To paraphrase the legendary Joni Mitchell, I have looked at the Pew Study results from both sides now. I can see how the disconnect with Jewish ritual can be disconcerting and I see how the community’s freedom to identify themselves openly as Jews is incredibly empowering. There’s been a lot of talk about how to interpret the study and where to go from here, but I wonder if we might already have the tools we need to bridge the gaps noted in the study, using some of the traits that the study said best identify the Jewish community.
It turns out that “Jewish Funny” has become evidence-based. Results from the recent Pew Study “Portrait of Jewish Americans,” four in 10 of the 5.3 million religious and cultural Jews surveyed consider a sense of humor essential to Jewish identity. Having a sense of humor is part of our communications and value system. It’s as if we have a framework for which we see the world that lets us find and enjoy the irony of life’s complications. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the words “irony” and “oy” both have an “o” and a “y”.
My political views are shaped by three important facets of my life – I’m Jewish, I’m a woman, and I have kids.
For starters, I grew up Jewish in Orange County, CA, where there were even fewer Jews than Democrats.
Sarah Jones is an activist who spreads her message from the stage, portraying characters of many different ethnic backgrounds and in a monologue from each person, discussing issues of ethnicity, diversity, and social justice. Many of these characters are based on people she knew or observed while growing up in Queen’s New York.
There's a long tradition in Judaism of imagining different versions of our favorite stories, from rabbinic midrash to contemporary novels. Comedy troupe The Second City has thrown their hat into the ring this week with a new Youtube video in their "Sassy Gay Friend" series.
The Center for Reproductive Rights is taking an exciting approach to fighting the Stupak Amendment and the potential loss of abortion coverage it would ultimately bring about. Cory Kahaney (one of the hosts of Making Trouble) stars in their new ad, "It's No Joke," which will air on MSNBC this week. Kahaney drives home her point with a quick standup routine about health care that makes it perfectly clear that the threat to abortion access is no joke.
Over the past few months, the media has been flooded with articles about women in comedy. Jewish women in particular have been in spotlight with Sarah Silverman’s sky-rocketing ratings, Comedian Cory Kahaney’s “The J.A.P. Show: Princesses of Comedy” and Judy Gold’s one-woman show “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.” Indeed, these women know how to keep us laughing. And yet, why aren’t there more of them?