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Archive for January, 2010

#96 Dining at Chabad

(idea submitted and written by Sam G.)

Jewish Young Adults want the best of both worlds.  They want to live a hip, modern lifestyle of aspiring for future money, power, and fame while at the same time keeping in line with the traditions of the ‘The Tribe’ that they are so vocally proud to be a part of.  So when Friday evening rolls around, many JYAs choose to celebrate a weekly holiday known as ‘Shabbat’, from which the Christian concept of the weekly ‘Sabbath’ is derived. The Jewish Shabbat begins on Friday evening at sundown, and it is a custom amongst traditional Jews to commemorate the beginning of Shabbat with a short prayer service and a traditional family meal.

For JYAs, observing the traditional Friday night meal often entails scrounging for last minute invitations.   Fortunately, Chabad houses generally host Friday night Shabbat dinners open to interested and hungry JYAs.   JYAs know a good deal when they see one, and free food and alcohol served by friendly religious folks is one of the best deals in town.

Shabbat dinner (referred to as ‘Shabbos’ within the confines of the Chabad house) at a Chabad house is a festive affair, with JYAs mixing with local religious Jews of all ages.  It gives single JYAs an opportunity to meet potential romantic partners in the safe environment of an ultra-Orthodox religious leader’s home.  JYAs enjoy reminiscing about their own religious experiences, such as when the time they attended a Lag BaOmer bonfire as a child, and their moving experiencing praying at the Western Wall during last year’s Birthright trip to Israel.  Some JYAs may even be lucky enough to participate in a rousing rendition of  Am Yisrael Chai and other traditional Jewish songs that they remember from their Camp Ramah days.  If the JYAs are clever enough, they will know to show up 20 minutes late, so as to miss any boring Kabbalat Shabbat davening while still enjoying the first course of the Shabbos dinner.

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#95 North Face Jackets

(idea written and submitted by Matthew K.)

It should come as no surprise that Jews conspicuously wear North Face jackets; the two make an adorable dyad. In fact, this fashion trait is more indigenous to the JYA, than to the non-JYA. For example, one can see the JYA wear a North Face jacket on a spectrum of disparate occasions: on the way to yoga class with a double macchiato in hand from Starbucks, returning empty handed from a JDate speed-dating night, or sliding down circuitous ski slopes with the family in Aspen, Colorado.

The appeal of the North Face doesn’t just dig deep into the JYA’s yuppiness, but also stems from a need to feel edgy.  Let’s examine the brazen JYA: she audaciously tests the limits of practicality unlike the non-JYA by wearing a light spring-appropriate gray fleece jacket with “North Face” emblazoned on the left breast in the frigid death of winter (exceptions: LA and Miami). And let’s not forget her year-round uniform of transparent leggings and ruffled scarf beneath that Denali fleece.  Absurd, but nonetheless JYA and cute!

North Face jackets have become the staple ingredient to any JYA’s sense of modern Jewish style, akin to circumcision:  Every Jew is required to get it, irrespective of personal choice.  In fact, without one, or admission to not owning own, elicits horrified looks and awkward silences among fellow JYAs.  The tradition of Denali Fleece, worn 9 months out of the year, has become sacrosanct and no JYA is a member of the tribe until that North Face is on his/her back loud and proud.

Suffice it to say that without the JYA consumer, it is possible that the North Face company would experience the same macabre fate as Lehman Brothers.  Fortunately, the North Face can back on Jewish Adults and even Jewish Elders if the JYA fad was to subside.  It is not uncommon to see JYA and family all sporting a North Face Denali fleece or the apparel’s derivative ilk like sport gloves and down jackets.  Consequently, donning a North Face has become a Jewish universal for both JYA and JA.

JYA Natalie Portman rocks the North Face

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