a website for beginner cooks called "Do it Delicious." The website teaches at-home viewers how to prepare particular dishes or meals step-by-step, as well as a kitchen guide, store, blog, and community forum where users can submit tips and ask how-to questions.
In June 1998, she married Eric Nederlander, a theatrical producer and the son of theater owner Robert Nederlander. Several months before the wedding, she met Jerry Seinfeld at a Reebok Sports Club. After returning from an Italian honeymoon with Nederlander, she took up with Seinfeld; Nederlander filed for divorce in October 1998, only four months after marrying. Sklar and Seinfeld became engaged in November 1998, and were married on December 25, 1999. Comedian George Wallace was the best man at the wedding.
After much criticism from Nederlander on Jessica's divorce and subsequent marriage, the Seinfelds gave a personal account of their relationship to Vogue Magazine in 2004. Jessica is quoted as saying, "I met Jerry at the end of what was the most difficult period of my life. I had just made a painful decision to dissolve a five-year relationship that began when I was 21 and culminated in a brief marriage. Jerry was neither the cause nor the effect of the breakup, but his friendship gave me strength and resilience at a time of desperate need, and it has formed the basis for my happiness in the years that have followed."
The Seinfelds have three children. Daughter Sascha was born on November 7, 2000, in New York City, son Julian Kal on March 1, 2003, in New York City, and Shepherd Kellen was born on August 22, 2005, at New York's Cornell Medical Center.
Lawsuit and dismissal
Seinfeld's first book Deceptively Delicious was published by HarperCollins on January 7, 2008, and contained a series of recipes to hide pureed fruits and vegetables inside children's meals. Following her book's release, another cookbook author, Missy Chase Lapine, sued both Seinfelds, accusing Jessica of copyright and trademark infringement. Lapine had unsuccessfully shopped her own manuscript, The Sneaky Chef, to several publishers, including HarperCollins, before publishing with Running Press. In response to the accusations, Seinfeld denied that either author had invented the idea of hiding fruits and vegetables in children's meals, and that "countless prior works utilized this very same unprotectable idea" in cookbooks dating back to 1971. She claimed, "My book came from years of trying to get my own children to eat healthy foods--my own trial and error in my own kitchen. The idea of pureeing vegetables has been around for decades."
In the same lawsuit, Lapine also accused Jerry Seinfeld of defamation, after he appeared on Late Show with David Letterman on October 29, 2007, and called Lapine "angry and hysterical," a “wacko,” “stalker” and a “nut job,” and suggested that "people with three names ... become assassins."
On September 10, 2009, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Laura Taylor Swain judge dismissed all claims against Jessica Seinfeld, but left open the claim of defamation against her husband to be tried in New York state Supreme Court located in Manhattan. The federal judge ruled that "no reasonable fact finder could conclude" that any copying occurred, and that the books were "very different" and had "a completely different feel." Lapine appealed the decision, but it was also dismissed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on April 28, 2010. In February 2011, the state court dismissed the remaining defamation claim against Jerry Seinfeld.
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