Ever since the concept of Jewish Dating has been invented, there has always been a distinct pecking order, or preference ranking for potential mates. Back in the shtetl of the mid 19th century, the most coveted dating prize was the son or daughter of a Rabbi, followed by professional tradesmen like a watch-maker or cobbler, ideally still connected to the Rabbi’s family. Later, in the mid 20th century, trophy dates were doctors or lawyers, or the daughters of doctors or lawyers. Later still, in the 80s and 90s, the alpha position was replaced by the likes of investment bankers and derivative analysts, and lawyers fell to a respectable 2nd place in the hierarchy of desirable dating companions.
Over the last decade a new trend has emerged in conjugal partiality, where Jewish Young Adults have placed a dating premium on Non-Stereotypical Jews. An NSJ is any JYA who is regularly mistaken for being a Non-Jew because of their unique Non-Jewy actions or appearances. An example of a male NSJ would be “Dave”, who defines himself as a professional poet-slash-graffiti-artist but is also a member of an art collective in Santa Cruz where he makes mixed-media pottery. Another example would be female NSJ “Carrie”, who is a blond haired five foot nine All American swimmer from Kansas.
The reason NSJs are coveted for dating purposes is three-fold. First, there is the sheer uniqueness of NSJs, stemming from their rarity, which makes NSJs attractive. Secondly, JYAs want to create some distance from the generation of their parents, who put such a strong emphasis on traditional mating choices like doctors or lawyers. Lastly, there is a distinctive appeal of dating someone who is Jewish, but doesn’t act Jewish. (JYAs do want to date other Jews, but they don’t want to date Jewy Jews).
Unfortunately for JYAs, Non-Stereotypical Jews are hard to find because they tend to avoid situations or events where other JYAs are present. Therefore, snagging an NSJ is either a function of pure luck or an intensive active search process, and therefore JYAs are willing to put up with noticeable discomfort just for the bragging rights over their peers. As “Debbie”, a JYA from Chicago recently stated: “This guy that I’m seeing is such a dick, he never calls, he never pays, and he never showers. But he’s a professional fisherman, how cool is that!”
(And he’s Jewish too!)