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Hipster Judaism Mad Libs

Tired of people emailing you articles about “hipster Judaism”? Ever get the feeling they’re all the same article repeated ad infinitum? Now’s your chance to write your own. Just fill in the blanks below, sign your name and mail the … Read More

By / February 26, 2007
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Tired of people emailing you articles about “hipster Judaism”? Ever get the feeling they’re all the same article repeated ad infinitum? Now’s your chance to write your own. Just fill in the blanks below, sign your name and mail the finished product to the AP, Reuters or your local newspaper. HED: Beyond [Yiddish word] and [Kosher Deli Food] DEK: The new Jew [insert “phenomenon,” “movement,” or “revolution”] Outside a [adjective] club in [insert “the East Village,” “the Lower East Side,” or “Williamsburg”], a dozen [adjective] twentysomethings with [insert “tattoos” or “piercings”] on their [body part, plural] are smoking [an herb] and talking about the latest Jewish [musical genre] sensation, [insert “Matisyahu”]. “For the first time in my life, Jews are [adjective],” said [precious gem, capitalized] [Jewish surname], wearing a t-shirt that read “[Biblical figure] [active verb].” “I used to feel [adjective] about being Jewish. Today I [verb] my Jewishness in ways I never did before." [Color] [Jewish surname], founder of a company that makes [Jewish ritual object]-shaped pasta, agreed, adding, “This is not our [family relative]’s Judaism.” Faced with a multiplicity of [plural noun], they’re forging their own Jewish [plural noun]. They’re the new Hipster Jews, and they’re here to [verb]. Hipster Judaism has its roots in [insert “Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song,” “The Beastie Boys,” or “Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister”]. Raised on [1980s TV series] and too young to have an intense memory of [insert “the Holocaust,” “the creation of Israel,” or “Yahweh”], this generation has chosen a [adjective] approach to Jewish identity. And young Jews aren’t the only ones who [verb] Judaism. It seems that everywhere, from [cable TV station] to [clothing store], popular culture has become saturated by a [adjective] form of Jewish [noun]. When [female celebrity] was photographed wearing a Kabbalah [noun], the trend was officially [adjective].
This isn’t the Judaism of [character from Fiddler On the Roof, The Chosen or Yentl]. “Today’s young Jews aren’t interested in [name of Jewish institution],” said [bird species, capitalized] [Jewish surname], founder of the [nonsense word beginning with S, capitalized] Semites Salon Series. “Like, I’m dating a [religion] [nationality] [unsavory profession] with [disease]. If that’s how I [verb] my Judaism, that’s my [adjective] decision. Who are my parents to tell me what’s [adjective] and what’s not? I mean, [ghetto slang expression]!” A just-released Jewish community report, “Judaism in the Age of [cultural phenomenon from the early 1990s],” backs up this claim. According to the report, “In contemporary [country], with its [exotic Starbucks blend] and [popular video game] culture, Judaism is only one facet of a [adverb] [adjective] identity. Indeed, today’s [insert “Gen Y,” “Millennial,” “New Boomer,” “MySpace,” “Flickr,” “YouTube” or ”Skype”] Jews are models of a [adjective], do-it-yourself Jewish [noun]. Much like [recent technological product, plural], they plug in to [plural noun] and then they [verb].” All this has led to a decidedly more [adjective] approach to Jewish identity. “Jews don’t want to give up on Judaism, but they also don’t want to give up on the American ideal of [noun],” said Dr. [Hebrew name] [Jewish surname], Professor of Jewish [plural noun] at [insert “Brandeis”] University. “For all groups, contemporary ethnic identification is as fluid as [liquid].” Inevitably, there are those who disagree. “[A Jewish food] and [a Jewish entertainer] are insufficient [plural noun] for identity,” argued Rabbi [Old Testament Prophet] [Jewish surname] of [sparsely populated state]. “You can only go so far on [insert “t-shirts,” “concerts,” “blogs,” “Jewfros” or “drugs”] before you realize there’s no nourishment there.”
“It can’t be all [mood],” agreed Professor [four-syllable name] [three-syllable name] [Jewish surname], recipient of the American Jewish [noun] Foundation Award for Excellence in [adjective] Jewish Thought in 1956, 1957, and 1959. “Besides, we have zero evidence that the so-called ‘hipster’ culture leads Jews to [active verb, sexual] and marry other Jews. So what’s the point?" “They just don’t get it,” responded [Season, capitalized] [Jewish surname], founder of the blog Jew[exclamation].com. “The critics just aren’t as [insert “cool,” “edgy,” “trendsetting,” “downtown,” or “hip”] as we are, so of course they’re coming at us from a [adjective] perspective. Did I mention that we’re extremely [insert “cool,” “edgy,” “trendsetting,” “downtown” or “hip”]?” In the end, no amount of pigeonholing will succeed in [verb]ing the new [noun] of American Jews. “We mustn’t make generalizations,” said [first name of 19th-century U.S. president] [Jewish surname], [senior job title] of The [1940s Hollywood producer] Family Foundation Crisis Campaign for American Jewish [noun]. “But I think it’s safe to say that all young American Jews are [adjective], [adjective], [adjective], [adjective], [adjective] and [adjective]. And they won’t be defined by anybody else.”

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