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"Is That Kosher?"
Season/Series: 12
Number in season: 1a
Original Airdate: United States October 6, 2008[1]
Canada January 23, 2009[3]
United Kingdom April 7, 2009[2]
Germany November 15, 2012[4]
Written by: Allan Neuwirth
Storyboard by: Robert Yap
"Big Brother Binky"
"Never, Never, Never"
Read transcript

"Is That Kosher?" is the first half of the first episode in the twelfth season of Arthur.

Joan Rivers makes a special appearance as Francine's grandmother, Bubby.


Francine makes a bet with Catherine of fasting through Yom Kippur with her family, but Arthur's pizza party is on the same day.


At the beginning, Francine's family gets ready for the biggest Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur. Catherine makes Francine dust the furniture. She thinks she has it all hard, but Catherine says she has it harder by fasting. Francine thinks she can fast better than Catherine, so they make a bet. Then, Bubby arrives and greets everyone. After that, she takes the feather duster out of Francine's hand.

At school, Muffy is surprised that Francine's family will not drink or eat on Yom Kippur. Arthur mentions afterwards that his Turkish pen-pal, Adil Akyuz, also fasts an entire month during Ramadan. Arthur gives Francine Adil's e-mail address, which is follow by Buster eating Francine's dessert to help her train. At Arthur's home, he gets a call from Pizza Paula's, saying he won in first place in a raffle, and will be having a pizza party with his friends and they will be taking a picture of everyone eating the pizza. Arthur sends an e-mail to Francine about the pizza party.

Francine is excited, but remembers she made a bet with Catherine about fasting on Saturday. She goes to Bubby and hangs her head. Bubby thinks Francine is sick so she gets a thermometer, but Francine says Arthur is having a pizza party on Yom Kippur and that it is too late to change the date. Catherine thinks Francine that she will not be able to fast on Saturday, but Francine tells her that as long as Catherine is not eating, she is not eating.

At the Congregation Sha'aray Shalom, Francine tells Catherine that she is going to be able to fast. Their father compliments her and she sticks her tongue out at Catherine. The next day is Yom Kippur and Francine wakes up not hungry at all, making her think that fasting is going to be easy. But Catherine, who is brushing her hair nearby, gives expressions that relate to food, which Francine simply ignores while stating that she will be able to fast. At the synagogue, her stomach growls and makes Bubby think a dog is in the temple, so the pair goes home.

At home, Francine watches TV, but all the shows have food advertisements. She decides to read, only to find that most of the books have titles relating to food, but Francine finds "Little Dorrit" by Charles Dickens. However, while she reads, the sentences have food listed so she lies back with her stomach growling. Then she e-mails Adil for advice and he says that during Ramadan, he tries not to think about food by visiting friends.

Francine thinks Arthur and his friends are done with the pizza so she visits him for company. It turns out that Arthur has pizza in his hand. Arthur invites Francine in and she sees everyone eating pizza. Soon, it is time to take pictures of everyone eating pizza. Paula hands a slice of pizza to Francine and she accidentally devours some of the slice, shocking her friends. As she walks home, Francine imagines Catherine and Bubby have found out she ate on Yom Kippur, which is represented by little angels in the sky. She goes disappointingly until she finds Bubby eating a sandwich in the kitchen, which surprises Francine. Bubby explains that there are certain exceptions to the rule for fasting (like you should not fast if it endangers your health in any way). Bubby also deduces that Francine must have eaten some pizza at Arthur's party after seeing a mushroom stuck to the front of her shirt.

Francine is still disappointed in herself about what happened, but Bubby assures her that it is no big deal — though certainly proud of her granddaughter for trying, she explains that you are not required to fast until after you turn 13 (meaning that Francine was technically too young to be doing it in the first place). Francine then sees Catherine in the kitchen, initially thinking she is eating something, but it turns out that she is making cake for the holiday. While Francine initially expects Catherine to give her grief for not being able to fast, Catherine (like their grandmother) assures Francine that it is not a big deal — in fact, Catherine reveals that she herself did not make it through her first fast after she had turned 13.

In the end, the family ends up having pizza for dinner. Bubby, like in the scene where she accuses Francine of failing to fast in the cloud like an angel, says their grandfather would be so proud of Francine and Catherine before the end of the episode.







  • Joan Rivers makes her first appearance as Bubby. She later returns in "Grandpa Dave’s Memory Album."
  • When Bubby talks to Francine, she mentions that Francine is not required to fast until she is 13 years old, meaning that Francine and her family practice Reform Judaism.
  • While Jews fast for a full day (sundown to sundown) on Yom Kippur, Muslims like Adil fast during the day (sunrise till sundown), every day, during the month of Ramadan.
  • The pizza Mr. and Mrs. Frensky buy seems to have sausage on it. Mixing dairy products (cheese) and meat is not considered kosher. However, not all Jews follow the kashrut (the set of Jewish dietary laws). In fact, only about 20% of American Jews actually keep kosher.

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Production notes[]

  • This is the first episode where Dallas Jokic and Lyle O'Donohoe voice Arthur and Brain, respectively.
  • This is the first episode to be animated by Animation Services HK instead of AKOM.
  • This is the first episode to be produced in the 16:9 aspect ratio and aired like that outside the U.S. However, all airings on PBS, PBS Kids Go! and PBS Kids, and all American streaming platforms, would show this episode in the 4:3 aspect ratio, as with all of Seasons 12 through 15.


  • When Francine says to the other Francine "But why would I want to keep myself from eating?", the other Francine's pants turn white.
  • When the kids pose for a picture at the pizza party, they face the viewer as if the TV is the camera, but the actual camera is shown in the scene, angled to the left on the right side.

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