Jerome Cutler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rabbi Jerome Cutler (aka Jerry Cutler) is an ordained rabbi and the director of the Creative Arts Temple in West Los Angeles, California.

Personal life[edit]

Born in New York City, Cutler is the son of an Orthodox rabbi. He was ordained at the age of 24 and served a Conservative Jewish Reconstructionist congregation in Stamford, Connecticut.

Cutler is a comedian who used to perform in the Catskills and Atlantic City under the name Jerry Herring. Following his performing years, he worked as a publicist for American International Pictures' beach party films publicizing Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett and others. When one of the actors he managed moved to Los Angeles, he moved too, setting up the Synagogue for the Performing Arts in 1972.

Some of Cutler’s original congregants were Walter Matthau, comedians Jack Carter and Red Buttons. Cutler left the Synagogue for the Performing Arts some eight years later.[1] The Synagogue is now led by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.[2]

He is father to five daughters: Nina, Myla, Daniella, Chelsea, and Tess.


Cutler was one of the content advisors to the cartoon Bible series, The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible, produced by Hanna-Barbera Studios.

Jerry Cutler began his professional career as a comedian. Using the name Jerry Herring, he entertained primarily in New York's Borscht Circuit and Atlantic City. After majoring in journalism at New York University and receiving his rabbinical degree from the Academy for Higher Jewish Learning, Cutler worked for a few dailies in New York. Following a two-year stint as an associate editor for The Independent Film Journal where he interviewed stars, wrote movie reviews and feature stories, he accepted a position as a publicist for the beach party extravaganzas starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello at American International Pictures. During those years he was also a member of the faculty at NYU. Still harboring a passion for comedy, he became a personal manager of comics. One of his comedians, Stanley Myron Handelman, signed a long-term contract with the Dean Martin Show and he moved to California. Shortly thereafter, Cutler began representing Stiller and Meara, Jackie Vernon, and Slappy White among others. He expanded his operation and Jerry Cutler Enterprises entered the field of Broadway production. His first play, a revival of Room Service starring Ron Leibman and Dick Shawn, gave way to On the Town with Phyllis Newman and Lines starring Richard Dreyfuss.

Moving to California and realizing a need for religious services geared to show business personalities, Cutler and a few industry friends started The Synagogue For the Performing Arts. Shortly thereafter he started writing for various situation comedies and a movie, I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now? which flopped. He created and wrote, with his wife producing, 40 half-hour segments of a children's show, Stanley's Smogless Steamer and Travelling Library. Following the children's show, Cutler and his wife, Jeff, a former actress, produced a number of documentaries, both in the US and abroad, and for 22 years a telethon, L'Chaim-To Life! With his wife producing and Cutler writing, the annual Chabad Telethon became the most successful show of its kind in TV history. With his writing partner, Fred "Bucky" Searles, he co-authored Tin Pan Man, a musical depicting the early stages of music publication that had its world premiere in 1992 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. From 2000 Cutler and his wife produced fund-raising banquets in New York honoring major motion picture and Broadway celebrities including Meryl Streep, James Earl Jones, Jon Voight, Jeff Goldblum and George Segal for the benefit of The Joseph Papp Children's Humanitarian Fund. In the years that followed, Cutler was the resident movie critic on KABC Radio's Minyard and Barkley Show and together with his friend Father Ken Deasy, a Catholic priest, he had a weekly radio movie review show for the Inland Empire's KTIE, called Review From the Pew. He is currently writing weekly movie reviews for The Beverly Hills Courier. He has officiated over the funerals for many celebrities from Bozo the Clown to Elizabeth Taylor. Among them, Lee J. Cobb, Walter Matthau, Shelley Winters, Phil Silvers, Milton Berle, Red Buttons, Jan Murray, "Casablanca" screenwriter, Jules Epstein, renowned manager-producer, Bernie Brillstein, and most recently, Sid Caesar. Presently, he is the rabbi of a highly innovative and unique UNorthodox congregation, The Creative Arts Temple. As an actor, he has been typecast as a rabbi in "LA Law," "Unsolved Mysteries," "Picket Fences" and “Boston Legal.” He recently appeared in a Ballywood movie production starring his close friends, Lainie Kazan and Elliott Gould….as a rabbi!

Cutler also co-authored, with Marilyn Hall (Monty's wife), The Celebrity Kosher Cookbook over 40 years ago. The book is being updated as many celebrities have died. A new publication is planned to be issued for next Chanukah, 2016.