(idea submitted by B.)
As a general rule, Jewish Young Adults tend to be more liberal, open minded, and accepting than their preceding generations. JYAs also tend to sit left of center with regards to social issues as well, especially when compared to the average Non-Jew. Even those JYAs who are Republican tend to be so only because of issues pertaining to the economy or Middle East Policy.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the average JYA is like Debra Messing on “Will and Grace”. While there are certain extreme streams of the religion that are still living in the stone ages, the general tendency amongst JYAs is to accept all congregants with open arms. Even the orthodox are slowly coming around and making strides. And to top it all, Tel Aviv has been recently crowned as THE gay travel destination, regardless of religious or cultural background. Even Harvey Milk was once a proud JYA.
Hopefully this trend of openness and tolerance will continue…
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(idea submitted by S.G.G.)
Nothing reeks of Jewish Young Adults like sitting around in a small group and listening to some acoustic guitar. Whether it be at a retreat, an Israel program, services at the Reform temple, or even in the wee hours of a waning house party, someone is bound to bring a guitar and start playing. There is no getting around it, whenever a group of JYA’s gather, for whatever reason; there will definitely be some strumming.
JYA Males love the guitar because it draws the attention of the females, and they will always keep handy a repertoire of campy renditions of Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, and Joplin’s “Bobby McGee” (or early Dave Matthews for the truly talented). Even the most musically ungifted will still know three chords to string together for a simple Bob Marley ditty when the ladies are present.
It is unclear if Female JYAs are truly as enamored by guitar playing as they let on, or if they simply pretend to be in order to manipulate the men. In either case, the illusion of their interest is strong enough to make is seem like all JYAs are avid fans of acoustic guitars.
Hillel Services avec Guitar
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(idea submitted and written by Stephanie K.)
This one is mostly for the ladies, but gents, feel free to join in and enjoy.
The plight of the “Jew Curl” has haunted Jewish girls for centuries. Many a Rachel and Sarah have asked themselves, “Why does Lindsay have straight blonde hair, and I have curly brown hair?” Or, “Why is Suzie’s hair so flat and mine is so frizzy? Could my hair look like that?” Thanks to the invention of the Flat Iron, the answer is now, yes!
Commonly referred to as the “hair straightener,” JYA females go crazy for these two hot metal plates. Whether it be a Bat Mitzvah celebration, a Friday Night Shabbat,or a NFTY social, the flat iron is a prerequisite for preparation.
So, why do Jewish girls feel the need to straighten their hair? Though they have been blessed with luscious curls, they choose to fry them to straightness. Some Jewish girls may feel their curls make them look “too Jewish”, and straightening makes them blend in more or hide their botched nose job. Others believe it simply makes them feel more confident. Others may just enjoy the change now and again, as the flat iron provides a new and exciting look, bringing compliments and shock from friends and family.
But the real reason Jewish girls straighten their hair? To look pretty for Jewish boys. Being able to go from cute and curly to sexy and straight in less than an hour can have a magical affect on the JYA male. Very few young Jewish males can really say they love Jewish looking girls (as evident in their penchant for Dating Non-Stereotypical Jews). The young adult age is a common time for rebellion, bringing home any shiksa that will piss off Mom.
The flat iron is an open door to a sleeker look, sans frizz; a lifeline to hide the “Jew Curl.” With the combination of John Frieda’s FrizzEase hair products and the standard $74.99 Chi 1” Ceramic Flat Iron, Jewish girls around the world can successfully have the straight and smooth look they so desperately desire. The flat iron has changed the hair of Jewish girls forever.
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Dear readers and friends!
We interrupt our usual stream to plug a book that was recently released by one of our frequent contributors. We rarely plug anything on this site, but because it is internal, we wanted to share with you. Please check it out an support our writing staff!
Buy the book on Amazon.
Thanks! We will return to our usual posts soon, we promise!
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(idea submitted by Zev H.)
One of the many perks of being a Jewish Young Adult in college is the never ending stream of parties and gatherings. And of these countless opportunities to mingle, JYAs love crashing events thrown by Alpha Epsilon Pi, the Jewish fraternity. For female JYAs, it is a chance to interact with a bevy of available single men. And for the men, the appeal of AEPi events is clearly the women who show up, and many non-fraternity members will finagle their way into parties.
What is interesting is that after college AEPi events still draw JYAs from both sides. Former frat brothers will frequently host alumni club reunions at chick-heavy bars, which will bring out other JYAs who want to piggyback on the event. In turn, the women hear of the event and will bring their girlfriends, which in turn will only attract more men, and so on and so forth.
There are two interesting idiosyncrasies that should be noted. Firstly, AEPi’s main rival, Zeta Beta Tau, does not garner the same appeal, specifically for the post-college crowd. There are many theories as to why this exists. One hypothesis is that ZBT guys are not as desperate to get laid once they hit their late twenties, and therefore have less of a need to organize official functions and invite women. Secondly, it is widely accepted that events thrown by Jewish sororities, especially after college, are generally lame and should be avoided entirely.
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Jewish Young Adults love to flaunt their “alternativeness” in any form, be it by listening to obscure music, reading niche magazines, or watching unknown independent movies. In addition, JYAs have a tendency to bandwagon whenever they discover a new outlet for their alternativeness. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the most recent love for JYAs is singer-composer-producer Keren Ann.
Keren Ann, who was born in Israel but spends most of her time in Paris, is the most recent addition to a long list of female crooners with an ever growing JYA fan base, from Lisa Loeb to Yael Naim. Keren Ann’s unique melodic voice and numerous collaborations have slowly built steam over the years, culminating in critically acclaimed albums and even a write up in the New York Times Magazine (a JYA favorite rag).
Hopefully JYAs will tell their Non Jewish friends about Keren Ann, giving her much deserved exposure.
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(idea submitted and written by E.)
There comes a time in every Jewish Young Adult’s life in which science ultimately triumphs over religion. Usually this occurs about two years after a JYA makes a commitment to Judaism at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Around this time JYAs start to experience the outside world, and spread their wings beyond the coddling of their Jewish Elders. They finally start thinking about what the Torah actually says and implies, only to find that some of the content seems dubious.
JYAs approach this denial in various forms. Some decide they will keep their denial to themselves. Other, bolder JYAs, will openly discuss their feelings of confusion from years of brainwashing. Still others take a more subtle approach. For example, look at the case of JYA “Ari”, from Atlanta. He grew up in an conservadox home, and his way of rebelling against the dark forces of his religious parents was to temporarily declare atheism. Rather than openly tell his parents, he waited for his mother to edit his college essay on Nietzsche, in which he discussed his newfound religious beliefs and his mother discovered an integral part of her son’s angst-ridden college identity.
No matter how deep one’s denial goes, most JYAs will ultimately come to the conclusion that although they do not believe in all of the Torah’s stories (because they are scientifically impossible), they still consider themselves a “cultural Jew” because they are characterized by other things aforementioned in this blog. Ultimately, when the JYA reaches adulthood and becomes less rebellious, they will subject their children to the same boring Sunday Schools, Jewish private schools, or youth groups, that they were forced to attend as a child. And thus the circle of rebelling against doctrine will begin again.
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