Someone Figured It Out

After so many articles in the Jewish media praising the latest fad, it is a relief to read one like “Pop Goes The Hipster Judaism Bubble” from The Jewish Week.

“There’s something really appealing about hipster Judaism, but it often seems to be substanceless,” said Bari Weiss, a Columbia University junior and the editor of The Current, a new journal of politics, culture and Jewish affairs. “ I don’t think any project can sustain itself on great marketing. … Cool T-shirts aren’t going to save the Jewish people. Good falafel isn’t going to make people think Israel has the right to exist.”

Portraying being Jewish as “hip” or “cool” may look good, but in the long run isn’t going to ensure our survival as a people. Count me among those who really didn’t expect the Jewish Week to confront that so bluntly — she is quoted as an authority, not a nay-sayer. But it gets even better:

Weiss wonders if today’s 20- and 30-somethings Jews are really so different from those who came before them.

“I’ve read so many studies about how we’re the iPod Generation, how we’re The Millennials,” said Weiss, referring to recent Jewish communal studies about the unique ways young people identify and practice Judaism. “We’re just a generation of people looking for meaning like every other generation.”

The techniques that worked for 2000 years might work for today’s Jews as well… Next thing you know, she’s going to be advocating time in yeshiva or seminary!

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2 Responses

  1. ralphie says:

    “Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog” figured it out a couple of weeks ago at a “hipster” Channukah party sponsored by “Jewcy,” whatever that is. (Triumph is a puppet operated by comedian Robert Smigel and a fixture of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.) Here’s what he said to the crowd of hip young Jews, according to the New York Times:

    “Jewcy is the bold new movement of cool Jews,” Triumph said, his gravelly voice dripping with sarcasm. “Yeah, we want to be cool. We’re Jews, like the Beasties [hip-hop rappers Beastie Boys]! We don’t want to be nerdy, like Einstein.” Then he admonished: “Crack open a Torah. Learn something. That’s right! I’m lecturing you [expletives]!”

  2. Frummer Yid says:

    The techniques that worked for 2000 years might work for today’s Jews as well

    And if things continue apace, I’m going to live forever!

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