Archive for April, 2009

#76 Birthright

(idea submitted by Elise S. and our good friend Benji)

If you were a 19 year old sophomore in a small liberal arts college in the North East and someone offered you a free trip to a foreign land where the drinking age was 18, the probability of hooking up was practically infinite, and you could enjoy some sunlight in December while the rest of your city was covered in snow, wouldn’t you go for it? For countless Jewish Young Adults, this dream has become a reality in the form of Taglit-Birthright.

Birthright provides free ten day trips to Israel for JYAs the world over aged 18-26, complete with Bedouin camel rides, sexy soldiers, and ill-fitting complimentary t-shirts. But more importantly, it’s a free winter/spring break that Jewish Adults can blindly support without much protest. JYA and recent birthright alum “Lisa” mentioned that “I totally wanted to go to Cabo with Allison and Michelle but my mom was like ‘No way my daughter is going to be on Girls Gone Wild’ so we decided to go to Israel instead”.

But ultimately the real appeal of Birthright is the booty. Many JYAs have exhausted the options at their local college chapter of Hillel, and Birthright offers a field of fresh meat, ripe for the picking. Unfortunately, most Birthright relationships die the second the JYA gets back on the plane. Chico State Junior “Danny” spent the entire ten day trip claiming to his friends that he was getting his flirt on with a voluptuous female soldier and was subsequently shocked when she rejected his profile on FaceBook upon his return.

Whatever the reasons, be they altruistic, egotistic, or prurient, Birthright has become a veritable rite of passage for the modern day JYA; as ubiquitous as Jdate and much more fun than going to the Matzah Ball.


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There are many films that capture the hearts and minds of Jewish Young Adults, but one film specifically has managed over time to become what could be the only JYA cult classic of all time: Dirty Dancing.

The 1987 romantic classic chronicles one summer in 1963 when (obviously Jewish) Frances “Baby” Houseman goes to a (obviously Jewish) family resort in the Catskills and falls for the (dashingly Non-Jewish) dance instructor. Baby’s parents clearly don’t approve of the un-kosher shidduch and drama ensues between father and daughter.

What makes this particular film a JYA favorite is that it touches on so many issues that are universal and timeless for the larger Jewish community; like hitting up daddy for money, hooking up at summer camp, practicing on Non-Jews, and contemplating rhinoplasty. In addition, many songs from the soundtrack have been staples at proms and AEPi mixers for the last two decades. As JYA “Tania” recently pointed out begrudgingly at her most recent local Matza Ball, “Ugh, there isn’t one guy here who even comes close to dancing like Patrick Swayze”.

Male JYAs are reluctant to reveal their affection for the film, but sources reveal that many a JYA male has attempted to recreate the infamous lift scene from the climax of the movie (risking back pain, concussions, or worse), in an attempt to impress the ladies. “Chicks dig the lift” noted local ZBT chapter president “Zach”.

Though there are other films that have managed to infiltrate the JYA psyche, Dirty Dancing will always hold a special place in the hearts, minds, and loins of JYAs for many years to come.

It is important to note that the 2004 sequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, has negligible cultural credibility with the JYA community, and therefore should never be ordered on Netflix.


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#74 Daniel Craig

(idea submitted by Matthew B.)

daniel-craig1It is a common perception that Jews tend to fall on the less physical and more cerebral spectrum of behavior. Jews are historically well known for being academics and thinkers as opposed to champion sportsmen or warriors. This perception has permeated into the upbringing of many Jewish Young Adults, particularly males who tended toward the scrawnier side during high school and were frequently last picked for basketball in PE class. Therefore JYAs show a lot of admiration when a Jew comes around who breaks out of that mold and asserts his/her strength and vigor. Ironically, nobody is a better anti-stereotypical Jew than Non-Jewish actor Daniel Craig.

Craig, the rugged 41 year old British actor, received his “Good for the Jews” stamp of approval because he has twice played ass-kicking Jews – more than any other Goy – in major motion pictures; Munich and Defiance. In both films Craig portrays pistol-whipping resolve and manly gruffness in ways that Woody Allen could only have wet dreams about.

In this vein, Craig has achieved what could be the closest equivalent to Jewish Cool: boys want to be him, girls want to be with him. “Ugh, I wish my boyfriend was more like Daniel Craig in Munich”, bemoaned JYA “Lisa” to her work friend, “He’s just so, like, not Daniel Craig, you know?”

Male JYA “Matt” echoed this sentiment stating that “That Bond dude gets so much poon it’s unfair. Leave some for the rest of us, man.”

Hopefully Craig will bless us with more of his acting skill, bringing out the rough and rugged side of historical Jewish figures. Maybe a biopic of Judah the Maccabbee?

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