George H. W. Bush, a Friend to an Out of Place Jew
In an interview given to the New York Post, producer Jerry Weintraub revealed that George H. W. Bush was instrumental in helping the Jewish filmmaker become accepted into a culture in Kennebunkport, Maine which was unfamiliar and sometimes unwelcoming to Jews.
“The president and I couldn’t be more different — he had a patrician background, I’m from The Bronx and Brooklyn,” Weintraub said.
Weintraub, who produced “Ocean’s Eleven” and the two sequels, produced the upcoming HBO documentary on Bush, aptly entitled “41”, and met the former president in Kennebunkport, through his wife.
“When I got up to Kennebunkport, it was kind of a culture shock for me. He was very, very nice to me. There aren’t a lot of people in Kennebunkport named ‘Weintraub’. In those days, the clubs didn’t have Jewish members. They were ‘restricted’. But he made sure I was socially accepted and got me into those clubs.”
Having known George H. W. Bush – who turns 88 today – for 45 years, Weintraub says he took pleasure in producing the upcoming documentary.
“I didn’t make five cents on this doc, and I worked harder than I did on the ‘Ocean’s’ movies,” Weintraub told The Post. “This is more satisfying to me than all of my movies and all my shows. Because he’s a friend.”
To watch the trailer for “41”, click below.