Nina Danielle Sklar
September 12, 1971
Oyster Bay, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Vermont|
(m. 1998; div. 1998)
Jerry Seinfeld (m. 1999)
|Children||3 (with Seinfeld)|
Jessica Seinfeld (//; SYNE-feld, born Nina Danielle Sklar; September 12, 1971) is an American author and philanthropist. She has released four cookbooks about preparing food for families, and is the founder of the GOOD+ Foundation (formerly 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 Victims Service Advocate for more than fifty years and an attendance officer at Hunt Middle School, while her father was a computer software engineer. After graduating from the University of Vermont, Seinfeld worked in public relations for Golden Books Entertainment and Tommy Hilfiger.
Baby Buggy/Good Plus Foundation
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, no longer of use to her own family, could certainly 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 I 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 be able to access the essentials for ensuring 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 partnered with Baby Buggy include organizations working with victims of domestic violence such as Safe Horizon and New York Asian Women's Center; multi-service sites including Single Stop East Harlem and Lenox Hill Neighborhood House; prenatal and NICU units at hospitals such as Woodhull and NY Presbyterian; immigrant and refugee-serving organizations including 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 from its board of directors, the Friends of Baby Buggy group, 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 2016, Baby Buggy was rebranded as the Good Plus Foundation (also seen as Good+ Foundation). As Baby Buggy, the nonprofit had seen 20 million items donated to families across the United States. Jessica shared with "Good Morning America" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos that the charity had outgrown its name. The Good Plus Foundation pairs goods and services in an incentives program. For example, a parent who opens an education savings account will also receive a stroller.
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!" In 2017 she released her fourth cookbook, Food Swings.
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 1999, and were married on December 25, 1999. Comedian George Wallace was the best man at the wedding.
After much criticism from Nederlander on Sklar's divorce and subsequent marriage, the Seinfelds gave a personal account of their relationship to Vogue Magazine in 2004. Jessica Seinfeld 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 NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital.
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 asserted 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,” a “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 dismissed all claims against Jessica Seinfeld, but left open the claim of defamation against her husband, to be tried in the 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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