And when I go to temple and take part in that ritual, I always feel very connected and love to sing along.I still remember all the prayers.” Ironically, it was Chaiken’s partner who suggested that their children become bar mitzvah. She comes from a family steeped in the traditions of the Church of England, which she finds in many ways objectionable.
‘ It was quite heart-warming.” Chaiken and Hood have 8-year-old twins, who consider themselves half-Jewish.That film won the 2000 Golden Globe for best TV film.But even before then, long before “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” even before the network’s “Queer as Folk,” Chaiken approached the network with her idea.She recently served as emcee of a NAMI Walk, as well as raised money for the organization, including matching incoming donations.Ilene Chaiken (born June 30, 1957) is an American television producer, director, writer, and founder of Little Chicken Productions.In 1988, she was the coordinating producer for the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the associate producer for Satisfaction.
She then wrote the screenplay Barb Wire (1996), and the television films Dirty Pictures (2000), and Damaged Care (2002) before the success of The L Word raised her profile.
“The experience (of discovering her sexual orientation) was painful and distressing, but also an incredible relief and revelation.” She had a flirtation and affair with an older woman.
“I think in some fundamental level, I knew it instantaneously. But it took me a good year to try to stop dating men,” she said. “She wept and she called my father who yelled at me for upsetting my mother. That was about 20 years ago, and I’m still in that relationship.
She was stunned by how beautiful the bar mitzvah ceremony is.” But Chaiken demurred, unless they were willing to make a full commitment to Judaism, which neither was.
Meanwhile the show — and her life — make for good television. She’s written a couple of films for them, most notably “Dirty Pictures,” a dramatization of the Robert Mapplethorpe-Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center controversy.
Since the L Word, she has been involved with Empire, a hit television series.